Missing Magpies- Rusling & O’Bree

It’s never a good idea while you are studying to go onto the sports section of the Herald Sun website. You might come across something that will make you emotional and effect your concentration. I have to admit, I do this often but today I was hit with something that reduced me to tears.

It first caught my attention under the heading- ‘O’Bree confirms retirement’

I knew it was going to happen pretty soon and even though he’s never been one of my favourites I felt sad. Last week in the Herald Sun, I read a cover on the Collingwood VFL game, our last for the year in which Tarkyn Lockyer left the field in tears, realizing that it may have just been his last footy game. I’m pretty sure at that point, thinking about Tarks, my heart actually broke. Tarks means so much to me; he’s a reminder of my childhood as a baby Magpie. Now I have two images of Tarks forever engraved in my mind; the one of him sinking to the ground on grand final day 2002 and now one of him leaving the ground in tears after a VFL loss. This is not the way I want to remember him; he probably won’t even get a farewell game. One thing is for sure, I will always hold number 24 close to my heart.

I scroll to read the story on O’Bree only to be reduced to tears when I see that he had been joined in retirement by…by Sean Rusling.

I sat at the computer in silence for I’m not sure how long, I felt numb in the back and shoulders but I could feel the tears stream down my face.

I didn’t know what to say, all I could come up with was;

“Sean…Sean…shit!!” amongst the tears and frustration.

You probably think I’m over reacting, since Sean never was able to play a full season, always plagued by injury, but I just wanted him to play so badly and I just hate how even when he was playing well in the VFL and wasn’t injured he was never selected for the team. It just killed me.

Sean is only a baby; he’s 23 and played a total of seventeen games for Collingwood.

In those games it was hard for him to finish unscathed. Whenever I would see him gripping his shoulder, lying on the ground in agony I would cover my face and cry.

After the first time it happened, I knew that once he sustained the injury his season was yet again over.

“What a waste, what a waste of talent, why is life so cruel to some?”

But now, it’s over for good. I haven’t seen Sean run out onto the MCG in Black and White since 2008 and now he never will.

While Sean will be happily embarking on a new chapter of his life I’ll be sulking over his loss for a few days.

Why is it that supporters take longer to heal than players themselves?

Tweet in tribute-


Sean Rusling, a retired Magpie plagued by injury that never got his chance to truly shine. Thanks for everything Sean, I love you…  :(   32 minutes ago via web

About Danielle Eid

Im 23, cute and most importantly im the Collingwood Football Club's very own PRINCESS!! :) A Latrobe Uni graduate from Bachelor of Journalism. Admirer of Samantha Lane and Jon Ralph. Not your typical 'Robot Journalist' Loves Alex Fasolo


  1. Danni – the Pie’s coaching staff has a lot to answer for when it comes to Rusling. His body just wasn’t developed enough to put up with the rigors of playing full forward or any key position. After he did his shoulder the first time what did they do? Put him back to full forward again. Wrong. He got crunched by every full back and centre half back going around.

    Hopefully clubs have improved on this in the last few years.

    Now wipe away the tears and get on with your homework.

  2. Dips,

    It appears that you are not across this issue with your unfortunate & unsubstantiated pot shot at the Pies coaching staff. FYI – Rusling played a lot of VFL footy in the backline whilst trying to get back into the seniors. He was simply unlucky – pure & simple. There is nowhere on an AFL field to “hide” players. You can either stand up to the physical nature or not.

    Now – I know that you like to stir up the Pies but maybe the spectre of a possible, albeit remote, loss to rank-outsiders Freo tomorrow night has got the nerves jangling just a little? One or two, or maybe three of your blokes are looking decidedly shaky each week now. Those young Dockers have nothing to lose tomorrow night & if they can get some space…who knows?

    BTW – was it just my imagination or did I hear holier-than-thou Cat fans booing Riewoldt everytime he went near the ball last Saturday night. I thought you said that that was reserved for Gazza & Collingwood fans?? Ever hear Buckley booed?? Or Judd?? Or carey?? All great champs cop this (unfortunately) from all fans. I don’t like it either but it’s not confined to one mob.

    Good luck tomorrow night. Hope to see you the following week…

  3. Nice one Bakes. I wasn’t pot shooting, it is my considered opinion. I don’t give a stuff where Rusling played in the magoos, he was treated badly in the ones. Don’t get me wrong, all clubs are guilty of it.

    Didn’t hear any booing of Riewoldt. Cats fans wouldn’t do that in case he burst into tears, the poor sop.

    I reckon Pies supporters are putting on a very brave face but behind the curtains are quivering like nervous goldfish. They will be praying that Freo gets up because the thought of taking on a rampaging Cats side that is storming through September like a Panzer division across the Polish border, would make them dribble through their tooth (sic). Yes I know the Pies belted us last time, and I know they are far and away the best side this year, and I know they have 612 shots at goal every week, and I know that their buffalo girls style of play is much revered (funny but last year Pies supporters wanted Malthouse sacked for it?), but you never know…..the Cats might lift, the Pies might have a bad one……

  4. Ah, Danni :-( I feel your pain!

    There’s always something so tragic about a career cut short by injury! Even if it’s not a specific injury that forces retirement, just a general wearing down of the body …

    It’s three years on and I still haven’t forgiven Browny for breaking Ego’s navicular! (yes, before I get flamed, I realised it was an accident, but that is entirely beside the point to us emotional types!) (besides which, Brown is one of my favourites outside Geelong, so it’s really more a bit of a grudge than a general hate :P)

    Fingers crossed that Rusling, O’Bree and (possibly) Lockyer have happiness and success in whatever they pursue post-Collingwood.

  5. Who is Rusling?

  6. John Butler says


    I think he’s a nephew to Quisling.

  7. Peter Schumacher says

    Certainly not related to Bustling.

  8. Dips,

    …sounds similar to the Cat fans who were calling for Bomber’s head after Rd 6 in 2007???

    Re the Pies style of play. I reckon they deservce some credit for bringing the game right up & close to the fans in the outer…rather than trying to sneak through the middle where no one can really see!!! At least you can hear them kick the ball, and smack into each other, and yell out…etc etc. Why……you can even hurl your abuse & Pies players will be able to hear you (of course – not Cat fans as they never behave badly).

    Oh, and I really don’t think you are invading Poland this time around, what with their horse & carts and Cossacks…etc etc. I am quietly confident that we are made of sterner stuff. You will of course offer up history to counter this but I think it’s just time.

    Cheers & Go Pies!


  9. Answer to comment 5-

    Sean Rusling was a talented star that never got to shine.
    When he first came to Collingwood the girls all called him fine.
    He’s tall, he’s hot and handsome, such a friendly guy.
    When he’d mark the footy all girls let out a sigh.
    But then he’d hit the tuft with his shoulder hurting there
    The trainers would rush out with great looks of despair.
    Then would come my head in hands, I couldn’t look no more,
    Knowing that poor Rusling might again be shown the door.
    He used to be a great old kick, a solid marker too.
    But because of his shoulder there wasn’t much to do.
    He was Jack’s kick, Dawesy’s lead, boy he was keeper
    But he never even got the chance to prove he was a leaper.
    His full fitness was rarer than gold but grumpy Mick was never sold.
    And so he stayed in VFL thinking he might finish well.
    Now were down one magpie less, it seems like such an empty nest.
    For there’ll never be a number two, who wore it the way Seany do!
    So now you’re gone and moving on but don’t you ever fear,
    There will always be a place in my heart for you my Rusling dear.
    Stars are big, stars are bright,
    They brighten up the sky at night.
    One day Sean will get his chance, he’ll have nothing to blame.
    And when he does you can be sure,
    He’ll put the Milky Way to shame.

  10. i agree completly with Dips, Russa was treated very badly in the ones :(
    even when he was fit for two weeks he was never given a thought for selection and i hate Mick for it! :(

  11. Bakes – see comment #10 !!! from a Pie supporter. Thanks Danni.

    Those Cossacks are a feisty lot.

  12. 11- no problem Dips :)
    btw the Cossacks aren’t as fiesty as the Cheka or the Red Gaurd!!

  13. Steve Healy says

    Very nice report danni, obviously ive already chatted with you about rusling’s retirement, but i think O’Bree deserves a little bit more recognition since he played over 200 games for collingwood, obviously its your decision though, and great poem in comment number 5! I know how good you are with poems ;)

  14. Damian Watson says

    Great read Danni,

    Liked the poem as well.

    I’m just curious as to whether you have any favourite memorable highlight of each of the two retirees?

  15. 13- lol Shut it Healy! :P

    thanks duckie!!
    Rusling first ever goal :)
    O’Bree’s dreadlocks! :)

  16. Steve Healy says

    excuse me! :)

  17. Andrew Fithall says


    The Asylum Centre Resource Centre just tweeted this message:

    Wishing all our Muslim friends and supporters a Happy Eid!

    So… Happy day to you!

  18. Andrew Fithall says

    That is “The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre”. Sorry.

  19. lol thanks Mr.Fithall.
    While my surname does translate into the name for the Muslim tradition, i am actually a Christian. lol
    I’m Maronite (Eastern Catholic)
    Although the term Eid is generally associated with ‘celebration’ :) Lol.

  20. Danni #9,

    twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder where you are?

  21. 20- lol :P

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