Round 2 – Collingwood v Richmond: Footy without John

 

The historic drawn Round 2 match between the Woods and the Tiges has divided the Unquenchables of the Civic Pub. Megsy – present patriarch of the Table of Knowledge and former bar-propper-upperer at the Lomond in Brunswick East – is firm in his views.

 

“Worst game of football I’ve seen in my life! Sloppy skills, low scoring, disgraceful!”

 

Yours truly – seeking to project an aura of Dimma-like, Stoic circumspection – begs to differ.

 

“What we saw was a tense struggle between two powerful sides who spent 81 days sizing each other up. We won’t play them again until the finals – and it will be epic!”

 

The Beer Goanna has never heard these two rusted-on Tiges fans in such fierce disagreement. He’s stunned – and amused. (Less surprising, of course, was the exchange of verbal abuse with the assembled Woods fans on the night. Well into the night.)

 

Thursday night was significant for the Unquenchables in another way, too. It was the first game of footy since dear old John passed away, peacefully in his room upstairs at the pub during the period of isolation.

 

John was a legendary, kind, and generous human. At his funeral – live streamed and then available to watch online – we learned that every single story he’d ever told at the Table was completely true. He had indeed done, said, and seen all of those tall tales during a lifetime that personified the word, “unquenchable”.

 

An endless thirst for life. For love. For a drink! And for nurturing others as they navigate their own adventures.

 

In the front bar of the Civic Pub on Thursday night I could vividly imagine John standing there, hands politely clasped behind his back, squinting ever so slightly to read the score in the corner of the screen.

 

“Oh well done, that boy!” he would declare.

 

Just as he’d adopted the Unquenchables during his years living upstairs at the pub, John had come to barrack for the Tiges. Having played footy, rugby, cricket, basketball – when we wasn’t out sailing, of course – John was a lover of sport in all of its wondrous colours.

 

John was missed on Thursday night, as he has been each day since he left us. Even watching the footy feels different without him there.

 

This week the Unquenchables will gather once more around the Table of Knowledge – Megsy, the Beer Goanna, and the rest of the gang – as the Tiges run out against the Hawks on Thursday night. John will be there in spirit.

 

And if we’ve got our act together by then, a shiny new plaque above the Table will recognise John, too. Right next to the “Tiger fans only” sign.

 

 

COLLINGWOOD          4.1       5.3       5.4       5.6 (36)
RICHMOND                   0.1       3.1       5.2       5.6 (36)

 

GOALS
Collingwood: Phillips 2, Adams, Sidebottom, C.Brown
Richmond: Lynch 3, Bolton, Higgins

 

BEST
Collingwood: Pendlebury, Howe, Sidebottom, Moore, Daicos, Phillips, Grundy.
Richmond: Cotchin, Vlastuin, Broad, Martin, Lynch, Higgins.

 

Crowd: Mostly cardboard cutouts

 

 

 

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About Damian Doyle

Runner and Tiges barracker from the capital town.

Comments

  1. Thanks Damian. I enjoyed your tribute to John. And a bloke called the Beer Goanna is clearly a unique cove.

  2. craig dodson says

    Lovely tribute. In my younger days while playing cricket for Royal Park Brunswick I had many great times at the Lomond – fantastic pub!

  3. Welcome Damian. I am sorry to hear of the loss on your mate John. He sounds like a brilliant character. But The Quenchables live on in his memory. I’m sure Almanac readers would love to know more of John and of the crew who sit at the Table of Knowledge.

  4. May the table of knowledge at the well named Lomond continue to inspire, cause argument and deep felt laughter and ultimately reveal and divulge long held secrets from each you as long as you continue to sing Yellow and Black at the end of each match Go Tiges Vale John

  5. A hell of a story to kick off your Almanac career, Damian.
    RIP John.

  6. The Beer Goanna: I’m thinking a sort of frog-mouthed Packer-esque chap who Hoovers up seven ounce Tooheys Old.

    I love how Canberra is so very federal. I recall these groups of people from around the country. Was certainly the case at the Kingo.

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