Sean Gorman’s speech at Niall Lucy’s funeral, 12 June, 2014

 

The exegesis.

 

How does one measure Niall’s love of the Dockers? How does one do it justice? How does one actualize it or externalize the blistering, aching passion that he had for Freo? The simple answer is no one can. This was Niall’s internal narrative, a narrative that was, like the game he loved, codified. If you did not like his code or you did not understand it, you could just simply fuck off.

 

For Niall, Fremantle Football Club was not just about following a team, purchasing a membership and going along to simply watch or barrack. His passion was far deeper and more nuanced than that. The arc for Niall came from his very being. It was the way he lived and breathed. Further, it was where he lived that defined him and his following of the Dockers was no different.

 

Niall had walked Fremantle’s streets, he had drunk in its pubs, seen gigs at its venues, he had eaten in its restaurants. He had been schooled at CBC and tore around its roads in his car. He had known love in Fremantle and he had called it home. He did not just know Fremantle, he felt it, deeply.

 

His passion for the Dockers was not just an extension of himself but an intrinsically held belief, a truth if you like, that this club represented ‘me’.  It was all encompassing, transcendental. I have, and many of you would have also, lost count of the amount of times we had dissected an awful loss or laughed at a significant win but I do know this – for me Niall Lucy was the Freo fan.

This meant that to be a Freo fan the central tenet was this: you had to believe in it with all you had. It also meant that to follow, like, enjoy or have any interest whatsoever in the ‘mob up the road’ would relegate one to a very precarious station in life from Niall’s perspective. There are probably more people but the  only exception I knew to this rule was the Hoffman family.

 

An example of Niall’s position on these things was an inscription he made on the inside sleeve of the book he did with Steve Mickler called the War on Democracy. In it he wrote To Sean – Eagles Suck – Niall.

 

Niall Lucy gave no quarter and expected none in return and his love of Freo – like that for his wife, his family and friends, was, forever.

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

Sunlight Spread-eagles Perth in Purple.

 

I define myself by what I am not.

I do not listen to commercial FM radio.

I do not read the West Australian.

I do not drive a Prado.

I do not look at futures markets.

I don’t drink chardonnay.

I do not follow the mob up the road.

 

I am a punk prince in the second tier stand.

I am the textual harasser Wizfan on Dockerland.

I drive a Mustang.

I read Derrida.

I listen to the Clash.

My shit is Strummer, Hank Williams, Bon Scott, Elvis, Johnny Cash.

I am Fremantle/Fremantle is me.

 

I do not follow others.

I do not care for bullshit.

I do not countenance fakes.

I do not strive for the lofty heights of mediocrity.

I will leave that to impostors.

Their dunghill built and tendered by used car sales men.

Riverboat gamblers.

Spin-doctors.

Stooges.

Flunkies.

 

What does it mean to exhibit such allegiance?

To be staunch?

To be unwavering?

To never concede, compromise or give up.

You have to have.

Experienced.

Crushing defeats, victories of legend.

That’s what it means to be.

 

As the opening licks of TNT boom my heart closes-out. Oi Oi Oi Oi.

To hear the honorific chant ring out and around.

A rock n roll ghosting.

Spirit thunderbolt swoops in

and through.

Connecting us

unequivocally.

Imagined community.

Realized.

It validates us.

It is all that

we are.

All we will be.

I am all those who have struggled.

I am all those who have created.

I am all those who have come.

And who will continue to.

 

I will be standing there forever waiting for the moment.

The sublime step in time where the game has stopped

but moving.

Mysterious contradiction.

I seek out its truths.

I see

perfection…

 

I seek it in the rush of air as it sucks out of the space.

Our collective breaths held:

as Son Son kicks true.

As Johnno streams away.

As Cooky locks another one down.

As Hilly finds the outside and

like a beautiful idea.

He runs.

As The Wiz holds his hands aloft.

A black X.

He marks the spot and stands his ground.

 

I hold my ground also.

I will say it.

To speak out.

To speak out to what I am not.

Carn Freo

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niall_Lucy

 

Comments

  1. Perfect.

  2. Very sad.

    I wish I’d met your man, Sean.

  3. Iconoclasts and defiant voices are always needed in a healthy society.
    Vale Niall.

  4. sean gorman says:

    Mmmm, the dude in the bass is MP Casey Niall’s best mate and the best bassist in the land (ex Triffids). Despite his hate of the Eagles I think he would have a drink with you PB.

  5. Thanks for sharing, Sean.

  6. Phil Dimitriadis says:

    Wonderful tribute Sean. Niall had the gift of infusing humour into complex literary theoreticians like Derrida. Will be missed.

  7. sean gorman says:

    Thanks people – I should just clarify that I wrote the poem also – it took me about 30 mins and I reckon Wizfan was pushing the pen. Oi Oi Oi

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