Smokie’s Willy CYs Preview – Round 7: Billy

There was a group of six or seven of us and we were as thick as thieves. We were fortunate to be growing up in Williamstown and we knew it. What a superb place it was to spend one’s formative years. Not the worst place to spend one’s later years, either.

We occasionally got up to no good, but it was minor-league stuff: rowing out to the yachts moored off The Strand and snatching the odd bottle of rum, pooling our money and sending Big Matt (because he looked 18) into the bottle shop at the Bristol, furtively drinking the loot by the Crystal Pool.

Except for Matt, who was a gun lacrosse player, we all decided to play under-19s together at the CY’s. Macca and Tommy did the pre-season, and were rewarded when they were promoted into the seniors for the finals and played in the ’84 premiership. But Billy got injured after only a couple of games and never played for the CYs again. Which was a shame because, as the son of a Stawell Gift winner, he was a talented all-round sportsman. Not long after, Billy dropped off the radar. One minute he was there, and the next he wasn’t. He could so easily make you laugh, but he was not the sharpest tool in the shed. And as he was a good-looking rooster, he had a way with the girls. He was generous bloke: we would spend hours playing pool at the family home in Melbourne Rd, raiding the pantry in the meantime. And he was notorious for his tardiness: the party would be winding down when Billy arrived.

He became a plumber and we heard that he had moved to Craigieburn. Someone had heard that he was making a quid carting watermelons to the Vic Market. A mate of ours even bumped into him in the bar of the Kalkallo Hotel. We were told that he had asked after us and that he was looking well. A couple of years later, the CYs were playing UHSOB at Brens Oval. And who should run out with the opposition team but Billy. Plans for a post-match beer were shattered like Billy’s jaw when he was on the wrong end of a fearful Spud Case bump and was rushed straight to the nearby Royal Melbourne Hospital. Maybe in this occasion Billy was too early?

None of us ever saw Billy again. Unsuccessfully shaking trees, attempts to contact him via various social media have been unsuccessful. School reunions pass by and he remains absent. But I sometimes wonder what might have been had he not injured himself early in that under-19 season. Would he have played seniors? Would the camaraderie at CYs been enough to keep him around? And I wonder if he still recalls his teenage years as fondly as we all do? Or are his recollections not as rose-coloured?

 

WILLIAMSTOWN CYMS FC GAMES ON SATURDAY 27 MAY:

SENIORS VS. KEW AFC (A), 2PM @ VICTORIA PARK

RESERVES VS. KEW AFC (A), 11:40AM @ VICTORIA PARK

THIRDS VS. KEW AFC (A), 9:20AM @ VICTORIA PARK

U19 SECTION 2 VS. FITZROY (H), 2PM @ ALTONA GREEN PARK

U19 SECTION 5 VS. MELBOURNE HIGH SCHOOL OLD BOYS (A), 2PM @ MELBOURNE HIGH SCHOOL

 

About Darren Dawson

Always North.

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