A Grandfather’s Legacy

By Georgia Blom

As you walk through the bronze gates of the stadium which I call my second home, with my second family and those who have one thing in common with you.  The smell of hot pies, chips and a warm drink is something that every football fan understands, weather you live in Melbourne or reside in Canberra, it’s just us.

We may not speak one language and may have different backgrounds, but what binds us together is the Australian Football League. From Uluru to Hobart and back to Perth, there will be friendships, relationships and jobs thanks to the AFL. They have created generations of enjoyment for players and supporters. Each club has a different motto for a different reason, this may show what kind of people their fans are and the area of which the club has originated.

We have different opinions of each club we barrack and love. During wooden spoons or finals a “true fan “would support them no matter what.

This is my journey.

Welcome to Paterson’s Stadium aka Subiaco Oval, the name may have changed, but the people and the club haven’t. Since I moved to Melbourne, I haven’t seen my team in action at home for over two years.  Thanks to my passion and hope in football I have found new friendships with many, some excluding myself as a West Coast Supporter. I have friends from Collingwood and Hawthorn. We all share the love of football as it generates great conversations with a little bit of rivalry. As the bounce nears I thought you should know that I’m standing here wearing my Home Guernsey with Number 3 taped to my back.  This is my team and I know why.

I have always considered AFL more than a hobby, maybe love, but I wouldn’t consider it a chosen life. This love wasn’t embodied by my parents, but my grandparents.  My Grandparents would talk about West Coast and my Grandad would take me to games on his shoulders. We formed a bond which I now look back and see as something very special. Because of him and his legacy we will always have something to talk about even though we can’t watch or speak about it anymore because he isn’t here with us.

My Grandad was very different to other grandparents; he was active, fun and had lived through Wars and evolutions over his life, but would never let that get to him. At the tender age of 2, World War 2 had begun and he and his parents fled Poland because they had Jewish Descent. All the gruesome memories he remembered from wars affected him. Football helped somehow. I’m not sure whether it’s the strong bond which we all have and the community which is there. It’s a just  life for us Australians.  As I look back at all the times something’s happened either at school or when I had a bad day or had a fight with my best friend. I wanted to lean on him. He wasn’t there – but his legacy was…FOOTBALL.




About John Harms

John Harms is a writer, broadcaster, publisher, historian, speaker and teacher. He loves stories.

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