“Every time we’re at the dinner table, he’ll drop one of his footy stories.”
These are the words of Sam, 17, who says his old man, Bruce, 51, relentlessly reminds him and his family of when he played for the Sturt Football Club during the 1990 season.
“If it wasn’t for me [sic] knee, I would have played AFL footy — no doubt about it,” Bruce insists.
“Some said I had the best vertical leap in the comp and I’d already been in talks with the inaugural Crows team.”
Bruce’s wife, Debbie, says she has a glass of bubbly with dinner to help drown out her husband’s stories.
“Brucey is obviously very passionate about the game,” Debbie said.
“I know he stretches the truth — I just don’t have the heart to challenge the poor bastard.”
It turns out Bruce was dropped following his first year of reserves at the Double Blues — in the three games he played that season, he managed just one goal and 8 disposals.
These days, Bruce can be found downing mid-strength beer, punting at the races, or describing the depth of his knee injury at his trusty local.
“After I did me [sic] bloody knee, it really opened the floodgate for Tony Modra to become the big thing at the Crows,” Bruce said.
“Fair dinkum could have been me, but as they say, life is like a box of chocolates.”
Bruce’s son, Sam, who is aspiring to play professional footy, says his old man assures him he’ll be by his side when he makes it.
“Dad reckons he knows a few scouts out at St Kilda and Richmond from his playing days and that he’ll put in a good word for me,” Sam said.
“But whenever I ask anyone about him they have no idea who he is.”
Featured Image: Matthew Kenwrick