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Thread: Why do YOU support the Swans?

  1. #13
    As a kid I was heavily involved in two sports. I played real football (according to my father) which we call soccer in Australia, but avidly watched Rugby League.

    Fast forward to 1996. I don't know why this day was different, but I remember sitting down to watch my first game on telly. I didn't understand any AFL rules, but I remember this big bloke the commentators were calling Plugger. We all know the story. One glorious point after the siren which propelled the Swans into their first GF in a long time. And there was one convert made that day ... me.

    1997. The birth of Super League. The attempt to eradicate traditional teams was enough. My love for league was eroding as my love for AFL and the Swans was growing.

    The rest is history.

    2017. Game three of the State of Origin has just finished and I could not tell you who won. I truly do not care.

    Go Swans!

  2. #14
    Regular in the Side Matty10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goswannies View Post
    So, what stared you off as a Swans supporter? When did you first start barracking for our great club? What are your early memories of your time supporting the Swans
    I am sure there was an introductory thread somewhere that included all this sort of great stuff in it - I just did a quick search to find my contribution but to no avail.

    My story sounds quite similar to yours goswannies.

    I grew up on a farm in south-western NSW (same community as Jamie Lawson, Heath James and Ben McGlynn - there were other AFL players from the district also , but they went to other teams - it was a Richmond zoned location originally). My father didn't have any strong allegiance (Richmond, Essendon and Geelong - the country team - did get some affection). Although he did say that Williamstown was our team (due to our surname) - which was actually pretty cool when beloved ex-Swan Barry Round (and even Ackerly for a brief stint) came to play for them. Wentworth, our local team, would probably have gotten precedence, but even that was secondary to work.

    I don't really know why I started supporting the Swans (as South Melbourne). I used to say that it was the colours (something about them must have struck a chord - perhaps I had romanticised the red and white of the St. George cross from all the movies about knights and the crusades that I had watched as a kid on a Saturday afternoon and this rubbed off somehow).

    I later learned at my grandfather's funeral that he had been a keen Swans supporter his whole life (whereas I thought he only started following them because I did), so he may have been an influence also (although he did live in Wagga Wagga so I did not see him more than twice a year).

    As a child, I also coveted a South Melbourne patch that was for sale at our local newsagent. Again, something about it just resonated with me - perhaps it was the Latin phrase "Aut Vincere Aut Mori" that was stitched at the top. It was there for years until I eventually bought it. I was the only Swans supporter in my primary school, but I stuck fat - even during the dark days.

    I was saddened when they left South (and sympathised with the KSAS group), but at the same time I got to watch them every second week and my love for the team seemingly grew. The night premiership in 82 was a highlight. David Rhys-Jones was my favourite player - I was gutted when he left.

    When I finished high school I went to the University of Sydney, in large part because I wanted to see the Swans play (even though they barely won a game) - Adelaide was easily the closest capital city, followed by Melbourne. Only one other student from my school went to Sydney. I almost felt obliged to go. My priorities were perhaps a little myopic at the time.

    I was living in Point Lonsdale during 1996 and would hitchhike to Geelong to catch the train to Melbourne (and then to whichever ground we were playing). I always loved watching both the reserves and the seniors play. I would go by myself to most games, but would usually find another tragic that was keen to have a chat. They were long days but I loved every bit of them. I spent a lot of that time reading up on the Swans history - and meeting some of the old players (such as Billy Williams) was a big highlight. When my boss wouldn't give me the day off for the grand final, I happily quit my job to attend. We didn't win, but there has been a lot of joy since then.

    I now get to spend my weekends barracking with my eldest son (5). My youngest boy (2) doesn't yet have the patience to watch a full game, but he does sing the club song with gusto. This year has been awesome - lots of lows and a now a series of highs. My restrained and pragmatic optimism has been paying off with my son. Auskick at South Melbourne Districts in Albert Park each Saturday morning also adds to the flavour and nostalgia of supporting this wonderful club.

  3. #15
    Outer wing, Lake Oval Sandridge's Avatar
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    Fantastic thread! Thanks for starting goswannies!

    Dad started taking me to South Melbourne games in 1961 when I was 4. Dad had been born in Port Melbourne, raised in South Melbourne and had met and married my mum in South Melbourne. While we were still South Melbourne, Dad would take my sister, brother and I every week to see the Bloods with the family of another RWOer, baskin. I have such beautiful memories of going to watch our club, even though most trips ended up in losses. Of the hundreds of games I saw in that era, 2 stand out for me. The 1970 game at the Lake Oval against Collingwood which has already been mentioned by other posters. I can remember Stevie Hoffman kicking the goal that put us in front like it was yesterday! The other stand out game for me was Round 14, 1973 when we ended a 29 game losing streak by beating Geelong at the Lake Oval. It really was like winning a Grand Final and I vividly remember an elderly man jumping up and down and crying after the game.

    My Dad had taught me loyalty and the importance of "sticking" with family, friends and footy clubs, especially when the chips are down. Therefore, when the club moved to Sydney - even though we didn't like it - there was never a chance that my family would dump the Bloods. In fact, the "hardship" of having our club move interstate increased the desire to "stick" and my family's love of the Swans has never waned. I know many South Melbourne Swans and the vast majority had no trouble continuing to love a club that was now based 1000km away. And haven't we been rewarded!

    Just love my club and when I'm carried out in a box, there'll be a Swans scarf draped on it and it'll be to the tune of the Notre Dame victory march!

    Go the mighty Bloods!

  4. #16
    I started barracking for the swans as a young boy in the late 70's as my father did. We became members in about 78 and went to all home games at the Lake oval. A close mate of mine barracked for the Tigers and it was easy to converts him to a swan as well. We also use to go to most away games, except for Geelong games. I remember my Auntie use to drive us to most games so dad could drink from steel cans, which was handy as they made for a decent viewing platform. Luckily dad use to drink enough cans to make a platform for me and my mate. Funny thing is my Aunties car was a few years old but still had plastic on the door panels and the back seat. She also used to smoke in the car, which made for a chilly drive to the ground from the outer eastern suburbs. Don't remember too many games at the Lake oval, but I do remember the John Roberts screamer. I think he took it in 79 or 80. Fave players were Barry Round, Teaser, Jamie Lawson and of course, Arthur Chilcott. I was devastated when we first moved to Sydney, but soon got over it and have been thankful ever since.

  5. #17
    Senior Player dejavoodoo44's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Blood Fever;731930]Bobby Skilton stood out and was almost a one man team. Enormously skilled and unbelievably courageous. Winning was huge because it didn't happen all that much. Interestingly , I remember we had one of the very few Indigenous players, a ruckman called Elkin Reilly, who was a pretty handy player. I remember we often started the year ok but faded out of the finals race. I reckon I saw my first game around 1960. Ron Clegg had come back to play although my memory might be playing tricks.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yes, would've liked to see Skilton play, but he was a bit before my time. The first Swans player that became my favourite player was Paul Kelly. I think that it was because of the huge effort that he was obviously putting in to every game, an effort that early on his career, was very rarely rewarded with a win. But he just kept on putting in. I also came to really enjoy how he used to arrive at a contest, to often be outnumbered by two or three opposition players, and invariably emerge with the ball.
    A display of Bloods spirit, before Roosy rescued the concept of Bloods spirit.

  6. #18
    Warming the Bench
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    The generations…..my Grandfather..to my uncle..to me..to my son (dec)..and now my Grandson.

    My parents were Geelong??????

    1st game I saw was at the Lake oval in 1955

    Work opportunity moved me to Brisbane in 1990

    The Bloods are in our Blood for now and ever more.

    Footnote…QUEENSLANDER !!!

  7. #19
    I lived in Melbourne during the 1960's and followed Geelong. Polly Farmer was my hero. I moved back to Sydney and slowly after the Swans move I was won over. Paul Kelly and his attitude was the turning point. I was just so impressed with the re-development of the 'Bloods Culture'. The Swans are just a really well run club. Great culture of commitment and effort. Nothing too flashy just hard work as a team. When Buddy came I had my doubts about him fitting in. How wrong I was. Epitome of a team player.
    When a player is lost I just have confidence that the club will cover the loss through shrewd recruitment and planning. I welcome Tom Harley as Andrew Irelands replacement when he retires. As a player he played well above his skill levels but was so smart and had great leadership qualities, all attributes valued by the Swans.

  8. #20
    [QUOTE=dejavoodoo44;731958]
    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Fever View Post
    Bobby Skilton stood out and was almost a one man team. Enormously skilled and unbelievably courageous. Winning was huge because it didn't happen all that much. Interestingly , I remember we had one of the very few Indigenous players, a ruckman called Elkin Reilly, who was a pretty handy player. I remember we often started the year ok but faded out of the finals race. I reckon I saw my first game around 1960. Ron Clegg had come back to play although my memory might be playing tricks.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yes, would've liked to see Skilton play, but he was a bit before my time. The first Swans player that became my favourite player was Paul Kelly. I think that it was because of the huge effort that he was obviously putting in to every game, an effort that early on his career, was very rarely rewarded with a win. But he just kept on putting in. I also came to really enjoy how he used to arrive at a contest, to often be outnumbered by two or three opposition players, and invariably emerge with the ball.
    A display of Bloods spirit, before Roosy rescued the concept of Bloods spirit.
    Although Skilts was enormously skilled - he was naturally left footed but could kick equally well on his right, including drop kicks, Kelly and him both had the same incredible courage.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by moocher View Post
    I lived in Melbourne during the 1960's and followed Geelong. Polly Farmer was my hero. I moved back to Sydney and slowly after the Swans move I was won over. Paul Kelly and his attitude was the turning point. I was just so impressed with the re-development of the 'Bloods Culture'. The Swans are just a really well run club. Great culture of commitment and effort. Nothing too flashy just hard work as a team. When Buddy came I had my doubts about him fitting in. How wrong I was. Epitome of a team player.
    When a player is lost I just have confidence that the club will cover the loss through shrewd recruitment and planning. I welcome Tom Harley as Andrew Irelands replacement when he retires. As a player he played well above his skill levels but was so smart and had great leadership qualities, all attributes valued by the Swans.
    Spot on Moocher

  9. #21
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    I lived in Adelaide but always followed St Kilda. I always used to watch the Sunday games of AFL which usually were Sydney and I had them as my second team. Then in the early 80's moved to Sydney and went to a few games at the SGC and became hooked as a Swans supporter.

    Unfortunately around that time Sydney struck a rough patch but I believed in what they were trying to do. I became a member when crowds were very small as I wanted to show my support for the Red and Whites. I recall going to Darling Harbour one Sunday afternoon and donating money in a plastic bucket they were handing around. The Swans were broke and on the verge of folding up.

    Then in the 90's when they recruited Roos and Plugger, got a few decent coaches, Sydney finally discovered AFL and the club entered into the big time and started to become a powerhouse team it is today.

    Over the years I have seen some memorable games - 1996 Prelim, 2005 GF, 2006 GF, 2012 GF, Pluggers goal kicking record and some great names - Kelly, Lockett, Roos, Maxfield, Bolton, Kennedy, Hall, Goodes, O'Loughlin etc, etc,

    I am Red and White to the core and I hope to see a few more premierships in the years to come.

  10. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Matty10 View Post
    I am sure there was an introductory thread somewhere that included all this sort of great stuff in it - I just did a quick search to find my contribution but to no avail.

    My story sounds quite similar to yours goswannies.

    I grew up on a farm in south-western NSW (same community as Jamie Lawson, Heath James and Ben McGlynn - there were other AFL players from the district also , but they went to other teams - it was a Richmond zoned location originally). My father didn't have any strong allegiance (Richmond, Essendon and Geelong - the country team - did get some affection). Although he did say that Williamstown was our team (due to our surname) - which was actually pretty cool when beloved ex-Swan Barry Round (and even Ackerly for a brief stint) came to play for them. Wentworth, our local team, would probably have gotten precedence, but even that was secondary to work.

    I don't really know why I started supporting the Swans (as South Melbourne). I used to say that it was the colours (something about them must have struck a chord - perhaps I had romanticised the red and white of the St. George cross from all the movies about knights and the crusades that I had watched as a kid on a Saturday afternoon and this rubbed off somehow).

    I later learned at my grandfather's funeral that he had been a keen Swans supporter his whole life (whereas I thought he only started following them because I did), so he may have been an influence also (although he did live in Wagga Wagga so I did not see him more than twice a year).

    As a child, I also coveted a South Melbourne patch that was for sale at our local newsagent. Again, something about it just resonated with me - perhaps it was the Latin phrase "Aut Vincere Aut Mori" that was stitched at the top. It was there for years until I eventually bought it. I was the only Swans supporter in my primary school, but I stuck fat - even during the dark days.

    I was saddened when they left South (and sympathised with the KSAS group), but at the same time I got to watch them every second week and my love for the team seemingly grew. The night premiership in 82 was a highlight. David Rhys-Jones was my favourite player - I was gutted when he left.

    When I finished high school I went to the University of Sydney, in large part because I wanted to see the Swans play (even though they barely won a game) - Adelaide was easily the closest capital city, followed by Melbourne. Only one other student from my school went to Sydney. I almost felt obliged to go. My priorities were perhaps a little myopic at the time.

    I was living in Point Lonsdale during 1996 and would hitchhike to Geelong to catch the train to Melbourne (and then to whichever ground we were playing). I always loved watching both the reserves and the seniors play. I would go by myself to most games, but would usually find another tragic that was keen to have a chat. They were long days but I loved every bit of them. I spent a lot of that time reading up on the Swans history - and meeting some of the old players (such as Billy Williams) was a big highlight. When my boss wouldn't give me the day off for the grand final, I happily quit my job to attend. We didn't win, but there has been a lot of joy since then.

    I now get to spend my weekends barracking with my eldest son (5). My youngest boy (2) doesn't yet have the patience to watch a full game, but he does sing the club song with gusto. This year has been awesome - lots of lows and a now a series of highs. My restrained and pragmatic optimism has been paying off with my son. Auskick at South Melbourne Districts in Albert Park each Saturday morning also adds to the flavour and nostalgia of supporting this wonderful club.
    My son played juniors at South Districts around 20 years ago when they struggled to get numbers for one team in each age group. How times have changed. Still wear the old South jumper and sing the Swans theme song when they win. Historical link to the Bloods of old. Great stuff Matty.

  11. #23
    Warming the Bench grarmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swanny40519 View Post
    I lived in Adelaide but always followed St Kilda. I always used to watch the Sunday games of AFL which usually were Sydney and I had them as my second team. Then in the early 80's moved to Sydney and went to a few games at the SGC and became hooked as a Swans supporter.

    Unfortunately around that time Sydney struck a rough patch but I believed in what they were trying to do. I became a member when crowds were very small as I wanted to show my support for the Red and Whites. I recall going to Darling Harbour one Sunday afternoon and donating money in a plastic bucket they were handing around. The Swans were broke and on the verge of folding up.

    Then in the 90's when they recruited Roos and Plugger, got a few decent coaches, Sydney finally discovered AFL and the club entered into the big time and started to become a powerhouse team it is today.

    Over the years I have seen some memorable games - 1996 Prelim, 2005 GF, 2006 GF, 2012 GF, Pluggers goal kicking record and some great names - Kelly, Lockett, Roos, Maxfield, Bolton, Kennedy, Hall, Goodes, O'Loughlin etc, etc,

    I am Red and White to the core and I hope to see a few more premierships in the years to come.
    My story is exactly the same. Passionate Saints supporter from childhood. Followed Plugger to the Swans and it clicked. A few years earlier I used to leave work at about 12.30 pm on a Saturday, drive to the SCG, park outside the entrance in Driver Avenue, stroll in, sit anywhere and see the stars - Gary Ablett etc. A bad time to be a Swans supporter though. BTW, I did see Bobby Skilton play against The Saints in what was always billed as the battle of Albert Park.

  12. #24
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    My dad played Aussie Rules as a junior in the Sydney competition for Penshurst so he started following the Swans when they moved up to Sydney in 1982 and started taking me and my eldest brother to the games. I remember the Hill/Doug Walters stand clearest and kicking the ball around with my dad and brother right there in the stands during breaks. There was nobody around so it didn't bother anybody. I remember the Swanettes vaguely as being big-haired, old women (hey, I was only five when I started going to the games) and asking dad why the women only got to dance while the men got to play footy. I remember all the ground invasions when Lockett passed 100 each year (my memory makes it seem like it happened more than i probably did), 'that' point in 1996 and the disappointment in realising that my idiot brother ruined any chance of me going to the GF that year by getting married the following weekend.

    I still go to games with my dad all these years later. My extended family has had up to 7 adult and 2 child memberships a year at times, but over the years it's whittled down to mum, dad and me with a few kids tagging along; my own and nieces/nephews. Dad missed the 2005 GF due to work committments so it was fantastic to see 2012 with him I hope we get to do it again sometime soon
    Life's not a spectator sport

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