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Thread: Why do YOU support the Swans?

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  1. #1

    Why do YOU support the Swans?

    In most threads on REO there seems to be the odd negative post or a little bickering (or worse I guess). I'm hoping that this thread will be full of positivity and fond memories.

    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 have a friend whose young son is a 5th generation Swan supporter. It's in his very DNA. For me it was literally random chance.

    I grew up in rural Victoria. Dad wasn't a footy fan. No influence there. My favourite color has always been red. Not really sure why. But as an 8 year old your favourite color is an important thing. Anyway, in 1980 I bought my first packet of Scanlens football cards as I shuffled through the cards, I came across this one.

    IMG_2214.JPG

    The guy looked friendly and most importantly for an impressionable youngster, the team's jumper had red in it. Thank goodness I didn't pull Tim Watson, Kelvin Templeton, Robbie Flower, Bernie Quinlan or, Heaven forbid, Trevor Barker!!

    From that day and that card "Digger" Round has always had a soft spot in my heart and I've been a Swans supporter ever since.

    I feel I am now pretty well versed in the relocation saga (and the Swans history in general - I own and have read many books that detail the club pre-dating my support - I have a passion for all things Swans especially our history) but at the time of the move, I had been supporting South for 2 years and as I lived in rural Victoria, I never attended a game. Dad worked every weekend so travelling to Mebourne to watch the footy was never an option. In fact, at the time dad wasn't a footy fan at all (he is now and his allegiance is to the Swans - in fact the very first game we attended together was on September 24, 2005).

    From memory, prior to the 1982 season, footy matches were only televised in the country as the match of the day. South rarely got that, so my Swans viewing was limited to channel 7 Sunday Sports highlights and ABC highlights (so proud when Wayne Carroll was awarded the ABC Mark of the Year!). I think the night series might also have been televised around that time (or perhaps the year the Swans moved in 1982?).

    I remember having to sit in the hallway with the transistor radio, in front of the heater, wearing my Swans beanie and scarf and jumper (I still have all of them - though he shorts and socks of the time are long gone) listening to the Swans matches with crackly static. In the country we didn't get every game broadcast on the radio either, so sometimes I even had to listen to other matches waiting for them to go "around the grounds" for a score update. Worse still, all too often I would finish the broadcast in tears because my beloved Swans had lost - and I expected a thorough taunting at school the next day! Hard as the only Swans supporter in a small country town.
    So my memory of the relocation was that, suddenly my team was on TV every second week! We had a first up win against Melbourne. We had a night premiership soon after. So at that time, the trauma endured by hardcore South diehards was a blessing for a young boy. Now I feel deeply for the South supporters, players and the club and what it had to endure and overcome. But the relocation probably heightened my bond and love for the club which means so much to me today.

    To me Sydney and South Melbourne are truly one team. Almost every team has moved at some stage of their existence. Mine just moved a little further.


    I'm sure there are many wonderful stories out there of how RWO members came to support our club. Please share

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by goswannies View Post
    In most threads on REO there seems to be the odd negative post or a little bickering (or worse I guess). I'm hoping that this thread will be full of positivity and fond memories.

    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 have a friend whose young son is a 5th generation Swan supporter. It's in his very DNA. For me it was literally random chance.

    I grew up in rural Victoria. Dad wasn't a footy fan. No influence there. My favourite color has always been red. Not really sure why. But as an 8 year old your favourite color is an important thing. Anyway, in 1980 I bought my first packet of Scanlens football cards as I shuffled through the cards, I came across this one.

    IMG_2214.JPG

    The guy looked friendly and most importantly for an impressionable youngster, the team's jumper had red in it. Thank goodness I didn't pull Tim Watson, Kelvin Templeton, Robbie Flower, Bernie Quinlan or, Heaven forbid, Trevor Barker!!

    From that day and that card "Digger" Round has always had a soft spot in my heart and I've been a Swans supporter ever since.

    I feel I am now pretty well versed in the relocation saga (and the Swans history in general - I own and have read many books that detail the club pre-dating my support - I have a passion for all things Swans especially our history) but at the time of the move, I had been supporting South for 2 years and as I lived in rural Victoria, I never attended a game. Dad worked every weekend so travelling to Mebourne to watch the footy was never an option. In fact, at the time dad wasn't a footy fan at all (he is now and his allegiance is to the Swans - in fact the very first game we attended together was on September 24, 2005).

    From memory, prior to the 1982 season, footy matches were only televised in the country as the match of the day. South rarely got that, so my Swans viewing was limited to channel 7 Sunday Sports highlights and ABC highlights (so proud when Wayne Carroll was awarded the ABC Mark of the Year!). I think the night series might also have been televised around that time (or perhaps the year the Swans moved in 1982?).

    I remember having to sit in the hallway with the transistor radio, in front of the heater, wearing my Swans beanie and scarf and jumper (I still have all of them - though he shorts and socks of the time are long gone) listening to the Swans matches with crackly static. In the country we didn't get every game broadcast on the radio either, so sometimes I even had to listen to other matches waiting for them to go "around the grounds" for a score update. Worse still, all too often I would finish the broadcast in tears because my beloved Swans had lost - and I expected a thorough taunting at school the next day! Hard as the only Swans supporter in a small country town.
    So my memory of the relocation was that, suddenly my team was on TV every second week! We had a first up win against Melbourne. We had a night premiership soon after. So at that time, the trauma endured by hardcore South diehards was a blessing for a young boy. Now I feel deeply for the South supporters, players and the club and what it had to endure and overcome. But the relocation probably heightened my bond and love for the club which means so much to me today.

    To me Sydney and South Melbourne are truly one team. Almost every team has moved at some stage of their existence. Mine just moved a little further.


    I'm sure there are many wonderful stories out there of how RWO members came to support our club. Please share
    At least 3rd generation bloods fan. Dad and brother both played in the ones although not that many games. Spent a lot of time at the old lake oval as a kid with seniors and Under 19s. Wore number 3 on my jumper (Brian McGowan) as well as number 11(Max Papley and Peter Bedford). Gee we lost a lot. Last 20 or so years have been fabulous. Live in Albert Park and there are still a number of old South supporters around as well as a few newer ones. Worth the wait for our successful era.

  3. #3
    Senior Player dejavoodoo44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Fever View Post
    At least 3rd generation bloods fan. Dad and brother both played in the ones although not that many games. Spent a lot of time at the old lake oval as a kid with seniors and Under 19s. Wore number 3 on my jumper (Brian McGowan) as well as number 11(Max Papley and Peter Bedford). Gee we lost a lot. Last 20 or so years have been fabulous. Live in Albert Park and there are still a number of old South supporters around as well as a few newer ones. Worth the wait for our successful era.
    Just out of idle curiosity, do you have any enduring memories of the first or earliest games that you went to? The excitement? The strange new world? A particular player or character?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by dejavoodoo44 View Post
    Just out of idle curiosity, do you have any enduring memories of the first or earliest games that you went to? The excitement? The strange new world? A particular player or character?
    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 - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by aardvark View Post
    My Granny and Dad were born in Sth Melbourne. Dad played thirds before enlisting for WW 2 at 17. He never played again but our family were always rabid Swans supporters as are my kids. I was angry at the relocation and lost interest for a few years but still loved footy and couldn't bring myself to support anyone else.
    Same with our family. Knew some old South fans who switched out of anger but couldn't bring ourselves to change colours

  5. #5
    I live in Sydney.

  6. #6
    McVeigh for Brownlow RogueSwan's Avatar
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    I moved to the eastern suburbs in the mid 90s. I had a pretty strong dislike of NRL. A mate took me to a game against the Pies and I just loved it from the beginning. It helps that pretty much the whole stadium goes for the one team.
    That atmosphere when your team is firing is intoxicating.
    I learnt about the whole history of South Melbourne/Sydney Swans afterwards which just reinforced that I had chosen the right team.

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    "Fortunately, this is the internet, so knowing nothing is no obstacle to having an opinion!." Beerman 18-07-2017

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    Because we wear red and white.

  8. #8
    Senior Player dejavoodoo44's Avatar
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    Nice thread, GS. I've actually been meaning to start a pretty well identical thread, but I've been a bit time poor of late. But hey, the second half of the State of Origin looks like being a bit too Queenslander! for my liking, so I'll spend the time writing here instead.
    I guess that the main reason why I was going to start a similar thread, was that I'm interested in how a wide range of individuals, despite their different upbringings, heritages and personalities, can get together and form something of an unified tribe, that's driven by a fairly arbitrary sporting allegiance. And I think that with the Swans, that it may even be more diverse, as it is both a traditional club and an expansion club.
    With me, I come from the expansion club side of things. That is, I had a childhood in Sydney, at a time prior to the Swans arrival. It was a time when Aussie Rules was largely considered to be a strange game that was played south of the border, and there was no option to play it at my school, nor as far as I knew, no local competition. So, while I quite liked the look of the game, when it was televised on Channel 7, I was keen Rugby League supporter. Though I wasn't quite following in the family footsteps. Me and my brother both went for Manly, as they were the local team. This was despite my father once playing a bit of grade for Norths, a long family history in the North Sydney area and the rest of the extended family being Norths supporters.
    So, it wasn't really till I moved South Australia in the late eighties, that I started to take more of an interest in Aussie Rules. When I first moved there, the handiest ground to get to was the Parade, so I became a Norwood supporter. It didn't take me long to realise, that I really did enjoy going to the Parade, more than I used to enjoy going to Brookvale Oval. I also decided that it was actually the superior code.
    After I moved back to Sydney in the early 90s, I spent more time watching Aussie Rules, but I hadn't really formed an allegiance to any side. The Edelsten era of the eighties had lessened the chances of me supporting the Swans, while none of the Melbourne sides really appealed to me. If anyone had of asked me at the time, I would of said that I was a Crows supporter, but they were hardly ever on TV and I knew nobody else that was a Crows supporter; so I strong bond never really formed. However, a bond started to form with the Swans during the dark days of total ineptitude, when we went on our long losing run. Each week the Swans would be televised (if I remember rightly), each week the Swans would lose and most weeks, I would be watching, hoping that they would win. Then one week during the losing run, they played the Crows. Even though I still probably considered myself to be a Crows supporter, I spent most of the game hoping that the Swans would break their losing streak, and of course, being disappointed that they didn't. It was then that I knew that I was a Swans supporter.
    I suspect that there was a possible underlying psychological reason, or two, for that bonding. Probably the chief one, was some sort of low level guilt for becoming a Manly supporter, in an era where they enjoyed great success, while the rest of the family continued to follow Norths, while they continued to be waiver between crap and almost a contender. So, I think there was some sort of need, to experience what it was like, to follow a football team that was relentlessly no good at playing football.
    Luckily for me, we soon embarked on an era of not being crap. And with a bit of symmetry to your story, GS, after Norths were kicked out of the NRL, my old man decided that he was no longer really interested in Rugby League and he became a keen Swans supporter, too.

  9. #9
    Veterans List aardvark's Avatar
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    15th June 1970 was one of the best days of my life. We beat Collingwood by a point after kicking 4 goals in time on. The following Monday at school was pretty special too.

  10. #10
    Now you mention it, remember it well. Norm Smith was coach. We hardly ever beat Collingwood. Also we thumped them at Victoria Park in 1977. Teasdale had a picnic. I was at the game on cloud 9. Ian Stewart was coach. 1970 and 1977 were the first two times we made the finals since the war!

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    Quote Originally Posted by aardvark View Post
    15th June 1970 was one of the best days of my life. We beat Collingwood by a point after kicking 4 goals in time on. The following Monday at school was pretty special too.
    I remember that game well. My Swans obsessed Dad was there that day sitting next to none other than the great Gordon Coventry.......and with minutes to go and the Swans still needing three goals to win, Gordon leant over to Dad and whispered "South are going to win this" and my Dad said "You're kidding aren't you Gordon?". Gordon replied with a smile, "Just keep watching.".......Stevie Hoffman went crazy, Gordon was right and my Dad was euphoric....his best day at the footy ever! Great thread by the way and therein that last story lies the reason I barrack for the Swans, my Dad. Mum barracked for the Cats, so I've always had a soft spot for the Catters....which I'm comfortable with as I see Geelong as a sort of Victorian version of our great club, ethical, proud, respectful and whose teams play the game as it should be played.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevoswan View Post
    I remember that game well. My Swans obsessed Dad was there that day sitting next to none other than the great Gordon Coventry.......and with minutes to go and the Swans still needing three goals to win, Gordon leant over to Dad and whispered "South are going to win this" and my Dad said "You're kidding aren't you Gordon?". Gordon replied with a smile, "Just keep watching.".......Stevie Hoffman went crazy, Gordon was right and my Dad was euphoric....his best day at the footy ever! Great thread by the way and therein that last story lies the reason I barrack for the Swans, my Dad. Mum barracked for the Cats, so I've always had a soft spot for the Catters....which I'm comfortable with as I see Geelong as a sort of Victorian version of our great club, ethical, proud, respectful and whose teams play the game as it should be played.
    IIRC we beat both Carlton and Geelong by big margins at the Lake Oval in 1970. Exciting stuff for fans starved of success.

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