NUMBER 2: CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS
Sport has played a major role in my life to date. I loved playing as a young boy though, more than anything, I loved walking up the road to Belmore Sports Ground to watch my beloved Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs play rugby league.
It was a much different time in the 1980s. Australia was still a somewhat innocent nation and parents most certainly weren’t overprotective of their kids as they are in today’s modern world. We could wander the streets and play with out friends as long as we came back home before dark. There were no devices and gadgets to distract us from what was at hand. In fact, I can’t speak for all kids of my time but we loved being outdoors and getting up to no good.
We also had our sports idols. Nothing mattered more to me as a child than watching the Bulldogs play. Terry Lamb, Steve Mortimer, Mick Potter, Peter Kelly and Jason Alchin were all heroes of mine. None more so than Lamb and Mortimer, our magnificant halves combination that helped the club to no less than 3 premierships in the space of five short years. We lost the 1986 Grand Final to Parramatta but let’s not dwell on that now.
My grandfather would take me along to games at Belmore. My first was Parramatta in 1984 but it wasn’t until a year later that I watched Peter Mortimer score a hat-trick of tries against Canberra on a glum winters afternoon that my real passion for the club fell into place. My family was quite poor so my grandfather used these games as a way to help mum and dad out whilst forming a bond between us that I didn’t appreciate until after he passed away in 1992.
Watching Canterbury play at BSG, cutting newspaper clippings out of the paper, lying inches away from the screen and watching the NEC Big Game on the tele around dinner time on a Sunday night and talking about the Dogs and swapping footy cards at school was what i lived for. The club was my first proper addiction as a child and one that lives on to this day.