Keys Mystery

We hear many stories of braveness amongst grown-ups, but occasionally one comes to light amonst the very young and this happened at the Cross Keys Oval in the early days of the Midgets Football Clinic around 1954. One morning I went over to another coach's boys and said "You take my boys and I'll take yours." It was the Under 9's and I think Rob Hamilton was involved in this. There was one little lad who was brilliant and at the finish of the game I told him some day he would be a champion. He looked up at me and then I saw something was wrong with one eye and I said to his coach "That little chap in the Essendon jumper seems to have eye problems." "I'll say he has," was the reply. "He is blind in one eye and his Dad told me he may lose the sight in the other." I thought about it and it was in the days of the Little League (under 11's) who were to play at Essendon before a big crowd. I let him lead the team out on the ground, and I must admit being close to tears. As they ran out, I felt like shouting to everyone about the courage of a little boy. I believe he epitomised the types of lads who made the Strathmore Football Club what it is today. So what happened to him? I wish I knew. Incidentally, Essendon boys won that match. He performed so well. God bless him.

Syd McGain is Co-Founder of the Strathmore Midgets and Foundation Coach of the Strathmore Football Club.