Anzac Day

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Anzac Day Empty Anzac Day

Post by Lee on Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:40 am

Lovely article by Zac Milbank about Bob Reidy, a Westies Property Steward.

I know Bob well, a great bloke.

All footy clubs have people like Bob who make a club such a good place to be.

Bob Reidy just wants to play his part for the team.

West Adelaide’s property steward doesn’t want any accolades for serving in the Australian Navy in Malaya in 1959. The 76-year-old wants to fly under the radar just as he does every training
session and match he volunteers for his beloved Bloods.

‘’It’s not about me and it’s not about the medals or anything,’’ said Reidy, who served in the Australian Navy from 1958 to 1963.

‘’It’s about the mates you knew and remembering your mates who are gone.’’

That’s why usually on Anzac Day, Reidy would join friends and family to raise a glass in honour of those who sacrificed themselves for their country.

But this year it is different. Reidy must play his part in ensuring West Adelaide is well prepared to upset Norwood at Coopers Stadium on Thursday.

‘’I will be at the game,’’ Reidy assured Bloods coach Andy Collins.

‘’I usually have a few drinks with my brother as my other brother has passed away. It has become a tradition over the years that the family has come (for Anzac Day) and we go to a pub in the city for a meal. I’m giving all that up this year.

‘’I’ll go to the dawn service and will march and then I will go straight to the club to sort all of the gear (guernseys, socks and shorts) out.’’

The Reidys have more reason than most to be recognised on Anzac Day when you consider their military service.

•Bob’s grandfather, Robert, was a tunneller and sapper in France during World War 1.
•His father, also Robert, served in the Royal Australian Air Force.
•His brother, Dennis, served 12 years in the Navy which included active duty in Malaya and Vietnam
•His youngest brother, George, served 23 years in the Navy which included active duty in Vietnam and Iraq.
•His nephew, Mark, is serving in the Army which includes active duty in East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan.
‘’We’ve got a proud military history so hopefully they (West) players can draw inspiration from that,’’ Reidy said.

‘’And the love of the club should be enough (to beat Norwood).’’

If anyone knows about harbouring an unwavering love of the West Adelaide Football Club, it is Reidy.

He loves nothing more than donning the red and black while volunteering his time, when most people his age are enjoying retirement.

‘’I always look forward to being involved with Westies as I’ve followed them all my life,’’ said Reidy.

‘’And all of my family has. (As a child) I lived in a little street called Hocking Place just off Whitmore Square in the city and I went to the Sturt Street School. So as soon as I could breathe I was going to be a West Adelaide supporter.’’

Set to be involved in his first Anzac Day match, Collins said Reidy’s presence would play a part in the Bloods performing well in their first fixture on April 25 since 2004.

‘’I think our war history is really important to our culture and defining our way of life,’’ said Collins.

‘’It’s not just Bob though, it’s in regard to a diversity of different people who represent a community and we represent a community as a footy club.

‘’I think every club operates on a similar philosophy.’’

Assisting his Bloods on Anzac Day will no doubt rank among Reidy’s most treasured SANFL memories, which naturally include the club’s 1983 premiership.

But there will always be one moment which sticks in Reidy’s mind, just a week after West claimed the 1947 flag. It was the day he met one of the club’s greatest players, Bernie Smith.

‘’I can remember when I was a schoolboy I was selling papers in what was Rundle Street (now Rundle Mall) not long after we won the 1947 grand final,’’ Reidy said.

‘’And I remember selling a paper to Bernie Smith before he went to Victoria. It’s funny how things like that stick in your memory.’’

No doubt all 21 West Adelaide players will be doing their best to give Reidy another great memory on Thursday.

Nice picture, too in this link:


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