If, like me, you remember Scanlens football cards, the image above may mean something to you. As embarrassing and childish as it might be, I have never thrown one of my cards away.
My collection starts in 1976 and encompasses most of the years that follow. There are a couple of rare gems in those early sets; Bob Fulton kitted out full Roosters garb, John Quayle charging the ball up for the Eels and Billy Smith evading defenders in the ‘red v’.
The cards bring back wonderful memories of the pink sticks of chewing gum that came with each purchase and the anticipation of opening each pack; hoping to see members of your favourite team.
Some sad times also come to mind, like the day I was bullied on the steps at St Jerome’s Primary School in Punchbowl and some thug took most of my cards. I cried like a baby and set about recouping my loss using my considerable skill in ‘flicks’; the game played between card holders.
Eventually, I would win them back and more; building another collection of which visitors to my house still finger with envy. That was 1981, I think, one year after the long awaited Premiership success of the raw and talented Canterbury-Bankstown team that took all before them.
It was the precursor to a golden age for the Club and a period watched over by the late, great Peter Moore.
The card manufacturers lost the plot somewhere in the mid-eighties and started to produce sticker books rather than the more tangible cards that were easy to shuffle, flick and pile. Thankfully, the cards were to return and as valuable as each and every piece is, the Bulldog’s cards have been separated and stored in a more special way.
As sentimental as revisiting all the old collections can be, looking back at the ‘dogs of old’ adds a depth of emotion around the Club of which I have been a supporter for over forty years.
In light of the series of member information night’s being conducted by the new reform ticket, headed by Lynne and Chris Anderson, it strikes me that their passion, vision and drive is inextricably linked to those same feelings I felt when I held those cards in my hands as a young boy.
In effect, it is the same emotion that has been lost by the Bulldog’s front office and the thing that people like me are hurt and frustrated by.
As adults, we often tell our kids that we understand how they feel, citing the fact that we once were children as well, however, we are sadly missing one simple point.
That being, by the time we have grown up and been beaten around by this awful thing called the world, we have well and truly forgotten what it is to be a child and the feelings associated.
Perhaps I am more aware of this than some, most likely due to my own immaturity and reluctance to grow up, yet this is what builds a football club; the past, the people and the passion.
Those three words are pivotal and each one has played a role in some of the lost time we have witnessed in recent years.
The disconnection with our past which is a key component of the agenda of the new ticket, a failure to value the people in the Club the way they should be and an absence of passion that sadly bled through to poor performances on the field, have all played their role in the situation in which the Club now finds itself.
It is time to restore those three words to our mission statement and the way they are lived out in reality and the wise words of those talking to our community at recent forums need to be heard.
That is why the reform ticket is so important and the images in this article pretty much say it all.