Tough as Old Boots
Tough as Old Boots
A film by Malcolm McKinnon
Football Stories from Country Victoria, An initiative of the Victorian Country Football League and the State Library of Victoria, 2007
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Malcolm McKinnon, 2006.
Jim Star of Granya Football Club (circa 1947) talks of his playing days in an era when you didn't play dirty - just tough, and playing in boots was optional.
Thank you to Jim Star, Enid Warnock, Tom Greenaway, and the Granya Pioneer Museum.
Well I’ve been noted to be a toughie. A lot of blokes reckon I was dirty but I wasn’t dirty, it was the way I played it. I played it rough. The ball was the object, I’ll tell you that now…an’ later years…people don’t believe this…I had a habit of singin’ out “Look out, look out look out!” an’ I’d be goin’ through…there’d be eight or ten blokes in front, an’ they’d…I’m not boasting about it…but they parted…they got out of the road…ha…ha. I was a pretty good drop kick but not accurate enough, that was me trouble. The bloody ole toes bent up now from kicking it barefooted. I was quicker on me feet with no boots on ‘en with ‘em on. I could turn, twist…it was only when I went to turn it was a little bit slipperier because I had no grip…but straight through, nobody could get near me.
Rainin’ cats an’ dogs an’ I’d ‘ad a broken thumb for six weeks an’ it stood out an’ Healey said if you train Thursday, you’ll be in the side…so I did. I strapped it up with adhesive tape an’ I played. I went to the Doctor a week ago an’ he seen me hands…a new Doctor I never went to before…an’ he ended up sending me to get ‘em X-rayed…but if the old Doctor ‘ad of seen me playin’ with this broken finger, he’d of took a bloody fit…ha….ha….but I tell you I played a rattlin’ game too that day. We ‘ad no showers, no nuthin’, just rooms to get dressed…an’ we ‘ad a big pine tree at the gate…an’ of a Sund’y, the whole lot of us ‘ud turn up again an’ we’d get down there an’ wrestle with one another an’ fight with one another an’ kick with one another…that went on all the time with members. Granya was always noted for a top team, a tough team, but they loved playin’ good Football…an’ I’ve seen ‘em playing here, tough, never give in…that’s what Granya was…they never give in. It’s a great game, I’ll say that about it…I loved it…it was hard for me to knock off.
Trapping rabbits made you fitter’n ever. You could run, trot, walk, kneelin’ down…that’s why me knees are buggered!