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Old 09-10-2016, 09:31 PM   #1
Dave, Melbourne,Australia
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 523
Default 50 years following unsuccessful sports team

In this Small Talk forum, I mentioned the drought-breaking championship recently won by the Boston Redsox and how I had been waiting 50 years for my Australian Rules football club, the Melbourne Demons, to break its premiership drought. Before today, I’d never heard of a Melbourne Football Club fan who started following the club before I did (late 1960s), has suffered these 5 decades without a premiership and didn’t have happy memories of their 1964 premiership. But in today’s issue of Melbourne newspaper The Herald Sun, there’s an article about an even bigger loser:

John Gleeson loved his late father Ted dearly, but for one thing - a desire to get the hell out of the Melbourne Cricket Ground carpark and beat the traffic on Victorian Football League Grand Final day in 1964. Ted Gleeson had a feeling in his bones that it just wasn’t going to be the Demons’ day, particularly after Ray Gabelich had somehow controlled the ball on a four-bounce run to put Collingwood ahead by three points late in the game. “But Dad, can’t we still win it?” pleaded 13-year-old John, who unlike his father, had not witnessed any of Melbourne’s five flags from seven Grand Finals during 1954-60. “No, son, we are gone and we have to beat the traffic, so let’s get out before the rush and back home to Little River.” And so they descended the MCG stairs and had reached the outer perimeter when there was a huge roar, which John Gleeson, 65, recalls vividly to this day. “So we were walking out with Dad listening to his transistor when Demon back pocket Neil 'Froggy' Crompton kicked an unlikely goal to seal our victory,” he said. “I said, ‘Dad, we’ve missed it’.” And that’s when Ted Gleeson uttered the words that still haunt his son to this day: “Don’t worry, son, there will be plenty more of those in your life. After all, Melbourne is in the Grand Final just about every year.” Since then, Gleeson has seen Hawthorn beat the Demons by a record margin in the 1988 Grand Final and Essendon beat them up in 2000.
The accompanying photo shows 65-year-old John, wearing his MFC scarf, walking away from the MCG with a frustrated look. The photo caption says: Demon fan John Gleeson still feels pangs of regret walking away from the MCG.
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