We use cookies to provide some features and experiences in QOSHE

More information  .  Close
Aa Aa Aa
- A +

Eddie McGuire is too frequently bringing shame and embarrassment to Collingwood

1 0 2

Eddie McGuire could tell you that successful football clubs, like most enduring political parties, stand on history, myth and memory – handed down supporter to supporter, father to daughter, mother to son, decade after decade, even century after century.

He could tell you about those thumping wins and the dogged, brutal, not so damned pretty ones, that are revered and celebrated and relived around his Collingwood Football Club. Just as he can recount those losses and seasons, sometimes end on end on end, that were so deflating as to seem existential but weren’t because every flag is built on a thousand disappointments. Newer clubs don’t always understand that.

Like so many of the older clubs Collingwood is a hero factory. It thrives on the fusion of history and evocation of generations of legendary players and family dynasties, with its (mixed) on-field and (resounding) corporate success of recent decades.

But there are the off-field heroes and legends too. Like patron John Wren, a “chequered” personality who grew from the Johnston Street slums into a millionaire on the back of SP bookmaking profits, always handy with a tenner for the best player and with anonymous food parcels for the club’s struggling families during the depression. Catholic Archbishop Daniel Mannix was sometimes seen with Wren at matches – and even training – at the Magpies’ old ground, Victoria Park. The sinner and the saint.

Collingwood, grown from the ashes of the Britannia club in 1892 in what was then the worst part of Melbourne, engenders – and demands – loyalty, notwithstanding that its tribalism and historical sentimentality is today no less compromised by the vagaries of the draft and sponsorship as any other club.

Jock McHale, a player for 17 years and a coach (including a........

© The Guardian