Hanging Up The Boots
In the week leading up to Round 11, 2010 Club Life Member, two time Premiership Player, three time Club Champion runner up, Tyson Edwards fronted a press conference, attended by his team mates, coaches and Club staff and officials. He announced that the upcoming game on the 5th June versus Fremantle would be his 321st and last game for the Crows. He was “Hanging up his boots!”
This oft heard comment from players retiring from sport, particularly the football codes, initiated a plan by our Club. Edwards was asked where he intended to hang his boots! On hearing this his response was predictably something like “I don’t have any idea – it is just an expression”. The Club suggested that he might like to have them hung in locker number nine in the replica locker room section of its museum. He agreed and consequently that’s where they were hung along with the jumper he had worn in his last game as well as his 300 game plaque that had previously been above his locker. A tradition had begun. Players who were Club life members, premiership players, Club champions were asked that on their retirement to consider “Hanging Up Their Boots” in “their” replica locker along with the jumper worn in their last game. (This last aspect required a little planning because as some players wished to keep their ultimate jumper, players who were contemplating retirement were asked to wear a “spare” in the second half of the game to accommodate both purposes.) It became such a popular contribution to preserving the Club’s heritage that a number of boots were retrospectively collected from previously retired players and similarly displayed.
Boots of a different kind!
There were several quite intriguing pairs of boots in the Club museum. The boots worn by inaugural AFL game of the Crows, Chris McDermott had been bronzed as a significant part of the Club’s history. There were several pairs of children’s boots of different vintages and which had been donated by potential players of the future. And one passionate supporter of the Club would, when it became public that one of the players was about to become a father, start knitting a pair of booties in Club colours to give to the player on the baby’s arrival – quite the opposite to “hanging up the boots” at the end of a career.