Memoirs of a Water Boy - The Waterboy’s Golden Boots
Ben’s dad, Terry Thompson, brought them to footy one Saturday and offered them to me.
‘I can’t give them away, Al. None of the players want them.’
They were several sizes too big but the price was right so I took them.
Initially, when the runners were still at their brilliant yellow best, I received sarcastic comments from many Willunga supporters.
‘Are you colour blind, Al?’
‘Those shoes are shockers.’
‘Good thing I’m wearing my sunnies.’
The most surprising comment came from Terry Thompson, who’d obviously forgotten he’d given the shoes to me.
‘Those shoes are really terrible, Al. Where’d you get them?’
I smiled. ‘From you, Terry.’
I had the last laugh then and I had the last laugh for many seasons because those shoes are the ones I wore when I ranwater in six consecutive A-grade premierships (2004-2009). I promised the coach, Barry Pilmore, I’d wear them until we lost a grand final. Never change a winning formula.
My golden boots became less attention-seeking over the seasons but gave Willunga footy club great service, as do many journey-men footballers.
I binned them with a respectful bow in September 2010after we lost the GF to Strath at Goolwa by three points.