Posted by: jkirkby8712 | May 10, 2011

Monday, 9th May 2011 – a night at the football & sporty talk of a less pleasant nature,

Yes, for Bill, another visit to the football tonight, twice in the first 6 rounds, must be the influence of a new lease of life from my team this year. No company this time however, everyone else was busy working or otherwise, so I went straight to the Telstra Dome in the city from the office, early this afternoon.  I think I enjoyed the game, although once again, it was another ‘nail biting’ close match, and at my age, I’m finding these tight finishes a little difficult to cope with. In fact, with a couple of minutes to go, and the opposition getting in front,  I resigned myself to Carlton losing the game. But, in contrast to last year,  the Blues at present seem to be able to come from behind in the close ones  – so far anyway!! The winning goal kicked with a minute or so to go!! St Kilda were of course last year’s Grand Final runner-ups, but their form this year has been rather dismal so far, so Carlton were expected to will this game with relative ease.  Not so!  As the overnight headlines [in the sporting pages would suggest] ‘Carlton clawed it’s way past a desperate St Kilda, which tried everything it could to halt the Blues and kick-start its [own] year’.  Atrocious kicking, and a lot of careless short passes by both boot and hand seem to be the Blues biggest problems at present, and is frustrating and spoiling [in my view] an otherwise good team performance. However they did just enough to finish in front tonight, as the scores below indicate, quarter by quarter.

Carlton Blues:          2.6.18        8.10.58        9.15.69                         FINAL:   11.18.84

St Kilda Saints:        3.4.22        5.8.38           8.9.57                          Final:       12.9.81

After that, I was able to ‘enjoy’ the long drive back to Sunbury – the only drawback from going to the football tonight, was that I missed tonight’s episode of Q & A, the panel for which this week included the man I believe could be a future Prime Minister of Australia  –  Malcolm Turnbull of the Liberal Party!  I wonder how he performed tonight?

News came through over the weekend of the death of former World  boxing champion, Australia’s Lionel Rose, who won the World Bantamweight Title  back in 1968 against Japan’s ‘Fighting Harada’. I remember one of his fights, in October of that year, from memory, against England’s Alan Rudkin  –  we had a party going on at the ‘famous’ Moonee Pond’s bachelor pad that Saturday night – not sure if it was on the TV or a radio broadcast, but it did attract a lot of attention during that party – particularly with a boxing fan guest from England amongst us – that tended to add to the excitement of the occasion, and probably almost led to a ‘local’ version of the fight in the kitchen at one stage!!!  No, I’m sure we were a much more friendly and tolerant crowd to allow that to happen!! Difficult with a ‘loud Pom’ in our midst however!!!

Rose died at his Warragul home on Sunday afternoon.

Rose died at his Warragul home on Sunday afternoon. (AAP

 Anyway, Rose,  born into poverty at Jackson’s Track, near Warragul in country Victoria on June 21 1948, started boxing aged 10. By 15 he was the Australian amateur flyweight champion. Four years later he was world champion, and became therefore, the first Aboriginal boxer to win a world title,.  He died aged 62. after being ill for several months. He suffered a stroke in 2007 that had left him partially paralysed and with speech difficulties. 

He finished his professional career after 53 fights with 42 wins, 12 of them by knock-out.  Rose was named as Australian of the year in 1968 after his world title win, the first Aborigine to receive the honour.  He also was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the same year.  Another fellow boxer, Jeff Fenech, paid tribute to his close friend after being told the news. “Lionel was not only a great fighter but a wonderful human being,” Fenech told News Limited.  “He was an absolute legend and I was honoured to know him as a friend.”   Rose also enjoyed some success as a recording artist, having two hits with “I Thank You” and “Remember Me”.  Even the PM got in on the tributes [though doubt she really knew much about him]!!  Prime Minister Julia Gillard  paid tribute to Rose,  describing  him as an inspirational Australian.  “Lionel Rose was an Australian champion in every sense of the word, and an inspiration to all of us,” she said in a statement today.  I do have some vague  recollection that he  got himself into a bit of trouble with the law after his boxing career [not unusual for many of his kind] though I may be thinking of someone else, and anyway, all seems to have been forgotten or forgiven in the tributes been thrown around.  Whatever, back in the late 1960s, I enjoyed watching Lionel Rose box, and I  followed his career with interest.    His death made it a bitter-sweet day for Australian boxing, coming on the day Daniel Geale  became only the fourth Australian boxer to win a world title overseas, joining Rose, Jeff Harding and Jimmy Carruthers in claiming the honour.  Jeff Fenech, from memory, won most of his titles on Australian soil, and I do have some video tapes of some of his fights!

Meanwhile, over in Italy, the annual Giro d’Italia bike race is in progress – the precursor to the Tour de France coming up in July. I think today’s stage was the third  of the race, and it has apparently ended tragically,  with the death of one of the competitors about 25 kilometres from the day’s finish. 
Belgian rider Wouter Weylandt was pronounced dead  following a high-speed crash, his Leopard-Trek team confirmed.  “Today, our teammate and friend Wouter Weylandt passed away after a crash on the third stage of the Giro d’Italia,” said Leopard-Trek Manager Brian Nygaard. 

I believe he won this same stage last year.  I’m a little surprised that serious accidents of this kind don’t occur more often in these big races and  through some of the major climbs they go through, although a death from a crash is relatively rare, thankfully.  But a tragedy of that nature, certainly puts a dampener on any sporting event. This news takes my thoughts to my brother who is so often out on the roads, either training or racing, and he has in recent years, ridden over some of these stages that the professionals cover in countries like Italy and France.

[ps, not happy about the formatting that these blog entries end up as –  I have them formatted ina different way when I post them, but the ‘system’ seems to change things, hence the variation and ‘bold type’ that often shows up, even though was not how the writer originally thought he had produced the document. Editing, as far as format type is concerned doesn’t seem to be operative!@!!  Oh well, we will keep trying, meanwhile, my apologies for the way my contribution sometimes appears!!!

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