Collingwood

A Love Story

Paul Daley
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Collingwood

A Love Story

Paul Daley
A multi-generational saga of football, love, war, forgiveness and identity.
A multi-generational saga of football, love, war, forgiveness and, most critically, identityEvery year when Collingwood plays Essendon in the AFL's annual Anzac Day match, Collingwood president Eddie McGuire carries an old horseshoe into the team's changing rooms and passes it around. The players examine it as he relates the great footy club story behind it. It's early in the twentieth century and Doc Seddon, a Collingwood player, introduces his childhood sweetheart, Louie, to his dashing team mate, Paddy Rowan. Paddy sweeps Louie off her feet and they marry. But war intervenes. Doc and Paddy go off to fight, leaving Louie to raise Paddy's baby. When Paddy is killed, Doc promises that he will always look after Paddy's wife and child. Just before the 1917 Grand Final, he sends a horseshoe back from the Somme, where he continued to serve. It brings the Magpies luck-they win.It is a lovely story. Except…
A multi-generational saga of football, love, war, forgiveness and, most critically, identityEvery year when Collingwood plays Essendon in the AFL's annual Anzac Day match, Collingwood president Eddie McGuire carries an old horseshoe into the team's changing rooms and passes it around. The players examine it as he relates the great footy club story behind it. It's early in the twentieth century and Doc Seddon, a Collingwood player, introduces his childhood sweetheart, Louie, to his dashing team mate, Paddy Rowan. Paddy sweeps Louie off her feet and they marry. But war intervenes. Doc and Paddy go off to fight, leaving Louie to raise Paddy's baby. When Paddy is killed, Doc promises that he will always look after Paddy's wife and child. Just before the 1917 Grand Final, he sends a horseshoe back from the Somme, where he continued to serve. It brings the Magpies luck-they win.It is a lovely story. Except, of course, that fairytales didn't come true in Collingwood, the biggest slum of Melbourne. What really happened to them is a much grittier tale.

Paul Daley

Paul Daley

Paul Daley is an author, journalist, essayist and short story writer. His books have been shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s History Prize and ACT Book of the Year. He has won two Walkley Awards and the National Press Club Award for Excellence in Press Gallery Journalism. His essays have appeared in Meanjin and Griffith Review and he writes ‘Postcolonial’, a column for The Guardian about Australian national identity, history and Indigenous culture.

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