Geelong. What thoughts does the word conjure up? The Ford factory and Toorak Tractors. The Shell refinery. Jetstar. The Alcoa aluminium plant. Well Richard (Dick) Jones hopes not. He wants you to think feline. C – A – T. Pronounced Geelong.
Now that is classic Jones. From the capitalised first word and the gritty detail to the energetic rhythm of the prose. Strewn with phrases like “famous red and white Guernsey”, “testament to the champion rover's 25 years”, “promoted to the senior side and never looked back”, “cemented a spot as a VFL star”, and “a driving force in the Bloods' victory”. Pure Jones. Vintage Jones. Dick Jones.
Following the 2005 reunion, Richard was in fine footie fettle when he wrote: “I don’t want to hear one more mention of the Sydney Swans! Dave Kesby was delirious with joy about the Swannies’ success and didn’t want to hear that they had just fallen over the line against Geelong on the last kick of the night.” That’s loyalty.
Diane Bohlen wrote at the time: “Watching Richard meeting and greeting his mates from 43 years ago was a delight. He was so excited. I had to laugh at Judyth saying, “He might be your Dick, but he’s my Richard.”
Now, for the first time in 44 years, not since 1963 when Richard was in his final year at ASOPA, the Cats are back. Can Dick replicate that great grand final day, 44 very long and disappointing seasons ago, when the pussies purred proudly at the peak of footie fame? Tomorrow we know.