There has probably been no more popular player in St Kilda’s history than Kevin 'Cowboy' Neale.
So when his old Premiership mate Barry Breen heard that Cowboy had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, he decided to rally the troops.
“It started with a conversation between me and Rossy Smith," Breen said.
"Cowboy lives in Wodonga and we thought we would get in touch with a few of the blokes who live up that way like Carl Ditterich, Bobby Murray, and Jeff Moran. Then things snowballed as people heard about it.”
The result was a turnout of nearly 40 former players and partners who flocked to Beechworth for the lunchtime get-together on December 4.
They came from far and wide.
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George Young and Russell Reynolds headed over from Western Australia, while David Ellis and Glenn Elliott travelled from South Australia.
Ian 'Doggie' Rowland, a teammate of Cowboy’s in the 1965 Grand Final, was on hand and so was legendary scribe Mike Sheahan.
Even Cowboy’s famous old foe in the 1971 Grand Final, Peter Hudson, made the trip.
And when someone suggested that Cowboy should apologise for the famous whack to Huddo’s ear, Cowboy fired back “I can’t remember that!” with a smile that suggested that his long-term memory was just fine.
The cavalcade of Saints included Jeff Sarau, Ian Stewart, Gary Colling, Phil Stevens, Ian Synman, Bill Mildenhall, Daryl Griffiths, Stephen Theodore, Bruce Duperouzel, Bill Cannon, Brian Mynott, Wayne Judson, Paul Callery, Jim Read and Ross Oakley.
All in all, a special day for a very special Saint.