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Chesh goes out on a high – on life, love and football

01-Feb-2019

If you believe in karma – and most rusted-on Fitzroy supporters profess to that faith – it was only fitting that one of our favourite and most loyal sons be repaid in kind when he married the love of his life late last month.

So after days of sweltering summer heat, the weather turned soft and sweet and a gentle breeze and some cooling drops of rain floated over Edinburgh Gardens as Tom Cheshire and Ella Hempenstall wed in the heart of North Fitzroy.

It’s fair to say that Chesh’s miraculous last-minute goal in the semi-final against Williamstown in the wet (one of the VAFA highlights of the year), was pivotal in securing the 2018 grand final, the first senior flag for the Club since the Reds and Fitzroy merged in 2008, and the most senior victory in the Club’s amateur history.

And fitting that this stellar effort, followed by an equally impressive finals campaign, was Chesh’s swan song to a long career as a faithful Fitzroy footballer – from baby Auskicker in 1995, through the Fitzroy Junior Football Club ranks from 1998 and, from 2007 until his retirement at the end of the 2018 season, in the U19s, Reserves and Seniors as a gritty and influential midfielder and inspirational leader. Throughout, Chesh has been a mainstay for the Roys, staunch through thick and thin for over 23 years.

So much so, in fact, that Chesh has not only played for the full 10 years of the modern Fitzroy's existence, but holds the record for most senior games of any current Fitzroy player.

Such great service to the Club has not been restricted to playing footy but taken into the professional realm of Chesh’s life and work.

Selfless like his mother (many of you might not even be aware that our President Joan Eddy has that honour), self-deprecating like his father Frank, and socially-minded like them both, Chesh has always hidden his light – and accomplishments – under a bushel.

After studying a Bachelor of Youth Work at RMIT and a Masters of Education at La Trobe University, Chesh has spent the past few years working for the Department of Education – teaching a combined curriculum to primary and secondary kids who are incarcerated in Victoria’s juvenile justice system. While he’s taught in three different centres, Chesh spent the past year at Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre.

Chesh’s partner Ella also works in the caring professions. A qualified occupational therapist, Ella will be leaving her job in orthopaedic rehabilitation at Epworth Hospital where she helps patients recover from back, hip or knee surgery when she and Chesh head off on their next adventure to live, work and travel overseas together.

And so, happy for them and sad for ourselves, we say goodbye and good luck to Chesh and Ella, knowing that our loss is the wider world’s gain.

 

 


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