Photo: 'Waiting for the virus to pass' - Phyllis Quealy on Instagram
In what would have been a bye round for us to spend a long weekend out and about and on holidays, I bet most of us are thinking the last thing we want is more time away from footy. But here we are, still waiting.
It's going to be for a while too. We know there are more important things for us to focus on right now. As a club, we are doing our best to stay safe but also connected through our online platforms and newsletters. We know it's not the same. We miss seeing all your faces at Brunswick Street Oval, but we'll see them all again when this is over. We can't wait for that day!
It doesn't quite feel like a long weekend. Easter celebrations are going to be very different and maybe a bit tough on some of us who can't be with friends and family, but we hope this newsletter can give you some things from our players and Club archives to keep you entertained over the public holidays at home. We're all in this together Fitzroy family.
Happy Easter all and stay safe and well.
Self-isolated Roys: Pandemic Profiles
Fitzroy-ACU Senior Women's Captain Jess 'Lenny' Hayes has been busy collecting 'Pandemic Profiles' from her team.
We've got our hands on a few so you can learn a bit more about some of the players and how they're handling quarantine. And we agree with Rachel Telfer, doing the housework in active wear counts as exercise (but for those of us not on the playing list!).
We'll share some more Pandemic Profiles with you over the coming weeks but here are two to start us off:
1952: The year the Roys made a point
By David Leydon
Since I was a very young fellow my parents have told me the story many times about the day Allan Ruthven kicked the winning point in the dying seconds of the 1952 Semi Final to defeat old rival Carlton.
For Fitzroy supporters back then it would have been a great day.
But a quick look back through the records of 1952 shows that the Semi Final wasn’t the only game the Roys won by a solitary point that season.
In fact they won a staggering total of four games by a single point that year.
The first of the one pointers came in Round 5 when we defeated Hawthorn at the Brunswick Street Oval on 17 May. In a low scoring game the Roys kicked 6.6.42 to Hawthorn’s 5.11.41.
Then in Round 14 at Brunswick Street Oval we kicked 5.6.36 to defeat Collingwood 4.11.35 in front of 26,000 people.
We followed it up the very next week in the Round 15 game, again at Brunswick Street Oval, when we beat Carlton 5.15.45 to 5.14.44 in front of a huge home crowd of 29,000.
Then when the big games rolled around in September we backed up yet again with the memorable last gasp Semi Final win over Carlton when we kicked 10.9.69 to Carlton’s 8.20.68 in front of 60,000 people at the MCG.
(Pictured: Allan Ruthven)
These were the great days of the bitter suburban rivalry in the VFL so for the Royboys to beat arch-rivals Carlton (twice) and Collingwood by a point in the same season it would have felt like heaven to our hardened fan base.
The Fitzroy team of ’52 featured some of the club's all-time greats including Allan Ruthven, Norm Johnstone, Alan 'Butch' Gale, Vic Chanter, Don Furness, Tony Ongarello and Bill Stephen.
1952 was one of the wettest winters on record in Melbourne which explains some of the low scores that were kicked on the then boggy Brunswick Street Oval. What is interesting to note though is that the cold and rain certainly didn’t deter the Fitzroy fans from coming to their home ground with crowd numbers totalling nearly 180,000 across our 9 home games.
Another great moment in Fitzroy history occurred in 1952 when one of the all-time great VFL/AFL full forwards, Essendon’s John Coleman, went goalless for the only time in his illustrious career. This happened in the Round 10 game when much-loved champion Fitzroy full back Vic Chanter did an outstanding job all day to stop Coleman in atrocious conditions at Brunswick Street Oval.
A further piece of little-known Fitzroy trivia is that 1952 was actually the year that the Fitzroy committee officially abandoned the use of the 'The Gorillas' name and emblem. (Pictured: Alan Gale)
The emblem was intended to be an aggressive symbol of power but had descended into a put-down point for opposition players and supporters who referred to Roys players as apes.
Fitzroy didn’t formally become the Lions until 1957 so for the years 1952 to 1956 they were simply called 'The Maroons' or 'The Roys'.
It’s fair to say that a year that brings 4 separate one-point victories must have been very exciting for all of our fans – they certainly got their money's worth!
Club great Bill Stephen on SEN
The great Bill Stephen made a special appearance on The Bob and Andy Show on SEN on April 1st which was his 92nd birthday (Happy belated birthday Bill!)
The interview was replayed on Thursday afternoon (April 9).
Listen here to hear Bill talk about his amazing life growing up in Melbourne during the Depression, his time playing with and coaching the Roys and leading the charge to change the Fitzroy song to the version we know and love today.
Bill is on at the 1 hour, 20 minute mark on the full show from April 9 if you want to skip straight through to him, it's a beautiful interview.
Award winning laksa!
This week a cooking challenge was laid down in the ACU-Fitzroy Women's check-in group, and Pip (Calypso) won with this delicious zucchini noodle laksa! Here's the recipe for those who want to get creative in the kitchen this long weekend.
THAI ZUCCHINI EGG LAKSA
15 min prep. 30 mins cooking time. Serves 4 Ingredients:
400mL coconut milk
1.5 L vegetable stock
1 bunch broccolini (cut into pieces and trimmed)
1 bunch bok choy (trimmed)
600g zucchini spiralled to noodles
1 pinch salt
1 bunch coriander stalks patted dry with paper towel, leaves reserved
3 garlic cloves
1 small brown onion
1 tsp lime zest
To cook: 2 tsb coconut oil
4 spring onions
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 lime cut into quarters
1. Laksa Paste: Make the paste by placing all ingredients into a high-speed food processor or blender and process until smooth.
2. Heat a large saucepan on medium heat, add coconut oil and curry paste and saute for 3-4 minutes until fragrant, then add the coconut milk and vegetable stock to make a broth.
3. Bring to a simmer, add broccolini and bok choy, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes
4. Bring a separate small pot of water to boil and add the eggs, boiling for 7-8 minutes for a hard-boiled egg
5. Remove from water, crack gently and peel under water
6. Once vegetable coconut broth is finished, add zucchini noodles and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until tender
7. Divide noodles and broth between 4 bowls, cut eggs in half and place on top of noodles
8. Garnish with coriander leaves, spring onions, green chilli and a big squeeze of lime.
Support those who support us: For the Love of Your Local
CUB has started a brilliant campaign to assist bars and pubs get back on their feet when all this is over and we encourage you to support our sponsors at The Royal Derby.
With exercise in the open air one of the only ways we can escape our own four walls, make sure you do it in style. Fitzroy style! You’ll not only look great, but promote the Club and help provide much-needed support in these troubled times.
Merchandise sales go a long way to supporting our club financially so if you need some new gear – there’s never been a better time!