Ablett Snr surprise guest at Cats 150th - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ablett Snr surprise guest at Cats 150th

By Paul Mulvey 09/08/2009 03:29:53 PM Comments (0)

Geelong revelled in a rare public appearance of its royal family when club legend Gary Ablett Senior was a surprise guest at the club's 150th anniversary celebrations.

Ablett had been adamant he would not attend Saturday night's function, but persistent persuasion by club chief executive Brian Cook convinced the shy great to join his two sons among the crowd of 1500 under a huge marquee on the Geelong waterfront to celebrate the AFL's second-oldest club.

After Cook spoke with Ablett almost daily in the week leading up to the function, club officials only heard he would definitely be at the dinner late on Saturday afternoon and quickly ensured he was on a table with his sons Gary jnr and Nathan.

Nathan himself was an unexpected but welcomed guest after moving to Queensland when he retired from football at the age of 21 after winning the 2007 premiership with Gary jnr.

The Abletts made a valuable contribution to the celebrations, with a 150th commemorative jumper signed by both Garys fetching $27,000 at auction.

Although he was not planning to attend, Ablett snr was generous with his signature. A No.5 guernsey signed by the club's two greatest players, Ablett and Polly Farmer, sold for $20,000.

Farmer was unable to come over from Perth because of ill health, but sent his best wishes in a letter.

Ablett snr's presence even had the normally acerbic Geelong great Sam Newman gushing after he paid tribute to his idol Farmer and club benefactor Alex Popescu.

"And there's another man here who we thought wouldn't turn up. I won't mention him by name but all of us appreciate him turning up, he's a star," Newman said.

The Abletts weren't the only prominent family under the marquee, with father-son combinations John and Matthew Scarlett, Jack and Tom Hawkins and Rod and Mark Blake among the 240 past and present players at the celebration.

Past players included many of the 1951, 1952 and 1963 teams who were presented with premiership medallions by 2007 premiership players Jimmy Bartel and Joel Corey after winning their flags in the days before medallions were given to the winners.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news