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Bob Davis a loving and encouraging father

24/05/2011 02:45:45 PM Comments (0)

AFL great Bob Davis was more than a footy legend, he was a loving and encouraging father, his son says.

Guy Davis said Bob had many roles outside his football life - as a father, husband, grandfather, role model and friend.

Both his parents encouraged their five children and told them how proud they were of them, he said.

Mr Davis said he was especially fond of his father's affectionate phrase for his children: 'Love ya 50 bob'.

Football was naturally a big part of the family's life, he told the funeral at St Mary's Basilica in Geelong.

"I can't begin to express how happy we were as a family when the Cats broke their 44-year premiership drought in 2007," Mr Davis said in his eulogy.

"We were all together to share in the magic of that day."

Former Geelong captain Tom Harley had to work hard to get the cup out of his father's hands that day, he said.

Davis played in two VFL premierships for Geelong in the 1950s and coached the club to the 1963 flag before forging a 40-year media career.

But Mr Davis revealed his father was not always a Cats fan.

He was a South Melbourne Swans fan in his youth and would regularly show up at the Lake Oval pestering them for a spot on their team.

But the family made their home in Geelong, building lifelong ties with the community.

Davis also loved to travel and with his wife sailed down the Nile in Egypt, went on an African safari and walked the Great Wall of China.

The family also lived abroad for a year in 1979 in England, where Davis landed a job in a car dealership.

Towards the end of the year, Mr Davis recalled an enjoyable day at the cinema with his father.

"I think that might have been the first time when I started to see him as something other than my dad. He was my mate."

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