Every Intrust Super Cup side needs one, that tireless foot solider that no matter the weather, location or day will be there. They will be there for the Colts, cheer for the FOGS and give anything for the Intrust Super Cup side. They’re the voice you can hear from the sideline the hand shake at the sheds or the pat on the back that players feel as they come from the field of battle exhausted, but loved- because he’s there.
He’s the keeper of memories, stats and heart ache long after it has been forgotten by most. He’s always there in his jumper and hat, always there.
At the Luxury Paints Ipswich Jets, that is Leroy Murray- always there.
Leroy has never played for the Jets, but if you were ever going to pick someone from the crowd to play it would be Leroy, because you always get the feeling if it meant the difference to the Jets winning Leroy would do it, if you said tackle him Leroy- well Leroy would do it.
The dressing room of football sides are the inner sanctum, the area where players can go and wash away pain or drink to success and maybe even cry. Not just anyone comes into this sacred area, players are wary of ‘Harry hang-on.’ At the Jets the shed is for staff and players, and Leroy. It’s testament to his support that Leroy is allowed inside, always wearing a jumper a player has given him from previous seasons and always with a handshake and pat on the back for staff and Jets’ players- Leroy’s players.
You know you’re a fixture when your absenteeism is noted quickly, Leroy’s absence from a Jets’ game is treated like no cake at a birthday party, it is noted by 15 minutes into the Colts that something just doesn’t feel right. Even after the reason of a family wedding has been recorded something is missing from the day. The other mark of having made it is just having a first name- Elvis, Wally and Leroy. Say the name to any Jets’ player and they will nod and know who you’re talking about.
Leroy first went to a Jets’ game in the old State League Days against Wests, he was at the Jets’ first BRL game in 1986 against Brothers, since 1986 if Leroy has missed more than a few games then I would be shocked- always there.
Leroy’s favourite player is Danny Coburn- because he was a great clubman. Of all the qualities for Leroy to admire I am not surprised it’s that one that he mentions. A great clubman loving a great clubman- it makes sense.
The sort of unconditional love that Leroy offers the Jets is the sort that most marriages can only hope for, Leroy always puts his club first and always supports and encourages no matter what has happened on the field- always there.
Come Saturday and round one against Norths Leroy will arrive before the Colts, he’ll sit and watch three grades, pat three grades of players on the back as they leave the sheds and when they return. He’ll support and encourage but most of all he’ll be there because that’s what Leroy does because they’re his Jets.