Meeting Geoff Blethyn

Posted on November 6, 2018


Sometimes writing takes you to surprising places.

In 2014 I wrote a curious piece about how wearing a particular T-shirt helped me through the suburban trauma of doing the supermarket shopping. It was a lightweight story, for sure, but hopefully there were moments of – if not gravity – then at least some seriousness. Like any story, it was about joining the dots. Fairly disparate dots, on this occasion. I called the story Shelf Life.

The T-shirt depicted a bespectacled footballer by the name of Geoff Blethyn, who played for Essendon, and then Claremont and Port Adelaide, from the late 1960s to the late 1970s.  I’ve always barracked for Essendon and I’ve always worn glasses. Geoff played full-forward and kicked goals. In my childhood imagination – especially those backyard dreams – I played full-forward and kicked goals.

Geoff Blethyn may have read the story back in 2014 – the T-shirt’s designer, Chris Rees, forwarded it to him.

About two weeks ago I received an email. From Geoff Blethyn. Suggesting a rendezvous. He’d come across the story again and would like to meet.

So, on a rainy Melbourne Cup Day we met at Windy Hill, spiritual home of Essendon. We chatted inside, just metres from the ground where Geoff played.

Sometimes writing takes you to surprising places.

Shelf Life


Posted in: Sports stories