Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Denzil Don footy goes home

Back in February I found an old "Denzil Don" brand football on our lawn. It had some signatures on it. On inspection I worked out it was from King Island (home of Australia's only three-team football competition).

Coincidentally, only days after I found it, my employers Roar Film got the go-ahead from SBS to make a series about country football, featuring King Island. The first shoot happened earlier this month. The crew took my footy over there to see what they could find out about it.

They were blown away by the reaction. People gathered around and helped identify the names inscribed on it. Steve and Marie even met a couple of the footballers, now in their nineties. The ball was a memento of a game against either Flinders Island, or Redpa (near Smithton) - both of whom used to play annual matches against a K.I. combined side. One of the old blokes, named Snow Watkins, has just had his driving license revoked, as he is blind as a bat. He was caught one night driving his tractor to the pub. It's now in the middle of a paddock with its tires let down. Snow's brother Splinter has also had his driver's license taken away, but he's very proud that he's still got his Kelp License.

Roar will visit King Island again to film the grand final in September. I hope I will get a chance to tag along and carry some sound gear or something. It sounds like a really lovely, slow-paced place to visit. I have always got the impression that King is to Tasmania what Tasmania is to the rest of Australia.

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