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Proudly Sydney

The Moment: Deborah Hutton

Deborah Hutton is presented the honour of 2018 No. 1 ticket-holder at the 2017 Club Champion Dinner.
I think the culture of our club is extraordinary and I am so proud of our club, what we’ve achieved and how we hold ourselves. I just have enormous pride for the Swans.
Deborah Hutton

In this series, we uncover the moment when passionate Swans members fell in love with the red and white.

Deborah Hutton’s love for the red and white was strong from the moment she began tagging along with her mum to Swans home games in the late 1990s.

But from the moment 2005 premiership coach Paul Roos sent Hutton a letter inviting her to become a Swans ambassador in the early 2000s, Sydney’s 2018 No. 1 ticket-holder has had the passion streaming through her veins.

Hutton, an English-born Australian media personality, says receiving the letter from ‘Roosy’ was a turning point in her beloved journey with the red and white.

“That was the Swans throwing their huge arms wide-open and saying, ‘Deb, you’re part of the family’,” Hutton told sydneyswans.com.au. 

“And that was a heartfelt moment for me because I was then more than a fan or a member. I felt like I was being invited into the inner sanctum, or the inner circle, which was pretty exciting.

“I thought, ‘I’m going to have to pick up my act here; I don’t take on ambassadorships lightly’. I’ve been an ambassador for some pretty amazing brands in my life and I treat the Swans ambassadorship from the heart. There was a recognition of the passion I had for the Swans and from then I was like, ‘Okay, I’m going to treat this seriously’. And I really did. I went to every event, every fundraiser and every dinner – whatever I could attend I would.”

Many moons later, becoming the Swans’ 2018 No. 1 ticket-holder would deliver Hutton an honour not in her wildest dreams.

Hutton, a die-hard Swans supporter for more than 20 years of her life, would take hold of the reins of one of the most privileged positions at the Club, replacing 2017 No. 1 ticket-holder Pat McLindin.

“For the club that you love so dearly to recognise your love for the Swans made me feel incredibly privileged,” Hutton said.

“I think the culture of our club is extraordinary and I am so proud of our club, what we’ve achieved and how we hold ourselves. I just have enormous pride for the Swans.

“It doesn’t matter what circle of people I’m with or what I’m doing with my work life. When I stand up and say, ‘I was the No. 1 ticket-holder for 2018’, people just stand back and they go, ‘Wow, aren’t you lucky!’ And I say, ‘Yeah, I’m lucky because I represent such a great club’." 

The 2018 season played host to an endless highlights reel.

Hutton was beside herself with excitement as Sydney youngster Oliver Florent sealed a seven-point win over the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium in Round 4, leaving the towering Tim English in his wake as he snared a runaway goal.

Her full-blooded cheers nearly shook down the Bill O’Reilly Stand as young Swan Tom McCartin pulled off a miraculous goal to hand Sydney a two-point victory over Collingwood at the SCG in Round 20.

And she’ll never forget tossing the coin for Sydney’s clash with Port Adelaide at the SCG in Round 2, standing alongside Swans captain Josh Kennedy who “had a game face like I had never seen before”.

Deborah Dutton at the coin toss for the Swans' clash with the Power at the SCG in Round 2.

But Hutton’s most memorable moment of the year arose before a ball had even been bounced.

When boarding a Virgin Australia business-class flight en route to Perth for the Swans’ clash with the West Coast Eagles in Round 1, Hutton was met with “a sea of red and white”.

“The entire team had taken over the whole Virgin business-class section for the trip to Perth,” Hutton said.

“And I thought, ‘Well that I didn’t expect and how good is this!’ I was going, ‘Wow, this is an absolutely pinch-me moment’. I was supposed to do some work on the plane but that just did not happen.”

She took up her seat to find she was surrounded by Kennedy, star forward Lance Franklin and former co-captain Kieren Jack.

There was one thing she simply had to do. 

“I Instagrammed it immediately.”

And after a season full of heart-stopping finishes, wins etched in Swans folklore, incredible goals and bone-crunching tackles, the time has come for Hutton to pass the ticket-holder baton on.

Swans ambassador and Diversity Action Plan committee member Cynthia Banham, who in 2007 survived the Garuda Indonesia plane crash that killed 21 people, has added her name to the esteemed list of No. 1 ticket-holders.

Hutton was full of praise for the Board’s decision to present Banham the honour of 2019 No. 1 ticket-holder.

“It’s an absolutely magnificent choice by the Board,” Hutton said. 

“Talk about someone going through really challenging times and rising to the top – and there are so many lessons in there for everybody. I couldn’t think of a more worthy recipient of the 2019 No. 1 ticket-holder.”