Number One Ticket Holder Michael Joyce says the Sydney Swans’ connection to its South Melbourne roots is as strong as ever, as the Club celebrates the inaugural Heritage Week to mark the establishment of the Club on June 19, 1874.
Joyce, a lifelong Bloods supporter who watched his first game at Lake Oval in South Melbourne alongside his mother in 1954, says the “two cities, one team” bond has never felt as close.
“I really do believe the connection is as strong as ever,” Joyce says.
“The SMFC (South Melbourne Football Club) moniker is still very prominent on the back of the guernsey and it’s great to see past players and legends of the Club are still embraced and still valued.
“As lifelong supporter, I now feel as at home at the SCG as I did at Lake Oval,” he says.
As announced at the Swans Hall of Fame evening in February, the Club will mark Swans Heritage Week with an annual celebration to occur around a fixtured match in Melbourne, nearest to the June 19 establishment date of the Club.
This year’s celebration was originally slated for the Round 11 clash with Richmond, until the season was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
While the Club is unable to celebrate the inaugural Heritage Week in the manner it would have liked, Joyce says the initiative is an exciting one.
“I was rapt when the announcement was made and I think it further gives the old South Melbourne contingent of supporters something to look forward to every year, while also ensuring new fans understand the rich history of the Cub.”
Joyce – who wears the same hand knitted red and white scarf today as he did to his first match in 1954 – holds many fond memories from his days supporting South Melbourne at Lake Oval from row two of the old brick stand.
He recalls watching the great Bob Skilton play and hanging a banner over the fence supporting his favourite player John ‘Mopsy’ Rantall.
Fans can check out sydneyswans.com.au and the Club’s social media channels for Heritage Week themed content.
Bloods 2020 Members are also invited to take part in a Heritage Week themed pre-match webinar on Saturday June 20, featuring Bloods Legend Peter Bedford and former Swans star and current board member Leo Barry. The webinar will feature guest appearances from senior coach John Longmire and a member of the team named to take on North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on Saturday.