By Andrew Jackson,
Once in a lifetime, we are given the honour of meeting very special people. People that make a certain impression – one that is memorable. Their legacy seems to live on within those that they connected with, the friends they made and those they held most dearly. Harvey Gordon was one of those people.
A serving member for 27 years, Harvey was special. He was one of a kind. He never pulled on the Blue and God jumper, nor did he run out onto the field as player.
Yet, as SUANFC Honour Roll Member Tim Air admitted: “It would be very difficult to go and find another sporting club anywhere in the world where the actual legacy of that football club is held by someone who never actually played a game.”
Invested into every single play, the Blue and Gold ran deep within Harvey’s blood.
Reflecting on his fondest memories of ‘Banger’, Air reminisced on times spent with Harvey watching the Students play.
“You ask anyone who has been near a football game with Harvey and that is what will come out of his mouth – kick the bloody thing!” he grinned.
However, Air’s appreciation for Harvey was one far deeper than that for his vocal game commentary.
It was a gratefulness shared by the entire SUANFC Community.
“Most importantly, he was a friend,” Air told me.
“He was a friend to every person that turned up at that club and walked in that door and for anyone who put on Blue and Gold, he became family.”
Harvey did not only dedicate his life to serving Sydney University.
Rather, he also spent 19 years at Newtown Football Club, with Air admitting “you would be hard-pressed finding someone who has committed that much time of their own accord and selflessly given that much back.”
Air said that the widespread influence that Harvey had in the Sydney AFL Community was typified in the impact of the news of his passing last year.
“People shared grief with the most people they had ever shared grief with when he was lost,” Air declared.
“Very rarely do you see grief among thousands upon thousands of people but that is the reach that he had purely from his involvement within that one club.”
This upcoming week, the SUANFC Community is given the chance to celebrate Harvey’s legacy when the Premier Division squad face the East Coast Eagles in the Gordon-Physick Cup for the first time since his passing.
Air summed it up in a quite simple yet poignant way: “This game should and always will mean everything.”
The game also recognises the broader role of volunteers such as Peter Physick from the Eagles in contributing to sport.
SUANFC Club Member and former President, Chas Wilkinson, said: “The Cup was struck to acknowledge the two Clubs’ greatest volunteers of the past 30-40, possible of all time. At the time the two Clubs entered the NEAFL, in 2012, it was recognised that neither East Coast nor ourselves [SUANFC] wouldn’t have been in a position to have succeed into the state league competition without the immense workload of our volunteers across the previous decades, from those assisting in the canteen, as goal and field umpires through to those volunteering their time in more defined roles, such as club executives.” ”
Air identified the Cec & Bunty Club Champion award as a clear indication of the importance of volunteerism at SUANFC.
“You only have to look as far as the trophies and awards that the club hands out to see what impact volunteerism and the people themselves have had on the club,” he said.
“The fact that the club’s most prestigious award – the Cec & Bunty Club Champion, is the club’s Person of The Year and that it is held in the highest regard over any on-field award is a pretty clear reflection of what the club is about and the impact that volunteers have.”
Saturday afternoon’s game, however, will honour one particularly special volunteer.
“Harvey is irreplaceable,” Tim conceded.
“He is irreplaceable as a club person, he is irreplaceable as a volunteer and he is irreplaceable as a stalwart of the students.
“But, most importantly, he is irreplaceable as the friend he was to thousands.”
SUANFC has launched a scholarship fund in the name of Harvey Gordon so he will always be remembered, with the EOFY fast approaching, there has not been a better time to donate. To donate, click here, and select “I would like to give to a sporting scholarship or a specific sport” and under “Sporting Scholarships – Other” selected the “Harvey Gordon Australian football scholarship”