“ . . . if it wasn’t for my football, I know my life as part of Australia’s Stolen Generation could have been starkly different . . . I worked for what I got and there was a lot that I lost in terms of my family, culture, my language and important things like that. I had a lot of help from people who supported me and I worked hard to reward them by not failing.”
So said Syd Jackson, the dual Carlton premiership player, in an interview with Sean Gorman back in 2011.
Syd’s is an extraordinary life story. Taken away by formal arrest warrant when he was only three, separated from his family for twenty years and reunited with his parents only twice before they died, the pain of separation was truly profound for him.
In that context, the Great Australian Game served as a panacea for the prodigiously-gifted player. It took Syd from from Roelands Native Mission in the Western Australian port city of Bunbury, to the big smoke in Perth and ultimately to the big time in Melbourne as one of the great League footballers of his generation.
In all, Syd wore the famous No.5 dark Navy Blue guernsey into 136 senior matches between 1969 and ’76. Recently, he came back to Carlton to reflect on his life and times in the era of “Polly” Farmer, John Nicholls and Ron Barassi for the latest “Our History” podcast exclusive to carltonfc.com.au.
To hear Syd Jackson’s story, click here.
Follow Tony De Bolfo on Twitter: @CFC_DeBolfo