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Member profile: Pat Bianchi

Pat Bianchi with his wife Giuliana in the rooms before the bounce. (Photo: Carlton Football Club)
Pat Bianchi with his wife Giuliana in the rooms before the bounce. (Photo: Carlton Football Club)

Name: Pat Bianchi
Carlton member years: 26 years
Favourite player: Craig Bradley & Patrick Cripps
Memorable match: 1999 preliminary final against Essendon

If Pat Bianchi can’t make a birthday party or a wedding because he’s ‘sick’, chances are he’s probably in the grandstand cheering on his beloved Blues!

Pat’s been a Carlton member for 26 years, having signed up when he was a teenager.

There was no question which team Pat was going to barrack for, having being born into a Carlton clan and “brainwashed from an early age”.

“My whole family supports the Blues, including my dad who has an Italian background. The reason they barracked for Carlton is because part of the family lived in the local area and because the guernseys are navy blue – the same colour as the Italian soccer team,” Pat said.

The RACV employee now has two daughters, and like him they have been brought up as Bluebaggers – signed up as babies.

“I brainwashed all my kids! They are totally Carlton and they are all members – they were signed up as soon as they were born,” he said.

His youngest daughter Isabella did start to waiver, but Pat swiftly quashed any chance of a switch.

“I remember my little one was singing the Melbourne theme song one day because she liked it, so I told her off and she actually started crying. She never sung it again though so it did work,” he laughed.

It was nearly 40 years ago that Pat attended his first Carlton game and thanks to his uncle, he escaped without a bump on his head.

“I grew up in Cheltenham, which was close to St Kilda’s home ground Moorabbin, and in 1977 my uncle and I went there to see a Carlton v St Kilda game.

“I remember nearly getting hit by the ball! I was sitting in the crowd and one of the blokes kicked it out on the full. It was coming straight for me so my uncle put his hand in the way and stopped the ball,” he said.

Over the years Pat has loved watching many players run out in the navy blue, but there’s one that stands out among them all.

“I think everyone’s favourite player now is Cripps, but my favourite from the past was Craig Bradley. I had the number 21 on my back – I loved ‘Braddles’.”

Pat’s most admired player also kicked a goal he’ll never forget.

“The most memorable goal I’ve seen was the six-pointer Bradley kicked against West Coast at Princes Park. My favourite player kicked one of the best goals I’ve ever seen – he was a star.”

Pat admits shedding a tear at the ’93 grand final loss and also at the 2010 elimination final against Sydney.

“I travelled to the SCG in 2010 and we lost by less than a kick – that was heartbreaking.”

This passionate Carlton supporter isn’t afraid to release his emotions, often getting caught up in the moment.

“I did smash my umbrella at the footy once – I was only young then!” he laughed.

“Also when Carlton played Port Adelaide in Round 23 in 2012 – when Carlton just snuck into the finals – we beat Port by a point over there and I stood on the coffee table.”

Pat says he’s looking forward to watching this year’s club champion, Patrick Cripps, develop his game next year, as well as following our No. 1 draft pick.

He’s hoping there’ll be a lot more coffee table moments in 2016.