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Member profile: Karen Kirby

Karen Kirby has been a Carlton member for seven years. (Photo: Supplied)
Karen Kirby has been a Carlton member for seven years. (Photo: Supplied)

Name: Karen Kirby
Carlton member years: 7
Favourite players: Stephen Silvagni, Chris Judd, Ed Curnow and Patrick Cripps
Memorable match: 2013 Elimination Final against Richmond

Much to her family’s “disgust” Karen Kirby swapped blue and white hoops for the Old Dark Navy Blue – all in the name of love.

Karen, who as a child travelled to Kardinia Park with her dad to watch the Cats play, switched to Carlton when she married her husband Pete 10 years ago.

“My husband grew up following Carlton, so when we got together we started going to the footy.

“I was actually more of a Geelong supporter and so I kind of turn-coated – much to my family’s disgust!” she laughed.

The former school principal says she enjoys sharing this “passion” with her husband.

“We talk about footy a lot, we go to the footy together and now it’s lovely our children are coming too – it’s always great to catch up with them.”

Karen has now been a Blues member for seven years and while some of her children follow Carlton, a few of her kids still support the Cats.

“Between my husband and I we’ve got six adult kids and seven grandkids. Two of our children barrack for Carlton as well as two of our grandkids, so the six of us go to the football together.

Karen’s family watching the Blues play at the MCG. (Photo: Supplied)

“One of my other sons is a mad Geelong supporter so he can’t even talk about Carlton,” she joked.

Karen says football has always been part of her life. She still lives in the Geelong area and travels to Melbourne each week with her family to watch her boys play.

“I just love the outing. After 40 years I’ve recently retired from my job in education so I always found it a real stress relief – just being able to go to the footy and yell my head off!” she laughed.

“I love going to Etihad and I love going to the ‘G.”

Even though Karen used to follow the Cats, she admits they’re the team she loves to win against (and hates to lose to), as well as Essendon and Melbourne.

When Carlton defeated the Dees in Round 21 this season, it was bittersweet for Karen who loved watching Chris Judd play – the No. 5 was one of her favourites.

“I remember crying and cheering at the same time as he was driven around the ‘G,” she said.

With the dual Brownlow medallist now retired, Karen says she’s turned her attention to Ed Curnow and Patrick Cripps.

“I love Ed Curnow and this year I’ve also loved watching Patrick Cripps – I just think he’s amazing!

“I just love the way Cripps presents himself and in a team that wasn’t travelling too well, for him to perform the way he did, I just think was amazing.”

After 10 years of being a fully-fledged Bluebagger, there’s no turning back for Karen, who says her love for football has only grown since following Carlton.

“I love the tradition that the club has. I guess I’m far more passionate about footy than I ever have been and I put that down to being a Carlton supporter.”