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Member profile: Kate McClean

Danielle Balales, Carlton Media  June 16, 2016 2:58 PM

Kate with her brother Michael and sister Kylie at Chris Judd's farewell game last year.

Kate with her brother Michael and sister Kylie at Chris Judd's farewell game last year.

Name: Kate McClean

Carlton member years: 14

Favourite players: Anthony Koutoufides, Stephen Silvagni

Memorable match: 1999 preliminary final v Essendon

 

Kate McClean is the definition of a true Carlton supporter – she signed up as a member when the Club needed her the most.

It was the end of 2002 and Carlton had recorded its first wooden spoon since its inception in 1864, and Kate felt compelled to jump on board.

“When we got the wooden spoon for the first time I signed on the next year,” Kate said.

“Everyone was picking on us and I had just turned 18, and decided I wanted to support the Club and show that we were all behind them even though they’d had a really rough year.”

Fourteen years later, the novelty of receiving her membership pack in the mail hasn’t worn off, if anything, it’s only become more exciting.

“I’m like a kid on Christmas Day when my membership pack arrives in the mail,” Kate said.

“I stick the Carlton stickers on my car, and I’ve definitely copped a few dirty looks up here in Queensland,” she laughed.

Kate and her husband moved up north for his job, and Kate admits she still jokes with her husband that he pulled her away from her “friends, family and footy team”.

Kate grew up more than an hour outside of Melbourne along the Mornington Peninsula, which made it tricky for her family to get to the footy on a regular basis.

“We grew up on the Mornington Peninsula, so it was a bit more difficult for us (to get to games), but we’d certainly get to Waverley and freeze our butts off a few times a year,” Kate exclaimed.

One of those games was Carlton v St Kilda in Round 9, 1995. It was one of the first matches Kate recalls attending as a child, and it’s fair to say it was one she’d probably rather forget!

“Funnily enough we only lost two games that year, and one of them was the game we actually went to,” Kate said.

“We got beaten by St Kilda by like 50 points, and I remember my brother and I looking at dad going ‘can we go home now?’” she laughed.

It’s her dad’s love of the Blues that transformed her into a genuine football supporter, along with her other two siblings, brother Michael and sister Kylie.

“My dad is a mad Carlton supporter – so there wasn’t a choice,” Kate laughed.

“My two other siblings are also mad Carlton supporters and my poor mum is by herself as a Collingwood supporter.

“Mum tried to convert my sister and eventually we just talked her into barracking for Carlton, so she’s one of us now.

“Dad’s parents also barracked for Carlton, but I’m not sure how that happened because they lived in Essendon – enemy territory there!”


Kate made sure her sister Kylie wasn't converted to black and white by their mum.

It was a game against archrival Essendon back in 1999 that Kate reminisces as her favourite. She can remember exactly where she was when the final siren sounded, securing the Blues a one-point win and a berth in the following week’s grand final.

“It wasn’t on TV, and my dad had this little headphone on and we were all hovering around him for the last five minutes watching his facial expressions,” Kate said.

“Then when we won he threw the headset in the air and broke the headphones.

“We were all just jumping around the lounge room like complete nutters – you would have thought we’d won the grand final.”

The other game Kate still has recorded on her player is Carlton’s 2013 elimination final victory against Richmond, when Chris Judd blew the game apart in the second half.

“I still watch the replay of that one when I need to be cheered up – I’m pretty weird,” Kate laughed.

It appears Kate’s emotions can get the better of her when she watches footy, admitting her husband runs out of the house when Carlton is about to play.

“My husband just leaves when I watch footy, he doesn’t like to be around me – so I watch it at home by myself!

“He’s a long-suffering Fitzroy/Brisbane supporter, so he’s just about given up at the moment.”

Kate, who works in customer service, says she’ll always be a “proud supporter” of the club and is enjoying watching the Blues’ journey this year.

“I’m a pretty proud supporter, I love the history of the Club and I love that we’re one of the most successful clubs in the AFL,” Kate said.

“At the moment I’m really proud of where we’re going.

“I think Bolts is pretty amazing from what I can see and it seems the boys are really enjoying themselves and playing for each other.”

It’s never too late to show your true colours. Sign up as a Carlton member like Kate by visiting membership.carltonfc.com.au or calling 1300 CARLTON.