THERE'S AN obvious synergy for the former Sydney (South Melbourne) and Carlton David Rhys-Jones whenever his old clubs meet in combat – and so it will be again at the SCG on Friday night.

It’s more than 30 years now since Rhys-Jones  last ran out – the 1987 Premiership key defender and Norm Smith Medallist having accumulated 181 senior appearances across 13 seasons for both clubs before his last hurrah.

But he’s again drawing on the great strength of his Carlton and Sydney connection – launching his 15-day online challenge to raise awareness of his 20 year-old son Cooper’s life-threatening illness Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) - on the same day his two old teams chase the four points.

From this Friday through to May 31, Rhys-Jones will be rolling out a series of humorous and sometimes politically-incorrect anecdotes, entitled “Kicking Goals for PWS with 15 Footy Memories in 15 Days” - to raise awareness and funds to find a cure for this condition that affects one in every 15,000 births.

Memories rekindled by Rhys-Jones for his 15 for 15 Challenge – to appear on his Facebook and Instagram include:

  • The upheaval of relocating from South Melbourne to Sydney as a 21 year old
  • Game one in Navy Blue
  • "The day I killed 'Bambi'"
  • The sheer exhilaration of a Premiership
  • The infamous "Batte of Britain"
  • Fronting up to the VFL/AFL tribunal - a second home in many respects
  • Confronting retirement as a senior League footballer

“I would have picked 15 highlights if it was left to me, but it was suggested I also included a couple of lowlights unfortunately,” Rhys-Jones said of the 15 for 15 exercise.

“Looking back, I was probably at the height of my powers at 28, and all of a sudden, ‘bang’, you’re gone at 30, mainly due to injuries. I suffered leg problems from the time I cracked my femur in game four with the Swans, and injuries cost me well over a hundred games, on top of the 22 through suspension.”

Rhys-Jones’ motivation for committing to the 15 for 15 Challenge was to first bring public attention to the illness “and it’s good when I run into people who talk to me about it”.

“I’m fortunate I have a profile and can get the message out there because there’s no financial assistance for those with Prader-Willi – it’s just Mums and Dads trying to raise some funds,” he said.

Rhys-Jones’s cause is already earning broad support, and in various ways. Over at Jolimont, the MCG will be lit up in orange (the official worldwide colour of PWS) on Friday night, in support of his challenge.5.30pm -11.00pm.

Anyone who donates to Rhys’s 15 for 15 Challenge for PWSA-Victoria goes into the draw to win – and Ross Faulkner has pledged a one-off leather football signed by Rhys-Jones as a raffle prize (with anyone donating to the 15 for 15 Challenge for PWSA Victoria automatically entering the draw to win).

Click here to view David Rhys-Jones’ call to action through his 15 for 15 Challenge in support of those diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome.