THIS is Brent Nilsson. It’s 6.30 this morning, Melbourne time, and the 27 year-old Carlton fan is already prepared for this evening’s telecast of the match between his beloved Blues and Gold Coast at TIO Stadium in Darwin.
Brent’s father Lance, mindful of Kane Simpson’s support of the Down Syndrome Association, kindly forwarded the following message and accompanying images, in the wake of Jack Newnes’ famous goal at Optus Stadium last weekend.
“My son Brent, who has Down Syndrome, is a Blues tragic like his father. He is a Carlton member and has really missed going to the footy this year. He plays All Ability basketball and Special Olympics bowling, but unfortunately both have been suspended since March.
Brent has a part-time job at Coles, but due to low immunity has had to be housebound – and while he’ll hopefully resume work in the future, watching the Blues is the focus of his week.
At 7.30 last Saturday morning, with the match scheduled for 8.10pm in Perth, Brent is already decked out in his Carlton scarf, beanie, socks, jumper and jacket. He sets up in front of the TV with his colouring books, footy records and collection of Matchbox cars. The long wait begins...
The game begins and Brent is confident the Blues can come back after giving Fremantle a 20-point start. Mum and Dad pray for a Blues win as Brent can go online and tell his brothers about the game.
All hope is gone after two near misses in the last minute... but wait. There’s confusion in the household, as Dad explains to Brent that we have a shot after the siren.
Jack Newnes then makes our night as Brent belts out the song.
From 11.00pm to 2.00am my wife and I hear Brent talking in his sleep – using the words he uttered after the game: 'It's unbelievable.... it’s unbelievable...’.
Thanks Bluebaggers, Brent had such a happy week in isolation . . . and now he’s ready to go again!”