What does it take to be an immortal? Firstly, an immortal is an ambassador. Only seven elite players have made the grade: Clive Churchill, Bob Fulton, Reg Gasnier, John Raper, Graeme Langlands, Wally Lewis and Arthur Beetson. What did these men have in common? Who will be our next immortal? Brad Fittler, Andrew Johns? Only time will tell.
One thing we do know is that it is the ultimate honor to be called upon by your peers to hold the mantle. Which is why I feel passionate enough to suggest that like our beloved code, the forum 7�s set the stage for our very own immortal.
Who amongst us shows the qualities, the inspiration and the pride required for the ultimate Hall of Fame? This is a dedication to my friend, The Backpacker.
An immortal must be able to represent their country and have a clear understanding of international protocol. In this regard, I believe that a lesson The Backpacker taught me, would qualify, for the criteria. This was that the finger is recognized internationally and could be used indiscriminately.
An immortal must also be a tutor. A person, who takes the time to share his knowledge. In that regard BP would type slowly for his readers and include emoticons for those slower on the uptake.
The criteria for an immortal must surely also include savoir-faire and this particular requirement is most evident in his alter ego Pricilla. Whilst many would claim Pricilla was a drama queen of mammoth proportions, with her fish net stockings and shocking rhetoric, her style was only super-ceded by her sarcastic wit. The Backpacker of course, had a style of his own and his appearance at the Forum 7�s Awards night dressed in a leopard thong and bow tie certainly impacted on all who attended.
Like the immortals before him BP was an extremely talented player. These boots are made for walking, From the Penthouse to the Basement, in One Fowl Swoop and The Virtual Fan all ranked among the best of the best in the forum 7�s competition. My personal favourite was without a doubt, �Losing the plot for Easts�, http://forums.leagueunlimited.com/viewtopic.php?p=59836#59836
To inspire others, must be the greatest of attributes in an immortal. And those who knew The Backpacker would attest to the fact that he inspired all those who had the pleasure of knowing him. His ability to brainwash his children and grandchildren ensuring that he was the founder of three generations of rooster boostering rugby league fans, is significant. He personally inspired me to be a better person. To represent my team with pride, without the ego.
A team player, much like the man who inspired his username, The Backpacker had an extraordinary gift of making each of his fellow team mates strive to achieve so much more. Though, I daresay, his driving record was better than his namesake.
As I write this tribute to a truly inspiring man, and read the posts from other forum members, I realise that all those who knew Matt respected him. Respect is never demanded, respect was never something that he strived for, and it was given automatically and unconditionally. The stinging tears that cascade down my cheeks are selfish and not what he would have wanted, but trying to stop them would be akin to stopping the tide.
Being a supporter of league and more so a supporter of East�s was made so much more special being a friend and team mate and I know I speak for two others who were close to Matt; RoostarGirl and Ozzie, when I say, he is an immortal in our eyes without question or hesitation.
Matt was the ultimate gentleman, and to use one of his quotes � I salute you!!
Posted in the 'The Front Row' Forum Sevens Competition. To view the full competition, click here.
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