Universal Love RIP Russell Ebert. The greatest man!

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Powerage

Club Legend
Aug 14, 2014
1,725
2,168
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
I waited a while before posting. I wasn't sure what to say. Russell, and Port, were part of the backbone of my youth, and its still a bit hard to accept he has passed on.

Russell made an impact on three generations of the men in our family though. My dad recounts going to see the 1968 Anzac Day game which was his third league game. He kicked six goals in Port Adelaide's 19-point win. Impressed by Ebert, as were the rest of the crowd, Dad arrived home where he bumped into his father (my grandfather) who had listened to the match on the radio. 'Reckon they might have found themselves a player' Grandpa remarked to Dad in his typical understated style.

One of my own earlier memories of Russell Ebert was watching the Magarey Medal count in 1980. Aware that Russell stood to make history if he won it was a bit of a nail biter with Norwood's Taylor and Glenelg's Hodgemann both polling really well. But it is etched in history now that Russell won his fourth Magarey and gave a speech which to me seemed to personify him. Humble, down to earth, gracious. Focused on the team, winning finals and premierships. A Port Adelaide man through and through. That impression of him did not change in all the years that followed.

After the speech Port Adelaide's Bob McLean brought up the caricature celebrating Russell's win, one of which I still proudly have hanging on my wall. Then Bob fell over, bring down the Magarey Medal backdrop down on top of himself. Russell sat down on the ground comfortably beside him and gave a thumbs up to the audience which for some reason is not shown in this video, although I am certain I didn't imagine it, because it is an image that has stuck with me always.



He seemed so strong and vital them and in all the years that followed, finally brought low by a horrible disease which, publicly at least, did not seem to rob him of his quiet dignity, nor of the realisation that he had had, by any measure, a remarkable life. Rest In Peace Russell. Your name and the memories you gave us are etched with prominence and, dare-I-say-it, reverence into the history of the Port Adelaide Football Club.

My thoughts and condolences to the Ebert family at this difficult time.
 
Last edited:

Steven Gerrard

Club Legend
May 27, 2012
1,092
1,012
Melbourne
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Other Teams
Liverpool, Melbourn Victory, 49ers
I've mentioned before that I was at the 1977 GF and can see my 13 year old self in that famous photo.

Back in those days the crowd would always invade the field at the end of the GF and try to get as close as possible to the presentation. Made it pretty hard for the winning team to do their lap of honour!

1977 was actually the last year this happened. I guess the SANFL decided it wasn't a good look and probably had concerns about safety issues as well. From 1978 onwards they placed numerous red coats and police around the boundary late in the game to prevent it from happening again. If you go and watch the 1978 GF on youtube you will see this clearly and there has been the "clean" presentation ever since. I guess with 1977 being the last time it happened, it makes the image with Russell holding up the cup even more iconic.

I remember also hearing a funny story from Rick Davies about the 1976 GF. He said when the final siren went and the crowd came onto the field, he at one point came face to face with an old lady who was a Port supporter. He said she had tears in her eyes, was screaming at him and threatening to hit him with her umbrella! He said he found it odd that she was carrying an umbrella because it wasn't raining that day and the forecast had been for a fine, sunny day, which it was.
Thanks for answering. I won't watch the 78 grand final, always hard watching Norwood win a flag.
 

Lockhart Road

Cultural Attache
Mar 26, 2013
5,068
23,876
Happy Valley Bar & Grill, Hong Kong
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Other Teams
Port Adelaide Magpies
I waited a while before posting. I wasn't sure what to say. Russell, and Port, were part of the backbone of my youth, and its still a bit hard to accept he has passed on.

Russell made an impact on three generations of the men in our family though. My dad recounts going to see the 1968 Anzac Day game which was his third league game. He kicked six goals in Port Adelaide's 19-point win. Impressed by Ebert, as were the rest of the crowd, Dad arrived home where he bumped into his father (my grandfather) who had listened to the match on the radio. 'Reckon they might have found themselves a player' Grandpa remarked to Dad in his typical understated style.

One of my own earlier memories of Russell Ebert was watching the Magarey Medal count in 1980. Aware that Russell stood to make history if he won it was a bit of a nail biter with Norwood's Taylor and Glenelg's Hodgemann both polling really well. But it is etched in history now that Russell won his fourth Magarey and gave a speech which to me seemed to personify him. Humble, down to earth, gracious. Focused on the team, winning finals and premierships. A Port Adelaide man through and through. That impression of him did not change in all the years that followed.

After the speech Port Adelaide's Bob McLean brought up the caricature celebrating Russell's win, one of which I still proudly have hanging on my wall. Then Bob fell over, bring down the Magarey Medal backdrop down on top of himself. Russell sat down on the ground comfortably beside him and gave a thumbs up to the audience which for some reason is not shown in this video, although I am certain I didn't imagine it, because it is an image that has stuck with me always.



He seemed so strong and vital them and in all the years that followed, finally brought low by a horrible disease which, publicly at least, did not seem to rob him of his quiet dignity, nor of the realisation that he had had, by any measure, a remarkable life. Rest In Peace Russell. Your name and the memories you gave us are etched with prominence and, dare-I-say-it, reverence into the history of the Port Adelaide Football Club.

My thoughts and condolences to the Ebert family at this difficult time.
Very well said. Thank you very much for your post.

Russell’s third match vs Sturt in the ANZAC Day GF rematch in 1968 I was lucky enough to see with my dad. Had just made it in time, having had my transfer from 7RAR at Holsworthy outside Sydney to 9RAR at Woodside approved and driven in my Morris 1100 across the country.

Ironically I was to be a member of the catafalque party at the dawn service in Martin Place, had been drilling for it for a couple of weeks. That was an experience I had to pass up in favour of seeing the Great Man in action. Looking back, I came off all the better for it.

There will be a couple of my 9RAR mates at the state funeral. Richo has ensured they will be well catered for.

RIP Russell. How fortunate I have been to get to know you. Who would’ve thought that possible?
 

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