By Russell Bennett
Local footy character Mick Monckton has always been a believer in the power of the game to positively affect people.
“Having been around footy clubs all my life, I’m very much a believer that when one of your own is down, you do whatever you can to help them out,” said the man more affectionately known as ‘Gazelle’.
On Saturday he found a way of combining his passionate hatred of the Richmond Football Club with an extremely worthwhile cause – in aid of a dyed-in-the-wool Tigers supporter!
Earlier this year, with the Tigers coming off the back of finishing 13th in their 2016 AFL campaign, Mick made the outlandish claim that if Richmond bounced back to claim this year’s premiership he’d get a Dustin Martin-style haircut.
After an astonishing campaign from Martin, skipper Trent Cotchin and their side, on Saturday at Pervies (the Pakenham Hotel), Mick made good on his promise to great mates Brendan ‘Shorty’ Short and Cathy Louch.
The passionate North Melbourne man donned a Richmond jumper and sat tight as ‘Shorty’ shaved his head in Martin’s signature style.
And it was all for a great cause, with Mick raising money for one particular youngster from his current club – Kooweerup.
Earlier this year, 19-year-old Ryan Frazer received a phone call that would forever change his and his family’s life.
After three months of misdiagnosis, and what was believed to be vertigo, he had an MRI scan which revealed a mass on his brain.
Soon after, he underwent an eight-hour operation to remove the tumour but it wasn’t completely removed.
In late July, he and his family were told he has a medulloblastoma – an aggressive, yet rare, tumour in young adults.
He’s since undergone extensive treatment – including an intensive six-week radiation therapy course before starting a seven-month chemotherapy treatment.
With the Frazer family living in Kooweerup, the costs of travelling into the city for treatment have already been significant and Ryan’s mum, Lynda, has had to stop work for the next seven months so she can care for her son.
“I’m a parent first and foremost,” Mick said.
“I’ve got six kids of my own and I couldn’t imagine what Danny and Lynda are going through.
“With the few hundred bucks we’ve raised, and the money donated to his personal account, if any of that money helps then we’ve done a good thing, haven’t we?
“That’s pretty much the nuts and bolts of it. I’ll go twice as hard at Richmond next year but the only problem is they’ll be defending champions then!”
Mick put his hatred of the Tigers down to the likes of Michael Roach and Dale Weightman and their past battles against the Roos.
“At primary school you’re a bit of a long ranger if you’re a North Melbourne supporter,” Mick said with a laugh.
“You’re not exactly standing 50-strong. You’re on your own a lot of the time so you have to be a little bit lippy.
“Shorty and I have a real crack at each other on Facebook.
“It’s all a bit of fun. You’ve got to have fun.”
To donate to the Frazer family’s cause, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/ryanfrazersroadtorecovery