Frank Reid chases a ball in a game between Nimbin and Byron.
Frank Reid chases a ball in a game between Nimbin and Byron.

Reid it and weep

FRANK REID is not sure what has kept him lining up in the Summerland AFL.

After all, he is 52, has played 498 recorded grade games, saw his beloved Nimbin Demons fold due to a lack of numbers and suffered broken ribs at the start of this year.

But the gyprock labourer just can't seem to give up the rough-and-tumble of the sport – at least, that is, until the end of this season.

“Yeah, this will be my last year,” Reid told The Northern Star.

“I'll play my 500th game in two weeks (against Tweed for Byron Magpies at Bangalow).

“I don't run as fast as I used to but I still go all right over short distances.

“Footy has been about more than playing. The whole social thing has meant that people who would never have spoken to me have become friends.

“The sport brings together people from different walks of life.”

Reid is definitely the oldest player in the SAFL and played his first games for the old Lismore Kangaroos back in the late 1970s when they played in the Gold Coast competition.

Normally a ruckman, he played 149 games for Lismore, 207 for the Demons and has clocked up 77 for Byron. He also played more than 50 matches for North Shore when he lived in Sydney.

“I've actually probably played between 500 and 600 games now,” Reid said.

“I've played between 20 and 50 games for the SAFL rep side as well as a bunch of reserve grade games and fill-in games that I haven't counted.”

Recently the veteran has also started playing Over-35s; quite often he will play two games of AFL every weekend.

“I like playing with the old blokes because they don't bruise me up quite so much,” Reid chuckled.

While admitting Mondays could be tough on the body, Reid doesn't expect to kick his AFL habit cold turkey.

“I love my footy. I'll probably be involved as a strapper,” he said.

“I don't think coaching is my caper.”

Reid has forgotten how many premierships he has won – ‘a couple for Lismore, a couple for Byron and one for Nimbin' – but he rates the 2000 prem-iership with the Byron Magpies as his best moment in the sport.



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