Ben Crocker’s inspiring introduction

– Benny Crocker. What can we all do to help you?
– We all stood up and were given two questions that we were notified that
we had to answer and for me I notified the boys about my personal circumstances.
My old man has Alzheimer’s. He was diagnosed with it about six years ago
so from him back then … he still worked, he still did most of that but now he
effectively can’t do anything. I was wiping his arse and showering him and stuff at home. We probably don’t have too many more years left with him.
When I was young I used to be embarrassed I had a father that was ill because none of my
friends were going through that. In my first couple years at Collingwood I didn’t
really want to tell anyone but that was probably because I was still a bit young
and wasn’t quite sure of myself and where I sat with it. I just think for them to
understand me fully as a person it’s probably best for me to get myself out
there and tell them. It’s not something I’m embarrassed about, it’s actually
something that I’m quite proud that I’m dealing with. So yeah there’s times where
I’m probably gonna be a little bit stressed about that obviously leaving my brother and my mum
to deal with it isn’t easy for me so I reckon, yeah, sometimes just
understanding that my head is probably somewhere else at times. That’s probably
the biggest thing that you guys can probably do for me right now, yeah. I’ve got great feedback from everyone and they were really pleased that I shared
that and yeah, it just makes it a bit easier for me transitioning. I was such a fortunate kid. Went to a
great school, always lived in nice houses. I was probably bit of a ratbag when I
was younger but for me a lot of my spare time at home was hanging out with
Dad and that was something that I loved doing and yeah, I think every day off I
used to go home and kick the footy in the backyard with him and just kind of
hang out with him because obviously the time that I have left with him isn’t a
whole heap and he’s not gonna be around for a lot of my adult life so
yeah, the major thing for me was just enjoying time with family and
embracing the time left that we have with him. We spoke about as a family after Collingwood notified me that I wouldn’t be playing there next
year. We just spoke about the fact that if dad knew what was going on and he
could communicate he would definitely want me to come over here. There’s
absolutely no way he’d want me to give up my dream of playing footy.
– Player number seven one five nine one eight Ben Crocker, Collingwood Football Club.
– I think the major feeling was excitement but there was a little bit of stress
involved obviously I didn’t want to leave dad and I didn’t leave my mum or
my brother and I know when I was at the airport mum started crying. Yeah it’s
gonna be a little tough on her but she knows that this is my dream and
I think me coming to Adelaide is a really good fresh start for me. For me
personally, my personality and the tattoos and stuff, the way I look at it
is life’s so short and I’ve seen that with my dad that I’m not gonna
second-guess what I want to do. Like, I’m gonna enjoy being who I am. I’m gonna
express myself. Just looking at Dad I know that life’s not
always the way you think it’s gonna pan out. At the same time don’t get me
wrong if I could change the way things were I would do it at the drop of a hat but
it’s made me grow as a person so much more. I’m so much more mature than what I
was when I was 16-17 -18 and I’ve really grown into a fine young man that I’m actually
really proud of and hopefully I’ll have a major influence in the on-field
success but also just in terms of making the club a better place. I’d love to
have an impression like that left on the Adelaide Football Club.

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