Club man loves camaraderie

Swan Districts Football Club Life Members Association President John Rowe with wife and fellow volunteer Kathy. Picture: Marcus Whisson d409650
Swan Districts Football Club Life Members Association President John Rowe with wife and fellow volunteer Kathy. Picture: Marcus Whisson d409650

The Swans’ go-to man said while he never played a game, he was happy to dedicate his life to his beloved team.

‘I couldn’t play football due to the fact that I had polio, when I was a little boy, and while I missed out on that side of the club my passion has always been for the footy,’ he said.

Starting as a bar manager and member in the late 60s, Mr Rowe and a friend would volunteer on game day and participate in the dart club.

‘I joined as a member of the football club but a mate of mine signed me up for the darts club in 1969 and that’s when the volunteer side of things started for me,’ he said,

‘I had lived in Kalgoorlie but moved to Bassendean in 1957 as a 15-year-old.

‘I supported the Kalgoorlie Football Club which were coincidently the black and whites, then came to Bassendean and they were the black and whites, too.’

Mr Rowe is a committee member with the Past Players and Officials Association, president of the SDFC Life Members Association, co-ordinator of the Past Players and Officials Maintenance Response Team group.

He said he believes it is all about the camaraderie.

‘It’s a special feeling being involved and without volunteers, clubs wouldn’t be what they are today.’

Mr Rowe’s love for his club spreads to wife Kathy whose involvement with the side also spans decades, earning her a Life Membership along with that of her husband.

‘She has been volunteering over the same period of time I have.

‘We have been married 50 years and although when I met her she was an East Perth supporter I soon fixed that up,’ he joked.

‘She organises morning teas for the club and as long as I can pick up a hammer or a spanner we will keep helping them out.’