Eagle’s fan at home working in Fremantle enemy’s nest

Eagles fan Leigh Dawson surrounded by Dockers supporters Jan Travia, Christine Byrne, Alex Merendino and Jon Gall. Picture: Jon Hewson        d443358
Eagles fan Leigh Dawson surrounded by Dockers supporters Jan Travia, Christine Byrne, Alex Merendino and Jon Gall. Picture: Jon Hewson        d443358

IN the midst of Fremantle’s purple pandemonium, there is one person watching over his shoulder.

The University of Notre Dame’s senior communications co-ordinator Leigh Dawson is a rare West Coast Eagles fan working day-to-day in the heart of Fremantle.

It’s an allegiance that rarely affects him.

That is, until finals roll around and Fremantle’s love for the Dockers turns into fervent ardour with every shop window, awning, pot plant and even the road itself coloured in purple.

Mr Dawson said there was always going to be a “bit of banter” between supporters from both teams and he did not expect anything less with the possibility of them playing each other in the grand final.

“It’s all in good jest and actually makes the game that much more special from a supporter’s perspective,” he said.

“I always refer back to the Dockers’ premiership cabinet, or lack thereof, when I need an ultimate comeback, but maybe those words will come back to bite me.

“As long as the cup comes back to WA, that’s all that matters in my book. And a derby grand final will be a match for the ages and a massive coup for the state.”

He said despite his allegiance, he actually got a kick out of seeing Fremantle turn purple for the finals.

“I think it’s exciting and heightens my passion for this great game,” he said.”

“And whilst it’s great to see this community passion, it still won’t prevent my support for the mighty Eagles.

“There aren’t many of us around in Fremantle so we have to wear our colours proudly.”