Legends lean in with helping hands

By Wendy Gould
November 30 2021 - 10:00am
Andrew Lockyer and Northampton Rams football Club senior president Damian Harris with a Northampton Rams jumper signed by the nine Northampton Rams AFL Legends.

NOT just champion footballers, but champion blokes

The nine Northampton rams AFL legends have been acknowledged Australia-wide as being champions in AFL but for their local Northampton community it's who they are as people, the fact that "they are champion blokes", that makes them most proud.

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It came as no surprise to locals that some of the first phone calls they received when phone reception was restored after the town was devastated by ex-Tropical Cyclone Seroja was from members of the group of nine.

Several of them, including Jamie Cripps, Paul Hasleby and Patrick Cripps had experienced the damage first hand through their own families but the group's collective call was "what can we do to help?".

Led by inaugural Northampton AFL legend Andrew Lockyer, whose own childhood home down the road from the footy oval was one of many to lose its roof, they formed the AFL Rams Community Support Fund and set about raising money to go directly to "their town".

Using their media profiles and connections through East Fremantle and other football clubs they held fundraising events and took donations of cash and kind.

"So far we have raised $268,000," Mr Lockyer announced on the night.

"That is money to be used just for Northampton."

Being a charity, delivery of the funds comes with some regulatory requirements and they are in the process of determining how and where the money will be utilised.

But some initial projects which have already been approved were clearly well received.

"For the 2022 season we will pay the registration fees for every junior who wants to play football at the Northampton Rams football club," he said.

"For the seniors, money will also go towards the upgrade of the club change rooms so they can more suitably accommodate women players who are now an important part of the league.

"And we have had approval from the WAFL to host one WAFL senior game and one WAFLW women's game in Northampton, which will probably be in May."

Mr Lockyer said they hoped it would be between their region league club East Fremantle and Subiaco, as the reigning premiers.

It would be a fitting match-up given Mr Lockyer's son Jordan was a member of the Subiaco premiership team.

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