When Leo made his mark

Leo Barry Jnr with Wayne Bradley at the 2014 Edward River Country Education Foundation fundraising dinner, where Mr Bradley successfully bid on a framed and autographed photo of Barry’s famous AFL Grand Final-winning mark.

With Leo Barry Jnr being named Edward River Council’s Australia Day ambassador, Wayne Bradley was inspired to put pen to paper.

Mr Bradley, a long time fan of the former local, penned the following poem on ‘‘that mark’’ from Barry, which sealed the Sydney Swans’ premiership win in 2005.

Mr Bradley kindly shared his poem with the Pastoral Times.

AFL Grand Final, two thousand and five and time was almost up!

Then Barry floated ‘cross the pack, would the Swans hold high the cup?

He took the mark, the Swans the flag, the roar went on till dark,

Where you there at the MCG, when Leo made his mark?

The story starts at ‘Ibelong’, then on to Mayrung School,

Where under Chappell’s tutelage, he learnt the golden rules;

Of dedication, perseverance, giving of one’s best,

Did that help on that fateful day, to stand up to the test?

And in our sporting history, ‘The Mark’ holds high a place,

With Diva’s triple, Perkin’s swim and Bradman’s poise and grace.

Australia II, Cathy’s run, the list goes on and on,

And with them all, leaping high, the boy from ‘Ibelong’.

Good on you Leo, welcome home, it’s great to have you back,

We really do appreciate, you coming down the track.

To chat a while and tell your tale, on life and sport and family,

Once growing up, a country boy, those years ago in Deni.

So thanks again for being here, to share with us your story,

Our Australia Day ambassador, a part of footy glory.

And as you’ve shown throughout your life – great stories have to start,

So let’s fly high in ’22 and try to make ‘our mark’.