The Club would like to notify all members of the Blacks community of the passing of Ken Drysdale, father of recent player Angus and a much loved supporter, on the evening of Wednesday 6th November after a long and brave battle with cancer. Ken was surrounded by his wife Elaine, his sons Angus and Henry and their respective partners Alice and Ashlee at the time of his passing.
Ken’s presence at Blacks home games was akin to the famous ‘Pavvy’ turret, as he stood above most members of the crowd and seemed intertwined with all facets of the club. Whether you were a parent down from the country to watch your lad, a visiting fan standing in the canteen queue, or a Reserves player coming off an average game looking for a boost, Ken, resplendent in his trademark wide-brimmed hat, was a beacon. His handshake alone could lift your body temperature dramatically on a July day as it was delivered with the same intensity that Angus was showing for the loose ball out on the ground. After a vigorous conversation that would usually include predictions of wins for both the Seniors and his beloved Magpies, Ken would then often sign off by saying ‘you’re a credit to yourself and the Blacks’.
Of course, Ken is also fondly remembered for his role within the Pavvy walls, as auctioneer for the Blacks meat tray during the post-match function. Although the value of the prize was nothing compared to the rural properties he sold for Elders, Ken approached the role with the same enthusiasm. It could be safely assumed that Jonathan’s Butchers in Collingwood has never had a product marketed with such gusto, as Ken would assure the crowd after each of the season’s nine home games that this was ‘without doubt, the finest meat tray I’ve ever seen’. At the conclusion of each auction, Ken would warmly congratulate the victor and wish each and every member of the crowd a safe trip home, which was especially generous given his drive to Geelong was further than most.
Above: Ken doing some of his finest work for Elders
That’s not to say that Ken didn’t follow the Blacks on the road, particularly in September. Whether it was his booming ‘Carn the Blacks!’ raining down from the amphitheater-like terrace at Box Hill or from the hill behind the goals at Elsternwick Park, Ken could always inspire Blacks teams of that era. After one memorable victory, a semi-final upset against Old Scotch in 2013, there was a famous photo taken of Ken hugging Blacks life members Steve and Mick Commadeur. That this was the day after the Liberal Party, of which he was also a proud supporter, won the federal election made it all the more sweet for Ken.
We would like to pass on our deepest condolences to Elaine, Angus, Henry and the rest Ken’s family and are thinking of them during this sad time.
The Drysdale family invites all those that knew Ken to celebrate his life on Thursday 14 November at 2pm at The Geelong Grammar Chapel, 50 Biddlecombe Ave, Corio. Refreshments will follow in a nearby location close to Ken's heart.