Harry, or 'Harv' as he is now affectionately known (and will be referred to in the remainder of this text), first announced himself as a genuine Reserves grade force to be reckoned with during the 2014 premiership campaign. A young, and by his own admission, portly young gentleman hailing from Cobram, Victoria, Harv made his way down the highway to the dormitories of Newman College. Moments after dropping his bags, and kissing goodbye to the sanctuary of the King family, Harv strutted across to the University Main to join the Under 19s. His bullish, traditional centreman footballing style immediately took to urban football. In what was a bumber crop of strapping young Blacks lads, Harv, among others quickly graduated to the reserves grade team which, thanks to his brutish on field nature, muscled its way to the VAFA Premier A Reserves grade grand final after six wins on the trot to finish the season.
Not known for his lateral quickness, Harv lays claim to one of the most potent and historic juke steps the Blacks have seen since records have been taken*. In the dying moments of the 2014 grand final, after clawing back all but 6 points of what appeared to be an unassailable Old Xavierians three quarter time lead, a stray long ball out of the middle fell to none other than Harv. A fresh 20 seconds off after what appeared to be the most bone crippling rolled ankles the 60-year Costello medical bandwagon had ever witnessed, Harv was faced with a difficult and delicate footballing tightrope. With a testosterone fuelled Old Xavierians brute charging squarely at his position, Harv played the most unlikely of cards, applying a textbook candy sale (in the form of a loose gesturing of the ball in one direction, before a time-twisting ripping of it back the other way) whilst both feet were heavily planted on the turf. Such was the sale, the Xavarian player in question streamed past, as did the cameraman as well as the adoring Blacks fanbase collective vision. Unbeknownst to any, Harv customarily (as we now know) slammed the ball on his crippled boot, sailing 35 odd metres into a blistering wind before landed squarely on the breast plate of the last quarter catalyst, Jordan Foster, who, now standing in the goal square, equalised the score as the final siren blew. I won’t indulge you with the details of the overtime period, but will assure you that without the aforementioned brilliance, the honour board in the Clyde front bar would have one less framed team photo.
Since that fateful day in 2014, Harv has become a champion of the rapid recovery, where across the ensuing hours he exhibited the textbook ditching of the formerly ‘required’ crutches to bathe himself, and his fogged up bifocals, amongst the celebratory nirvana of the dancefloors of the subsequent Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights. Similarly, in 2018, when stretchered off the Main in what appeared to be a crushing blow to his slowly brewing Blacks career (think Gary Lyon and his broken leg), Harv quickly summoned his regenerative strength to return to the field less than seven days later.
Harv enjoys many things, but fishing, hosting parties and general do-gooding are among his chief interests. Unfortunately, his love for fishing is unrequited, and not being blessed by the angling deities, and to this day has an astronomically high time to fish caught ratio. Fortunately, his capacity for hosting parties has led the Blacks faithful back to Garton St for many a sensational fling, where his sheer passion for hospitality often led to uncharacteristically early bed times, fresh wake ups, and thus an uncustomary lack of regret regarding inviting 70+ alcohol fuelled lads back to your suburban home**. His will for do-gooding has seen him channel his passion for hosting into a superb run as a trainee and now president of the flourishing social committee, which has seen a new wave of nuanced social engagement flood across the club. After a 2014 guest spot more memorable than any other, his irrepressible sense of humour was exposed, with Harv subsequently announced as co-host, and subsequently solo host of the Blackspot. His stint as host saw countless bumpers on the back of a distinct commitment to his craft and a true passion for his work. There is no doubt that many around to witness it regard it as one of the most profitable and stable Blackspot stewardships in the recent era.
Since then, he has welcomed two equally dashing brothers to the club, whilst becoming a figurative social glue amongst many incoming clubmen. As has been made mention many times across recent accolades, one’s value to the club is not measured by their on-field accolades, and rather the impact they make when off it. Harv is certainly a testament to this, where he is a universally loved and respected character who has given increasingly large amounts of time, effort and passion to all the aspects of the Blacks that those who know it best cherish so greatly. Nevertheless, his 100 bullocking games is a sensational effort and a deserving accolade for a mate who has contributed brilliantly on the field, and even more brilliantly off it.
Good luck this weekend Harv, we are all very proud of you.
Thanks to Lachlan Huntington who penned this article for uniblacks.org.au.
*The record is my mind, which whilst it may not be as reliable as champion data, it does have a distinct ability to identify truly the most tantalising footballing manoeuvres, and my word, this was surely one of them.
**Fortunate for some, unfortunate for others – namely our neighbours.