SOMETIMES in sport we are lucky to come across true champions of our game.
And I do not just mean in terms of ability or skill.
I mean a champion person, one we can aspire to emulate, and to match ourselves against.
Simon Levy is one of those champions.
As we all know, Simon sustained a significant head injury while playing in first grade for Nowra against Figtree midseason.
Simon was knocked out after an accidental clash of heads with his opponent, and then suffered some bleeding on the brain.
In what was a terrifying experience, mostly for his wife Keri and children, Zach and Jason, Simon has diligently been completing a long road to recovery, with the same zeal and tenacity that he brought to the football field.
Due to Simon’s injury, he will no longer be able to play football, so it is fitting at this time to pay tribute to the contributions that Simon has made, not only to his beloved Albatross Demons, but also to the South Coast AFL, and AFL in general.
Simon has been a stalwart player for the Demons, with passion emblazoned across his forehead.
He lives and breathes the Demons like no other.
Every time he pulled on that jumper he transgressed to another place, doing all that was humanly possible to ensure a win for the blue and red.
He has been a committee member, holding many positions, a captain and a president for the Albatross Demons Football Club.
Like others, he has been the first there, the last to leave.
His dedication to the Demons is beyond reproach, and one that we can all admire.
Nine years ago, when the South Coast AFL was fledgling, Simon put his hand up and volunteered to take on the league president’s role in an effort to restore the South Coast competition to its glory days.
Simon sacrificed his own time and his clubs’ time, to help redirect the league and give it the credibility it so badly needed.
His efforts were outstanding, and play a large part in the stability that AFL South Coast has today.
His dedication to preserving the integrity of our game has been an example to all that play in our league.
He is always willing to make sacrifices at club level for the greater good of the competition, which is not often seen in club sport.
He has always understood that sometimes some clubs, including his own, need to take a back seat to allow other processes to be enacted, as he always knew in the long run it would be good for football.
Not many people have that vision, patience and understanding.
To Simon, it comes naturally.
He has written for the paper, he has reported for the radio.
There is not much our dear friend Simon Levy has not done in the name of AFL.
He embodies the “spirit of the game” like no one else I have known.
If you gave out Brownlow Medals for passion alone, you would be hard pressed to find anyone more deserving than Simon.
Simon, it is not goodbye, because footy means too much you, and you mean too much to to footy.
It is a huge thank you for all you have done and achieved for our great game of AFL on the South Coast.
You, your wife Keri and your boys are and always will be part of our family.
Personally, I have appreciated your support and encouragement more than you could ever know, and am so pleased to see you on the road to recovery.
We are so proud of what you have achieved, and have no doubt that you will continue to go full speed ahead with your recovery.
You are an example to us all, and we will be forever in your debt for all you have given to AFL