More than 3,000 spectators have piled into Loxton Football Oval for a tribute match to pay their respects to football legend and Riverland local, Russell Ebert.
- The Loxton Football Club hosted SANFL tribute match to honour Riverland-born Russell Ebert
- More than 3,000 Riverland locals and football fans across the state came to pay their respects
- Ebert’s daughter Tammie says it was a perfect way to acknowledge her dad’s community service
A curtain raiser for Sunday’s matches starred the masters league’s Riverland Superdogs against the Peninsula Magpies before a Riverland Football League A-grade battle between Loxton and Waikeire.
A ripper Round 7 clash between the Port Magpies and West Adelaide SANFL sides came next.
Ebert’s daughter Tammie Kernich said it was a fitting way to honour her dad.
“Just the coming together of the four clubs, and also the over 35s, and a lot of people have put a lot of time and effort into this and we really appreciate it and I know dad would,” she said.
Magpies fly high for Ebert
Loxton took control of the Riverland league game from the get go, securing the match over Waikerie with a final result of 76 to 53.
Meanwhile, the Magpies took the SANFL win 105 to 81 over the Westies, despite an admirable comeback in the third quarter from the Bloods.
Ms Kernich said the day of football served as a way for many locals to say goodbye to her dad, who died in December last year after a battle with acute myeloid leukaemia.
She said while her dad’s football accolades would always be remembered, first and foremost, Ebert gave his everything to the community.
“I think that’s the legacy he’s left, just serving the community and helping other people out.”
Star comes home to play on Riverland soil
Former Adelaide Crows AFL player Jono Beech, who grew up in Barmera, said he was keen to head home for a match on Riverland soil for his West Adelaide team.
“It’s been a while,” he said.
Mr Beech said he looked up to Ebert and was excited that so many locals could come and enjoy a good day of footy.
“He’s obviously a legend and I respect him very much,” he said.
“It’s just great to play in a game where we can honour him.”
Loxton Football Club president Les Lange said the event was a great success after a huge team effort from all of the clubs involved.
“The Ebert family is just so ‘through and through’ for the Loxton community,” he said.
Source: AFL NEWS ABC