Ross Wilson cool about Saints controversies
As a St Kilda supporter, Aussie rock icon Ross Wilson is entitled to feel a little frustrated by his team.
A team that had the 2010 premiership ripped from its grasp by Collingwood and has since lurched from one pre-season controversy to another.
A team that has given him one premiership since he chose to support the red, black and white when a young man in the Victorian suburb of Hampton.
But he doesn’t get frustrated, instead he laughs at the way his players have been mauled by a media seeking a story over the past summer. He considers the new AFL construct and the way footballers, young men really, are portrayed as role models.
By his late teens, Wilson was well and truly ensconced within the Melbourne rock scene and by the time he was 24, he was a national star. His band, Daddy Cool, had a massive hit on its hands in Eagle Rock and the touring lifestyle was in full flow.
Wilson was not a role model.
It is with a reflective rock and roll induced wisdom that Wilson can chuckle at the controversies that have derailed his Saints. He makes an assessment of his club that might horrify those wearing the suits in the kingdom of the Saints.
“They’re the rock and roll club of the football world,” he laughs. “What, me? What have I done?”
And it seems a fair assessment, with a vengeance-filled groupie, nude shenanigans, boozing and even ‘drug’ taking (albeit the prescription kind) all creating headlines around the embattled club.
Wilson reflects, almost wistfully, that it’s a changing time and “with the AFL’s rules, you can’t be like that anymore”.
Wilson is not your typical ‘footyhead’.
“I’m not the most sporty person but I still get upset when my team loses,” he said.
He admits the start to this season has him rattled. As a kid, he supported Melbourne because of his older brother. But, when, as they tend to do, his older brother started to bully him, the younger Wilson decided to look for a new team.
Being the nearest VFL club to Hampton, Wilson decided to hop on board the Saints’ rollicking bandwagon, where he has stayed since.
A recent highlight was receiving a guernsey signed by the St Kila star, Carl Ditterich, a player who still ranks highly among his heroes and who, given his disciplinary record, may have found life tough in today’s AFL (he missed the Saints’ 1966 premiership through suspension).
The Saints have a coterie of well-known supporters in Shane Warne, Eric Bana, music legend Michael Gudinski and, of course, Molly Meldrum – all have some sort of claims to a rock-n-roll lifestyle, so Wilson is clearly not out of place.
Wilson laughs at the glass half-empty approach of Meldrum to his beloved team.
“He’s never happy, I remember one game against the Kangaroos where they won by a record margin,” Wilson recalls. “And he still found fault with them!”
Like the St Kilda Football Club, Wilson keeps rocking on, last year releasing an album, titled ‘I Come in Peace’, as well as a compilation of his better-known songs.
And, he’s still on the road, embarking on small tour next month (www.rosswilson.com.au for details).
You can guarantee that if he’s on the road and his rock and rolling Saints are playing, Wilson will be near a television or radio somewhere, angling to get a score.