For the next installment of “Blast from the Past”, we speak with the “Big Fella” himself, 1984 best-and-fairest winner Ross Christensen.
Name: Ross Christensen
Nickname: Big Fella – I honestly can’t remember who gave it to me.
Jumper number: 1
Recruited from: Geelong – Bruce Montgomery and John Murphy contacted me. I was a little jaded by the travel to Geelong after work. I was going well in the Geelong seconds but just not getting chances, so the timing was right. I really liked John Murphy, and he left a positive mark on me as a player.
Senior debut: 1984 – I have no recollection of who we played, but it was at Werribee. I remember doing okay and kicking a few goals but thinking, "this is going to be a long season". It was a tough day at the office.
Most memorable game: One was against Port Melbourne at Port. I was playing at centre half back on Grant O’Reilly, a quality player. The Port coach made him stand next to the race all day except at ball ups, so I couldn’t get into the game. I asked if I could I move and was told no, so Grant and I just chatted all day. It rates as the weirdest day of footy I ever played.
Life after Werribee: In 2009, I was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma and given 12 months to live by some doctors. I’ve had a heap of surgery since to keep me alive, and my lot in life is scans every three months and assessments for a long time to come. I’m now retired now due to ill health.
Family: My wife, Sheryl; twins Aaron and Tyson, 21; Liam, 17; and Dylan, 12. The boys are all talented sportsmen.
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