Thanks Thanks:  0
Likes Likes:  5
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wherever the dogs are playing
    Posts
    41,870
    Post Thanks / Like

    Incredible untold story of Dogs’ US footy trip — and how close they came to Twin Towers tragedy

    Link



    Tony Liberatore can’t remember the Sherrin.
    It’s an unfathomable prospect for the former Bulldogs midfielder. Then again, it’s part of an unfathomable story.

    When Lleyton Hewitt recently appeared on Fox Footy Live, he recalled a group of Western Bulldogs players sitting in the fishbowl of Arthur Ashe Stadium the night the then-20-year-old upset Pete Sampras to claim the US Open, accelerating his rise to the youngest male World No. 1 in history.

    As a stunned Flushing Meadows crowd tried to process what they’d just witnessed, a strange, red, oval-shaped ball flew through the humid New York air and landed square on the chest of Hewitt.
    Liberatore’s former teammate Nathan Brown remembers it vividly.

    “For some reason Tony Liberatore brought a brand new Sherrin. So we’re walking around Flushing Meadows for the final, we’re in the crowd for the final with a brand new Sherrin, people looking at us going ‘that’s a bit weird’,” Brown told foxfooty.com.au.

    “At the end of the game, ‘Libba’ decided he was just going to hoof it from where we were up in the stands down to centre court … All of a sudden this Sherrin bounces around on the court down below and was pretty funny.”

    Former Dogs ruckman Luke Darcy corroborated the story.

    Still, Libba knows exactly what a footy looks and feels like – and the 1990 Brownlow Medalist just isn’t buying it.

    “Look someone might’ve had a footy I don’t know, I definitely didn’t,” Liberatore told foxfooty.com.au.

    Another Bulldogs teammate, Craig Ellis, was also part of the travelling party. But Brown suggested he wasn’t the greatest of eyewitnesses.

    “Craig Ellis slept through the entire match, did not open his eyes the whole time,” he said.

    “Big night the night before and, to be honest, Craig doesn’t care for things like that. He could either be there or he couldn’t be there. He just thought ‘I’m going to sit here and I’m going to have a sleep’ – and he’s like that.”

    Whatever the case, that mythical Sherrin quite literally kicked off a fantastical night.

    THE AFTERPARTY
    “Lleyton waved up and caught our eye and invited us to the afterparty, which was very generous of him and it was a really fun night, you can imagine,” Darcy told foxfooty.com.au.

    Liberatore might not remember the Sherrin bouncing onto centre court, but he has no issue recalling the afterparty.

    “We went all the way down to the very, very back and there was this sort of table as long as a wedding table,” he said.

    “And there’s Lleyton Hewitt … back in those days they had the bricks for the phone and he was talking to his mates back in Australia saying: ‘You wouldn’t believe it, the Bulldogs boys are here, we’re having drinks with them!’”

    Yet as the drinks were flowing in the city that never sleeps, Liberatore was on edge. He was missing son Tom’s Under-9s basketball Grand Final.

    Tony dialled up home base and put him on speaker, having worked his teammates into a state of frenzy over the result.

    While one junior superstar had won in New York that night, another wasn’t as lucky Down Under: “Nah dad, we lost.”

    It was a cruel blow for the Liberatores, but little did they know Tom would win the biggest title of all 15 years later in the Bulldogs’ memorable, drought-breaking premiership.

    As the Bulldogs continued to party on, Hewitt’s all-in attitude on the court extended to his professionalism off it.

    “Lleyton was pretty disciplined and a pretty focused young man, he took off well before we did. We celebrated maybe a bit more into the night than him was my memory,” Darcy said.

    “Incredible sporting performance and one of the great nights afterwards. I always look back on that with a great smile own my face.”

    NEAR GROUND ZERO AND A LIFE-SAVING BREAKFAST
    Two days after a night the Dogs boys will never forget came a day the world would never forget.

    The Twin Towers fell and the world changed forever.

    Brown, like the rest of his crew and the world, remembers it vividly, not least because they were on their way to the towers when it happened.

    “We were walking down there, it was the perfect day. I remember 27 degrees, perfect blue sky and then all of a sudden everything started to get dusty and it was just something that was out of this world,” he said.

    “About an hour later there were tanks rolling through the street and this busy New York everybody knows was just deserted.”

    Darcy noted their stop for breakfast may well have been their saving grace.

    “It was surreal,” he said.

    “We stopped for breakfast halfway. There’s a lot of people with those sorts of stories that ‘could’ve, maybe, would’ve been there’ – but certainly a couple of moments you never forget.”

    Liberatore can still remember how quickly the trip went “from chocolates to boiled lollies”.
    “It was a good night (with Lleyton Hewitt) but then September 11, I’ve never been more scared in my life.”

    ONE FINAL TWIST
    Amid all the chaos on a day that will never be forgotten, there was one more surreal moment to a trip that provided higher peaks and lower troughs than anyone could’ve imagined.

    “We were walking back up to Darcy’s brother’s (Matt Darcy) house three or four hours after… we went past somewhere around Times Square. Michael Jackson walked out with probably about 10 entourage and a big mask on his face and got into a stretched limousine,” Brown said.”

    “It was just a bizarre day.”

    And it capped off an unforgettable trip.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    25,266
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Incredible untold story of Dogs’ US footy trip — and how close they came to Twin Towers tragedy

    I’ve never been more scared in my life.

    Pfft! Tony Liberatore scared of something?


    Yeah, right-o. Of course that is something that happened.
    WASH YOUR HANDS!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Hawforn
    Posts
    9,614
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Incredible untold story of Dogs’ US footy trip — and how close they came to Twin Towers tragedy

    Quote Originally Posted by Twodogs View Post
    Pfft! Tony Liberatore scared of something?


    Yeah, right-o. Of course that is something that happened.
    In the dying minutes of the 2016 preliminary final Libba looked genuinely scared.

  4. Likes bornadog liked this post
  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    25,266
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Incredible untold story of Dogs’ US footy trip — and how close they came to Twin Towers tragedy

    Quote Originally Posted by jeemak View Post
    In the dying minutes of the 2016 preliminary final Libba looked genuinely scared.
    My daughter is named after Tony Liberatore
    WASH YOUR HANDS!!!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    north-west willy
    Posts
    1,036
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Incredible untold story of Dogs’ US footy trip — and how close they came to Twin Towers tragedy

    Great read! I wonder where Craig 'Horse' Ellis is now. Love the way he used to drift across packs taking marks. I remember he became a pilot during his playing days.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wherever the dogs are playing
    Posts
    41,870
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Incredible untold story of Dogs’ US footy trip — and how close they came to Twin Towers tragedy

    Quote Originally Posted by HOSE B ROMERO View Post
    Great read! I wonder where Craig 'Horse' Ellis is now. Love the way he used to drift across packs taking marks. I remember he became a pilot during his playing days.
    Craig is a wealthy man. Has a Fashion company.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Hawforn
    Posts
    9,614
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Incredible untold story of Dogs’ US footy trip — and how close they came to Twin Towers tragedy

    Quote Originally Posted by HOSE B ROMERO View Post
    Great read! I wonder where Craig 'Horse' Ellis is now. Love the way he used to drift across packs taking marks. I remember he became a pilot during his playing days.
    Apparently he did his balls on a clothing brand called St Lenny, but had them re-attached and then some on a swimwear range Triangl (multi million in profits).

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Kyabram
    Posts
    11,875
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Incredible untold story of Dogs’ US footy trip — and how close they came to Twin Towers tragedy

    Quote Originally Posted by Twodogs View Post
    My daughter is named after Tony Liberatore
    How does she feel being called Anthony?
    The curse is dead.

  10. Likes bornadog, azabob liked this post
  11. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    2,968
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Incredible untold story of Dogs’ US footy trip — and how close they came to Twin Towers tragedy

    Quote Originally Posted by jeemak View Post
    Apparently he did his balls on a clothing brand called St Lenny, but had them re-attached and then some on a swimwear range Triangl (multi million in profits).
    I've still got a St Lenny shirt (bought from Dangerfield years ago) I had no idea he was involved.
    Float Along - Fill Your Lungs

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Warragul
    Posts
    4,493
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Incredible untold story of Dogs’ US footy trip — and how close they came to Twin Towers tragedy

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pie Man View Post
    I've still got a St Lenny shirt (bought from Dangerfield years ago) I had no idea he was involved.
    I've still got one as well, purchased it from the actual store in Prahran I think. St Lenny was founded by Ellis and Nathan Brown but Ellis bought Brown out before it went bust.

  13. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    E.J. Whitten Stand
    Posts
    10,401
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Incredible untold story of Dogs’ US footy trip — and how close they came to Twin Towers tragedy

    Ellis is living the dream atop a bikini empire - I wonder if the club has hit him up for sponsorship
    Our 1954 premiership players are our heroes, and it has to be said that Charlie was their hero.

  14. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    25,266
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Incredible untold story of Dogs’ US footy trip — and how close they came to Twin Towers tragedy

    Quote Originally Posted by jeemak View Post
    Apparently he did his balls on a clothing brand called St Lenny, but had them re-attached and then some on a swimwear range Triangl (multi million in profits).
    Apparently they are rather large testicles too. After all they call him Horse for a reason...

    Quote Originally Posted by chef View Post
    How does she feel being called Anthony?
    Her middle name is Liberatore. If she married Tom she'd be Lucy Joy Liberatore Liberatore!
    WASH YOUR HANDS!!!

  15. Likes chef liked this post
  16. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    971
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Incredible untold story of Dogs’ US footy trip — and how close they came to Twin Towers tragedy

    I hadn't heard anything about the September 11 attacks overnight. I turned on the radio next morning and the lead story was: 'Four Bulldogs players are safe after the World Trade Centre attacks.' Talk about Melbourne-centric priorities! I had not idea that 1000s had lost their lives at that point.

    Famously the Geelong Advertiser reported on the Cyclone Tracy disaster: 'No Geelong people involved.'
    www.bulldogtragician.com A blog about being a lifelong fan of the Dogs and our quixotic attempt to replicate 1954. AND WE DID
    Author of "The Mighty West: the Bulldogs journey from daydream believers to premiership heroes"
    Twitter @bulldogstragic

  17. Likes josie liked this post
  18. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    25,266
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Incredible untold story of Dogs’ US footy trip — and how close they came to Twin Towers tragedy

    Quote Originally Posted by The bulldog tragician View Post
    I hadn't heard anything about the September 11 attacks overnight. I turned on the radio next morning and the lead story was: 'Four Bulldogs players are safe after the World Trade Centre attacks.' Talk about Melbourne-centric priorities! I had not idea that 1000s had lost their lives at that point.

    Famously the Geelong Advertiser reported on the Cyclone Tracy disaster: 'No Geelong people involved.'
    That's hilarious.

    I remember that night well. I was watching TV and I had turned to channel 2 at about 11.30 to watch a boxing documentary called "When we Were Kings" about Ali and Foreman and the Rumble in the Jungle but instead of that there is a news report featuring a plane sticking out of the side of the World Trade Centre! At that stage they were saying it was a terrible accident then the other plane smashed into the other side. I sat up all night watching it. The thing that really sticks in my mind was when i went to pick my son up from West Footscray primary school the next day, and all the other parent's sitting in their cars lined up outside the school waiting for the bell listening to the radio reports with stunned looks on their faces.
    WASH YOUR HANDS!!!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •