In what will prove an ideal means of extending celebratory tunefulness, those singing and listening alike will have the chance to revisit some amazing heritage, with a whisper of a link to one of the giants of the red and blue.
It is, after all, reputed that Keith ‘Bluey’ Truscott was the author of the second verse. Truscott, after whom the Club’s Best and Fairest is named, played in the 1939 and 1940 premierships, and went on to become an air ace in World War Two, flying in the Battle of Britain and leading 76 Squadron before being tragically killed over Exmouth Gulf in Western Australia.
Truscott’s tenure at the Club aligns with the parameters of the verse, and his gregarious nature gives credence to the attribution. Of all of those who ‘played fine in the year Thirty-nine’, the quicksilver rovers Beames and Rodda starred with four goals apiece, part of a powerful outfit that destroyed the ambitious Magpies by 53 points. Truscott, on the half-forward flank, was also named in the best for a bullocking, bustling performance, complemented by two goals.
The other flag mentioned in the second verse is 1926, a starring, stirring year after a lean generation. Once again, it was a Melbourne machine that overran Collingwood by 57 points. With brilliant displays from the likes of Chadwick, Warne-Smith, Johnson with six goals, and Moyes and Wittman with three apiece, it was a grand achievement to play with the ‘spirit of Twenty-six’.
Across the generations, the sentiments expressed from the first to the last line of the song, over both verses, still hold true. From rejoicing in the grand old flag as it opens, to taking the chance to ‘Keep your eye on the Red and the Blue’ at the end of the second verse, we will all be there as the final bell sounds, sharing the best of the Club with the song and the celebration that has been part of us for nearly a century.
The Grand Old Flag