Former AFL player Tom Rockliff has revealed the disgusting aftermath of what should have been a special father-son moment with his baby boy at the MCG on Sunday.
Rockliff and his son were cheering Port Adelaide, whose late push was not enough to carry Carlton in what turned out to be a three-point thriller on Easter Sunday.
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Charlie Curnow’s fifth goal late in the final quarter helped the Blues fend off their hard-fought opponents for a 14.10 (94) to 13.13 (91) win at the MCG.
Rockliff – twice better and fairer winner of the Brisbane Lions before ending his career with Port – encouraged the Power from the Shane Warne stand.
In what was the first time the 208-game midfielder took his son to watch a game live at the MCG, it was meant to be a special occasion for father and son.
However, Rockliff says he would have reservations about taking his boy to a game in the future after revealing they were spat on by a number of Carlton fans as they left the floor.
“What a way to be disappointed,” Rockliff wrote. “Carlton fans spitting on me when I come home with my son is irrelevant.
“Passion is good, but let’s not forget that it’s sport.”
Speaking to foxfooty.com.au on Sunday night, Rockliff said the unsavory incident tarnished what should have been a special moment for her young son.
“I was applauding Port Adelaide loudly – you can probably hear it in my voice, my voice is gone – and I probably pushed the limit (with my jokes),” Rockliff told foxfooty.com.au.
“I have no problem with anything being said. But once it’s said and done and you walk out being spat on, it’s pretty disrespectful – not only to me, but it also leaves a sour taste in my son’s mouth.
“I’ve always been into football and he was in the stands with his mum watching and the first opportunity I had to take him to the MCG – the AFL’s football coliseum – and for him to leave with this experience is really disappointing.
Port drops just before miracle comeback against Carlton
Rockliff and his son almost witnessed what would have been one of the great comebacks after Port returned to the competition, having trailed by as much as 50 points moments before half-time.
Despite trailing 49 points at halftime, when they had just four goals on the board, the Power felt they still had a pulse.
They went six-to-one in a third-quarter push that included two long bombs from Ryan Burton in his 100th game.
Zak Butters (32 eliminations), Darcy Byrne-Jones (26) and Connor Rozee (24) all helped bring Port back into the competition and they got a kick when Mitch Georgiades got in the quick response to Curnow’s late goal .
The Power had a chance to snatch a remarkable win a minute from time as Karl Amon fired a set shot from outside 50 yards.
But he was rushed for a behind in a mad dash down the line and the Blues hung on.
“We knew Carlton’s second halves had been very different from their first halves, and I’m sure they would be aware of that,” Port coach Ken Hinkley said.
“We thought if we could put a little pressure on the scoreboard we would still be in the game.
“It seems a bit silly at 50 points down but that’s what we thought.
“We knew the opportunities, if we could continue, might come later for us, but we didn’t want to drop 50 points.”
The result was ultimately Carlton’s fourth victory in five games and left Port down 0-5, their worst start to a season in the AFL.
with the AAP
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