I attended the breakfast on Thursday morning and it was very emotional. Bomber spoke well and was very honest and forthright in his comments. The mood in the audience was very tense as he related the anguish and frustration he had endured during the saga. He is very bitter about what happened, especially that he was not able to defend the charges against himself - that it was all predetermined. He said he had lost many friendships because of the saga.
The comment that remains most in my mind relates to the players. He said that it caused him great pain to witness the players at such a low ebb. He mentioned turning up at training and the players were flat and disinterested. He watched as players who could routinely hit a team -mate on the chest from 40m were kicking the ball all over the place. He said that during this time he feared for the players.
The media articles are scant on detail and omitted a number of comments he made about the AFL and David Evans.
I was fortunate to be given an opportunity to speak and made a comment that Bomber was a legend, a triple premiership player, premiership captain and dual premiership coach. I stated that there would not be many with that CV. I also mentioned Jim and how terrible it is that the AFL has allowed such champions of the game to be subjected to such injustice and to be comfortably satisfied with that decision.
I have some notes which I need to collate and edit which I will share with Blitzers soon. I was able to have a long chat with Bomber after the event but that conversation will remain private.
We should not expect too much from Bomber in terms of seeking justice. His way of dealing with what has happened is for him to determine. I could tell it is taking its toll. To be urging action from him is unfair unless you have walked in his shoes.
To listen to his experiences over the past 4 years inspires me to continue to fight for justice. Never forgive and never forget