On the eve of the AFL’s Indigenous round Collingwood player Travis Varcoe has opened up about the story of the club’s themed jumper design and how it relates to the support after his sister’s death last year.
In a short film on the club’s website Varcoe says Collingwood and the broader football community wrapped themselves around his family following the death of his sister Maggie in an on-field fotball collision.
Collingwood’s jumper tells the story of the aftermath through the art of Lee-Anne Miller, sister of Travis’s partner, Kim. It will be worn on Friday night at the SCG against the Sydney Swans.
“The way the club supported me and my family last year, through that time when my sister passed, is what inspired it,” Varcoe told collingwoodfc.com.au.
“I think it’s beautiful. For the way it looks and for the meaning behind it.
“There are four layers to it. The inner circle represents the players I’m surrounded by every day.
The next circle of dots is all of the people outside of the playing group who support us and enable us to perform at our best, especially in tough times.
“The circle outside of that is for the friends and family we rely on so heavily for their love and support and then there is the fans and the Collingwood community who glue it all together.
“It brings together all of the elements of being a Collingwood person and acknowledges them for their support in good times and bad.”
Varcoe said the club had played a pivitol role in getting him through the tragic event.
“You don’t realise that until you get challenged in some sort of way and unformately for me it was a really significant one and one that you never get over but you just get better at coping with it.
“I think the people around here and that i had around me … my nearest and dearest and the playing group … really help you to cope a lot quicker.
“I know that these boys will drop anything for me when push comes to shove you really find out. I did find out a lot about the boys that I spend a lot of time with and the sport stuff, so credit to this club and how they have supported a lot of boys. Not just me. In different scenarios in their lives.”
Varcoe will be in Sydney for the game, but will not be playing due to a one match suspension. He will get another chance to wear the jumper later in the year when it is worn again in Round 11 against Fremantle at the MCG.