Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Great Historical Moments

It’s a catchcry that’s immortalised forever in the minds of Australian sporting fans. If you loved footy as a kid, there’s a chance you joyfully took an epic mark off your mate’s shoulder shouting in your yet-to-be broken voice these famous words....

Oh Jesaulenko, you beauty!

While every AFL fan has heard this iconic phrase, there are some who know little about this moment and the man who made it. Acclaimed as ‘The Mark of the Century’ by the AFL, Alex Jesaulenko popularised the ‘specky’ in the 1970 Grand Final against Collingwood, when he took a mark over giant ruckman, Graeme Jenkin. The phrase worked itself into popular use from being named the first Mark of the Year, a medal awarded each year after 1970 and named after Jesaulenko himself.

Though very few people know Alex Jesaulenko’s fascinating upbringing and family history. Born in Austria, his father was German policeman during World War II and his Russian mother survived a German prison camp. She gave birth in this camp to a son that she also called Alex, who was taken away by SS soldiers. He wouldn’t reappear until 1994, after the family presumed he was dead.

Amid the mayhem of post-WWII Europe, his parents met and settled in Salzburg, Austria. Four years later, his family left for Australia and settled in Canberra where he began his football career at Eastlake under his coach, none other than Ron Barassi.

He played his first VFL match with Carlton in 1967 then transferred to St Kilda in 1980 in a deal personally managed by transport billionaire and club president, Lindsay Fox. He was the Buddy Franklin of the seventies. Can you picture Buddy with a long and luscious 70’s mullet?

Jokes aside, it’s so important to capture sporting greatness with memorabilia. If you want a piece of sports history in your home, get in touch with HT Framing &Memorabilia today.

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