Teams triumph for former players

Tim Edmunds
Warrick Proudlove with parents Kevin and Trish at the Anzac Day match in support of Warrick.

The annual Anzac Day fixture between traditional rivals Railways and North Albany is likely to continue as a fundraiser for two foundations close to the hearts of both clubs after almost $30,000 was raised on Saturday.

The second annual match took on added significance with specially designed jumpers for the occasion worn by the league and reserves players auctioned to raise funds for the Proudies Foundation, Ryan Marron Foundation and Soldier On Foundation.

The Proudies Foundation helps support Kangas and Claremont footballer Warwick Proudlove, who was seriously injured in a car crash in 2011, while the Ryan Marron Foundation assists Albany-raised policeman and Tigers member Ryan Marron, who contracted Murray Valley encephalitis in 2011.

A total of $26,795 was raised from the auction of the 88 jumpers, umpires' and trainers' shirts, while a further $837 was raised from donations and raffles, exceeding the expectations of the organisers.

Both families were presented with one of the jumpers with the number their sons wore during their playing days.

For the Proudlove family, it was the first time Warrick had returned to Albany since the fateful accident in 2011, where the car he was a passenger in hit a stray horse and hit a tree north of Mt Barker, causing catastrophic head injuries.

Father Kevin said his son had responded well to the visit.

"You could see things running through his head," he said.

"He knows what is going on around him.

"The trip tired him out a bit and the night just got a little bit much for him in the end."

Mr Proudlove said the amount raised for his son's ongoing treatment exceeded his expectations.

"We just can't thank people enough," he said.

"We need it and it's now money in the kitty for his treatments.

"Without this generosity he wouldn't be getting the treatments he is."

Ryan Marron's parents Tom and Sandra attended the match and post-match auction and were also presented with one of the specially designed jumpers with number 18, the number Ryan wore.

The former Tigers player was unable to attend the match after a wheelchair accident in February, but Mr Marron said he would attend next year, saying generosity was "overwhelming".

"We would have loved to have brought him down. Definitely, next year he will come," he said.

"They can be rightly proud of themselves for what they have achieved and helping past players like both Ryan and Warrick - you can easily keep playing and forget but to their credit they remember and they know the difficulties the boys are going through."

Mr Marron said it was "ironic" the best player on the ground, Railways' defender Bodhi Stubber, also wore number 18.

"After he got presented on the ground I went up to him and he just said to me: 'I played my heart out for Ryan.' That was pretty touching," he said.