onython's Sophie Kefford had the time of her life on Saturday night. The 13-year-old, who was signed up with the Rabbitohs as a club member by her father when she was just three, was Russell Crowe's guest at the Eels game.
''It was brilliant,'' Sophie told Gang-gang. ''It is definitely the best thing that has ever happened to me. I'm going to be a Rabbitohs supporter forever.''
Sophie, who said Crowe was not scary looking at all despite his appearance in films like Romper Stomper and Gladiator, had another treat in store - meeting her favourite player, halfback Adam Reynolds, at the end of the game.
Given the Rabbitohs cleaned up, Sophie said the game was grouse.
The corporate box - and its hospitality - was also memorable.
''We had salmon and other fancy stuff and I had a pie at half-time.''
The story of how Sophie, who was accompanied by her father Rob, a self-confessed South Sydney tragic, came to attend is a ''miserable'' tale.
Crowe has just returned to Sydney after working with Hugh Jackman on what could be described as an Anglo-Australian film of the musical adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic novel Les Miserables.
The South Sydney co-owner, who plays the obsessive police detective Javert, wondered if there was a club member with the number 24601. That is the prison number assigned to the hero of the story, Jean Valjean.
Club researchers tracked Sophie down and rang her father to issue the invitation to Saturday night's game.
''I was very confused at first,'' she said. ''Dad sent me a text at school.''
When she realised what had happened and told her friends, they were blown away.
Kefford, who has endured a difficult journey as a South Sydney supporter since 1969, said the night could not have been more special.
''I took a call from Shane Richardson, the club CEO, last Tuesday. I thought it was a joke at first,'' he said. ''But when he named our membership numbers, that was the clincher.''
Kefford, who said his favourite club memory (up to now) was the minor premiership win back in 1989, said Crowe had come across as a regular down-to-earth guy, despite being surrounded by an entourage of about 20 people.
''He loves football, he loves Sydney and he was great with Sophie,'' he said.