ACT News


Meet Canberra's biggest Rabbitohs fan

Pat Kelly is such a big fan of the South Sydney Rabbitohs he has the team's logo stuck to at least five of his best legs. 

The Canberra man, who had a lower limb amputated after a motorbike accident many years ago, is heading to the South Coast on Friday for a holiday but has not forgotten to pack his car full of Rabbitohs memorabilia, including napkins and plates, for when he watches the preliminary final between his favourite team and the Sydney Roosters. 

Even his email address combines the word "Rabbitohs" and the year he was born – 1967, otherwise known as the year South Sydney won the premiership after a more than decade-long dry spell. 

If the Rabbitohs beat the Roosters and go on to win the grand final against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs or Penrith Panthers, its first since 1971, the drought broken will have been much longer at 43 years.

"I think this game [which starts 7.55pm Friday night] is the grand final," Mr Kelly said.

"They're the two strongest teams in the competition."


Mr Kelly, of Gowrie, spent more than a decade battling to cope with a leg severely damaged  before deciding to have it cut off.

He made the decision partly helped by advice from another person who had been through it before.

It was Brendan Morrison, a well-known local face within the ALP who died earlier this year, who gave Mr Kelly advice along the lines of "shit happens, you get on with it".

Before his death Mr Morrison was a double amputee who proudly walked around Canberra  with one prosthetic limb emblazoned with a Canberra Raiders logo from the national rugby league competition and the other with the Collingwood badge from the AFL.

"Collingwood was all right, but the Raiders I wasn't too keen on," Mr Kelly said. 

Now Mr Kelly has enough prosthetics to line the paling fence at the back of his house and he has no regrets.

"You get anxious because it's voluntary and you're worried about doing the right thing," Mr Kelly said. 

Thankfully for hundreds of Canberrans, as the latest figures show, the need for patients to receive amputations was happening less each year.