Eastlake's 'Mr Football', Ken Macdonald, was known as a ruthless recruiter who could call on some powerful allies, including former prime minister Robert Menzies, pictured, in his attempt to lure the best Australian football talent to his club. The Demons have honoured their club stalwart by wearing their traditional Eastlake strip of white with a red sash following his death, aged 93, on Thursday. His funeral will be held at Norwood Park on Tuesday at 10.30am. Macdonald had been the patron since 1995, with his involvement spanning back to 1938 when he first started playing for the club. He was a renowned football administrator and was made an officer of the Order of Australia in 1994. He played a crucial role in building Eastlake's first clubhouse at Kingston Oval and then the club at its current premises near the Kingston Hotel. He played in the 1948 premiership and was president of the club for 21 years. But club stalwart Keith Miller said he would be remembered as a humble man and a brilliant recruiter. "Ken was a very influential man in the public service, he had his ear very close to the ground for any movement of footballers to Canberra," Miller said. "He was ruthless when it came to recruiting, no question about that, but at the same time he was a terrific bloke." Miller recalled a story involving Menzies, who would watch Eastlake play at Kingston. Macdonald called the prime minister to give some interstate footballers a tour of Parliament House during an end-of-season trip. But Menzies went one better and took them back to the Lodge afterwards for afternoon tea. He's survived by wife Nance and sons Brian and Paul, along with seven grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
Hat's off to you, dad
What's the secret to beating the world No.1 tennis player? Simple – get your dad to wear an Akubra. Canberra teenage tennis star Nick Kyrgios will arrive back in Canberra in the coming days after his stunning Wimbledon campaign. But there's more precious cargo that will return with the 19-year-old and his dad George. About 18 months ago Kyrgios won a tournament in the lead-up to his Australian Open junior boys' title. The prize for his win on the junior circuit? An Akubra. It's turned into a lucky charm for Kyrgios. George was in the crowd for all of Kyrgios' matches at Wimbledon and he wore the same shirt and Akubra for every match. George would go home after one of his son's matches, wash his shirt and then wear his Akubra to dinner. It paid off with Kyrgios beating Rafael Nadal in a superb upset on centre court. By the end of Kyrgios' campaign, George needed a jar of honey to sooth his throat from two weeks of cheering. Wife Nill wasn't safe, even though she stayed in Canberra. Nill didn't sleep for more than 24 hours after Kyrgios beat Nadal. Then there were the constant calls from media outlets. Television crews camped outside the Kyrgios home with everyone wanting to know about Australia's newest tennis sensation. Fans wishing to welcome Kyrgios home can do so when he arrives home at Canberra airport on Sunday morning (July 6). His plane is due to arrive at 9.40am.
Kyrgios a cut above
It looks like Tennis ACT chief executive Ross Triffit has a date with the hairdresser. Triffit watched Nick Kyrgios' stunning victory over Rafael Nadal at the Kyrgios' family home and made a promise to Nick's mother Nill that if the young Canberra tyro knocked off the world No.1 then he would get the same haircut as Nick – zig zags included. With Tennis ACT hoping Kyrgios' success will lead to a new breed of tennis fans in Canberra, a fresh new look for the sport's boss in the territory would be a great way to start.
Nick 'Wus' Aussie rapper
It isn't just the tennis world that's taken notice of Kyrgios. His pic as a chubby little Canberra kid also caught the eye of Aussie rapper Urthboy. But it wasn't Kyrgios' weight that Urthboy noticed, it was the Wu-Tang shirt he was rocking. Urthboy, a noted sports fan who loves his Sydney Swans, posted the pic on Facebook and noted: "Australia's newest tennis sensation was a shiny Wu-Tang shirt wearing kid. Pretty much winning long before he beat Nadal if you ask me."
NBA trophy bound for Canberra
Patty Mills and San Antonio Spurs teammate Aron Baynes will be bringing the NBA trophy to Canberra on Friday, July 18. While talks are still continuing that date has been virtually pencilled in, and Mills has asked that the Australian Institute of Sport be part of the celebrations of the Spurs' championship win. Both Mills and Baynes graduated from the institute and the AIS Arena has been mooted as a possible venue. Outgoing sports minister Andrew Barr will use Mills' visit to talk to the Canberra superstar on joining Lauren Jackson and David Pocock as an official ambassador for the city. Barr acknowledged giving Mills the keys to the city "is a reasonable thing to consider", but said that decision would be made by Chief Minister Katy Gallagher. "There may be other ways to recognise that achievement," he said. "There's honour walks and halls of fame, all sorts of things which can be done to recognise the success of those athletes. Keys to the city are a very nice gesture, but that's a moment in time thing. An ongoing scholarship or program which assists junior development is a long legacy." Basketball ACT confirmed it will also consider its options on how to officially honour Mills. The Spurs trophy tour began in Manu Ginobli's home country Argentina on Saturday morning.
No ticket sales panic
Former ACT sports minister Andrew Barr insists there is no reason to panic about slow ticket sales for Asian Cup soccer matches in Canberra next year, despite the tournament's committee sending a representative to the capital full time to boost promotion. Around 6000 tickets have been sold for the seven matches in Canberra. Barr said there's no reason for concern just yet, with the local organising committee expecting a surge in sales when the January tournament draws closer. "Certainly that [slow sales] has come to the attention of all the organisers and there's been an appointment of a full-time person who's coming in to further promote the tournament and work with the local organising committee,'' Barr said. "We understand people will make decisions about ticket purchases perhaps a bit closer to the event. There's plenty of tickets available and we, in conjunction with tournament organisers, will step up promotion. It's still some time away, but it's important having invested in the event we want it promoted effectively. We want it to be successful and it is a great opportunity off the back of the interest in the World Cup.''
Kayla clocks off
If Kayla Nisbet has a birthday coming up, then a present is easy – an alarm clock. The boom Canberra apprentice jockey missed a ride during the week and was fined $300 by the stewards after sleeping in. After an early morning riding trackwork, Nisbet went back to bed before heading to Sandown for a couple of rides on Wednesday. While she set her alarm on her phone on the charger, she forgot to turn on the power! It meant she missed her ride on Hard Romp, which finished second, but she did manage to get there in time to steer Bono Vox to third. It's the second unusual way Nisbet has missed a ride in her blossoming career after last year getting stuck in a traffic jam on the way to the track.
Former Brumby's new challenge
Former ACT Brumbies general manager George de Crespigny played a hand in the Brumbies' move to their new headquarters at Uni of Canberra and he might face a similar task in his new role with AFL club Melbourne Demons, where he's the chief commercial officer. The Demons are considering setting up a similar base at Melbourne University in a plan to build their profile in the heart of Australia's sporting capital, although the idea is still in its infancy. Interestingly, the club has teamed up with eye experts from the uni to help promote eye health in the Northern Territory, where the Demons played Fremantle on Saturday.