A very interesting post about John Moriarty.
Quoted from the article:
But now I want to make my little tribute to a member of the stolen generation.
John Moriarty was picked in 1960 to represent Australia in football. The first aboriginal to do so.
Before the World Cup, Greg Baum wrote a great piece about him. So I won’t repeat the story here. But I will say that Moriarty could have been a great player for Australia. But unfortunately he didn’t have a chance to wear the Green and Gold because as it often happened in Australian football in those days, irregular transfer deals got Australia banned from international football for four years.
Moriarty was taken away from his family when he was four. Quoting from the Baum article.
Moriarty was born in Borroloola in the Northern Territory to an Aboriginal mother and an Irish father in 1938. Predictably, as a so-called half-caste, he was whisked away from home one day when he was four.
Somewhere on a long and bewildering journey in the back of a ute, a crate fell on his foot, leaving him with a disfigured toe for life. He did not see his mother again until he was 16. Moriarty had a birthday assigned to him by his captors: it was, and remains, April 1.
Moriarty lived in refuges, first in the Blue Mountains, then in Adelaide, with a soccer pitch next door. He played some capable Australian football, but soccer transfixed him. I enjoyed all sport. But I thought soccer had the point of difference for me, he said. You had to be physically fit and mentally alert. You didn’t have to be a trundling ruckman or a small rover to get a position.
Moriarty has been involved in Aborigines rights and wrote a book about his exoperiences. But he’s also an artist. He was the person who designed those Qantas planes with Aboriginal art on them.
John was able to construct a life after being taken away from his family. Some haven’t. But the atmosphere after Wednesday will be different.