600 not out for Brighton Tigers icon John Fidock

Fri, Jun 28, 2024, 4:00 AM
Lachlan Grey
by Lachlan Grey
RugbySA Barossa v Brighton Rd 11

From sweeping his local competition 10 times over to tackling Argentina alongside a legendary Wallabies trio, there's not much John Fidock hasn't done in South Australian rugby.

Ageing seems to fall into that category as well with John preparing to lace up for his 600th senior match this weekend.

"I've got a fella playing in my team who's three times younger than me," John told rugby.com.au.

"I asked whether he was 21 yet and he said nah, not yet and I said geez, I'm turning 64 next week. If you'd told me forty years ago I'd still be running around, I wouldn't have believed you.

"It takes me half the week to recover from the weekend and the other half to get ready - there's an active gel that goes on early Saturday morning to warm me up so touch wood we'll go alright this weekend."

The Fidock name is synonymous with South Australia rugby with John and his father, Ted, both winning multiple Don Smith Medals (SA Rugby's Best & Fairest) and tasting international rugby.

John (left) and Ted (right) Fidock ahead of John's 600th senior game this weekend. Picture: Supplied

Ted, 97, is a RUSA Hall of Famer and played for an Australian outfit against Ceylon in 1953 while John has won 10 local premierships with Brighton since debuting in 1979 along with a host of state and tour appearances.

"My favourite game would've been back in 1987 when we played a President's XV match against the touring Argentina side - we had about a dozen locals and a few Wallabies like Glen Ella, Rod McCall and Matt Burke," John said.

"It was a pretty tough game and we got dusted from memory, but I kicked a few goals and caught up with Glen (Ella) the other week at the Barossa Rams club launch."

While John's state career yielded many fond memories, no representative game can hold a candle to his beloved Tigers.

It's fitting, then, that his 600th milestone will be played intra-club with Brighton Black's Round 12 clash coming against third grade leaders Brighton Gold at 1:10pm local time.

Brighton's John Fidock will rack up his 600th senior South Australian game this weekend. Picture: Supplied

"Every team means something to you but Brighton is special and the people make it special," he said.

"The ground where we (Brighton) are now has been there since 1977 – I was playing juniors then - and we were called Glenelg but because the council gave us that field, part of the stipulation was to change the club name.

"All through juniors we had lots of support from people like my old man, being a strictly amateur game, and you could always see the efforts of parents and supporters on the sidelines.

"That transferred onto the field and once we got our own changerooms, we built that culture and it got into your blood. Each year was another challenge and we played with intensity and almost a desperation win every week and get over the line.

"And all the mates I’ve made aren’t just local fellas but people from overseas and interstate who come to the club. It's a special place and I’m sure they go back home and think very highly of Brighton."

South Australia in action against Tasmania at the 2024 Southern States tournament in Adelaide. Picture: Rugby Australia
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