When Ricky Terrell was at secondary school in Brisbane in the early 2000s, he copped plenty of ribbing about his love of Collingwood.
After all, those were the years in which the Lions were at their peak, winning three Grand Finals in succession, two of them against the Magpies.
“I went to a boarding school up here, and it was really rugby focussed,” Terrell, who now works for Australia Post in Brisbane, told Collingwood Media. “But whenever I came across a Lions supporter they’d be like, ‘How about those Grand Finals.’
“I would just tell them all about the salary cap concessions. That’s all I had to offer.”
Although the Pies’ near-misses were hard to take, Terrell’s connection to the Magpies was far too strong to be jeopardised by a couple of losses in the biggest game of the season.
His is proud that not only was he born in 1990, a couple of months before the Magpies broke their 32-year premiership drought by defeating Essendon in a drama-filled Grand Final, his birthday – July 26 – is the same as Nathan Buckley’s.
“There could be no other team for me than Collingwood,” Terrell said. “And what has never wavered or faltered has been my love for this club.”
Terrell is not sure when his family first became part of the black and white army, but he has been told that the connection to Collingwood goes back “a long way”.
His father, Steve, who was born in Western Australia but grew up in Victoria, is a passionate Pies man, as was his grandfather.
“I’m the latest in a long line of diehard Collingwood supporters,” Terrell said. “My father signed me up for a Pies membership at birth and I haven’t looked back.
“I’m 27 now and have been a member for 22 consecutive years. I must have missed a year somewhere, but I’m certainly proud of my support for the club.
“I’ve been to many Buckley’s Brigades and even more matches.”
Terrell goes to watch the Pies whenever they play in Queensland.
He was at the Gabba to see the thrilling win over the Brisbane Lions in round seven, and he was out of his seat when Jaidyn Stephenson kicked the winning goal.
Ricky Terrell with family members watching Collingwood at the Gabba
However, his favourite memory of watching Collingwood live comes from when his dad took him on a pilgrimage to Victoria Park to see the Pies play Fremantle in round 10, 1998.
That day Saverio Rocca kicked 11 goals, while Nathan Buckley racked up 36 disposals and a goal, as the home side won a shootout 19.5 (119) to 17.10 (112).
“Dad always said that we had to go to Vic Park, because he went there every week as a kid,” Terrell explained.
“I was only little, but I still jumped the fence to sprint to the middle after the final siren.
“After that, I joined the army who sang the song over and over in front of the small contingent of Fremantle supporters who remained in the stands.
“It was brutal, but I really felt part of something special. It’s one of the best memories I’ve got.”
It’s hardly a surprise that Terrell’s favourite moment since then was when Mick Malthouse and Nick Maxwell held up the 2010 premiership cup.
However, the draw did play havoc with his hope to share the success with his father, who lives in the regional Queensland town of Kingaroy.
“I like to watch the Grand Final with dad every year, back at his place, regardless of who’s playing,” he said. “When it was a draw, it all became a bit odd. I think dad had to work or something like that on the weekend of the replay.
“I watched it with my sister and her partner. It was a bit strange when we won, because I really wanted dad to be there, but it was unreal anyway.”
Ricky Terrell with Jock McPie at the MCG
Despite the club’s recent lack of success, Terrell remains as passionate as ever about Collingwood, and he loves the fact that he has met Pies fans all over the world.
“I’ve travelled a fair bit, and there always seems to be a Collingwood supporter wherever you are,” he said.
“You can sit down and have a chat about footy, talk about the players and how they’re going, and suddenly it feels like you’ve known that person your whole life.”
Terrell is forever a Magpie, and that’s something he’ll always hold dear.
“The club is a part of my life in a way only other Collingwood people could ever understand.”
Source: Collingwood FC’s website