Men of SHOC – Andrew Underwood

Gold Card Favorites

GoldenPOW05 Undies

“Simple game, 18 blokes, 1 onion….just go and get the %#%”.

A basic coaching philosophy – but words to live by for this week’s Gold Card member Andrew ‘Pumpkinhead ” Underwood.

Every now and then the football Gods smile on our little Amateur club and despatch a diamond to sit amongst the lumps of coal on Brighton Road. In 1997, wearing his public school upbringing like a red badge of courage on his chest, Undies proudly strutted through the gates of the main oval and seamlessly entered the cult of SHOC. 20 years later what he hasn’t done at our club isn’t worth doing. He has ridden the crest of premiership success as a player, mentored the U18 youth, journeyed with the decrepit in Super rules and finally took his rightful place on the Iron Throne of SHOC as A grade coach. (with about as much success as the Mad King)

Not often does an AFL hardened star drop into our laps so readily, but fresh from stints with the Bombers and the Tigers we got the coveted signature. Tolerance for mediocrity does not come to him naturally

Sprigger is still seeking return of his front tooth which Undies last saw on the drive home after removing from his right knuckle and casually flicking it out of the car window like a well smoked cigarette butt.

His puglisim was famous but so was his strength and ability on the field. A booming kick either side of the body and strength and ferocity that made those around him walk taller. (Particularly blokes like Kitschke). As age began to weary him, he was mysteriously stricken with gout and scurvy. Like the great innovator that he is, he rectified this ailment with diet modification. He now drinks mostly Millers Chill to ingest as much fruit as possible to combat the symptoms. To avoid overworking his gout ridden feet after 24 cans of beer he swears by the ancient poultice of sun bleached Black Point sand mixed with essence of Andy ( urine ) running freshly off the leg to soothe his throbbing ailment.

Some may think that the ‘Pumpkin’ moniker was an insult… but not so. It’s a testament to the size of the man’s heart. Anyone with a heart the size of Undies needs a head as big as a Queensland Blue to counter the balance. Undies is the ultimate altruist. For the last 15 years he has managed the National Indigenous Radio Station commentary team. The self sacrifice of the man knows no limits. He flies around the country every weekend on “Butternut One” his private jet. His dulcet baritone brings joy to thousands of youngsters on the lands. He has even managed to inject this philanthropist attitude into dozens of his close friends and family who have accompanied him in this arduous task.

The one thing sadly missing in the great mans glittering resume was a son. But after many years SHOCFC was finally able to repay our debt of gratitude to the doyen with the gift of Shaun Tapp. At age 52 he found himself tucking ‘Spinal’ into bed every night and staring down with unbridled joy at his dear little centre half forward under the doona. It put a skip back in his step not seen since the day he kicked 13 goals playing Super Rules.

This day was not in itself without controversy. Undies was having a rest in the forward pocket after a lot of ‘unrewarded waddling’ in the first quarter. Merch got onto one of his mongrels and it was coming in hot. In the marking contest the big fellow’s left arm was pinned by an opponent and his right was tangling with another opponents jaw. The incoming Sherrin had no-where left to go as it smacked into his face at warp speed. It would have disfigured a lesser man but it didn’t even leave a mark on the Jack O Lantern. Some said it was like throwing a ripe tomato and a battleship.

Undies at Sturt

The resounding laughter around the ground awoke the sleeping giant and he followed up with magnificent 13 goals haul!…. And afterwards in his own humble way, he humbly strutted around the opposition club house like a battam rooster in a chook shed, humbly regaling anyone who’d listen to his humble goal kicking feat.

Sadly his days of jumping around like a cage fighter on crack are over. Today he is more at home gently turning the wheel of a 45 foot yacht aptly named ‘Thundercock’. An occasional can of Melbourne Bitter and a whiting rod is all this modest family man with simple tastes needs. But make no mistake – he has cast a Giant Shadow over the SHOC landscape.

‘A Humbled Oracle’

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