Long-time Geelong water boy Sam Moorfoot was hoisted over the fence by skipper Joel Selwood to celebrate with the team at the MCG in heartwarming scenes.
The Cats won as much praise for their grace in victory as they did for their 81-point thrashing of the Swans in the grand final on Saturday afternoon.
The players lingered on the hallowed MCG turf and soaked up the atmosphere for some time after the final siren before Selwood spotted an ecstatic Moorfoot on the boundary fence.
Selwood, who the water boy describes as his ‘best friend’, insisted Moorfoot joined in the celebrations and pulled him over the fence and onto the pitch with the help of team-mate Jeremy Cameron.
The 29-year-old, who has Down syndrome, was then given Cameron’s medal; elicits one of the biggest smiles you’ll ever see on a footy pitch.
Joel Selwood (left) and Sam Moorfoot (right) embrace each other after the Cats’ grand final win
Moorfoot happily raised his medal to the other Cats fans watching from the fence, much to the delight of Geelong players and supporters; who are all well aware of the enormous role he plays in keeping team morale up.
He has been involved with the club since 2015, initially as a volunteer at the Kardinia Park (now GMHBA Stadium) bistro.
Now the club’s water boy, he can often be seen around the team during the week and on match days. Moorfoot is an iconic figure and a much-loved member of the Cats family.
The overjoyed Cats fanatic even appeared on Channel 7’s post-match coverage, with commentators Hamish McLachlan and Daisy Pearce interviewing Moorfoot in the dressing rooms.
“I’m a training assistant and water boy and I’m very proud of my job,” he said when asked what his role was.
Despite having Cats defender Sam De Konig’s arm around him, there were no surprises to guess his answer to who his favorite player was.
‘Joel Selwood, 100 per cent … Joel is actually my best friend. He’s a legend and he’s just the best,” Moorfoot said on Channel 7’s post-match coverage.
‘Best day of my life.’
Sam Moorfoot was pumped up and even showed off to the crowd as Cats star Jeremy Cameron hung his Premiership medal around his neck
Moorfoot played in his own grand final earlier this year, but his Geelong Dragons unfortunately went down to the Kananook Bulls in the Football Integration Development Association’s big dance.
At the time, Selwood spoke of how close his ties were to Moorfoot.
‘We share a very special friendship and I consider him family. He’s got my back and I’ve got his, he told the Age in August.
Joel Selwood (left) and Sam Moorfoot (right) celebrate on the field after Geelong’s 81-point grand final win
Selwood could hardly contain his emotions after the Cats won the grand final
No doubt wearing Jeremy Cameron’s AFL Premiership medal will have dulled the pain of losing his own grand final.
Fans took to social media in droves to shower Selwood, who is the AFL’s Disability Inclusion Ambassador, with praise – and share their joy at seeing the heartwarming scenes.
The boss of this was MP Bill Shorten, currently the Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
‘Joel Selwood had a lot of dreams come true yesterday. This could be the cutest thing,’ he wrote on Twitter.
It wasn’t Selwood’s only act that sent social media into a frenzy.
He led his side through the banner ahead of the match with former team-mate Gary Ablett Jr’s son Levi.
Three-year-old Levi was diagnosed in 2020 with a rare degenerative disease that leaves him with less resistance to naturally fight disease compared to healthier children.
Levi smiled and waved his arms happily as Selwood carried him through the banner, a touching nod to one of the club’s favorite sons.
Joel Selwood prepares to lead Geelong through the banner pre-game and holds Levi Ablett – son of club great Gary Ablett Junior
Selwood then handed Levi back to Ablett, who won two flags with Geelong in his sensational 357-game career.
After the match, the honored skipper not only presented his large finals cap, as all players do, to the pint-sized Auskickers who present them with their medals – but also his game-worn boots.
A thrilled Archie Stockdale, who won the AFL’s Auskicker of the Year award at the Brownlow Medal, had been promised a visit by Selwood – and the cat did not disappoint.
In emotional scenes at the top of the presentation stage, Selwood told the elated youngster: “I told you I’d come to see you”.
Joel Selwood gave his playing boots to Archie Stockdale, the AFL’s Auskicker of the Year, after the game
He then passed on his white boots and pointed to the camera for the pair to take a photo together – ensuring a lifetime memory for little Archie.
Selwood showed more care and consideration for those on the periphery than getting caught up in all the emotion and hype of an AFL grand final.
Such grace and humility in victory.