SW legend Syd Jackson earns Nicholls accolade in second consecutive year

Carly Laden and Jackson BarrettSouth Western Times
Syd Jackson walks away from training 20 May 1970
Camera IconSyd Jackson walks away from training 20 May 1970 Credit: The West Australian

South West football legend and Carlton premiership player Syd Jackson is set to be honoured once again for his contribution to Australian football, named as the Sir Doug Nicholls round honouree for the second year in a row.

Jackson will also appear on the popular Channel 7 football program The Front Bar tonight, alongside St Kilda legend Nicky Winmar.

The AFL released a mini-documentary across its social media platforms this week featuring the “trailblazing” story of the Indigenous Team of the Century member.

In the video, Jackson told his story of growing up at Roelands Mission during the Stolen Generation before discovering football when he started playing for South Bunbury before beginning his professional career with East Perth in 1963.

After being named East Perth’s best and fairest player in 1966, he was recruited by Ron Barassi to Carlton in 1969, where he went on to play in 136 games, including the 1970 and 1972 grand finals.

“I’m just happy all of this is still being recognised through the Sir Doug Nicholls round and just to keep talking about it and bridging the gaps,” he said.

“There’s still a way to go but I think we’ve come a long way.”

He was due to be the Sir Doug Nicholls round honouree last year but was unable to attend the traditional Dreamtime game, which was held in Darwin last year, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Jackson will appear on the program tonight alongside Winmar, who also has ties to the South West, having had a stint with the Eaton Boomers in 2002.

Winmar joined the SWFL club at the age of 36, nine years after making national headlines for lifting his St Kilda jumper and pointing to his skin in a stand against racism during a game against Collingwood at Victoria Park.

Collie football legend Stephen Michael was originally scheduled to make a rare TV appearance on the program, but was unable to get to Melbourne due to the State’s COVID-19 cluster.

The pair feature on the show ahead of the AFL’s Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round, which coincides with National Reconciliation Week.

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