Getting the boot(s) takes blues away for Aussie fan
It had been a bad day on the field for diehard Australian rugby supporter Lynndadno Oliphant when his team was booted into touch by the Springboks in Port Elizabeth on Saturday last week – but that was only until he got the boot himself.
The 22-year-old Central resident’s rugby blues were instantly turned into a beaming smile when he was gifted a pair of rugby boots by his hero, Wallabies scrumhalf Will Genia, directly after his team had received its drubbing at the Nelson Mandela Stadium.
Genia, who has carved out an illustrious career in both Test and Super Rugby, is considered one of the best players in the world for his position.
“It had turned into such a bad day and then it turned into a really good day,” said a delighted Oliphant, who is training to be a chef at Russell Road College.
Oliphant said he had been seated near the Wallabies bench and behind the team’s “extra players” when the surprise incident occurred.
“I was feeling sad about the game. I had my hands on my head and the guys came off the field when the game was over.
“I remarked to Will Genia that we [Wallabies and their supporters] had had such a bad season. Will was busy taking off his boots and then he gave them to me. I was really surprised and really pleased.”
He said shortly after being given the boots, another supporter at the stadium offered him R3,200 for them.
“I said ‘no way’. I turned it down. Will is my hero, he is a role model and he is someone I look up to. I started watching the Australians when I was nine years old and have been a fan ever since.
“I am passionate about Australia. I love Australian sport, Australian culture and Australian food. So I will certainly be holding onto these boots.
“Getting them was fantastic for me,” said Oliphant, who hails from the Tsitsikamma area where he and his cousin first became Australia fans.
And while the bright, neonyellow rugby boots may be a bit too big for Oliphant to fill, he plans to keep them close to his chest as inspiration and as a reminder of a bad day turned good.
SOLE SUPPORTER: Avid Australian rugby fan Lynndadno Oliphant with the rugby boots given to him by Wallabies star Will Genia