TRULY, DEEPLY RADLEY,
VICTORY SALUTE FOR BOY FROM BRONTE
YOU’LL hear them before you see them at ANZ Stadium today.
A pack of almost 100 Roosters fanatics, led by a red, white and blue version of wrestling icon Macho Man Randy Savage, bearing signs, with painted chests, bellowing their songs for their man, Victor The Inflictor, to take down the Storm.
These are the Bronte boys, Victor Radley’s rabid cheer squad. They reckon they’re the biggest fan club for a single player in the league and good luck proving them wrong.
“They’re bloody legends, those boys. They get a massive crew together every week, make signs, and I think there was about 30 of them with paint,” Radley told The Sunday Telegraph. “You can’t get a better group of boys to come to the game to support you.”
It’s a rare thing for Roosters fans to cheer on a local boy. The likes of Tom Symonds and Luke Ricketson are few and far between.
Radley has fast become one of the most popular players on the starstudded roster and, given he’s the first top grader to come out of Bronte in more than 80 years, it’s no wonder he inspires this kind of passion.
“Dave Brown’s dad was the first professional lifeguard here,” said the leader of the gang, Robert Bruns. “He’s the last Bronte local Rooster. Victor’s following in those footsteps.
“I’m 40, went to my first game when I was six months old. It’s the first time in my life I’ve been able to cheer on someone from the beach.
“He’s not big, he just goes hard. From when he started it didn’t matter who you were, what your name or reputation was, he was after them.”
Bruns and the rest of the Bronte Boardriders have been with Radley since the beginning.
“It’s all Bronte kids, Bronte guys who grew up in the area and hang out down the beach. We’re all surfers,” Bruns said.
They know his mum, his dad and his three brothers and they know why the other three Radley boys are nicknamed Man Head, Milkman and Snotface. South Sydney people like to say the Roosters don’t have a soul, but they do. It just takes someone like Radley to bring it out.
It doesn’t hurt either Radley is a true maniac on the field and plays as though he’s never learned he’s not 120kg. That all- action style has made him one of the most popular Roosters players in some time, even outside the east.
The preliminary final against Souths was one of the first times the 20-year old couldn’t hear his fan club.
“Normally they’re sitting next to the tun- Robert Bruns with young Victor Radley fans Tookot Morris, Lloyd Lukerdes-Andrews, Charlie Harvey, Ben Dover, Nate Phipps, Juzzy Volpatti and Jimmy Ashbridge outside their headquarters in Bronte. Picture: Christian Gilles nel, getting loud, especially when I’m sitting on the bench and they’re getting into me,” he said.
Bruns has a bus heading to ANZ Stadium and it’ll be filled to the brim.
They’ll paint Radley’s name on their chests, hoist the Victor The Inflictor banners.
“The Roosters don’t have the biggest supporter base and that is what it is, I’m not ashamed of that. But the hardcore fans are there,” Bruns said.
“At Bronte, we’re doing our part supporting Victor.”