Ben Edyvean Club Record 276 games

A bit about Ben

Ben Edyvean suits up for his 276th First Grade game this weekend. It’s a massive week for him not only for footy, but the more important fantastic news that he and wife Sofie have welcomed the beautiful Emma Jayne into the world in the past day or so as well.  Congratulations  to both of you from everyone at the Hoppers!

There’s been a story in the DA this week recognising the milestone, so we’ll avoid trying to repeat that detail and just try to give you a little bit of insight into the man himself.

Everyone knows that “Ben’s record” is an amazing achievement. Twenty years of footy. To rack up that many games at all over that period requires a pretty serious commitment to your fitness, perhaps a little luck injury wise and – as this note will attest to – a massive willingness to give. To do that many games in one grade, where there’s pretty much only 16 games a season plus finals, is phenomenal.

There’s a lot we know about Ben. He’s tall, he’s tough, and he’s pretty quiet and unassuming. He’s committed to the Club cause. By his own admission he was never the most talented player in the league, but anyone that has watched him over the years has seen him work extremely hard on his game and develop into one of the most admired and respected players in the region.

But let’s share a few things you might not know about him as well.

He’s not big on fuss. He rarely arrives to training early, but the moment he’s there it’s on with the boots and out on the track and working hard. No small talk, let’s get stuck into it!

He’s never had a contract with the Hoppers. A ruckman that is so hard to find! Someone tall at Coolamon! Despite rising to become the best ruckman in the league, winning a grand final and representing the RFL, he played on a nod and a ‘no worries’. No one knows how many times in off seasons he said to other Clubs that came knocking with really good offers, ‘no thanks, I play at Coolamon’. He wouldn’t know himself.

He’s fitness is amazing for a big man. His personal management is inspirational. Despite his long term battle with diabetes, his pre-game routine of checking his glucose and needling up if he has to, his monitoring during games when he drops onto the bench and pulls out his trusty little blue esky, digging out a few lollies if needed, he has never let any team mate down or ever been found wanting. It’s just unbelievable that he’s managed his way through this for so long.

He's so consistent. The passing of time means he’s playing with team mates much, much younger than him, but he treats everyone exactly the same in the sheds and around the Club. There’s a strong image I have of him sitting at the back of the bus coming home from preseason games amongst players 15-20 years younger than him and getting around them, building Club spirit, helping them feel comfortable in the team environment. In more serious times, he’s generous with his support, offering advice to young players, especially young ruckmen and on-ballers learning their craft at the stoppage. And he’s equally – if not more – generous with his personal time. He’s a regular at every working bee to help around the Club, giving up time to contribute to maintenance or construction activities.

Ben doesn’t enjoy the spotlight. He was embarrassed when he was recognised for his long term commitment to the Hoppers in 2019 by being awarded Life Membership. “All I do is play footy” was his comment in his speech. So it was perfect for Andrew Pattison to send Ben a card last week recognising his achievement in taking over a record that has stood for decades. No fuss, just a heartfelt message, probably a handshake tomorrow. Just how Ben likes it.

The Club is indebted to you Ben. Your contribution to the Hoppers will never, ever be possible to exaggerate. Those that know you well can’t find enough superlatives to describe how much you’ve given us over the years. You have inspired many team mates and Club volunteers as well.

All the very best to you in game 276!

And thank you for everything you’ve done for our Club!




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