FORMER South Australian sports minister Leon Bignell regrets he can not cheer on in person the two senior football teams from his home town of Glencoe in the Mid South East Football League grand finals at Mount Burr on Saturday.
The veteran Labor MP is committed to the season deciders in his semi-rural electorate of Mawson.
“I’m so excited for the Mighty Murphies,” Mr Bignell said.
“I have been following their fortunes this year and I’m spewing I cannot get down there for the big day.
“It is going to be awesome for the boys to be lifting two cups on the home ground of the club we love to hate.
“I’ll be at McLaren Vale cheering on local teams in our grand finals.”
Although his family left their dairy farm at Glencoe over 40 years ago, Mr Bignell retains a passion for his home town and still has many family connections.
His time with the Murphies was brief.
“I only played 10 minutes of the first mini-colts game of 1976 and did not get a touch,” he said.
“I remember it was cold and the ball looked wet and heavy.
“The following week we moved to Adelaide, so my personal on-field contribution was zero, but my family ties with the Murphies are strong.
“Nan and Pa Bignell Susie and Lindsay donated the land where the Glencoe licensed club rooms stand and used to look after the colts teams with pasty nights when they owned Bignell’s Bakery up until 1974.
“My other grandfather Henry Kennedy is a life member having stood on the gate taking people’s entrance fee for many years.
“Cousins Ben and Adrian (Dasher) Young have also been heavily involved.
“My late father Trevor Bignell won three B Grade flags with the club and my great uncle Jack Dwyer was a president and life member of the club as well as the Mid South East Football League.
“My Auntie Margaret and Uncle Kevin Young OAM, of Millicent, have also had life-long associations with the Murphies.”
Despite the absence of Mr Bignell, there is set to be plenty of other “pollie power” in attendance on Saturday.
Member for Barker Tony Pasin has confirmed he will be present, while serving state MPs Troy Bell and Nick McBride and retired MP Don Pegler are often seen at Mid South East games.