Port Adelaide club to commemorate life of John McCarthy
JOHN McCarthy may not have been at Port Adelaide for long.
But he left a lasting impression on everyone before his tragic death in Las Vegas while on a holiday with teammates just days after the 2012 season ended.
To make sure McCarthy's life and achievements are remembered, Port chief executive Keith Thomas announced a series of initiatives designed to pay tribute to the 22-year-old who played 21 games in his one season with the Adelaide-based club.
- The number 35 guernsey worn by McCarthy will be retired for 2013
- The number 35 locker used by McCarthy will be retired for 2013
- The number 35 guernsey and locker will be assigned in 2014 to a player deemed by the club and its players to represent McCarthy's values and attributes
- Port's first home game for 2013, against GWS in round two, will be a tribute match for McCarthy
- An award in McCarthy's name will be introduced at the 2013 Port Adelaide best and fairest presentation, in honour of a player's off-field contribution
- McCarthy's name will be linked to a cause and charity which will benefit from funds raised at Port Adelaide's Round 14 match against Collingwood
Thomas said the tributes had been developed in consultation with club coaches, players and McCarthy's family.
"John's family has made it clear, most significantly at his funeral, that they want his teammates to play with John's spirit and his love of life, more than be driven by his memory or their grief at his loss," Thomas said.
"They want everyone to share that attitude and we thank and admire them immensely for that, and are grateful that they have endorsed our proposed tributes."
Thomas said McCarthy's impact had been felt not only through his on-field achievements, but also in areas away from the game.
"John contributed to Port Adelaide not only through his actions during games, but also through his approach to training and his preparation and in other ways off the field," Thomas said.
"John had a great social conscience ... we think it's especially fitting then that his life has inspired an award that acknowledges the commitment our players deliver away from the sporting arena."