The Northern Blues will wear the orange socks synonymous with Carlton Respects in honour of Vicki Cleary. (PHOTO CREDIT: Carlton Media)
ON Sunday 30 April two years ago, the 153rd clash between two local rivals took on an extra meaning.
When Coburg and the Northern Blues met at Coburg City Oval that day, it marked the very first Vicki Cleary Day.
Thirty years since her death at the hands of her former partner, Vicki – an avid Coburg and Carlton fan – was remember by both the Lions and Blues.
With her brother and VFA legend Phil Cleary leading the way, the tradition has followed on.
In 2018, Coburg hosted Collingwood. This year, the Lions host the Roos.
However, it won’t be the only game where Vicki Cleary is honoured in the VFL this Sunday.
In Vicki’s memory, the Northern Blues will pull up the orange socks synonymous with Carlton Respects.
It will be the first time the VFL Blues will get the chance to follow in the footsteps of the AFL and AFLW sides, with the orange socks representing the international colour of harmony.
More than one woman a week in Australia is murdered at the hands of a current or former partner.
A young life taken far too soon will be remembered at both ends of Bell Street, and the man who knew Vicki Cleary best said the act was one which won’t be forgotten.
“My sister Vicki was murdered 32 years ago… we’ve come a long way over that journey,” Phil Cleary said.
“It’s great to think that football clubs are now embracing the question: the Carlton Football Club has Carlton Respects and it understands that respectful relationships are critical.
“It’s just great that the Northern Blues will wear the orange socks on Sunday, at a game that’s played at roughly the same time as the Coburg game.
“To think, the orange socks – the symbol of the campaign to end violence against women – will be flourishing with the Carlton and Northern Blues players is a big step forward.”
Sunday’s game will take place at Preston City Oval from 1pm. The game was originally scheduled for Ikon Park, but was moved in April.
Coburg will host North Melbourne on Sunday at 12:30pm, with entry to the Lions’ game free for everyone. The game is being supported by Respect Victoria and Family Safety Victoria.