Shhh! Just between you and me, Ned’s on a secret mission to the northern hemisphere. I’m not saying that Shag is involved, but let’s just say that it involves secret caches of Maketu Pies behind enemy lines. To cover my undercover moments, I’ve selected a few choice moments from the Road To Redemption.
Originally published 10 January 2011
The first time I went to Eden Park I would have been seven or eight years old. I can’t remember much about the trip. Maybe it was the time we were off to the Easter Show, and we got a whole bunch of grapes at Rangiriri, and they were so sweet I ate them all on the way. And then did a spectacular barf in front of one of the hot dog stands. BrotherPhil took one look at the mess, and sheperded me away into the anonymous crowd.
Anyway, it might have been that trip or some other, because we hadn’t come all that way to watch this match, which was just a club match, Someone vs. Ponsonby? But there we were, sitting in the northern stand (those flash Aucklanders with their big concrete and a roof and everything), and then it hits me: we’re there to see Bryan Williams. Mr Bee Gee himself.
I remember the moment clearly: that growing up hit, when you realise that sometimes other people are laughing at you, not with you. But still it was a true moment and I couldn’t and wouldn’t take it back, because I had leapt to my feet and shouted to my dad and brothers and uncles and cousins in amazement: “Look at the size of his thighs!”
Before Jonah and before Inga, there was Bee Gee, the colossus on the wing. He seemed to take ages to get moving, but then suddenly the whole thing was in motion, and those big thighs were moving like molten steel, and he could move in or out or right over the top of you with mesmerising grace.