Trevor Barker Statue at Moorabbin Oval
Trevor Barker Statue at Moorabbin Oval
Why this petition matters
To honour the legacy of the late, great Trevor Barker, I am respectfully urging the St Kilda Football Club to consider the proposal of a Trevor Barker statue, and to submit this request to the St Kilda Football Club Board and Members.
Whilst we call Moorabbin our ‘spiritual home’, what makes it this is the connection that supporters have with our players who represent the red, white and black. And why do we become so connected with players? Is it their success on the field, is it their individual honours or statistics, is it Premierships? Or, is it something else, something not material, something intangible – a feeling and emotion that is hard to describe?
It is this intangible feeling that I believe sets us apart from other Clubs and other supporters. Why, after only one premiership won by a solitary point in 1966, do we have such a large and passionate supporter base? Why have we had so many brilliant players over the years stay loyal to the Club and retire as one-club players?
Defining the intangible qualities unique to the St Kilda Football Club is difficult. However, when I try to define it, I always think of one player - Trevor Barker. With due respect to all our current and former players who have all worn our crest proudly on their chests, I believe it is Trevor that encompassed our motto of Strength Through Loyalty like no other.
A statue of our favourite son would represent Trevor's everlasting legacy and the values of loyalty, courage, selflessness and determination that he displayed throughout his career. It would serve as a reminder to all that come across it, that despite our lack of premiership success, our existence as a Club is defined by the loyalty we have towards it – the intangible. Whilst I appreciate that the Club aims to win premierships, premiership success is one aspect of a football Club, and certainly, only one aspect of our football Club. Indeed, we can safely say that we are not solely defined by premierships, but by our loyalty to our Club and our motto is testament to this. It is for this reason we remain in existence.
In times of hardship on and off the field for our Club, Trevor Barker stayed true to the St Kilda Football Club. He was our superstar when we needed one. Whilst it would certainly be easier to stay at a Club during times of success, it is a demonstration of his character that his faith in St Kilda remained unwavering during the lean years at Moorabbin. Trevor’s loyalty to his Club, the supporters, his teammates and the place where he grew up, remains an example to players who have followed, including Club legends Danny Frawley, Stewart Loewe, Robert Harvey, Nick Riewoldt and Nathan Burke:
“If I had have left, I would’ve lost my identity at another Club. It’s always nice to go home to a place you know you’re welcome.” – Trevor Barker
St Kilda Football Club has been blessed with amazing players, and of course, there is our premiership captain Darrel Baldock. However, no player resonates with the wider community like Trevor. The naming of the Trevor Barker Oval in Sandringham is an example of the impact Trevor had outside of Linton Street. So whilst Trevor means so much to St Kilda, I am wanting the statue to represent the wider community of Kingston and Bayside. The statue can act as a meeting point, for not just Saints fans, but the entire community as Trevor was considered a ‘man of the people’, accepting of everyone from all walks of life – he was a local boy who made it to the big time but at the same time, he was proud of where he came from. The statue would be a place to reflect on the values of loyalty, courage, selflessness and determination, values that Trevor displayed throughout his career and values that all of us need to aspire to, irrespective of the club colours we wear.
Trevor remains a beacon to everyone, and he stands tall amongst the greats of football including Ted Whitten, Jack Dyer and Ron Barassi, who have all been honoured with respective statues. It is poignant that Ted Whitten was not Footscray’s premiership captain or coach, but a player that represented the heartbeat of Footscray and the western suburbs. I consider Trevor to be the heartbeat of our community.
I acknowledge that there are obstacles to be overcome for this proposal to become a reality, however I am confident that this can be done with the support of the St Kilda Football Club and wider community. Trevor was tragically taken from us at the peak of his powers, but by the community coming together for this cause, it would be a gesture to Trevor and his family that, even without him here, we are following the example he set for us.