By Phil Skeggs
Ben Joyce played about 115 games between 1994 and 2004, mainly in B, C and D grades.
I don’t think I’m speaking out of school here when I say Joycey was never as gifted as some of his close mates who joined us from Parade, such as four-time B&F Paul Harris and dual B&F Peter Flynn.
I never saw him take monster hangers like Fido, but then I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone else time their leaps as perfectly as Fido anyway.
But give Joycey his dues – he certainly had safe hands and if he got front pozzie he was a hard man to beat. Most endearingly, he could seriously roost a ball and was a highly accurate kick for goal.
He could also be a bit of a human wrecking ball on occasions. He arguably saved his best for last in the 2004 D2 first semi-final against Old Geelong at Central Reserve, Waverley.
Early in the third quarter, Joycey crashed a three-way marking contest between gun defender Colin Brown and an OGS player named Betts … and it was absolute carnage!
“Woofer” Brown came off groggy with a cut to the back of the head and took no further part in the match. Betts was knocked out and play was held up for 10 minutes until he was carried off on a stretcher and taken away in an ambulance.
Coach John Matthew moved Joycey to full forward after that and he promptly bagged a couple of quick goals to get us back into the game.
Now Joycey has a wry sense of humour, but when I told him post-match that Betts was KO’d but otherwise not seriously hurt, he replied with a grin: “That’s the best possible outcome.”
By a happy coincidence, after Big Ben called time on his playing days, his younger brother Matt replaced him in the reserves in ’05 and Matt proved an equally prolific goalkicker.
Ben Joyce’s association with the club doesn’t end there. He returned as treasurer between 2014 and 2018, which were pretty tough years financially.
He was also vice-president in 2018 when the club was going through a real rough patch.
He was jointly awarded the John Miles Award for best clubman at the end of 2018, when he passed the treasurer’s baton to Kate McKendrick.
That amounts to 15 seasons he was actively involved. He is well overdue for this acknowledgement of his services – on and off the field. This life membership is our way of saying “Thank-you Benny”.