Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Appreciating Changa's white shoes

These days in AUSTRALIAN RUGBY LEAGUE, the referees wear pink and the players' shoes come in a rainbow of colors.
The current palette makes it difficult to appreciate the sensation caused in 1975, when ST. GEORGE star GRAEME "CHANGA" LANGLANDS raced onto the field for the GRAND FINAL wearing white shoes.
The reason he never wore those barrier-breaking shoes again is the stuff of rugby league legend, and a tale I read about in my rugby league book the other day.
Langlands had a horrific time in the big match -- even being withdrawn in the second half -- and he superstitiously refused to wear white shoes while playing thereafter.
The real culprit wasn't the shoes, though, but a pain-killing injection Langlands received before the match with EASTERN SUBURBS. The injection struck a nerve, weakening the leg to the point of uselessness. Langlands attempted to kick a ball out of bounds (into touch, as they would say) early in the match. The ball rolled weakly off his foot.
Easts easily won the title, winning the match, 38-0, and the white shoes were no more. For a while, at least.


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