When St Kilda Saints fans tell you their favourite player, it’s usually in the ilk of Nick Riewoldt, Robert Harvey or my particular favourite, Lenny Hayes.
A few might find comfort in the new generation, Josh Bruce, Paddy McCartin or Tim Membrey.
But there’s a veteran that continues to fly under the radar. Sean Dempster.
Sean Dempster has always been there.
Through hopeful finals campaigns, to scraping the bottom of the barrel. Dempster was there.
A 2012 All-Australian, 222 games and a premiership to boot with the Swans. Dempster was there.
He’s finished in the top three of the Saints Best and Fairest in four of the past five years, but this versatile defender has never seen the limelight.
When I look back at my 18 short years of being a St Kilda tragic, Sean Dempster was there.
He was always in the contest, taking intercept marks and digging deep to save the Saints.
The last time I saw him play was our scoring bonanza against Brisbane Lions in the last round of 2016.
Poetic justice in hanging up the boots before playing those Lions in round 3.
At the time, I didn’t expect that would be the last time I saw one of my Saints play live.
I’ve had nothing but love for the quiet great.
Dempster is an absolute favourite I didn’t know I had.
As the old adage goes, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.
Sean Dempster, you’ve been a beautiful addition to a team that stole my heart at three years old.
Go well, Sean. You will be missed by a juggernaut of sports fans.