Ripper’s wheels keep on turning
Saturday, 6th June, 2020
By Emily McInerney
Broken Hill AFL is saying “you littler Ripper” after the donation of a motorised buggy for use as an emergency ambulance at the Jubilee Oval.
League President Andrew Schmidt said they were very grateful for the donation from the Radford family.
“Last year, Gary Radford called me and asked if we had a motorised ambulance for the Jubilee Oval,” he said.
“He must have seen it during the footy games on TV, I said we didn’t have one.
“He asked if we wanted one and I said we normally use the stretchers. He just said ‘leave it with me’.”
After Gary’s passing on ANZAC Day, Andrew was then contacted by his son Steve who told him the buggy was all good to go.
“It’s got a stretcher on the back, it’s even got mags.
“It’s fantastic, Steve and his brother Nick donated it to us this week and we’ve named it ‘Ripper’ after Gary.”
Andrew said it will be a big benefit in getting injured players off the field quickly and safely.
“It will make it much easier for first aid and the trainers.
“It can also be used during the cricket season and for anything happening at the Jubilee Oval.”
Andrew said they will look to set up an area where the buggy will be housed.
“We are so grateful for this donation and all that the Radford family has done for the Jubilee Oval upgrade, it’s been a nearly $3m upgrade and this will go hand-in-hand with that.
“Steve has done so much in-kind work in getting the Jube up and running.
“So much goes on behind the scenes that people aren’t aware of. We are very thankful for all of it.”
Steve said he and his brother were happy to be able to make their father’s wish a reality.
“Dad and I spoke about it a lot when I was at his house watching footy,” Steve said.
“He asked me to look for one or get one made because he knew Broken Hill football didn’t have one.”
Steve said he found a buggy that was being used to drive guests around in Adelaide through Caterpillar Australia. He contacted them about making one up.
“We’ve donated it in the memory of Ripper and it can be used for many things.
“It’s brand new so hopefully it will last a lifetime.”
Steve said giving back to the community was a Radford tradition.
“We are following in the footsteps of our great grandfather Les, who was a builder and general contractor.
“That spirit of giving is entrenched and was entrenched in Ripper and passed onto us.
“As a fourth generation family member, we are happy to give back to the community.
“We are also mindful that as the community opens back up, sport is a very important factor.
“It will help take the stress and pressure off of people who may be suffering from mental health issues during this hard time.”