When life-long Collingwood supporter and Steele Sidebottom mega-fan Raynen placed the winning bid on Steel’s ANZAC guernsey back in April, he didn’t expect what was to come.
Raynen’s story began just after ANZAC Day when he won Steel’s Anzac Day guernsey in an online auction, paying for it with his life savings which he later said he was going to use to buy a car.
In addition to winning the prized guernsey, Raynen also got the opportunity to attend a function alongside Steel and fellow 300 gamers, Pendles and Shaw.
It was at this event that Raynen managed to also get his hands on the boots Steele wore when he played his 300th game back in May. The excitement and experience didn’t stop there.
On Tuesday, July 11th after waiting months to receive his winnings, Raynen and his mother were given an inner sanctum training experience where he would be able to mingle with players, coaches and be presented with Steel’s ANZAC guernsey by Steele himself.
After handing out water to the team as they came off the track, Raynen met with Steele and was presented with the guernsey he had been waiting months for.
Raynen’s mother also took the opportunity to show Steele the video she took of Raynen counting down the seconds left in the online auction and eventually securing the winning bid.
Raynen’s reaction to his win did not disappoint with Steele smiling and laughing at Raynen jumping around his kitchen in excitement.
The opportunity to meet with Steele and be given this experience was in Raynen’s words “surreal” particularly after having a difficult start to the year when he lost his beloved Grandpa in March.
The passing of his grandfather is Raynen’s first experience of loss, and he has since found it hard to cope with the grief but being able to watch the Pies run out every week brings him the joy he misses.
Being devoted Pies supporters, Raynen and his mother try their hardest to get to every game they can as well as many other events such as Mingle with the Magpies and open trainings.
If a smile could tell a story, Raynen’s would say it all.