DUSTIN Martin’s Nan says from his age of five she knew her grandson was going to be a special football talent.
And on Monday night there was no wiping the smile off Lois Knight’s face as she watched her Richmond superstar grandson win the AFL’s Brownlow Medal.
“I’m proud as punch,” an elated Lois said.
“I was very confident that he could win it, but I never said to anybody that he would win it; I didn’t want to put the mozz on him.”
Lois started Monday night at Campbells Creek’s Five Flags Hotel, where she enjoyed a sip on a “Dustin Martini” drink that was served as part of a special Brownlow Medal function.
Campbells Creek was where Martin first played junior football in the under-10s.
Lois later watched the closing stages of the Brownlow count at the Castlemaine Football-Netball Club social rooms at Camp Reserve, where Martin first played senior football as a 16-year-old in 2008.
As Martin polled the final three votes of the night to break a deadlock with the ineligible Patrick Dangerfield and move to a record 36 votes to win the Brownlow outright, Lois leapt out of her seat with joy and embraced her daughter – and Martin’s Aunty – Ange Denahy.
“I knew from the age of about five that he was going to be a great player,” Lois said.
“He always had a football in his hand and would always be out in their paddock (at Yapeen 11km out of Castlemaine), which had a set of goalposts, kicking the footy.
“He was always out there practicing kicking goals. He’d go to school (Campbells Creek Primary School) then come home and wouldn’t even go inside, he’d drop his bag and be straight off kicking the football.
“I can remember one of my son’s coaches at Campbells Creek (Herb Rasmussen), who always kept an eye on Dustin, saying to me when Dustin was about nine that he would be the next one from the Castlemaine area to go to the AFL, and he was.”
While Lois was speaking to the Bendigo Advertiser Monday night, a highlights package of Martin featuring several of his renowned “don’t argues” was shown on the big screen as part of the Brownlow coverage.
“Look at that… I could sit here all night and watch his don’t argues,” Lois said proudly
“He has been doing it since junior football; he has always had it.”
Lois’ husband, Laurie, died nine years ago, but she has no doubt he would have been looking down proudly on Monday night as his grandson became a Brownlow medallist.
“Laurie didn’t get to see Dustin play AFL, but he would be so, so proud, just like the rest of us are,” said Lois, who now has the AFL grand final to look forward to this Saturday as Martin’s Tigers take on Adelaide at the MCG.
“It’s very exciting… we can’t wait for Saturday.
“Hopefully, Richmond wins and Dustin wins the Norm Smith Medal and then he has won the lot.”
And she’s thrilled that Martin, who had been chased heavily by North Melbourne this season, has re-committed to the Tigers for another seven years.
“One day I thought he might be going, but then when you see the way he plays and how he is after the game, then I knew he’d be staying,” Lois said.