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Thomas’ life membership

Lindsay Thomas' heartfelt speech was one of the highlights of Syd Barker Medal night. Lindsay Thomas addresses the North Melbourne faithful as he accepts his life membership.

At Friday’s Syd Barker Medal, Lindsay Thomas received life membership of the North Melbourne Football Club.

His heartfelt speech was one of the highlights of the night. Here’s what he had to say.

Before I get started, I just want to congratulate the four brothers (Brent Harvey, Drew Petrie, Michael Firrito and Nick Dal Santo) that are retiring. I’ve learned so much from you guys over the journey and it’s going to be different not coming to training next year and seeing you guys.

I love playing with you guys and I love you as brothers and well done on a great career.

To the North Melbourne footy club, I don’t think you guys understand how much of an honour this is. Not just for me, but for my family. I came here as an 18-year-old kid and didn’t really know what to expect.

I told my girlfriend, now my wife, that I was only going to last two years and then I’d go home, but I fell in love with this footy club. It’s been the best part of my life and I can’t wait to continue on my career and hopefully finish here.

To my coaches; Dean Laidley my first coach. He was pretty hard on me, but that’s the way I like it.

I learned pretty quick what AFL football was about, and after my first year I came back seven kilos overweight and he rode me pretty hard.

He made me a better player and a better person for it so thanks for that Laids.

To Scotty, I don’t know if you’ve got any grey hair on you, but I’m pretty sure I’ve put most of them on you.

I’ve said it pretty publicly, and when you got to the footy club you put it on me pretty hard. I look at you as the male figure in my life and I thank you for everything you’ve done.

You’ve been there in the tough times and stuck by me when everybody was kicking me in the guts but honestly mate, I can’t thank you enough and I just want to let you know I appreciate everything you’ve done for me.

To my little mate on my left (Brent Harvey), it’s going to be hard not coming to pre-season with you.

You’ve taught me so much over my 10 years I’ve been here, you took me under your wing. I don’t call you my mate, I call you my brother because when footy’s done we’re going to be brothers for life.

To you and Shayne, and your family, Macca, I love you like a sister and I can’t thank you enough for taking Hannah and me under your wing and we love you guys.

To my other mate, Codge (Neil Connell, NMFC staff member), I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done for me since I got here.

You’ve dug me out of some pretty deep holes that I don’t think a lot of people know about.

To you and Dana, me and Hannah, we love you guys and we appreciate everything you’ve done for us.

To Wellsy, my brother. I remember when I first got to the footy club, my cousins rang you and said, ‘you better look after him’.

You’ve done that brother, and like Boomer, I don’t look at you as my cousin, I look at you as my brother.

To your beautiful wife Ria, who’s my sister and my niece Laudate, I love you guys more than anything.

I’ve got all my family over from Adelaide, you guys have been a big part of my life and Hannah’s, we love you all to bits. Thank you for everything you’ve done for us, and so glad you can witness this special moment.

Lastly, to my wife, you’ve been there from the start. I can’t thank you enough for giving me two beautiful daughters and being the best wife you could possibly be to me and looking after me with footy and me being a sook.

You’ve been there in the dark days and at my lowest point and you’ve seen me hit rock bottom and you’ve picked me right up. I love you.

That’s enough from me, and have a good night. Thank you.