I have never met you and you have never met me. But you have been in my life a long time now and I don’t need to have met you to be able to be able to tell you…. That you are more than a footballer, more than a club best and fairest, more than one of Essendon’s all-time greats. You are an inspiration, the ultimate professional and one of life’s absolute great human beings.
You have endured what no other AFL footballer has endured and you did it like only Jobe Watson knows how – You did it like you do everything, with a sense of calmness and confidence, leading from the front. No one deserved to be put through what I can only imagine you have been through but your demeanour and character remained completely perfect throughout.
When you first came onto the scene, understandably people compared you to your champion father. No one can be compared to the great Tim Watson, but Jobe now you are finishing your distinguished career, no one will be compared to you. I have no doubt there is no one prouder on this earth then him. If the AFL was the NBA, the number 4 Essendon jersey would hang from the rafters for years to come. Such is the modest character of yourself, I am sure you would find that uncomfortable, but let me assure you, you won’t need your jersey to hang for people to remember your name.
You could have easily ridden off into the football wilderness last year and no one would have blamed you. You could have finished your prolific career but you came back and gave our great Football Club everything you had to give and so on behalf of every Bombers fan, we thank you. No words can describe how thankful we are to have been given the opportunity to see you play another year of footy and to give you the proper farewell that is deserved.
Your name is often spoken within my household and in my family circles but as well as referring to you, ‘Jobe’ is also in reference to the name of my good mate, my dog, who is of course named after you – Such is the popularity of yourself, I am sure he is not the only four-legged friend running around sharing your name.
I understand football has given you a lot of enjoyment but also a lot of pain, well time to take it easy now Jobe, kick back and relax, enjoy all that life has to offer. I hope your next chapter gives you everything you desire, whether you set sail on another adventure or stay in the football community, I am sure happiness will follow because no one deserves it more then you.
You may not have achieved everything you set out to achieve and things may not have gone your way, but Brownlow Medals and AFL premierships don’t paint the picture of the perfect person, because the picture of the perfect person, looks exactly like you.
Thank you Jobe.