The Melbourne Knights Football Club is pleased to confirm that Mirko Rastocic and family will be the Number 1 ticket holders for the 2018 National Premier Leagues season which was announced on Friday the 9th of February at the club’s annual season launch at the Australian Croatian Association Melbourne headquarters in Footscray.
Mirko Rastocic, affectionately known as ‘Rus’, escaped Yugoslavia and settled in Australia in 1972. Within a week of arriving, he became a member of Melbourne Croatia and it was from this point forward that his life became intertwined with the club.
In the late 1970s, he had a serious accident and was in a coma for a while. When he awoke from his coma one of the first things he asked his friends was how did Melbourne Croatia finish the year? They told him that we won the State League. He was confused as up until the point he had his accident; the club was lagging behind Frankston City on the league table. Eight rounds of the league had passed from the last game he watched until he woke up. Melbourne Croatia was at the forefront of his mind.
In 1989 Rus was asked to fill in for the groundskeeper who was on holidays, then soon after became gear steward and over time became the heart and soul of the changerooms.
He worked for the club for 27 years, as a groundskeeper, gear steward, amateur psychologist to our players, coaches and sometimes even committee, chaser of children off the main ground – he’s done it all.
In 2013, during the club’s 60th Anniversary celebrations he was inducted into the Melbourne Croatia-Knights Honour Roll and features in both club documentaries produced for the occasion.
Other than our home ground, he has been the only constant in the club for the past three decades up until two years ago when his health began deteriorating. He still comes to some trainings when he’s feeling ok, likewise games and club events.
The Board of Melbourne Knights Football Club decided to bestow the number 1 ticket holder title unto the great man and look forward to seeing him out and about at Knights Stadium in 2018.