Before I start I need to provide a little background to what stemmed from the battles on the old SBS The World Game Forum and my position relating to the A-League, which was the cause of my gaining a stalker.
Now though I'm probably associated with people who hate the A-League, that is certainly not my position. I've been to games, I watch them on television regularly. For various reasons, I'm not a supporter of either of the Melbourne clubs. One being I was busy enough at Richmond SC when the A-League came about, and that was MY team. Someone once said to me they are members at Victory, but go there mainly for their kids. It's their kids who will grow up diehards, but they themselves are less "invested". I guess embracing a club too closely once you've reached a certain age and affiliations with other clubs doesn't suit everyone. So while I was happy to go to games and wanted Victory to do well, I was able to be dispassionate about the whole situation.
One thing that contributed to this was that I did not want to associate those that gladly denigrated the players, supporters and clubs from previous eras. Sadly, on The World Game Forum, there was no middle ground. You supported the "New Dawn" of New Football or were "Bitter" about the demise of Old Soccer.
That was not the main reason for my sympathies towards Victory beginning to dissipate around 2007-08 however. The major factor there were the actions of Victory fans in the VPL at that time, in particular the Richmond v South Melbourne game of March 9, 2007.
Now to get to the first artefact, let's move on to 2010. mdm was a username on The World Game Forum of a Victory fan with a strong grudge against "bitters" and the presence of a New Zealand team in the A-League. I generally tried to avoid too much of the Bitters/New Dawn nonsense, but took him to task when he tried to link a murder case to the NSL. The father of Santo Caruso, proprietor of Melbourne Sports Books, had murdered his wife and been jailed. When someone in a thread had recalled Santo attending NSL games, mdm mistakenly claimed that Santo had committed the murder and tried to draw a link between that and his support of the NSL. Yes, this how unhinged he was.
Many may recall on the eve of the World Cup that year Socceroo goalkeeper Brad Jones withdraw from the squad when his son was diagnosed with leukemia. On another forum I got some inside gossip that this had taken place just before I went to sleep one night, with the news breaking a few hours later at around 2-3 am. When I got on the forum the following night, I saw mdm posting in a thread about the topic at around 5 am that there were not many bitters offering sympathy. His inference disgusted me, and I showed this in no uncertain terms.
The result was that mdm felt he could agitate me by constantly using my real name or initials in his posts. My username was 11.Boo, based on my widely known nickname (widely known as in most people who know me through football use it, many not even knowing my real name). I was not that bothered about it, as I was not trying to keep it a secret. It had been done by others before anyway. The first artefact sprang from someone else supplying me with mdm's real name, and myself using his initials in replies in response.
The above sign was cable-tied to the fence at Kevin Bartlett Reserve on Wednesday July 28, 2010. I'd taken the week off work for a busy football week. That night the seniors played a friendly against Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park, at the same time as the Under 18's played as the Under 21's against the N.T.C. before the Under 21's played as the seniors against the N.T.C. at Kevin Bartlett Reserve. I discovered the sign as I went to put up the nets, mark the pitch, set-up the dressing room and drop off the kits at KB before heading to AAMI to look after the first team.
Marking the pitch I put a lot of thought into who was behind the sign, but it wasn't until I got to AAMI Park that I thought it could be mdm. When I got home I sent him a direct message via the forum asking if he'd been been to Burnley recently and he responded he hadn't (using the term "mate", which was odd) and then never posted there under that name again.
The next artefact came shortly after I shared the photo on a few forums.
It is a print out of a thread I'd started on the forum, mocking the removal of match threads being stickied at the top of the page which had angered many. This print out was folded in half and placed in my mother's letterbox (my new stalker didn't realise I was in Unit 2, she lived in Unit 1) which I was checking while she was in Croatia. This was a new level of derangement I'd yet to encounter on forums.
Shortly after there was a thread on the forum about some Victory fans greeting Harry Kewell at the airport after he signed with the club. When someone posted that my mate was in the pic, it outed mdm to the rest of the forum, and the response from the photoshop experts brought about artefact number three, the letter to the President of Richmond Alemannia.
There is so much gold in here I don't know where to begin. Have to begin somewhere, so let's start with the name. If you choose a fake name, use a surname which has at least one listing in the White Pages. If you area potential sponsor, wouldn't you have some letterhead you should be using for your correspondence? Mr Helmut Kalitzki is reasonably well known in local football circles. Even if you don't know him, as President of the club his name was featured on the club website as well as the FFV's website. Not addressing to letter to him but able to identify me as the bloke who was rude to him? Come on, you're not expecting anyone tobelieve this? The President is still awaiting for him to contact him personally. The envelope with the hand-written return address in the tiniest handwriting possible is also class.
By now, mdm was posting as Diego's Son on Australian FourFourTwo Forums. I wish I could have seen his face when he first saw GaryBoulder appear as the newest user. Funnily enough, he never posted much after that.
(Click on images to enlarge)