FORMER Queensland AFL (QAFL) Grand Final hero Ross Whyte has had his last sporting wish granted when he made one final visit to the hallowed turf at the Gabba – the scene of his 1977 Grand Final heroics – surrounded by family, friends and Brisbane players.
Whyte was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017 which later metastisised. He now has spinal cord compression which has resulted in him being unable to walk. The only way to fulfil his last wish to revisit his glory days at the Gabba was with Ambulance Wish Queensland.
It was a return to the field of dreams from 44 years ago where, as a 21 year old ruckman playing in his first QAFL Grand Final, Ross became an instant footy legend. In that epic finish (WATCH IT IN THE INSTA POST BELOW) he kicked the winning goal for his beloved Western Districts to win the QAFL flag.
Whyte and family and friends were joined by Minister for Health Yvette D'Ath, Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young, Palliative Care Queensland CEO Shyla Mills, Lions players Oscar McInerney and Ryan Lester and AFL Queensland staff.
His family brought his original Grand Final Western Districts jumper for him to wave and hold for the cameras.
"The (old) Gabba has such special memories for me winning two Grand Finals (1977 and 1978) and it doesn't get much better than kicking the winning goal as a young 21 year old," Whyte said.
"It was a see-sawing game with the lead changing many times (11 times in total) and we were down by one point with a minute to go and thankfully for us, the ball came my way. I took a contested mark, lined it up from about 30 metres out and on an angle and thankfully my kick was straight and true and it sailed through the posts.
"It was my 21st birthday the day before the final and I hadn't really celebrated it, so it made the double celebrations after the match even sweeter."