A-League 2019: Brisbane Roar fans’ Matt McKay tribute, Wally Lewis statue
The Roar have endured a season from hell in the A-League, finishing second last ahead of the Central Coast Mariners with the worst goals against in history, conceding 71 strikes this year — the most of any campaign in the history of the competition.
Despite the dire season, the fans turned out in numbers with 11,790 in attendance to farewell McKay.
The supporters have been strong all season with the fourth highest average attendance in the league, despite just four wins from 27 games.
So when the Wally Lewis statue out the front of the stadium got a makeover with an orange no. 17 jersey — the jersey of McKay — you’d think there would be no problem.
The Suncorp Stadium security were quick to act, taking down the tribute and taking the jersey.
The Brisbane Roar fans Twitter page then took it online, sharing the disappointment with the world.
Social media, as you would expect, were quick to get behind the Roar supporters.
Look at the photo. A kid watching on, in Roar shirt, most likely getting a real kick out of seeing Wally in a jersey. Good for the roar, good for the kid, and even food for Suncorp/Wally!! Next minute, the ultimate fun police step in. Unbelievable. https://t.co/OYEYYpT5qe
— Matt F (@MMF006) April 25, 2019
Matt McKay should be the first footballer with a Suncorp Stadium statue. 59 socceroo caps, a world cup and an a league championship. Should happen soon
— Kieran Banks (@_kieranbanks) April 25, 2019
Sadly for the fans, the game didn’t go their way either.
The Roar finished their season with a 5-3 loss at home, handing Adelaide United a home semi-final.
The match was the last time retiring club captain McKay pulled on an orange jersey with the ex-Socceroo making his 302nd and final appearance for the Roar in all competitions.
McKay said it was nice to bow out in front of home fans.
“I’m a proud Queenslander, I love getting out on Suncorp (Stadium) in front of these fans,” McKay said after the match.
“I’m very sad to finish my career but I try to teach my (children) to try their hardest and put everything into every day and I feel like I’ve done that throughout my career.”
McKay is one of several players who’ll exit the Roar in coming weeks.
Veteran Brazilian Henrique has been told he’ll be released while Brett Holman and Thomas Kristensen are also leaving.
In all 13 players including French marquee Eric Bautheac, Spanish import Alex Lopez, Dane Tobias Mikkelsen and late season signings Eli Babalj and Charlie Lokoli-Ngoy are all off-contract.
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Interim coach Darren Davies, who will stay on as an assistant to Fowler, said he was eager to start plotting the path forward for the Roar alongside the ex-England international.
“The new manager’s in place and we can really sit down, plan our way forward and then fully support the new manager in getting us back to where we want to be next season,” Davies said.
Davies was thrust into the role following the resignation of John Aloisi in late December.
During his time in charge, the Welshman promoted several of the club’s young prospects including strikers Dylan Wenzel-Halls and Nicholas D’Agostino as well as teenagers Zach Duncan and Izaack Powell.
— with AAP
Originally published as ‘Pathetic’ move sours legend’s farewell