Too old, not big enough ......tommy-rot.
As in the lyrics of the song, Old Man River, the legendary Thomas Harris will "just keep rolling along" in next winter's Kennards Hire rugby union premiership, shelving the suggestion he should toss his boots in the bin.
The 41-year-old father of five and 250-odd games for the Forster Tuncurry Dolphins will attend training in February and play "wherever Ron wants me" he said amid Christmas morning present-openings with the family.
"It's a 41-year-old body, and I'm feeling old, but I reckon I've got another season left in me," Harris said.
"But after they cancelled last year's grand final, I feel my footy is not finished," he said.
"My problem is since my water-skiing accident five years ago, the hamstring has not connected, and I can't run anymore."
'Ron', of course, is Ron McCarthy, the Dolphins' long-standing coach of 13 years, who presided over the team's first premiership grand final victory in the Lower Mid North Coast premiership in 2008, the first of seven crowns of the coast in a decade by the Dolphins.
Harris has been a member of all seven championship teams.
Few players have graced the game like Tommy Harris.
Briefly, he represented the Mid North Country Zone for the Axemen in the 1980s, but his career is similar to the Chris Roche story, the fearless Queensland flanker: fast enough, furious enough, brave enough, good enough, but, in the selectors' eyes, Tom's sin was he was not big enough.
At representative level, the higher the game, for the NSW Waratahs and then the Australian Wallabies, selectors needed and wanted big forwards.
Tom revelled in the hard yakka of the breakdowns over the ball where men's courage is put to the test in winning possession or stealing it from the enemy.
It's a 41-year-old body, and I'm feeling old, but I reckon I've got another season left in me.- Thomas Harris
He has never been averse to winning a lineout or bringing off a try-saving tackle or, better still, making a break in midfield and launching an attack.
And for courage, none was braver.
Tom broke a rib in one game and was strapped up and played on until the end.
X-rays confirmed he had broken not one, but two ribs.
Tom's mother, Lyn, is a marvel around the clubhouse at Peter Barclay Field.
Her second youngest son, Colin, was as valuable a utility player, forward or back, as any the club has ever fielded.
Colin is thinking of a comeback, but seeing is believing and there may be a child on the way.
The tragedy is that a car accident has prevented third son, Graham, from playing.
Now 120kgs-plus, Graham would have been an ideal tight-head prop replacement for Ben Manning, who has taken the reins as club president following Damian Daczko's outstanding decade-long term.
The hope and expectation is that the Gloucester Cockies will field not only a women's 10-a-side team, but also a men's team again, along with the back-to-back premiers, the Manning River Ratz, the Old Bar Clams, the Wallamba Bulls, the Wauchope Thunder and the Dolphins.
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