Aaron Kinghorn this weekend joins a very exclusive club, becoming just the third player in the proud history of the Aquinas Old Collegians Football Club to reach 300 games for the club.
In his two decades of Bloods footy, the big man has racked up accolades and adoration for his full-hearted approach to the club and the game.
Having followed a couple of former team-mates down to play under-19s in 2003, Kinghorn said there was one major reason he decided to stick around.
“The people, the volunteers, the team mates – it’s that simple” he said.
“I just think, you’re welcomed here. Doesn’t matter your background or anything like that. You’re welcomed with open arms.”
The mountainous man, who’s made an artform of backing arse-first into a ruck contest and extracting the pill, racked up 51 senior matches as part of his triple century.
His career statistics speak not only to his longevity but also consistency – since 2006 he’s kicked 296 goals and been named in the best 99 times.
Of the 51 different clubs Kinghorn has faced, only 41 remain part of the VAFA.
Michael Lynch, who coached the reserves for three years with Kinghorn best & fairest in two of them, called the man a legend of the club.
“He knew how to use his large frame to get first use of the ball from a clearance and was also very dangerous when playing up forward,” Lynchy said.
“He always gave 100 per cent and did whatever you asked of him – he was a dream to coach.”
Former Bloods senior coach John Le Grand echoed those sentiments.
“I loved playing him in the seniors simply because of his attitude and love for the club,” Le Grand said.
“He was great to coach and he knew his strengths and weakness, and always played to strengths. He would never give in and would expect the same from all those who ran out with him.
“Aaron typifies the Bloods spirit and I’m super proud to have played a small part of the 300 games.”
After going close to a maiden premiership in 2007, Kinghorn played a key role in the dominant Bloods reserves premiership side of 2017.
But it almost wasn’t to be.
“To be honest I thought about giving it away before then. I was a bit fed up, I thought it would never happen,” he said.
“I just knew I’d kick myself if all of a sudden we came good and I wasn’t part of it – not doing what I loved. The club’s always looked after me, so I decided to keep going.
“That was the thing that was the one thing I’ve always played footy for. That was an amazing year of football.”
Having made it to the top of the mountain, Kinghorn has since settled into his role as grizzled veteran.
It’s one that suits him well.
“I remember when I first started, there were the old blokes who taught me the ropes, taught me the Aquinas way,” he said.
“I figured it’s my turn to be the old bloke who does that.
“I think most of the young boys are more than willing to improve their footy. They’re happy to take it on board.
“I’m just thankful to everyone that’s supported me over the years. I hope I’ve done the jumper proud.”
Kinghorn, you’ve done us all proud.