There have been many time in my life I have used the expression, 'he is someone I would go to war with.'
It is a saying lost on the youth of today, as most of us know nothing of war. In fact, we are so blessed we may never go near one, yet we use the expression freely.
Still, to say that of a your fellow man has lost none of its meaning throughout the ages and as a footballer fighting at the top level it is demanded of you that you must play so hard for your team-mates that if it came down to it you would lay down your life for him or at least get your head kicked in.
Some blokes embody that spirit and do it week in, week out.
We buy in to the notion that we are so passionate about our club and our team because of the hardships we have been through together, pre-seasons full of back-breaking work and long hours together.
Through severe loses and sublime wins, good times and the bad. Months and months and years and years of battle on a football field, the emotion toward your fellow team-mate does peak.
You love him for better or worse and because the jumper on his back is the same colour as yours, you would do absolutely anything for him and you draw parallels.
We are soldiers together in the trenches, fighting for one common cause and we will do anything required of us for the guys on your team.
Sometimes though, something will happen to heighten that ideal.
Something to pull it all into perspective and leave you with no doubt you feel exactly that way about your team-mates. It happened to us in 2004 and it has happened again.
Tragedy has struck and a footballer has lost his life.
I say brought back because I know all too well how the Port and Collingwood players are feeling right now.
Christmas, 2004, and I was taking a well-deserved rest from summer training in Tasmania with my family. I had not been awake long on Boxing Day when I received a text from the football club and I can still remember the wording very clearly.
'Boys, Troy Broadbridge has been caught up in a tsunami in Thailand and is missing, it is not looking good.'
My initial reaction was that he would be fine. He was such a ripping good bloke, strong and full of life he was simply uncontactable. To then learn that our great mate, so young and so fit, had been taken in such tragic circumstance, it was all too much to bear.
What could we do? We felt hopeless and lost. How could this happen, I mean, he had played so well in his last game against Essendon and he was just starting to live up to his potential.
His wedding was such a beautiful affair, how is it that now, one day later, he is separated forever from his beloved wife?
All of these questions and emotions rattled around our heads and hearts for quite some time until we finally decided to do the one thing we could do and the one thing Broady would have wanted us to do, we strengthened our bonds.
There is no doubt that the loss brought us closer together as a group. Everything we did from that moment on took on a new meaning and our brotherhood went to new levels.
Suddenly all of us would have gone to war with every player in that team. That was the measure of the man we had lost.
I didn't know John McCarthy but many did. He was by all reports, and I mean all, a terrific young man. He was a pleasure to be around and instantly loved by his mates.
He had just played almost an entire season with his new club Port after an injury-riddled few years at Collingwood and was starting to live up to his potential. He had a beautiful partner and seemingly, life could not have been better.
Now he is gone and those left behind are left to wonder, what do we do now?
Ron Barassi Snr was the first VFL footballer to lose his life in World War II. His team-mates must have been rocked in those years as the Demons lost many to the war efforts abroad.
Could you imagine the heartache of the time.
Darren Millane, Jim Stynes, Troy Broadbridge and John McCarthy. These are young men that have shown us the inexplicable bond between footballers. They are more than just brothers, they are more than just mates, they are team-mates. Something so undefined and impossible to explain.
The outpouring of emotion on the above circumstances prove that it is real and yet people die every day.
To see a young strapping talent have his life taken adds to that emotion because they are seen as I saw Broady, young, fit and strong, how could they be gone?
I believe every one of the Magpies and Power boys would have been very proud to have you next to them in the trenches if called away to war. That's something you can hang your hat on mate.
Rest in peace John McCarthy.Robbo
Adelaide and Collingwood