Ian Roberts - Australian Story

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Journey Man
A very good profile on Ian Roberts on last night's Australian Story.

Most of the story focussed on his interaction with a street kid named Aaron that he mentored for a while.

It ended up that Aaron was the target of abuse from a paedophile ring and, after urging from Roberts, Aaron began to help the police with their investigations to crack the rock spiders.

Eventually Aaron was killed (as often happens with prime witnesses with these sorts of things) though his body was not discovered for several years.

The episode took a huge toll on Roberts as he basically became the only person that Roberts trusted. Most of this was going on between 1993-97, a time when Roberts was in stellar form for us.

It's a credit to him that he was able to maintain his form with everything that was happening off the field.

Interestingly he felt that he couldn't share his burden with anyone - so from what I could gather the club remained oblivious to what was happening in his life.

I'd suggest that it would be worth their while to watch Australian Story and review their player management strategiews from that period to see if they can learn anything from the episode. I suspect that not much has changed.

Holistic player management is essential if the club wants to get the most from their personnel. From what I'm hearing, it's not happening. (And why would it when you have an unqualified clown as "football manager").

Australian Story provided a valuable insight into that suspicion.


First Grader
Just goes to show there is a hell of a lot more to life than chasing a ball round a footy field


Ian Roberts is a champion- a great player and had the courage to be honest about his sexuality when he knew exactly what the reaction would be.
He wouldn't have been the only gay football player but he was the only openly gay one.... (WP comes to mind....)


Correct Matabele...

Roberts was an absolute champion. Garry Jack is still looking for his teeth at Leichardt..

Coping some abuse on MSE Matabele. It appears that any sort of critism will not be tolerated, unless directed at Matabele.


Journey Man
From what i hear from some that know him well, Ian is truly a champian and a good bloke all round.


Journey Man
Correct Matabele...

Roberts was an absolute champion. Garry Jack is still looking for his teeth at Leichardt..

Coping some abuse on MSE Matabele. It appears that any sort of critism will not be tolerated, unless directed at Matabele.
I thought one of their "rules" was "no personal abuse".

It seems as though some pigs are more equal than others.


Reserve Grader
Ian Roberts was not only a champion footballer but an even better human being.I was always proud that he played for the club i am fanatical about.It was a shame the way it ended up with young Aaron,and you can see from the story he would have done what the police wanted and taken Aaron upto TVL with him,if he had his time again.A true Champion in all sense of the word.


Winging it
Great bloke. This whole story fills me with sadness and confirms my loathing of paedophiles as one of the lowest forms of life (sorry, just has to be said). Poor kid.

Chip and Chase

True Supporter
Staff member
Premium Member
Tipping Member
It was a very interesting story, but sad nonetheless.

It's a bit rich to criticise the club for not supporting Roberts during this difficult period in his life. By his own admission he was loathe to reveal his involvement with this kid to anyone, lest they get the wrong idea. It was his choice to shoulder the burden on his own and you can't assume that the club wouldn't have helped had they been asked.


This probably isn't for the footy thread but .....Manly Backer IMO it seems that there is alot more authorities can do about the problem with paedophiles. I used to live down the road from the wall in Darlinghurst and it has me beat why the police don't do heavier surveillance on the area.
There are young kids down there getting picked up by dirty old bastards in their Bentleys/ Mercedes all the bloody time as soon as they knock off at the law courts.
Sen Bill Heffernan spoke up on the issue and it got swept under the carpet- what a bloody joke -Kirby protected because he is a judge...


Journey Man
Makes you wonder what dirt the perpetrators have on everyone else with the ability to do something about it, doesn't it?

That's a prime rock spider tactic - implicate everyone else somehow.......

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