THERE are few people in life more passionate about sport than John Forbes.
He loves it.
That's understandable given sport has provided him with a great career, many friends and a life of wonderful memories.
The Bendigo Town Hall is a fitting host for a selection of John's grand memorabilia collection - the show a fantastic idea by Bendigo Mayor Lisa Ruffell.
Walking around the collection on Thursday night was a great experience for a sporting tragic.
A mini Puma cricket bat signed by Serena Williams. Greg Norman's Akubra. Signed pictures of Shane Warne and Mark 'Tubby' Taylor. Adam Gilchrist's wicket-keeping gloves emblazoned with his autograph.
So many treasures.
John was proud as punch taking guests on a guided tour - stopping at items of most importance to tell the story of how they arrived in his collection.
Take the special picture of Essendon's Terry Daniher shaking hands with Collingwood's Gavin Brown after the 1990 AFL grand final. Not something I particularly enjoyed seeing again but understand the significance given the events of the first quarter all the same.
It took John four years to get Daniher to sign the picture because it still hurt too much.
It took John four years to get Daniher to sign the picture because it still hurt...
Clearly, John loves the dinner menu signed by Australian sporting legends Dawn Fraser and Don Bradman.
Another great gem in the collection is a Puma bat signed by Bradman.
Anything carrying a Bradman signature is special.
One of my greatest childhood memories happened when mum decided to open a haberdashery store in the main street of Merbein all those years ago.
A haberdashery business held little fascination for a young boy but what did catch my interest was news the former tenant run a sporting goods store.
So one night as mum and dad set about putting the store together, I embarked on a treasure hunt to see if anything had been left behind.
It was fruitless and I had all but given up when I noticed a shelf high up on one of the walls.
So I grabbed the ladder and climbed.
At the back of the shelf was a cardboard tube. What was inside? To my absolute delight the contents was a 1949 Capstan cigarette calendar featuring a big image of Bradman surrounded by most of his famous 1948 Invincibles.
Amazingly, not too long after one of my mum's best friends was cleaning a motel room in Mildura when the shadow of a man appeared in the doorway.
It was Don Bradman.
I thank my lucky stars she had the foresight to get him to sign a bit of butcher paper which now sits proudly framed underneath that pride-and-joy Capstan calendar.
Yep, sporting memories are great value.