Flying footballer makes mad dash to Bendigo's Vic Bowl
HEATH Decker has had a weekend he will never forget.
The talented sports star helped his footy team win a spot in one grand final and was a part of another team's grand final success, in two different cities, in a space of a few hours.
Decker had to play in the do-or-die semi-final for the North Ringwood Football Club on Saturday afternoon but was also required to play for the Monash Warriors in the Gridiron Victoria championship match in Bendigo that very night.
The 31-year-old was told by his footy coach he was needed to fill a role in North Ringwood's backline in their match against Croydon at Tormore Reserve in Boronia.
The only thing was, his Warriors were scheduled to compete in the Vic Bowl, the state's premier gridiron match, at 6pm.
Decker said his coach had given him an idea that would see him play in both games.
"He came up to me and said, 'if we get you a helicopter you will be able to make it to Bendigo in time'," he said.
"He made some phone calls and got a good deal and we were able to make it happen."
We flew over the field as the boys were doing the warm up and then we landed at a school about a kilometre away.
The defender was then able to leave his Easter Football League match at three-quarter time, after North Ringwood had an unassailable 10-goal lead.
Decker was able to keep his highly-rated opponent to just one goal, with the coach giving him the good news - he could leave early.
"We had a good lead, so the coach said I could leave," he said.
"I took my mum with me, it was a bit of a smooth ride.
"We flew over the field as the boys were doing the warm up and then we landed at a school about a kilometre away from the ground."
Still in his footy jumper and socks, Decker walked off the helicopter like a true rock star before gearing up to play in the Warriors' most important game of the year.
Decker then got changed on the sidelines before being rushed onto the field.
"I was lucky enough to score a touch down on the second drive," he said.
"I was just happy to be a part of the team."
The Warriors went on to win the match in emphatic style, winning 43 to 14 over the Geelong Buccaneers at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.
Decker he wasn't able to celebrate the win with his team-mates.
"I kept a lid on things," he said.
"I was wrecked after both games, so I was really looking forward to recovery on Sunday morning.
"I still have a grand final to play in a couple of weeks, so it is business as usual until then.
"When we win the flag I will celebrate for both wins."