My Souths Story - Mikey Robins
Mikey Robins takes the form of many things. He's a comedian, a radio host, a media personality and a writer. But for the most part, he's a South Sydney Rabbitohs tragic.
A Novocastrian, Robins spent his youth growing up in the working class city of Newcastle.
Born in 1961, it would take another 27 years before the Newcastle Knights would be admitted to the New South Wales Rugby League Competition. By that time, Mikey would already be a Souths man through and through for a number of reasons.
"When you weren't born in Sydney you either followed the Saints, the Tigers or Souths," said Robins.
"Now I was born in 61, and as I'm starting to become aware of footy it's that wonderful golden era of Souths. My father followed Souths, we used to say there were three voices of authority in our house; my father, the pope and Eric Simms," he laughs.
A proud Member since 2009, and an advocate for the club for decades, Mikey was there for the good and the bad times.
While 2000 and 2001 proved to be a devastating time for any Souths supporter, the way that Mikey, the Members and the people marched was nothing short of inspiring. Moments in time best summed up by Mikey himself.
"I'll never forget turning the corner just off Chalmers Street and just standing there and realising how far back it went," he said.
"By the time we hit Town Hall, for a brief period I was on the balcony looking down at all the people. You knew we were back in from then, even the Telegraph admitted it, which was a News Corp paper, and even they admitted that they got it wrong." Explains Mikey.
"I'll never forget the day we got back in I was in the club across the road and there's a photo of me holding the afternoon Telegraph saying we were back in. I was 140 kilos at the time... I'm surprised that table held me!"
While some lean years followed before Souths would reach the highs of Premiership success that Mikey was all too familiar with, it was that Grand Final win in 2014, which he looks back on most fondly.
"During the last five minutes of that game I was with my best mate and his brother – both St George fans, both league nuts and I remember in those last five minutes the tears started, the last five minutes – there are some very embarrassing photos of me on social media blubbering. It was like five Christmases had come it once."
"The next day I was at Redfern Oval and ran into Adam Hills, and a bunch of Souths fans spotted him and said 'hey Will come have a drink with us!' And Adam went 'nah I'm Adam Hills!" and they went 'that's right! But tonight you're Will!'
In 2013, the Dalai Lama was in Australia. Touring around the country His Holiness was preaching the importance of the benefits of living ethically. Mikey Robins was there the day that Roy Asotasi and Nathan Merritt were blessed at Sydney University and the following day he found himself MC'ing the Dalai Lama's major event at the Entertainment Centre.
"We were doing a Q and A with him and a question came from a 14-year kid on the Gold Coast saying 'Dear Dalai Lama, what's the difference between pleasure and happiness? "And he went ohhh Mikey I have a friend, very important politician, he drinks for pleasure, it has made him very sick. His pursuit of pleasure has cost him his happiness' and I said 'your Holiness you sound like my doctor,' just to lighten the mood, and the Dalai Lama paused for a second and this was in front of a thousand people and he went 'oh no Mikey if I was your physician I'd say lunch good, dinner not so much.' – I got fat slammed by the Dalai Lama!" Laughs Mikey.
Fast forward to 2018 and Mikey's focus shifts to the campaign that came before us all. It was a far cry from the previous two seasons and springboard towards 2019.
When quizzed on what Robins is looking forward to most with regards to next season, Mikey answers with this.
"I want to see Cook expand his game, I want to see some of the young fellas coming up, they're all playing great.
I think it's going be a great year."