By Lauren Ferrone
Published: Friday, August 13, 2021
Dads are superheroes. In the eyes of their kids, they have magical powers and wear capes. In celebration of Father’s Day on 5 September, we chat to 2 doting dads who don uniforms of a different kind.
TOM ROCKLIFF | Port Power midfielder
31 | 185cm | 85kg
Dad Debut: 2017
No. of kids: one and recruiting a new player to Team Rockliff in October 2021
Dad Honours: Most Fun Dad in Lockdown Medal
Port Adelaide footy player, Tom Rockliff, sure does rock in his dad duties. So much so, the footy star turned into a social media sensation last year for his entertaining antics while self-isolating with his three-year-old son, Jack.
The dad-and-son duo made headlines after creating a series of video diaries documenting their time in isolation, after Rockliff returned from the Gold Coast after the Power’s 2020 round 1 win.
From an agility course to showing off their cricket skills, and acting out scenes from James Bond and Rocky, the father and son’s house-bound adventures won over hearts across the state. If you missed the hilarious videos, check them out at Port Adelaide Football Club.
To celebrate Father’s Day, we chat to Rockliff – who’s welcoming his second son in October and recently announced his retirement from the game – about juggling fatherhood and footy.
samotor: What’s the best part about being a dad?
Rockliff: The best thing for me is watching Jack grow every day. Your life instantly changes for the better, and I love every second of it.
samotor: You were dubbed a social media sensation last year during quarantine with your son. Can you describe what it was like to spend that quality time with him?
Rockliff: Those two weeks were hard being locked down, but those daily videos were very fun and entertaining. He loved doing them as much as me and making them was really exciting. Spending quality family time is important to me.
samotor: What activities did you do to keep Jack entertained?
Rockliff: Jack loves his Hot Wheels, so we are forever playing with his cars. We also did painting, drawing and singing.
samotor: What are your plans for Father’s Day this year?
Rockliff: I’m not sure where I’ll be for Father’s Day but being away from the family is really hard. You just want to be with them and give them a kiss and cuddle.
samotor: What advice do you have for other dads, especially those raising pandemic babies?
Rockliff: Try to stay off devices and enjoy the time you get to have with your kids. Watching them grow is brilliant.
Just enjoy every day you have with them. No one knows what tomorrow brings; just live in the moment.
LUKE BROWN | Adelaide Crows defender
28 | 181cm | 81 kg
Dad Debut: 2021
No. of kids: 1
Dad Honours: Best New Dad Medal
Described by the club as one of the Crows’ “most consistent and reliable players”, it’s no surprise Luke Brown puts in the same passion when it comes to his new role as a father.
Brown welcomed his first child in March and has been smitten with his new team mate ever since.
We chat to Brown about life as a new dad and how he manages when he’s away playing footy.
samotor: What’s your child’s name?
Brown: Aurora Brown and she’s 4 months old.
samotor: How do you balance footy and family life?
Brown: Becoming a parent has made it easier to separate footy and home life. It is tough going away, but my wife does a wonderful job and, most of the time, it’s only for one night.
When I’m home, my full attention is with my family and I’m able to switch off from footy completely.
samotor: What’s the best thing about being a dad?
Brown: Seeing Aurora’s face light up whenever she sees us.
samotor: What’s the best memory you have of your child?
Brown: Her being born and her first smile and laugh.
samotor: How will you spend your first Father’s Day?
Brown: We haven’t had the chance to plan anything just yet, but I’m sure we’ll spend some quality time together.
samotor: What advice do you have for new dads?
Brown: Do what works best for you. Let your natural instincts take over.