Joffa Corfe

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Joffa Corfe
Joffa Corfe - Nth Melbourne, May 2011.jpg
Joffa Corfe, May 2011
Born 7 July 1964
Preston, Victoria
Residence Footscray
Occupation Cleaner
Website
http://www.joffasfrontpage.com/

Jeff "Joffa" Corfe (born 7 July 1964) is an Australian rules football supporter best known for being the leader of the Collingwood Football Club cheer squad since 2001.[1] The Herald Sun has described "Joffa" as "probably one of the best-known sporting fans in the world".[2]

Gold jacket[edit]

Corfe rose to prominence in 2002 by donning a gold jacket and holding up a "Game Over" banner during games when he felt Collingwood had secured victory, usually in the fourth quarter.[3] The jacket came from the Channel Nine wardrobe and had been previously worn by Bernard King and Tommy Hanlon Jr. When Corfe saw Eddie McGuire wear it on The Footy Show, he emailed McGuire to ask if he could use it to celebrate Collingwood victories. McGuire had the jacket drycleaned and handed it over at a Victoria Park training session.[4][5]

Before the 2003 AFL Grand Final, Corfe announced that he was going to discontinue use of the jacket, however after Collingwood's loss, he suggested that the jacket would make a comeback the next season.[6][7][8] New jackets were introduced in 2005[4] and 2010. The last version featured the logo of the Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria on front and back. In 2010, Corfe said that he would retire the gold jacket "if the Pies win the flag."[2] He had the jacket on by the sixth minute of the final quarter of the 2010 AFL Grand Final replay,[9] as Collingwood stormed to an easy win over St Kilda.

Following a turbulent 10 year history the gold jacket was officially retired[10] after the 2010 premiership win.

Joffa and the Gold Jacket in action

The jacket was auctioned on eBay for $3,900, with all proceeds going to the Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria.

In 2011, a new version – known as the "People's Jacket" – was created by the Epilepsy Foundation and is worn by Collingwood supporters, usually children, after a win.

Early life and family[edit]

Corfe, one of five boys and two girls, came from a working-class family in Melbourne.[2] His mother, June Murphy, suffered from alcoholism and drug addiction.[11] His father, Robert Corfe, who also suffered from alcoholism and drug addiction, drove a truck and had various other "bum jobs". When he was a young child, Corfe's family moved around various suburbs in Melbourne, escaping debt and financial obligations.[11] By the time he was 14, in the mid 1960s, Corfe had left home and was living at the Allambie Boys Home in East Burwood, where he stayed for about five years. During this time he recalls a "lovely couple" taking him to Victoria Park, where he saw his first game of football.[2][12] His six siblings also lived in and out of public homes and foster care throughout their early years due to their parents' chronic instability and poverty.[2]

In his early adolescence, Corfe drifted between different jobs and different homes; his living situation alternating between public housing, his unstable family and the streets.[2] He was homeless for four years in his late teenage years, until he got a job at a plastics factory in Hawthorn and was able to escape homelessness.[11]

Today, he is a single, working and a social advocate.[2] His daughter, Emma, was diagnosed at 13 (2003) with epilepsy and he has since become a vocal advocate for the Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria.[2] He likes to read books and spend time with his three grandchildren – Simon, Jeffrey and Destiny-Pearl, who are indigenous.[2] He has close connections with the indigenous community at Lake Tyers.[13] He has not had a drink of alcohol since 2000. "I never had a problem with it, but I have major problems with people who are intoxicated. They just don't make sense."[2]

As well as being a charity fundraiser and a supporter of disadvantaged people, Corfe appears as a guest speaker at sportsmen's nights and social and charity events.

Employment[edit]

Corfe is employed as a welfare worker at the Anchorage Hostel,[14] a Salvation Army refuge for homeless men.[11] He does night shift from 11 pm to 8.30 am.[11] The hostel "houses 57 men, with an average age of about 50. Half have mental health issues or brain injuries, their life administered by the state trustee. Many are alcoholics or drug users. Some choose to be outsiders, some have had that forced upon them."[11]

Eddie McGuire says that he is a big fan of Corfe's. "He's as rough as hessian undies", says McGuire, "but he has a tremendous intellect and an amazing capacity for good."[11]

Corfe is so well known in Australia that The Australian newspaper used his name in an opinion piece on the National Broadband Network debate.[15]

Throughout the 2012 AFL season, Corfe, with Ben Bronx, debuted the Bronxy & Joffa show on YouTube. On the weekly show they would discuss the biggest talking points of the previous round and preview the coming week of Australian Rules football.

Charity work[edit]

Joffa Corfe and Joffre Pearce about to depart Murray Bridge on the final leg of their fundraising ride from Melbourne to Adelaide.

As the leader of the most famous club in Australia's cheer squad,"Joffa" Corfe attracts animosity from opposition supporters. "Joffa" concedes that many people have a low opinion of him. "If the public perception was right, I'd be in Pentridge", he said in 2010.[16] Instead of rotting away in that notorious, though now defunct, colonial prison, "Joffa" released a film that year and stayed busy raising money for charity.

Ride to AAMI[edit]

From 30 July 2011[17] to 6 August 2011, Joffa Corfe and Joffre Pearce,[18][19] father of Danyle Pearce, a player with the Fremantle Football Club in the Australian Football League, completed a fundraising bicycle ride from Rockbank, outside of Melbourne, to AAMI Stadium in Adelaide.[20][21] Along the way they met up with local football clubs, and gave and received encouragement.[22] Olympic Gold Medalist Brett Aitken joined the riders on their final leg.

The ride raised over $1,300[23] for the Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria’s Parent Epilepsy Support Network.

2011 Flood Relief Charity Match[edit]

During one of the breaks in the NAB Cup three-way match at Etihad Stadium on 12 February 2011, "Joffa" turned out as a player[24] for the "Collingwood" team in a charity fund-raiser[25] against a celebrity "Carlton" team. Funds were raised to aid victims of the devastating Queensland floods.

Joffa in action for Queensland Flood Relief at Etihad Stadium, 2011

RecLink football[edit]

Joffa is an active supporter of RecLink football in general and the Collingwood Knights team in particular.[12] RecLink is a national organisation that provides access to sporting and recreational opportunities as a form of social therapy for people experiencing social and economic disadvantage.[26]

Joffa's Walk for Epilepsy[edit]

He has been an active and successful fundraiser for the Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria for many years. Joffa’s Walk for Epilepsy was run in 2006.[27]

Bobblehead doll[edit]

In conjunction with the release of Joffa: The Movie, Joffa the Movie Action Figure Bobblehead Dolls[28] are currently being sold by the Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria to raise funds for epilepsy research.[29]

Carlton Football Club[edit]

When the Carlton Football Club, long time nemesis of Joffa's beloved Collingwood, got itself into "dire financial trouble" in 2007,[30] Joffa appeared in Carlton colours outside Flinders Street Station "to show he was serious about helping the club".[30] He described Carlton as one of the four "powerhouses of the competition"[30] and said he would "do anything" to keep them from disappearing in a merger with another club.[30] "They're the club I love to hate, so I'd hate to see them go."[30]


Joffa the Action Figure Bobblehead Doll

Bronxy & Joffa join rally to recognise Somaliland[edit]

On 22 February 2012, during a tour of the United Kingdom with Ben Bronx, Joffa and Bronxy joined a rally to recognise Somaliland as an independent country, and to seek recognition from the British government. They raised awareness of the cause by rallying through the streets of London and by posting a video online that went viral.[31]

Joffa: The Movie[edit]

Inspired by the classic Australian movie The Club,[32] producer-director Chris Liontos decided to make his own film about Aussie rules football[16] "through the eyes of the most passionate supporter in the country."[16] Joffa: The Movie was released nationally on 2 September 2010. For such "an ultra-low budget movie to get a national cinema release – this has never happened (before)," Liontos said.[32] The official website[33] describes Joffa's life outside football as "hilariously funny" and promises "a journey that explores mateship, trust and the human spirit".

The DVD of the movie[34] was released in December 2010 by Madman Entertainment. In reviewing the DVD, Filmink said: "A ubiquitous, beguiling weirdo, Joffa is warm and funny playing himself..."[35] The DVD includes a full set of commentaries, bloopers and footage of Collingwood's 2010 Grand Final win celebrations.[36]

Controversy[edit]

When the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, tried to rally voters during the 2010 Federal election by calling for a "unity ticket" of people who hated the Collingwood Football Club, Corfe reacted by saying that she had "lost his vote".[37] When she was asked to explain her comments, Gillard said that she had no choice but to "stick with her footy principles".[37] Joffa said, "For a Prime Minister to jump on the anti-Collingwood bandwagon, I reckon it’s a bit poor... We don’t need that stuff on the national political stage."[37] He added: "I have gone to the Greens, she’s finished."[37]

In 2008 Corfe created controversy when photographs of him posing with two rifles in the manner of Melbourne criminal Chopper Read were posted on a Collingwood supporters' internet forum. His actions were criticised by gun control activists but Collingwood's president, Eddie McGuire, defended Corfe's character.[3][38]

After a ban on the use of the term "white maggot" in reference to umpires was introduced at The Gabba in 2007, Corfe defended the right of supporters to use the term. He compared security at the ground to Gestapo.[39]

Although Corfe has been the highest profile member of the Collingwood cheer squad, he has not always had a comfortable relationship with other fans and club staff.[40] In 2003 leaflets criticising his behaviour and including his home address were distributed at a Collingwood match.[7]

In Round 18 of the 2002 AFL season, in a match between Collingwood and their archrival Carlton, Corfe drew attention to the fact that Carlton were going to finish last that year by waving an oversized wooden spoon. The spoon was initially confiscated, though it was later put on display at the Collingwood club rooms. Collingwood won that game by 108 points.[4][5][41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ History of the Gold Jacket
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Hadfield, Shelley (20 August 2010). "Secret life of Joffa". Herald Sun. Retrieved 22 August 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Brown, Terry (22 November 2008). "Collingwood Football Club gives Joffa the flick". Herald Sun. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c Corfe, Jeff. "The Gold Jacket". joffasfrontpage.com. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  5. ^ a b McClure, Geoff (24 July 2003). "Gold old Collingwood". Herald Sun. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  6. ^ McClure, Geoff (25 September 2003). "Joffa jacket's final cheer". The Age. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  7. ^ a b McClure, Geoff (11 November 2003). "Pies' grim days ahead". The Age. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  8. ^ McClure, Geoff (28 September 2003). "Jacket not over yet". The Age. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  9. ^ Rolfe, Peter (3 October 2010). "AFL Grand Final winners Collingwood looking forward to proud new chapter". Herald Sun. Retrieved 3 October 2010. 
  10. ^ Joffa's Front Page
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Johnston, Chris (24 September 2011). "Joffa's other side, guardian angel to the lost". The Age. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  12. ^ a b Flanagan, Martin (28 August 2010). "Kicking on after a school of hard knocks". The Age. Retrieved 28 August 2010. 
  13. ^ "Joffa the Movie". Greg King, FilmReviews.net.au, 5 September 2010. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  14. ^ http://www.melbourne.homeless.org.au/specialised.html
  15. ^ "There's always the Joffa option". The Australian. 5 November 2010. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  16. ^ a b c "Joffa the Collingwood Super Fan to star in his very own movie". Terry Brown, Herald Sun, 9 February 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2010. 
  17. ^ "Joffa cycles to support epilepsy". The Courier, 18 July 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  18. ^ "Joffa cycling through for Epilepsy Foundation". The Stawell Times-News, 15 July 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2011. 
  19. ^ "Joffa Corfe to hit Stawell on Sunday". The Wimmera Mail-Times, 29 July 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2011. 
  20. ^ Ride to AAMI - Joffa's Front Page
  21. ^ "Joffa rolls through town". Dimboola Courier, 2 August 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  22. ^ "A JOFFA YOU CAN’T REFUSE". The Wimmera Weekly Advertiser, 3 August 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2011. 
  23. ^ "The Ride To Football Park For Epilepsy". Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria, 31 August 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2011. 
  24. ^ Celeb Match, photos
  25. ^ Schulz, Matthew (13 January 2011). "Collingwood's Scott Pendlebury suggests AFL match for raise money for flood victims". Herald Sun. Retrieved 17 February 2011. 
  26. ^ RecLink website
  27. ^ Brown, Clinton (2 October 2006). "Joffa’s Walk for Epilepsy". BigPond. Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  28. ^ Brown, Terry (5 June 2010). "Joffa hits big time in his first film". Herald Sun. Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  29. ^ Joffa the Movie Action Figure Bobblehead Doll
  30. ^ a b c d e Schulz, Matthew (31 January 2007). "Joffa goes to the dark side". Herald Sun. Retrieved 8 September 2010. 
  31. ^ Bronxy & Joffa Join Rally In London To Recognise Somaliland (Wednesday 22nd February 2012)
  32. ^ a b "A finals cinema fling for crusty Pie Jeff 'Joffa' Corfe". Terry Brown, Herald Sun, 30 July 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2010. 
  33. ^ Official website
  34. ^ DVD – JB HiFi
  35. ^ Filmink – Joffa: The Movie
  36. ^ Madman DVD details, 1 December 2010
  37. ^ a b c d Schulz, Matthew (19 August 2010). "Collingwood fans say Julia Gillard has lost votes after saying she hates Pies". Herald Sun. Retrieved 19 August 2010. 
  38. ^ Trickey, Gareth (3 December 2008). "Collingwood AFL fan Jeff 'Joffa' Corfe slammed for website photo with guns". The Australian. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  39. ^ Tame, Adrian; Black, Anthony (29 April 2007). "Wrangle over 'white maggot'". Herald Sun. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  40. ^ Critchley, Cheryl (11 March 2009). "AFL fans warned to behave... or else". PerthNow. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  41. ^ McClure, Geoff (10 August 2005). "Pies ready to dish up Blues' spoon". The Age. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 

External links[edit]