I would wager my golden tooth caps that no tailor had ever heard such a strange request. But as we are talking of Ricky May, nobody should have been surprised. Ricky loved his wife Colleen, his daughter Shaney, entertaining, rugby league and golf more or less in that order if you exclude food.
So in season, he could be found standing with thousands of other football tragics, squashed together, rain hail or shine on a miserable Sydney Sunday, bellowing his encouragement at eleven of his favorite mud splattered and blood encrusted gladiators. However, those blissful afternoons of escape were being ruined by a problem he had yet to solve.
There was no way Ricky could stand out in the cold for the full eighty minutes and not eat. Drink? No, he could tolerate parch to the point of perish but he had to have food. So what to do? Snack bars were always too far and pushing through the crowd to the food outlet was too stressful. He was terrified there might be a vital try or even a biff-up while he wasn’t looking, so he went to his tailor.
I swear I am not making this up! Imagine the surprise on the face of the snack bar attendant that first time, when he found Ricky at the front of the queue asking for a dozen hot pies. Then imagine the utter amazement as he watched twelve steaming pies disappear one at a time into the twelve cunningly concealed and insulated pockets of Ricky’s new tailor-made and purpose-built ‘pie coat’!
(Here you can see Ricky singing at the opening an AFL game in Adelaide.)
PS. Stories of Ricky May are told with love. He was not only a great entertainer but a warm and generous human being. Watching the video brought him back to me for a moment, nice but sad.