VICTORIAN war hero Cameron Baird will be remembered in a moving Anzac Day tribute at the club where his love for footy began. His legacy will is also set to live on with his closest mates set to launch an inaugural night in his honour to raise funds for families of soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
It’s hoped “Cam’s Cause’’ will become an annual fixture on the fundraising calendar.
Corporal Baird, a highly decorated commando, was fatally shot during a battle to take an insurgent-held compound in central Afghanistan last year.
He was the 40th and last Australian soldier to die in the war.
On Anzac Day, players will stand side-by-side before the Calder Cannons take on North Ballarat in memory of soldiers killed in overseas campaigns.
It will be the first time TAC clubs have clashed on the day of commemoration.
“This is something we really wanted to do,” Cannon’s talent manager Ian Kyte said.
“We hope the Anzac match becomes a regular fixture.’’
The player who now wears Cpl Baird’s number 27 guernsey is expected to play a significant role in the pre-game ode.
And in a best and fairest tradition, Cpl Baird’s number has also been permanently fixed to his locker in fitting tribute.
“We think earning the Victoria Cross is better than any best and fairest award,” Kyte said.
Christian Dyer, Baird’s long-time best mate, said the charity night, to be held in July, will highlight his enormous contributions from footy, to his efforts under fire.
“We want to keep Cam’s story alive and use what he did to inspire younger generations,” Mr Dyer said.
“Cam just wanted to be a good person and make the world a better place, that’s just the sort of person he was.’’
Organisers are hopeful of luring AFL stars to speak at the event with all funds raised going to the Commando Welfare Trust, a cause that had been close to Baird’s heart.
“It is our vision and mission for Cam’s Cause to sustain his legacy and to continue to support the CWT as they provide relief in times of hardship,” Mr Dyer said.
“Cam would have deflected all this attention. But if we can inspire people, that’s what he would really like.’’