FORGET four seasons in one day — ironman Manly Marlins prop Dan Nicholson has played four grades in one afternoon.
In an amazing display of endurance and club spirit, the Marlins stalwart turned out in fourth, third, second and first grades against Parramatta at Granville last Saturday when other props went down like tenpins.
“I feel like I am 37,” the 37-year-old forward admitted as he made his way off the field following first grade’s 58-22 win.
What made the day even more memorable for the Collaroy real estate agent was that it was also his first grade debut.
The veteran forward had absolutely no idea what was about to unfold and thought he was just standing by for fourth grade.
“When I got there I found one of our first grade props Tim Fairbrother had done his hamstring,” Nicholson said.
He started in fourth grade but was pulled off at half-time because he was needed in third grade.
“We didn’t have any other proper front-rowers and I played the full game,” Nicholson said.
When prop Johnny Wunder suffered a severe cut to his forehead in seconds, Nicholson went back into battle and took part in all but two minutes of that grade.
With about nine minutes left in first grade coach Phil Blake gave Nicholson a run in the Marlins’ top side for the first time.
“I had a smile on my face from ear to ear as soon as I got out on that field, plus all the boys were yelling and screaming,” Nicholson said.
Nicholson finished the day with four wins out of four- the only drawback was that he would have had to be on for 15 minutes in order to receive the first grade match payment.
“I’ll have to speak to them about that at training this week,” he laughed.
Blake said they will be talking about Nicholson’s effort at the club 30 years from now.
“We thought if we got the opportunity we would give him some time in first grade,” Blake said. “It was a reward for his efforts and commitment to the club and full credit to him for what he did.”
Nicholson will go back to the lower grades for Saturday’s game with Easts at Manly Oval- but who knows where he will end up by 4.45pm.
After a career in the lower grades Nicholson came out of retirement six years ago to help the club out when they were running short of props.
“And now here we are,” he said.
Original story on Fox Sports