DIEHARD SUPPORTER: Peter Ciaston wearing his beloved red and white at BFL grand final day this year. Picture: Kate Healy.
The man injured in a bicycle accident who lay in hospital in Melbourne unidentified on Monday night is a beloved figure at the Ballarat Football Club.
‘Scoreboard’ Pete Ciaston is at the Royal Melbourne Hospital recovering from his injuries, coming out of a coma on Tuesday.
Former Swans president Shane Manley said he was one of the hardest workers at the club and a top bloke.
“He’d do anything for anyone, he’s a reallygenuine, honest, caring guy,” he said.
Starting as a scoreboard operator 20 years ago–which earned the 51-year-old his name –Mr Ciaston has become one of the Ballarat Football League’s best-known faces while carrying water across the grades.
Mr Manley said he was unidentified until Tuesdaybecause in another bit of bad luck,his wallet had been stolen at a party only two weeks ago, and he was still in the process of replacing his licence.
He came off his bike at the roundabout on the corner of Dana Street and Albert Street, out the front of Ballarat police station.
By chance there was an ambulance parked at the police station so police and paramedics were able to attend to him quickly.
He was airlifted to Melbourne in a critical condition.
Mr Manley said a group from the club visited Mr Ciaston on Wednesday.
“The doctors have told me he is very lucky,” he said.
“Most of the people in the league know him and will be wishing him all the best.”
Mr Manley spoke about Mr Ciaston being embraced at the club, where he found a family after a tough upbringing.
A spokeswoman from the Royal Melbourne Hospital said he was in a stable condition on Wednesday afternoon.
Mr Ciastonreceived many messages of support from the football world and beyond.
The Courier’s online message board and Facebook was where many people said they were thinking of him.
Craig Grant from Wendouree wrote on behalf of the Redan ‘old boys’.
“Get well soon Pete, one of the great characters of the BFL,” he said.
Kylie from Delacombe paid tribute to his character.
“Pete is such a caring, loving andhard working guy. Wishing you a speedy recovery Pete,” she said.
Karina Cromb wrote on Facebook about his after-match celebrations.
“Get well soon Pete. You’re a top bloke. I always looked forward to your Saturday night speeches,” she said.
Others described the Ballarat Health Services workeras “the nicest guy around” and a “champion bloke”.
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