Western United star Lachie Wales featured in the latest episode of A-Leagues All Access, offering a raw insight into his life on and off the football pitch.
When he was just 16 years of age and in the middle of his HSC exams at school, Wales’ mother passed away suddenly.
Lachie had developed a special bond with his mother, Wendy, who dedicated her time to driving Lachie to and from training as he pursued his football dreams.
Wales admitted his “whole world shattered” at the time but delivered a beautiful, powerful insight into how he came to overcome the grief.
“I think it was a challenge that I accepted and really grew from,” he said.
“I reckon if that didn’t happen, I might not be a professional footballer. It gives me a drive to do it for her and all the time and effort she put into driving me to Sydney six nights a week from the Central Coast.
“It was a probably a wake-up call I needed to go, ‘yeah I need to do this, I want to do this’. I’m proud to sit here, and I think she would be proud of the person I am today.”
Lachie’s father, Brett, also appeared in the A-Leagues All Access episode and shares a number of touching tributes that Wales left to his late mother.
Brett showed the camera a small left-footed Puma football boot, explaining that it was Lachie’s first boot and that its pair was the item Lachie chose to leave with Wendy when she passed away.
A room full of memorabilia from Lachie’s footballing journey features a bright pink jersey, emblazoned with Wales 24 on the back.
It is a commemorative kit for Breast Cancer Round from Lachie’s time with Central Coast Mariners. Early on in his career, Wales bought his own match-worn jersey and it now sits in a frame with a note attached. It reads:
“Dear mum and dad. I want you to keep this on behalf of mum for the cancer round and all the effort and time you put into me.”
Brett spoke glowingly of what that particular piece of memorabilia means to him.
“At the time, I really appreciated it and I still do now. It makes me feel really good, but sad at the same time,” he said.
Lachie has made good on that promise he made to himself that he would continue to pursue a professional football career.
Now an Olympian and an Isuzu UTE A-League Men Champion, there is no doubt that Wendy would be proud of the person that Lachie has become.
Vale, Wendy Wales.