By Terry Cornick, Founder and CEO of Mr Perfect.
Back in mid 2016, Mr Perfect had two BBQs running, one on the Central Coast NSW.
One regular late night at the dining table on the laptop I scrolled Instagram to try and find a "public face" that may become an ambassador for us. Given our links to football (how we started and the club we formed MRP FC (formerly Mr. Perfect Football Club)), I started with Aussie professional footballers.
Somehow I came across a gent and his name rang a bell. He had played in the English Premiership League a few years back. He had a few thousand people following him and he had known Gary Speed (the famous Welsh footballer and coach that had recently lost his battle with depression).
So I slid into his DMs 100% expecting no response. Why would anyone want to for such a tiny, insignificant thing we were doing?
That night I get a very polite reply, "let's catch up" he said. Just a week later I am interviewing him for a blog piece for the Mr Perfect website on the phone, nervous as hell, about mentality in football.
A few weeks later I'm meeting him for coffee on the Central Coast and as we leave we get a photo in a terrible quality Mr Perfect tee shirt (we changed our supplier soon after).
He came to our first Mr Perfect "Anti-Ball", did a training session for MRP FC, donated countless valuable items for auctions, met me for more coffees, promoted what we do on the Central Coast and even took me on the training pitch for a day to meet Usain Bolt when he briefly graced these shores.
In the last few years after retiring from playing, he has developed arguably one of the most successful Australian youth sports programs, bearing a conveyor belt of talent that will continue for years to come.
From day one, something struck me about his humility and the way he talked about work ethic, how to truly train and coach youngsters with the round-ball game, his mentality, the fact he's never been given a leg-up by anyone, and of course, the most admirable trait for me, his devotion to his young family.
It is an understatement he has been an inspiration to me from afar without him really knowing it, a true Mr Perfect and a true leader.