‘Favourite son’ Longmire at home in Corowa

Click or flick across the above image for more photos from the festival.

SYDNEY Swans coach and Corowa’s “favourite son” returned home yesterday for the town’s National Federation Festival parade.

After a sportsmen’s night for his old footy club on Saturday, John Longmire, rode on the back of a ute with last year’s AFL premiership cup, to be loudly welcomed by a main street packed with people.

Some wore the Swans’ colours and many voiced approval of their home-town hero with yells of “Up the Swannies”, “Well done Johnny” and “On ya Johnny”.

Longmire said the big parade crowd was a fantastic show of support from a town that had always backed him during his early football years.

“So many people — it’s great they’ve shown an interest,” he said.

“It’s just good to be back home.”

Longmire, who played seniors and thirds for Corowa-Rutherglen Football Club, won the Coleman Medal, AFL’s goal-kicking award, playing for North Melbourne when he was 19.

He was part of the Kangaroos 1999 premiership and became a premiership coach last year.

Corowa has hosted governor-generals and ambassadors, but festival president Gary Poidevin said it was special to have “Corowa’s favourite son” as a guest.

“John is very aware of his grassroots here in Corowa,” he said.

“It’s great to have a local boy for the parade.”

About 2000 people attended the festival, that started with the usual parade of floats, bands and cars.

“It was great so many people came out,” Mr Poidevin said.

The festival commemorates the 1893 conference at Corowa that led to federation, but six-year-old Cooper Connell from Corowa was there for the cars.

Of the Ford GTs, Mustangs and Roadstars, Cooper liked the big Mack truck best.

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