HE’S played in several Anzac Day clashes and Dragons forward Jack de Belin says his thoughts inevitably turn to the same man whenever he takes to the SFS turf.
De Belin’s grandfather – and 1948 Kangaroo tourist – Fred de Belin served with the RAAF in World War II, flying in Lancasters on bombing raids over Germany where he completed a full tour of duty of 30 missions.
His great-grandfather Fred Ernest de Belin also served on the Western Front in World War I.
“My great-grandfather fought in World War I and my Pop Fred fought in World War II so it goes a fair way back."Jack de Belin
The family connections make the the annual fixture against the Roosters a special one for the 27-year-old.
“My great-grandfather fought in World War I and my Pop Fred fought in World War II so it goes a fair way back there,” de Belin said.
“It happened so long ago and you forget the spectrum of how big it was.
“He was the same age as me when he went over to a foreign land to fight against people he didn’t even know.
“It’s kind of surreal when you think of it like that so it’ll be in the back of my mind [on Wednesday].
“We’re only playing a game of football but, when you look at the wider spectrum, we’re playing for a lot more.”