Most people shudder at the thought of what's lurking in the back of their wardrobe. It can be the stuff of nightmares, but Jillaroos legend Julie McGuffie was able to make an unlikely dream come true in rifling through hers.
A member of the famed Illawarra 'Invincibles' alongside the likes of Nat Dwyer and Tarsha Gale, McGuffie was a member of the first ever Jillaroos side to take the field against New Zealand in 1995.
A year later, she was Jillaroos skipper when the first ever touring Great Britain side arrived on Aussie shores for a two-game Test series. The Lioness' were led by British legend Lisa McIntosh.
As is often customary, the respective skippers agreed to a jersey swap prior to the match.
The then self-funded tours outfitted players with two jerseys, so both were left with a valuable memento without sacrificing a precious Test jumper.
At least that was the plan. It's why McGuffie had both her Jillaroos jumper and an honourary Great Britain guernsey at her place in Wollongong.
Back in the UK, McIntosh was left with only memories of hers after a laundry-room thief managed to pilfer her playing jumper following the second of two Tests against the Aussies.
It was something she'd thought gone for good only for it to be miraculously back en route to the UK just short of 30 years later.
"It was quite bizarre really," McGuffie said.
"Recently, out of the blue, I got a call from one of the English girls who lives in Queensland named Becky Jones. I'd met her a few years ago at the World Cup.
"She said 'I don't know if you remember me' but when I thought about it I did and she told me the girls over in England are looking to get a museum happening, they're recognising the [women's] pioneers.
"I think that's great because we've already done that [in Australia], we're always acknowledged. They were chasing down the original captain's jersey and asked would I have any idea where it might be?
"I said 'I sure do, it's hanging in the wardrobe'."
For absolute clarity, 'Guff' was not lurking around the laundry room all those years ago. Her jersey was gifted to her by McIntosh following the first ever Test series between the two countries.
"Lisa McIntosh was the Great Britain captain and I was the Jillaroos captain and we had some functions prior to the series," McGuffie recalls.
"We had a brief chat, we didn't chat a lot being obviously opposing captains, but we did decide 'let's swap jerseys at the end, this is history, this is special'. That's what we did, this is actually the jersey she played in.
"They came out for a three-Test series. We played one series in 95 against New Zealand, Natalie (Dwyer) captained that, but we lost both games. I came in [as captain] next year.
"We played the first Test in Canberra, which we won. It was the first Test we ever won. We then had another game up at Brisbane, the second one, which they won.
"We had the decider down at Redfern and they beat us by two points. We were just pounding that line with 10 minutes to go and we just couldn't get it.
"I remember, as soon as that hooter went, I was so disappointed because I was getting on then and I knew we were going to tour, but I didn't know if I'd be going because I was getting on.
"I thought I was going to retire, and I did, so I knew I wouldn't get another crack at them. I knew the other girls would and they did, and they done them, so it all worked out good in the end."
Such agonising defeat understandably sits bitterly, but not to the degree she even considered holding onto the jumper when it was discovered she still had it.
"I've treasured it, but it's an English jersey, belongs in England," McGuffie said.
"It deserves to go home so I'm proud to send it back. It seems like now the English are really getting on board with the museum and the history of it all, so I'm over the moon.
"Like everything, when you reflect on it, you do realise how special it was. I realised how important it was back then, but I think the older you get the more you appreciate it.
"We did [then], but probably not as much as maybe we should have. We were just girls out there playing footy, the game we loved, for our country. I don't think either of us realised the history that we were actually making."
The detective, Becky Jones, herself an England International, was coached by McIntosh in the England Under 19s side and then subsequently played alongside her for Great Britain in Australia in 2002.
The way things fell, Jones never went back, but had set out in search of her former jerseys when the museum project was launched to document the history of women's rugby league in the UK.
It's how she first heard about 'Macky's' missing jersey.
"I wasn't aware of it, but I was actually speaking to Lisa not long ago and I told her I was trying to look for one of my Test jerseys from 2002," Jones said.
"It was through that conversation she said "oh like mine, mine went missing in Australia'. I said 'what are you on about?' She said 'I had one in the laundry and it went missing'.
"I thought 'I wonder if I could track it down'. Just through somebody else I got talking to in Australia, an Australian player, she said 'yeah, I remember that, her jersey got stolen'.
"I just happened to do a bit of ring around and spoke to Guff and she said 'look, I haven't got that jersey, but I've actually obviously got the one I swapped with Lisa back in 1996'.
"She said she'd be more than happy to hand it over to Lisa."
When told the search had proved fruitful, Jones reports McIntosh almost fell out of her chair.
"When I said 'I want to try and see what I can do' she said 'you're dreaming, it will be long gone Becky, it'll be well and truly gone'," Jones said.
"Turns out it's not. Lisa can't believe it. She'd swapped that one with Guff, but she was always keeping one for herself and when it went went missing it was devastating.
"Guff was more than happy to send it back and we can't thank her enough for that."
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