There was a magical moment on the second night of the AFL draft when Hawthorn called out the name Calsher Dear.
Calsher is the son of Paul Dear, a former Hawthorn star who played 123 games for the club from 1987 to 1996 and won the Norm Smith Medal for his performance in the Hawks’ 1991 AFL grand final triumph.
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In September 2020, Paul was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer and was told his condition was terminal and incurable, but he dared to hope he might be the exception.
After a 21-month battle, Dear passed away in July 2022
Calsher now has the opportunity to follow in his footsteps after impressing in the second half of the year and being selected by Hawthorn at pick 56 as a father-son prospect.
And before the draft, he spoke to 7NEWS about his father’s legacy and influence.
“Very excited, a little nervous, but very excited, I can’t wait,” Calsher said of draft night.
And the nervousness would have increased if Hawthorn had made a few live pick trades before making his selection.
They sent pick 53 to Sydney for pick 59 and a future fourth-round pick after sending pick 52 to Port Adelaide, also for a future fourth-round pick.
When they finally called out his name, they took to social media with a message to fans.
“This is something special, with pick 56 in the AFL Draft we selected Calsher Dear,” they wrote with love hearts in the club colors brown and gold.
Before the event, the Dears gathered with friends and family at their home in Beaumaris.
And Calsher’s mother Cherie Dear said it was a night full of “mixed emotions”.
“Very mixed emotions, but if we’ve learned anything from what happened to Paul, it’s that you really have to make the most of the good times,” she told 7NEWS.
“And tonight is a very special evening. We have our friends and family here who have been with us all the way, so we will celebrate because we have the luxury of knowing he is going somewhere.”
When asked what was the one life lesson he learned from his father, Calsher responded with emotion
“Just never give up,” he told 7NEWS.
“Through his actions that we saw, through his diagnosis, he never gave up trying,” Calsher said.
“He never gave up trying to beat it.”
Calsher comes from a family of athletes and his eldest brother Harry was drafted by Adelaide in 2014.
The Dear family now works for the Dare to Hope Foundation in Paul’s memory, which seeks to educate and raise awareness about pancreatic cancer.
In a documentary about Paul, he said he was not afraid of death and hoped the Dare To Hope initiative could turn into something positive.
“I’m just trying to make something good out of a shitty situation and see if I can lead the way and spread the word. Even if it’s a day longer, that’s a day you didn’t have. This is really how you should live your life,” he said.
“I don’t want to die, I want to be there for everything, be there for all my kids, absolutely be a part of it.
“What is there to fear? I have always lived my life focusing on the things you can control. There are a hell of a lot of people who have left this earth without warning.
“Ultimately, the fear of death is FOMO (fear of missing out).”