A great turn out of around 40 past players & their wives attended a cold, wet Alfredton winters day.
That’s footy! The company was fantastic, an excellent meal from Kate was served by her friendly staff & while the results were not so good, all our boys tried hard all day.
As the day went on the stories got bigger & better, with Superstar Len Templar still holding court and by the way, he still looks fit enough to play.
Ex Ballarat and Melbourne Ruckman Graham Wise was in attendance, Graham joined Melbourne at start of the 1963 season and played in their 1964 premiership side. Terry O’Farrell, who played with Graham, commented that today Graham would probably be a wingman, at 188cm & 83KG.
Bill Strownix, one of our oldest surviving players was at the function, along with another contender Keith Cousens, who played 33 games around 1961.
Between on-field & off, three generations of O’Farrells were present, Terry played 90 games, Chris played over 30 and Nick (a current player) was an award winner for his game.
Champion Rover Brendan Maher mentioned the term “Henderson Medallist” an incredible amount of times, the more he drank, the more the term came up. Gary Compston, the 150 Game half forward and premiership player told the same jokes he told in 1979. He and Brendan were around the place all day and went home at about 6.30 pm after a great day out.
Bruce Milthorpe the legendary 1980 Reserves B&F winner wasn’t far behind them. Reminiscent of the old pleasant Sunday mornings.
Paul Nichols (248 game champion) also caught up with old mates & some more recent ones, Leigh Trethowan, Col Duffy, Ian Edwards, Justin McGrath, Mark Hynes, Ron Drendel, Travis Jones & Scott Petrie, amongst others. Don Ross caused some merriment, reluctantly quoting from his hand written player evaluations circa 2000.
There seemed to be a marked preference for those of a somewhat critical nature. Great to see Greg Kitchen, ex Captain & B&F winner, along With Colin Toose, a premiership Captain & B&F winner.
John Smith was still up to his best form collecting memorabilia and stories to add to the rich Swans History. One of the more amusing moments was Bruce Wallis losing his vote card, not watching much footy and talking a lot of crap, so who knows how he gave anyone votes.
Just shows nothing’s changed. Bill “Wizza” Whitefield was also there for a while but had to leave for work, Como reckons his Job sucks. Barry Leneghan had lots of great stories as did Digby Marks, while Clive Quick & Danny Quinlan threw their “two bobs worth” in. Gary Williams enjoyed the hospitality & played it cunning, bringing Coady to chauffeur.
It was also lovely to catch up with some of the partners, Rosie Ellard, Brenda Smith. Rhonda Toose, and Viv Whitefield.
Marie Pryor, ex-Presidents Chief of Staff, was first there and last to leave. Later in the day Jan Stewart honoured us with her presence after cheering on the triumphant Swans Netballers.
There was also a healthy representation of immediate pasties, mainly officials, with the likes of Helen & Rob James, Daryl & Meredith Beseler, Mark Taylor, Mark Biggs & Steve Parker getting into the spirit of the day.
Thanks must go to Mark Pryor, Paul Carey & “Mumpy” Wallis for their great organisation of the day. Also the unsung hero, Scott Petrie, who with a band of volunteers took care of setting up the room & the numerous other tasks required to make the day such a success.
Well, that just about covers it, apologies to anyone we’ve missed out. Speaking of apologies the following pasties requested a formal apology be made on their behalf. Jenny Bilston (Kevin’s widow), Sally, Shane & Anne (Kevin’s surviving children), John Abraham, Graham Bayles, Graham Biggs, Simon Charleson, Paul Jennings, Liz Jones, Brendan Lehmann, Shane Manley, John Northey, Doug & Karen Park, Ian Richardson, Frank Segrave, Greg Smith, Warren “Wokka” Stott, Lindsay Tucker, Noel Williams & Rick Winnell.
Next Year let’s try for 100 participants. It will only take you to invite one or two and we can have another great Day, remembering the best times of your life at the mighty BFNC.
Go Swannies – Greg Ryan & Bruce Milthorpe