BEING inducted into the Hampden league Hall of Fame is a thrill in and of itself. But for Lyndsay Hill, the honour had another layer.
He and a great mate of 50 years, the late John Holland, were both inducted as part of the six-man 2016 intake.
South Warrnambool champion Leigh Marris, Warrnambool coaching great Grant Thomas, Cobden product and Roosters premiership coach Alistair Lord and Cobden games record holder Bill Askew were also inducted at Wednesday’s Hall of Fame and life members night.
Hill, a premiership player at Colac, called more than 700 Hampden league games in a 33-year broadcast career, 25 of which were spent alongside Holland, his friend and business partner.
He said he was “blown away” when the pair received their honours this year.
“It was just so touching. I was so proud that I got it, but for us both to get it (was wonderful),” he said.
Holland’s wife Kathy accepted the honour on his behalf, with daughters Jane and Linda, as well as granddaughter Maggie Wooles also in attendance.
Kathy said after a back injury prematurely ended Holland’s playing career, he found another outlet for his passion in radio – but he had his priorities sorted.
“With John, family came first, mini-golf second, and sport third,” she laughed.
“He loved sport – he enjoyed talking about it. He enjoyed being in amongst it all.”
Lord started and ended his career with Cobden – first as a player, then a coach.
In between he joined Geelong in the old VFL, winning a premiership and a Brownlow medal, and coached South Warrnambool for four years, winning the 1969 flag.
In 1975 he returned to a Cobden club that knew little success, but was the catalyst for its change in fortunes.
“They hadn’t won many games in a long period of time. They had to get into the mode of winning,” Lord said.
Lord, who still follows the Bombers’ and Roosters’ fortunes, led a big recruiting drive and Cobden returned to finals, becoming a force.
Marris played 317 senior games for the Roosters and won three club senior best and fairest awards, as well as playing in four premierships.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be in the Hall of Fame,” he told the gathering.
“South Warrnambool Football Club – it’s been my life, really, for the last 30 years.
“I followed the club as a young kid. Of course now with my kids heavily involved with the netball and footy, the footy club is fantastic for me and my family.”
Askew, who played 310 games for Cobden, was self-deprecating in his speech.
“With my footy, to sum it up, I was someone that had to try really hard to be average,” he said.
Despite his assessment of his own game, Askew won two club best and fairest awards and was twice runner-up for the Maskell Cup.
Grant Thomas, who was unable to attend, coached Warrnambool to four consecutive premierships.
Jim Bell, who was part of the inaugural Hall of Fame intake in 2013, was elevated to legend status on the night.
Judy Robertson (Mortlake/Terang Mortlake), Dot Jenkins (Mortlake/North Warrnambool Eagles), Ben Goodall (Koroit) and Kerri Jennings (Portland/Port Fairy) were presented their life memberships.
Goodall and Jennings were unable to attend, but long-time friends Robertson and Jenkins, who both started their netball careers with Mortlake, were pleased to receive their acknowledgements alongside each other.
“It’s very special – I feel chuffed, actually,” Jenkins said.
“I’m passionate about juniors … I’ve coached juniors at North Warrnambool Eagles since 2004.
“One of the happiest things is watching young girls you started coaching at 13 become beautiful young women and beautiful players.
“But really, my main joy is the friendships I’ve formed. It really is for me the friendships I’ve formed at all the different clubs (including in the Mininera league) – it’s been amazing.”
Robertson, who played netball for Mortlake, Western Lions and Terang Mortlake before forging a long-standing career as a water carrier in the football, said she was humbled by the recognition.
“It’s very overwhelming and very humbling,” she said.
“I’m in an elite group of life members, that’s how I feel.”
From her playing days, Robertson one of her great highlights was finishing joint runner-up in the league best and fairest with teammate Teena Blain.