A FORMER footballer who delivered East Warrnambool's second premiership with his four brothers hopes his old club can rise from the ashes as it enters a two-year recess.
Peter Cross lived out a football dream at Bomberland, lifting the 1995 Warrnambool and District league cup with siblings Ben, Matthew, Simon and Nathan.
His late father, Geoff, coached the 143-point thumping of Merrivale from the sidelines.
East Warrnambool on Monday voted to begin a two-year hiatus after a volunteer shortage and uncertainty around the $7 million Reid Oval renovations.
Peter was saddened upon hearing East Warrnambool's fate but was hopeful it could recover.
"It's probably one of the oldest clubs in the league," he said.
All is not lost yet but it doesn't look too good as not many clubs come back from it.Peter Cross
"It's sad to see it go that way. All is not lost yet but it doesn't look too good as not many clubs come back from it.
"It's positive it's going to keep functioning and they'll hopefully get back in."
Peter said his former club had a rich history and had often "been around the mark" despite boasting just two senior flags.
"They've had so many good players and people involved in the club that just haven't hung around," he said.
"They've had work or family commitments and they've just never been there at the same time.
"There wouldn't be too many other clubs in the district league who have had such quality players and people come through."
The Cross brothers, who starred on a talented list which also featured Mark Baker, Steven Webb and Shaun Fenton, played junior football at the Reid Oval-based club.
Peter said he and his brothers - who were scattered around the Hampden league and interstate - returned purely to play in the same side.
"We'd played juniors at the club so we thought it was the perfect place to go," he said.
"Dad had done some junior coaching and they approached him to take the seniors.
"It went from there and we were able to live the dream of playing together.
"That happened originally in 1994 and it snowballed into 1995. We had a few years up there."
Cross said the Bombers struggled to recover after entering a rebuilding phase following its success in the mid-1990s.
"It went into a bit of a downwards spiral and they never really recovered," he said.
"They've probably had a lack of leadership over the years and have lacked a bit of new blood admin-wise."
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.