FOOTBALL is littered with hard luck yarns.
One such story belongs to Brian Lane, who passed away surrounded by his loving family in Port Fairy on Thursday morning.
Mr Lane, 85, missed out on playing in Port Fairy's only premiership side in 1958, after playing with the Seagulls' senior side before being selected as a first emergency for the grand final victory over Colac.
Port Fairy stalwart Paul 'Wally' Sheehan said Mr Lane's decision to stay with the club typified the man.
"Brian was the unlucky player to miss out on the grand final win," Sheehan said.
"It would have been tough for Brian to line up in the Seagull colours in 1959 after missing out in the 1958 grand final win but he was back there the next year.
"He was a champion bloke and a top footballer for Port Fairy before filling numerous administration positions at the club."
The former Killarney resident started his career with Tower Hill before going to Port Fairy and then back to Tower Hill to play in its premiership win in 1961.
"Brian was on the Port Fairy committee for more than 20 years and was president for two years," Sheehan said.
"He was on the selection committee for a few years before stepping aside when his sons Phillip and Gary started playing senior footy.
"He then filled roles as club delegate and our tribunal representative.
"We can't forget the role Brian's wife Joyce played. Joyce was a tireless worker in the kitchen in the 1970s and 1980s. She was the first female best clubman in a male-dominated era."
Mr Lane's daughter Michelle said her family was overwhelmed by the outpouring of pubic support.
"Our family has been amazed with how many people have got in contact with us since Brian passed away," she said.
"Brian employed lots of people from around the area when the family was growing potatoes in Killarney and Tower Hill.
"He gave lots of local lads their first jobs. The family was one of the district's leading spud growers for years and Brian was awarded the potato grower of the year award."
Mr Lane is survived by his wife Joyce and eight children.
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