THEY don't come much better than Bill Picken.
An awesome footballer, talented cricketer, articulate racing administrator, an astute farmer and a devoted family man passed away at home in Hamilton on Saturday.
Picken,66, a former Hamilton Monivae College student went on to become a decorated AFL footballer and was selected in the Collingwood Team Of The Century, even winning two mark-of- the-year awards for his flying antics on the field in the VFL-AFL - there was one thing missing on his CV, a premiership win after playing in five losing grand finals for the Magpies.
The only thing better for the former Macarthur footballer, who also played at Heywood before going to Collingwood was to watch his son Liam hold the premiership cup aloft with his Western Bulldog teammates at the MCG in 2016.
Brother-in-law Noel Mugavin said Picken was a great person who had the ability to mix with people from all walks of life.
"Bill was not only a champion footballer but he was a champion bloke first and foremost," Mugavin said.
"Our family is in complete shock with the passing of Bill.
"My sister Julie and Bill got married back in 1978 and they have four children and eight grandchildren.
"Bill was a low key person who never sought the limelight. He preferred to be in the background. He was a very humble person who never spoke about his own amazing achievements. Bill, freely gave his time to help others who needed support, help, advice and assistance."
Picken started his VFL-AFL career with Collingwood in 1974 on a wage of $28 a game before going on to play 212 games with the Magpies which included 21 finals, five grand finals and coming third in the 1977 Brownlow Medal.
He had two seasons with Sydney which were marred by injuries including a broken thumb, broken collarbone and hamstring issues.
After his VFL-AFL career Picken went on to be captain-coach of the Hamilton Football Netball Club and took over as the secretary of the Hamilton Racing Club in 1990 before taking over the same role at Dunkeld, Coleraine and Penshurst racing clubs and the former South West District Racing Association. He is survived by his wife Julie and children Marcus, Sean, Briana and Liam plus his mother Gwen and brother Darren.
Collingwood president Jeff Browne paid tribute to Picken in a statement.
Mr Browne described Picken as a "spectacular" player. "He will be remembered as one of the best-ever players to represent the Collingwood Football Club and one of the greatest centre half backs of his generation."
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