Champion footy side reunite

May 27, 2022 BY

Unbreakable bond: John Cieski, John Turner, Gerard Sheehan, Michael Walsh, Bernie Colbert, Mick Dowd, Brendan Bowden, John Austin, Leo O’Loughlin, Ray Boyd, Jim Rinaldi, and Dennis Haintz. Photo: SUPPLIED

BALLARAT YCW Football Club’s junior third eighteen side were champions and premiers of the 1969 footy season, with an average winning margin of ninety-four points.

After more than 50 years, the team still holds an unbreakable bond, and recently came together for their treasured annual reunion.

The side’s rover, Michael Walsh said this will remain a tradition “until the last man is standing.”

“It was a privilege to be a part of a great group of past players,” he said.

“Every year on the third Sunday of May, the surviving players from our champion side will continue to meet at the Red Lion Hotel as a true form of comradery and mateship, to celebrate what was a very special time of our lives.

“To think all of the 1969 players will all be seventy years-plus this year is hard to comprehend.”

Many of the side’s athletes first met and began playing footy together as early-teens in 1964 when CYC Football Club was based at Golden Point’s White Flat Oval.

“When a game was close in the final quarter and you were in front, you were directed to kick it in the creek,” Mr Walsh said.

The 1969 team are now without their coach Pat Collier, players Rip Kirby, Paul Smith, John Crowe, Frank Segrave, and Greg Jolly, and president Frank Burke, who have passed.