Football legends mark past success

May 31, 2024 BY

Reminiscence: The Ballarat YCW Football Club's 1969 junior third 18s side has caught up at the Red Lion Hotel every year since 2015. Photo: TIM BOTTAMS

SUNDAY saw an annual reunion of members of the now-defunct Ballarat YCW Football Club, who met to look back on their landmark season.

Players from the 1969 junior third 18s side caught up at the Red Lion Hotel over the weekend to mark 55 years since their time together and to regale each other on stories of their past achievements.

Organiser Michael Walsh said it had been a joy for the team to reflect on their formative footy years, which has been happening for almost a decade.

“A lot of us played junior football under 14 with CYC then under 16 into under 18 with YCW before separating to different Ballarat league clubs.

“A few of started to cross paths and it was decided it was important to have a reunion. It was so successful we just keep having it.

“We see each other out of reunions as well. It’s become like a little family.”

The club’s junior third 18s side were champions and premiers of the 1969 football season, during which they maintained a winning average of 94 points each game.

The weekend’s event saw about 20 attendees, and a moment’s silence was held to honour deceased team members Greg Jolly, Evan Kirby, John Crowe, Frank Segrave, Paul Smith, coach Pat Collier, and president Frank Burke.

Most remaining members still live in Ballarat, excluding seven who are based as far as Bendigo.

Mr Walsh said the group will continue to meet “until the last man is standing.”

“I was thinking last night ‘How will that go?’

“It reminds me of an old episode of M*A*S*H where Colonel Potter had a World War I last man standing.

“They had a bottle of rum and he was the last man standing and got the bottle over and he had his executives sit down to share the bottle with.

“I hope the last man standing here does that, goes through the process, calls the Red Lion, and says ‘It’s just me’.”