McIvor Times - - FRONT PAGE -

HEATH­COTE Foot­ball Net­ball Club is turn­ing 50 this year and the com­mit­tee is keen to cel­e­brate in style.

Club of­fi­cials are look­ing for any old memorabilia or in­for­ma­tion from past play­ers or club mem­bers to use at a reunion later this year.

Pres­i­dent An­drew Con­forti said it was a great time for any past and present play­ers to come to­gether af­ter what was a tough year in 2016.

‘‘It has been well doc­u­mented that a mem­ber of our foot­ball club trag­i­cally lost his life last year through the scourge of il­licit drugs,’’ Con­forti said, re­fer­ring to the death of se­nior foot­baller Rikki Stephens on an end of sea­son trip to the Gold Coast.

‘‘We are re­ally look­ing for­ward to cel­e­brat­ing our 50th year.

‘‘A book of the club’s his­tory is also be­ing writ­ten by Dar­ren Lewis who has been do­ing a lot of re­search at The McIvor Times.’’

The Heath­cote foot­ball club was formed af­ter the town’s two foot­ball teams — North and Rovers — dis­banded on Jan­uary 13, 1967.

The McIvor Times at the time re­ported the dis­band­ing was a for­mal­ity with ‘‘very few words spo­ken against the de­ci­sion of hav­ing one team in Heath­cote’’.

A pub­lic meet­ing was held two weeks later for the pur­pose of form­ing a Heath­cote Foot­ball Club and the lo­cal news­pa­per em­pha­sised the sig­nif­i­cance of the oc­ca­sion.

‘‘Fri­day night’s meet­ing is an im­por­tant one for Heath­cote, which down through the years has had di­vided foot­ball loy­al­ties with their con­se­quent en­mi­ties and so­cial up­sets often re­flected in per­sonal and busi­ness re­la­tion­ships — silly as it sounds to us now,’’ the pa­per re­ported on Jan­uary 24, 1967.

‘‘So on Fri­day night the peo­ple of the town have the op­por­tu­nity of rem­e­dy­ing all this mak­ing Heath­cote a close-knit so­ci­ety, sport­ingly at any rate.’’ The pa­per re­ported ‘‘a large and en­thu­si­as­tic’’ crowd of over 50 foot­ball fol­low­ers at­tended the meet­ing in the RSL foyer.

Alan Smith was elected the first pres­i­dent of the newly formed club and Syd Wick­ham was elected se­cre- tary. Barry Height moved that one foot­ball club be formed in Heath­cote; this was sec­onded by Will Man­ton and ‘‘car­ried with thun­der­ous ap­plause’’.

Cr Jack McDon­ald spoke against the mo­tion but now the de­ci­sion had been made he wished the new club well.

‘‘Fi­nally it was all sorted and St Kilda colours of red, white and black are to be worn’’.

Any­one who may have memorabilia to con­trib­ute to the reunion should con­tact Dar­ren Lewis on 0400 533 433.

The Heath­cote foot­ball re­serves premier­ship foot­ball from 1978 (above) is just some of the memorabilia be­ing gath­ered by pres­i­dent An­drew Con­forti (right) and other club of­fi­cials for a 50-year reunion later this year.

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