FOOTY CLUB TURNS 50
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.