The 125 Year Anniversary of Coburg Football Club was celebrated last night at Melrose Receptions, with two past players inducted into the Hall of Fame and two faithful members inducted as life members.
Frank Plant, the first Hall of Fame inductee was represented on the night by his two great-grandchildren, and had a career of 93 games and 354 goals, starting at Coburg in 1924 as a forward.
Retiring in 1931 after his outstanding career, Plant also topped the clubs’ goal-kicking leader board in 1928, 1929 and 1930.
Frank Huntington was appointed Vice-Captain in 1928, and the second former player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame after his short-lived five year career of 44 games and 47 goals.
Mainly a half-forward flanker, Huntington was with the club in 1925 when it was promoted to the VFA, and was one of the few to play in the ‘26, ‘27 and ‘28 Grand Finals.
Unfortunately Huntington’s family could not make it on the night to represent him.
Chris & John Lalor were then recognized as life members, after their long-time support to the club lasting close to five decades, and very rarely missing a game.
Coburg President Kevin Breen thanked all those for their attendance, which included current players, their families, staff, sponsors and supporters.
“On behalf of the board we do appreciate what you’re doing and for being here tonight.” The President said.
“I know it takes some time out of your long weekend, but its all for one great purpose; it’s for the Coburg Footy Club and the young players that are here at the moment.” He continued.
Coburg legend and guest speaker Phil Cleary also gave a speech standing alongside current captain Tom Goodwin, reflecting on the inaugural Vicki Cleary Day in April and remembering what it was like arriving at Coburg 42 years ago.
“I walked into a club that I sensed had big and great history in the players who were there, but in a short period of time those players started to move on and were replaced by young players, like you (Tom),” Cleary said.
Cleary then went on to inspire the current players, sharing the “moral of the story” from his perspective.
“You make your history. You don’t sit around simply reflecting on the great times of the past. You make your history yourselves.”
“If you can get within nine points of the Northern Blues today, and within a couple of goals against other sides rich with AFL players, you must start to win your games.” Cleary continued.
“We cant be complaining about AFL players, because history shows that at different times people like Tom Goodwin emerge, and with him emerge players that change the landscape.”
“Brunswick, gone. Northcote, gone. Dandenong, gone. Yarraville, gone. Sunshine, gone. But the Coburg Football Club lives on.”