We are saddened today to hear of the passing of life member Jack Stewart.
Jack passed peacefully on Saturday, surrounded by family.
Mulgrave was a big part of Jack’s life. He played during the club’s golden era of the 1950s, and was a member of our 1956 senior premiership team. He went on to serve as treasurer for ten years and was awarded life membership.
The thoughts of all at the clubs are with Jack’s family and friends at this difficult time. Our players will wear black armbands in next week’s Round 1 matches.
Jack’s funeral details are as follows:
Saturday, 2nd April, 1pm
Michael Crawford Funerals
226 Main Street
Jack’s son Bill, also a former player, has penned the following words that he’d like to share. Bill has also had a shroud made for Jack in Mulgrave colours, featuring the logo and club song.
John William Stewart (Jack), premiership player and life member
Jack’s love of the game was embedded early on in his life, with him starting to kick goals on the ground himself in the late 1950s and continuing to be involved in game-day offices and various social roles until the late 1970s, when a location change impacted his later years’ activities. However, as a life member Jack took a keen interest in the red and the blue from his retirement property in Seymour, Vic. We like to think that part of Jack’s love of the game was thanks to Mulgrave’s well-embedded social scene, football community and family base, as life at that point in time was not always a bed of roses for growing clubs and families.
Jack, Janet, Andree, Tracie, Jane and myself have to acknowledge and thank the Mulgrave 1950s Red & Blues: the Arnotts, Baines, Richardsons, Rule, Andrews, Bass, Findlay, Seymour, Parker, Osborne, Hall, Sell, Cotton, Mosig, Dixons (and I am sure many more) that broke the 25 year drought of premierships… and brought a few more to the club through that decade adding to the foundation flag of 1927.
For myself personally, the joy I had playing junior football at Mulgrave was only surpassed by the moment when, sitting at a lunch in the 2010s with Uncle Mick Arnott, Uncle Les Richardson, Alf Sell and a few of the 70s icons of the club, people coming up to Jack and putting a gentle hand on his shoulder and thanking him for the support not only in their sporting careers, but also in their lives.
That’s the meaning of a football life distant to the champions of today, but their existence deeply rooted in the past.
Sending my sincere thanks to all of the Mulgrave champions, in whatever their role on or off the field. Their presence, involvement and support, possibly unknowingly, shaped a large part of Jack’s life and our family.
Billy Stewart, on behalf of the Stewart Family
The football department is busy finalising our senior playing list for the 2022 season, re-signing current players and pursuing recruits.
Stay tuned to this page, which we'll keep updated with senior players who've signed for the 2022 season.
March 20th Nathan Lee
Nathan joins us from Moe via Hill End, and has impressed on the training track with his pace and skills. Great to have you on board Nathan, can’t wait to see you out there this season
March 2nd Jason Hook
February 28th Aidan Rouse
An official welcome to Mulgrave for another talented local youngster, Aidan Rouse. Aidan played some fantastic footy for Glen Waverley Rovers last year and will be suiting up for a big year of school footy at Caulfield Grammar this season. We invited Aidan to complete pre-season at Mulgrave and he couldn’t have been more impressive, with his versatility and strong hands a highlight. He’s barely missed a session and has shown first-class attitude and ability throughout.
February 27th Ben Beck
Ben is a product of our local junior clubs Glen Waverley Rovers and Waverley Park Hawks, and captained our Under 19s in 2021. He showed tremendous and important leadership both on and off the field in a difficult and interrupted year. An elite runner, Ben has worked extremely hard over the off season to further develop his endurance (including a full marathon). He’s certainly giving himself every chance to play senior footy in 2022.
February 25th Jackson Collins
It's fantastic to confirm that Jackson Collins is officially back on board for 2022. Yet another product of the Glen Waverley Rovers footy factory, Jackson had a great year in the Under 19s in 2021 and belied his age by regularly stepping up to also play solid footy in the reserves. A tall defender with a beautiful long kick and a strong pair of hands, Jackson has a big future in front of him.
December 16th James McGivern
We’re rapt to welcome James ‘Bobby’ McGivern to Mulgrave for the 2022 season. A former Waverley Park Hawks junior, Bobby joins us from Caulfield Grammarians (VAFA Premier) and has already been a great presence on the pre-season training track. Welcome to Mulgrave, Bobby
November 14th Brayden James
November 10th Jaxon Gervasoni
October 28th Rob Blew
October 23rd Mitch Prosser
October 20th Jordan Falloon
October 19th Troy Hanning
October 18th Michael Rouskas
October 18th Bernie Ruaro
October 17th Cooper Gervasoni
October 15th Zac Bonney
October 14th James Verde
October 14th Dean Siakoulis
October 13th Corey Williams
October 13th Connor Tilyard
October 12th Griffin James
October 12th Baxter Leece
October 11th George Alepidis
October 10th Tom Gladman
October 9th Josh Carden
October 8th Adam Booth
October 2nd Jack Davidson
September 28th Sam Kassianou
Adopt yourself a lion!
2022 Player Sponsorship is now open.
All footballers can be sponsored by a business or individual. Sponsors will have their name and logo (with hyperlink) displayed on the club website and a dedicated club social media post.
Sponsorships available for $250 or $500 – just head head here to purchase.
The story of our first ever Colts premiership, in 1976, is a cracker. Tom O'Brien, one of the players who brought the flag home to Garnett Road, takes us through it...
1976 was not a straightforward year. Two junior teams (Northvale U16s and Mulgrave U15s) came together to build our Colts team at Mulgrave. Long story short, the two groups complimented each other well and as the season got underway we started to win a few games.
The club insisted that the colts trained with the seniors and we were therefore expected to train and play like seniors, both on and off the field. Rocky Clifford was senior coach and John Airdrie was our Colts coach, and both made sure that this message was clear and enforced.
The season started well enough, but we started to accumulate injuries almost from the first game. The big injury was Alan Moloney (knee), who in three and a half games of footy got 10 votes in the best and fairest. Alan never played another game of footy. There were others that went down with strains and sprains, typical of any footy season. It was just a slow accumulation - each week someone seemed to get injured or hurt.
When we played Ferntree Gully, we took the field with 15 fit players, including an Under 15, and got rolled. Then a couple of weeks later we played Ringwood and, with 8 players watching from the sidelines, we got rolled by 10 points. We were now sitting second on the ladder.
It was at this point in time that the Northvale Junior Football Club asked their Under 16 playing group if anyone would like to step up and help out. To their credit Neil Crawley, Claudio Cincotti and Phil Warke put their hands up. These blokes fitted straight into the team ethos and all three of them ended up playing key roles in the team for the rest of the season.
The massive setback
Halfway through the year the big bombshell hit. We were pulled off the training track and club secretary Bruce Holmes informed us that he had overlooked the registration details of a player. The Eastern Districts FL had taken premiership points off us for the six games that the player had played. Bruce was in tears... he was a legend at the club, the nicest bloke ever, and ended up being team manager for the Victorian Teal Cup squad (the precursor of today's Under 18 National Championships).
We went plummeting out of the top four but we did get to keep our percentage. The upshot was that to win the flag, we basically had to win 10 games straight. And so started the long haul back.
We made the final four... in fourth spot, on percentage. The finals that year were played at Lilydale with colts, reserves and seniors all on the same day. So it was an early start and a good drive for most of us. We blitzed Upper Ferntree Gully in the first semi. An Upper Gully player had won the League Best and Fairest and as a group we weren't happy about that. Our eventual Best and Fairest winner was centreman Graham Styles, a very classy footballer. The bloke from Upper Gully also played in the centre and Stylesie had towelled him up both times we'd played them... and he did it again in the first semi. The edge in motivation was all we needed. It was a shellacking.
Ringwood defeated North Ringwood in the second semi-final, so we met North Ringwood on the bounce in the preliminary final. It was a horrible game of football. At the final siren the scores were tied at 32: MFC 3.14 versus North Ringwood 4.8. Extra time had to be played and we kicked another 2 goals to win the game. The group showed great team courage to get up and win.
So it was Ringwood versus Mulgrave. We had beaten them very early in the year at Mully, which was a remarkable feat - it was the first time in four years that this Ringwood team had lost. In the return match, as mentioned above, we had a swag of players out injured and they beat us by 10 points.
The year before a young bloke named Paul Vander Haar played for them. In 1976 he elected to stay at Ringwood and play seniors rather than go to Essendon. He helped the Ringwood seniors win the flag at Mulgrave’s expense. Then in 1977 he went to the mighty Bombers and a legend was born.
Ringwood jumped us and we were seven goals down towards the end of the first quarter. Wayne Jamieson got a late one in the first quarter and we went in to the quarter time break six goals down. Despite the score, I can remember there being a sense of calm about the group as we realised that it just had to be our turn to play.
Come half time we were just two points down. This came on the back of two great goals by Wayne Miller - both torpedoes from about 50 yards out, on the boundary line. I watched them both sail over my head, halfway up the goal post. They were huge, team lifting goals. Game on!
Ringwood were a very good team and won the third quarter, and we were about two goals down at the final break. Then in the last quarter we really turned it on. We ran all over them to win by twenty-odd points. It was a great finish to an unbelievable year. It was also a helluva party!
Getting together again
We are trying to find anyone who played or helped us in any way that year. So far we have found 16 of 25 players, coaches and support staff. We are spread from Perth to Hobart and all around Victoria... it's funny where life takes you. Some of us haven't seen each other for 40 years and yet once the phone calls, text messages and old photos started going around, the magic was still there.
Sadly, we know of two players from the team who are no longer with us.
Wayne Miller, the bloke who kicked those two magnificent goals in the second quarter of the grand final, passed away less than a year later. Wayne saw a couple struggling to change a flat tyre on their car and stopped to help. As he was doing so he was hit by another car, with the driver well over the legal blood alcohol limit. A bloody tragedy.
Wayne Jamieson, who kicked the first goal in the grand final, passed away in 1985. Jamo had moved to Albury and was playing footy up there in the Ovens and Murray Football League. Jamo took his own life. It upsets me to this day that this lovely bloke is no longer with us.
We are organising an unofficial gathering at Mulgrave on 25th June 2022, when Mully play the old enemy Ringwood at home. We'd love to see as many old friends as possible at that one.
Were you associated with the Colts premiership team, or the club in 1976? The boys would love to hear from you and maybe see you at Mully later this year. Just contact the club and we can put you in touch with Tom.