Former Benalla footballer Bill Sammon was inducted into the Ovens and Murray Hall of Fame last week.MONIQUE FREER July 10, 2014 3:51am
After turning down a spot in the Ovens and Murray Football League’s Hall of Fame for four years, Bungeet’s Bill ‘‘Trout’’ Sammon has finally received the honour.
The former Benalla Demons and Yarrawonga footballer previously turned down the nomination due to his role with the hall of fame committee, but said he felt privileged to be inducted in a ceremony at Albury’s SS&A Club last Wednesday.
‘‘I’m honoured to receive it,’’ Mr Sammon said.
‘‘I always claimed myself as just a good average footballer, and this is recognition for my administrative role as well, and I was heavily involved in representative level football.
‘‘I believe this is for everything I’ve done.’’
Mr Sammon played 197 games for Benalla and coached the side in 1977 and 1978.
He was an assistant coach and vice-captain in the Benalla 1973 premiership side, and was voted best on ground.
‘‘The 1973 premiership at Benalla was the highlight of my career, but the one that I’m proud of, is that all of my games were senior games — I never played a reserves game,’’ he said.
‘‘In my era we were a very good team. We didn’t have many super players but we had a great team.’’
Benalla defeated North Albury by three goals in the 1973 grand final. It was Benalla’s first premiership in 10 years, and its most recent.
Mr Sammon also played 54 games for Yarrawonga and coached the side from 1974 to 1976.
He captain-coached Yarrawonga to a grand final in 1974 and Benalla to a grand final in 1978, however the sides lost both finals.
‘‘I believed I was a better coach than player,’’ he said.
‘‘I was very confident in my ability to coach when I was coaching, more than I was as a player.’’
Mr Sammon was the captain-coach for Ovens and Murray interleague in 1975 and 1976 and played 12 games for the representative side.
The centre ruck rover said he rarely came off the ball, and his fitness was an asset.
‘‘I didn’t have super ability but I really used to train hard.’’
Mr Sammon is the fourth former Benalla player to be honoured in the Ovens and Murray Hall of Fame, joining Neil Hanlon, Emmy DeFazio and John ‘Shorty’ Martiniello on the honour board.
‘‘I class Neil Hanlon as the best Benalla player I ever played with or saw,’’ Mr Sammon said.
‘‘He was very strong, a good ball handler and a very influential player on the ground.’’
Mr Sammon said the only disappointment in his decorated career was that he never became a non-playing coach. Instead he had to return to his wheat and sheep farm at Bungeet with his wife Glynis.
He has been on the board of Ovens and Murray Football League for nine years and involved in interleague for 15 years.
Tungamah's police officer Haydn Smith is about to leave the beat.
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