Echuca and Rochester football clubs will battle it out for the George Ogilvie Trophy after 16 years.By Luke McManus
The George Ogilvie Trophy is back from the dead.
After 16 years — collecting dust inside the Echuca Football Club social rooms — the once coveted prize has been found, mended and returned to its rightful place as one of the most highly sought after trophies in country football.
Tomorrow, traditional rivals Echuca and Rochester will do battle for the commemorative trophy as they had done for 37 years before it went missing following the Bombers’ 1997 grand final victory against the Tigers.
In the wake of exuberant celebrations, the trophy was misplaced and never seen again until Echuca president Brett Stevens stumbled across the lost relic three months ago.
Over the years, the significance of the trophy and its namesake dissolved as club stalwarts retired and new players were welcomed.
So much time had passed, not even opposing captains Echuca’s Brendan Prendergast or Rochester’s Eliott Bowen knew there was once a token of their famous rivalry.
‘‘It’s a game that you always build yourself up for regardless,’’ Prendergast said.
‘‘The trophy may have been around for 35 years, but the Echuca versus Rochester rivalry runs a lot deeper than that.’’
‘‘It will be good to have the trophy in place for the younger guys coming through to let them know we didn’t make this stuff up,’’ Bowen added.
‘‘Both sides are quite young in the scheme of things and the significance of the rivalry has dropped away slightly.
‘‘From what I can gather, before I arrived at the club, the games they played were quite bloody and fierce.
‘‘The trophy might bring that back and it might even get some of the older boys here as well.’’
The playing group was this week reminded of who George Ogilvie was.
In 1957, three days after his death, George Ogilvie was described by the Bendigo Advertiser as ‘‘one of the best footballers ever to don a guernsey in the Bendigo League’’.
A soldier during World War I, Ogilvie showed off his football talents in Belgium, playing for the AIF’s First Division.
Upon his return to Australia, he endured a short stint with Richmond (two games) before a clearance dispute forced him across to Footscray and then on to Port Melbourne in the Victoria Football Association in 1922.
He became a highly celebrated player during his 43 games, before moving to his home town of Echuca in 1927.
He captained/coached the football club for six seasons (1928-34), before taking over the reins at Rochester (1935-37).
Ogilvie’s legacy continued well after his playing days, becoming a Bendigo League delegate and life member, as well as an Echuca Football Club committeeman, Echuca mayor in 1947, talented cricketer and bowls champion.
The trophy, named in his honour in 1961, will be awarded to the winning captain of tomorrow’s clash by Ogilvie’s granddaughter Anne Bennett.
Tatura’s Jennifer Hippisley will head up a state education advisory group after being elected as the chair of the Victorian Local Learning and Education Network Broker Network.
After a tennis career spanning 62 years, of which the last 35 years have been as a coach, Yarrawonga's Jon Coleman is set to retire at the end of 2013.
The recent Kyabram Master Pairs, played over six days with crack sides from near and far, attracted some talented bowlers eager to win the prestige event.
A frequent visitor to northern Victoria, Care Connect's Graham Custance recently won a national award for his work supporting indigenous elders to achieve better health and wellbeing.
Three Goornong Fire Brigade firefighters recently completed a CFA course on safety surrounding urban firefighting and using breathing apparatuses.
Kyabram Lawn Tennis Club’s annual junior singles tournament again attracted good numbers from across the district.
But have opponents given up the fight?
Tocumwal Pre-School students are proudly flying their KITE at the Tocumwal Lions Community Hostel.
Tooborac Fire Brigade visited Tooborac Primary School last Tuesday to help the school complete its bushfire emergency management plan.
Residents urged to renew fruit fly baits to support local orchards.
A Korean company has a proposal with the NSW Government to built a $90 million ethanol plant in Deniliquin.
SPC Ardmona, is sending eight containers loaded with $250,000 of fruit and vegetables to cyclone ravaged Philippines.
The hunt is on for a buyer for Benalla and Mansfield Toyota after the business went into receivership last fortnight.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.