It took Glenn McFarlane, a journalist with the Herald Sun and Sunday Herald Sun and passionate Magpie man more than two years to research and write a fitting tribute to Collingwood legend Jock McHale.
Glenn has a very unique and incredibly close connection to the McHale family being the Grandson of five time premiership winning legend and "King of all Fullbacks", Charlie Dibbs. Charlie played 216 games for Collingwood from 1924 to his final game, the premiership win over South, in 1935 and all under the watchful stealy gaze of the Mighty Jock McHale.
McFarlane’s book "Jock: The Story of Jock McHale, Collingwood’s Greatest Coach" was released this week.
Jock McHale is considered by many to be the finest coach in the history of Australian football, and his record supports that claim.
He led Collingwood to eight premierships in 38 seasons, including four consecutive premierships between 1927 and 1930 — a feat that others have come close to but have never matched.
He coached a record 714 games and under his watch Collingwood became the most powerful sporting club in the land, with a large and passionate supporter base and an unflinching and uncompromising commitment to excellence.
McHale may well be one of football’s most famous names but he was an intensely private man, known not only for his loyalty to his football club but to his family, his faith and his employer as well.
He experienced great personal tragedy during his time at Collingwood, which he never showed - the great coach rarely missing a training session and famously, only one match.
Recognised as a Legend of the Australian Football Hall of Fame, McHale is also immortalised through the McHale Medal, presented each year to the AFL’s premiership coach. His story has never before been told in such detail until now.
Much has been achieved by the Victoria Park Heritage Committee over the last five years to retain and recreate as much of the 'good old Collingwood' at Victoria Park as possible, but we are faced today with the reality of narrow minded, short sighted, dollar driven politics as the grand old R T Rush Stand is brutally hacked out the stadium it served for 44 years.
Named after one of Collingwood's greatest servants, Robert 'Bob' Rush, the R T Rush Stand provided many hundreds of thousands of supporters protection from the dreadful southerly’s that would blow across Melbourne during the winter months.
Born in 1880, Bob Rush played 143 games from 1899 to 1908, including the 1902 and 1903 premierships and upon retirement continued to serve his club as committeeman, assistant secretary and treasurer. Bob is famous for being the only premiership winning coach with a perfect record as he coached just the one game, the 1930 grand final win against Geelong when Jock McHale was ill in bed. 1 game, 1 win, 1 premiership. 100% record.
Many will miss the grand old stand in the 'outer' and Victoria Park now loses much of her 'fortress' feel as an entire two thirds of the ground will be 'reshaped' to make the ground more accessible for a handful of local residents who have no understand whatsoever what this ground means to so many Magpies supporters. Many of whom have passed on and have had their ashes laid to rest on Victoria Park.
We say goodbye to the R T Rush Stand. Forever.
Tarkyn Lockyer to coach VFL Magpies in 2011
The 30-year-old replaces Gavin Brown, who resigned late last week after 26 years of involvement at Collingwood, including the past three as VFL coach. Lockyer will also work as a development coach under recently appointed development manager Craig McRae.
Lockyer enjoyed a stellar 227-game playing career with the Magpies that began in 1999 and finished when he announced his retirement after being an emergency for this year's grand final triumph.
"I'm thrilled that Collingwood has given me an opportunity to join the coaching panel and lead the VFL team,” Lockyer said.
“To coach within a structure I'm familiar with, and alongside some great people, is extremely exciting. I'm very thankful that the club I love and have a great history with has given me this opportunity to make the transition from playing to coaching. I can't wait to start this new phase of my life."
After 26 years of service to the Collingwood Football Club Gavin 'Rowdy' Brown has moved on to a senior assistant role at another club.
The Victoria Park Heritage Committee thanks Gavin for his dedication to our great Club and wishes Rowdy all the very best for himself and his family.
A Premiership player at U19 level (1986) and an integral part of the 1990 premiership winning team. Gavin also captained Collingwood with destinction and was Head Coach of our VFL team from 2008.
Social Club - Lease
In early 2010, Council sought Expressions of Interest from parties interested in the occupancy and ongoing use of the Victoria Park Social Club (Bob Rose) building. Applications were accepted up until 29 March 2010.
Organisations seeking to use or occupy the building were required to demonstrate how their proposed occupancy would deliver services and ongoing benefits to the local Yarra community as well as provide a good fit with other potential users of the Victoria Park Precinct.
On 23 September 2010, Council announced that the Collingwood Football Club Foundation had been chosen as its preferred applicant to negotiate the terms of a proposed lease for the building.
The foundation is proposing to establish a major community centre, which would run community programs such as education and employment programs for disadvantaged youth and Indigenous Australians. There would also be space for local community activities.
Under the proposed lease, the foundation would make significant capital improvements to the building and pay rent annually to Council.
The specific terms and conditions of the lease (including its length and starting date) are still being negotiated. It is expected that Council will consider a further report on the negotiations at its next monthly meeting on Tuesday 19 October 2010. Here is a media release about the announcement of the foundation as the preferred applicant.
In June 2010, Council applied to Heritage Victoria for a permit to demolish the 1966 scoreboard and time clock at Victoria Park, so the park can continue to be ‘opened up’ to the community.
Heritage Victoria is inviting community feedback on Council’s application until Wednesday 14 July 2010. Information about Council’s application and how you can provide feedback to Heritage Victoria is available on Heritage Victoria’s website
Here is the Statement of Heritage Impact, which accompanied Council’s application and summarises the issues.
Council has made the application to meet the Victoria Park Master Plan’s overall aim to make the ground suitable for community use. The area near both structures needs to be reshaped so the ground can be accessed from the street. Heritage Victoria had previously agreed, with conditions, to the relocation of the scoreboard and time clock to about three metres forward from their position on One Eyed Hill. However, Council has received engineering advice that both structures are in such poor condition that they would not survive this move.
If the demolition proceeds, Council would build an electronic digital scoreboard and integrated time clock at the ground. An art work would be installed on One Eyed Hill to commemorate the elements.
If you would like more information about this application, please contact Heritage Victoria on 8644 8800 or at Level 4, 55 Collins Street, Melbourne. You can also contact Marcel Caldow, Council's Project Manager, on 9205 5792 or at Marcel.Caldow@yarracity.vic.gov.au
New Ticket box on the corner of Lulie and Turner Street well underway...
Click an image to view larger version.
Yarra City Update:
Removal of walls
Council had intended to begin removing the retaining wall along Bath Street/Trenerry Crescent and most of the concrete wall along Bath Street in April 2010.
As part of this project, One Eyed Hill was also expected to be reshaped to make the park easier to access from the street. These works were likely to lead to the collapse of the scoreboard, which Council intended to replicate elsewhere in the park.
Williamstown too good for young Pies, but it is great to be back home
COLLINGWOOD 16.10.106 defeated by Williamstown 21.11.137
SATURDAY APRIL 10th VFL Season 2010 Launch & Blessing of the Scarves ceremony Featuring Father Bob Maguire 10:30am - 11:00am, Sherrin Stand
Should Yarra City restore the S A Coventry Pavilion's original facade?
VFL PRACTICE GAME COLLINGWOOD v GEELONG Saturday April 3rd 10:30am (Easter Saturday) - Victoria Park
PROGRAM OF WORKS UPDATE March 18 2010
New accessibility seats have been installed under the Bob Rose Stand and in the Jack Ryder Stand.
The electrical work is almost complete for the four new light towers and they will be erected very soon.
The Social Club had its last open day today and expressions of interest close on March 29. Click here for more details.
The surface of Victoria Park has had a further layer of soil added to stabilise the new grass and should be in immaculate condition come April 10 for VFL Season 2010 Round 1.
COLLINGWOOD TRAINS AT VICTORIA PARK
Photos: Lasalle Gebbe
S A COVENTRY PAVILION (SOCIAL CLUB) OPEN DAY
Briefing Forums / Open Days
Council will be conducting two briefing forums to provide information about Council’s vision and desired outcomes, the EOI documentation, how submissions will be evaluated and the timeframes. The forums will also provide opportunities to inspect the building.
The forums will be conducted at the Social Club building (entered via Lulie Street) on:
Wednesday 24 February, from 2.00pm-4.00pm and from 6.00pm-8.00pm.
Two further Open Days will be held at the Social Club Building to enable prospective applicants to inspect the facility. These will be held on:
Thursday 25 February, from 10.00am - 3.00pm & Thursday 18 March 2010, 10.00am - 3.00pm
for more details
Collingwood v Williamstown ABC TV Season opener
Collingwood's return to Victoria Park will be televised live on ABC TV from 1:00pm on Saturday April 10th. A large crowd is anticipated for the return home of the Mighty Magpies and fans around the nation will be able to catch all the action on ABC1.
YARRA CITY COUNCIL NOTIFICATION
For Future Use of Victoria Park Social Club (Bob Rose) Building and Associated Areas
Yarra Council will soon call for parties interested in the occupancy and ongoing use of the Victoria Park Social Club (Bob Rose) building and associated areas. The process is expected to commence in mid to late January 2010. Council is seeking to achieve optimal occupancy and maximise community access to the Victoria Park grounds and facilities by opening up Victoria Park as a home base for organisations, agencies and service providers that address local community needs and contribute to capital, operating and maintenance costs.
Organisations seeking to use or occupy this highly-valued community facility will be required to demonstrate how their proposed occupancy will deliver services and ongoing benefits to the local Yarra community as well as provide a good fit with other potential users of the Victoria Park Precinct. Consortia or groups of organisations who might offer lead tenant and internal building management services under agreed terms and lease conditions are encouraged to apply.
To keep up to date with any information and timelines regarding this process you should monitor Council’s website - www.yarracity.vic.gov.au
The commencement of the process is expected to begin with the placement of public notices in The Age, Herald Sun and Yarra’s local newspapers in the last two weeks of January 2010, with a minimum of six weeks to be provided for parties to apply.
It is enough, dare we say, for those dearly departed Collingwood faithful to turn in their graves. For, without putting too fine a point on it, that is what happened this month when City of Yarra workmen moved into Victoria Park, Collingwood's spiritual home, and methodically not only upgraded the surface of the famous old footy ground but, more importantly, removed the top three centimetres of the grass and soil. Which, in the name of progress, is no doubt a great thing, but there is only one problem - this is the same sacred sight at which hundreds of old Magpie fans have had their ashes scattered. Which means, not only have those ashes - or what remains of those remains - been turfed out too, but because they have since been temporarily stored at a reserve in Richmond - for the turf to be later re-used at other parks and reserves in the City of Yarra region - it means they now lay deep in Tiger territory.
''We understand that Victoria Park is of huge significance to many Victorians, but from time to time it is necessary to upgrade sporting ovals to protect the health and safety of people using them,'' Yarra Mayor Cr Jane Garrett told us yesterday (without even a hint of remorse). ''Our rejuvenation works at Victoria Park are about balancing protection of the heritage values of this much-loved site with opening up the facility so that it can be enjoyed by future generations.''Which is all very well but, for heaven's sake, was any consideration given to the fact that it was also at this very site in 1990, after Collingwood won its last premiership, that the likes of Lou Richards ceremoniously buried the Collywobbles (although we suspect, given the club's record since, they didn't do a good job of it). Was any thought given to what has become of them as well? As for the club, well, it appears to have taken these latest developments in its stride, the president, Eddie McGuire, in particular, seemingly unfazed by the news. ''I don't think this is the first time the ground has been top-dressed, [so] no complaints from anyone,'' he said from the Pies' current Lexus Centre headquarters. ''Life goes on.'' Yeah, well for some it does, Ed. But not for all of them. Not any more.
A sad day for the old lady of Collingwood We say farewell to the Bob Rush Stand
After providing shelter for many hundreds of thousands of football fans for four decades the R T Rush Stand is finally coming down to satisfy the greedy self interested whim of a small handful of local residents and a short sighted council that knows how to buy a vote.
WARNING: The following image may distress some Magpie supporters
Yarra City Council General Meeting October 20th 7:00pm
"Council voted 9-0 on the Expressions of Interest guidelines for the future use of the Victoria Park Social Club. As I outlined in the front page of yesterday’s Yarra Leader, the Socialist Party wants this social club to be a hub for the community. For example, to be used for sport, child care and as a museum. The last thing we need there are the likes of pokies, a McDonalds or the office of a big business." Cnr Steve Jolly
Victoria Park’s social clubroom doors will be flung open to community groups and welfare providers as part of a vision to turn the facility into a community services hub.
But some Yarra councillors are at odds as to whether any space within the five-storey building should be let out to the highest bidder to cover ratepayers for any costs associated with maintaining it.
Councillors will tomorrow night vote on a recommendation that would see potential tenants invited to submit expressions of interest in floor space within the building.
A panel would weigh up the expressions based on their social benefits and other criteria listed in a framework to be debated at tomorrow’s meeting.
“Proposals that prioritise social inclusion, sustainable employment, education and training, lifelong learning and support cultural heritage and diversity will score a high rating,” says a report to councillors.
The council will subsidise rent for organisations deemed to have a high social or community benefit.
Socialist councillor Steve Jolly supported the framework, saying the social club had to be set aside for community-based organisations.
“We’ve got to keep it free of pokies and big commercial operations and keep it free of offices; there’s plenty of office space around Melbourne,” Cr Jolly said.
“It needs to be used for community uses run for and by the community, for example, a Collingwood Football Club museum, children’s services, sport. Not for McDonald’s, or the offices of the CEO of a company or anything like that.”
But Labor councillors Jane Garrett and Geoff Barbour called for a mix of community and private-sector organisations to be granted space in the buildings.
Cr Garrett said the maintenance of the ground and its buildings could become a drain on ratepayers if sufficient rent wasn’t received.
But Mayor Amanda Stone said many not-for-profit organisations were also able to generate a financial return to ratepayers.
“To me, the most important criteria is the community benefit that a successful organisation can deliver,” Cr Stone said.
The building has been vacant since the Building Design Centre terminated its tenancy in June.
A new era for Victoria Park Yarra City October 2009 Newsletter, Page 6
During the recent school holidays, Yarra families took advantage of the wide open space of Victoria Park, the former AFL ground which Council is rapidly turning into a community park. With three gates to the park permanently opened in August, Council is progressing with works to make the ground more suitable for a range of activities including informal and formal sports, walking the dog, spectating from the stands and having picnics.
The corrugated tin sheet fencing along Trenerry Crescent has been removed, while the roof of the Rush Stand is expected to come down in October/November. New handrails and seating areas have gone into the Sherrin Stand, making it safer so it can be opened up to the public, hopefully in October. Council has delayed the returfing of the oval while it undertakes a study to see whether there is capacity to redirect stormwater run-off from the surrounding area to the park.
A more detailed update on the program of works will be provided in a newsletter to local residents in October.
Council and the local community have been developing a vision for the future integrated use of Victoria Park’s grounds, buildings and infrastructure (including the empty Social Club building), with the aim being to maximise community use. A potential vision for the site is expected to be considered by Council at its 20 October meeting, with Council expected to call for Expressions of Interest in the Social Club between December 2009 - February 2010.
Community members will be able to see inside the Social Club, which boasts spectacular views of Melbourne, on an Open Day this November. More details will be available on our website at www.yarracity.vic.gov.au or by contacting Council on 9205 5555.
Corporate boxes being removed in preparation for the return of the Magpie army
The corrugated iron along the Yarra Falls End has been removed, thanks to a fallen tree on the corner of Bath Street and Trenerry Crescent.
Damage from the storm of August 25th.
The fence comes down
Entrance to the ground from Trenerry Crescent is now open 24/7
Work has commenced to clean up Level 2 of the S A Coventry Pavilion. The asbestos has been removed and the old kitchen will be have new doors put in and will be locked until the completion of the expressions of interest in March 2010.
August 25th 2009
Strong winds wreak havoc on Victoria Park
In 1984 large sections of the Jack Ryder stand roof were blown off in violent storms. 25 years later and the elements are at it again, but the damage is thankfully nowhere near as bad.
A large section of the metal clading on the S A Coventry Pavilion was blown off Luckily no one was injured by the flying debri
The Jack Ryder Stand had a section of three windows collapse in due to the strong winds
Atherton Community News - New chapter for Victoria Park
Contributor: Setyo Budi Posted:6-8-2009
This is a story about historical Victoria Park that was once used by Collingwood Football Club as their base and the plan of its redevelopment.
By David Levy and Angela Lu
August 28, 1999 marked the end of an era. After 107 years Collingwood Football Club were leaving Victoria Park. It was an emotional day for any Collingwood supporter.
Fast forward to November 10, 2008, after 10 years of planning, the future of Victoria Park has finally been determined. The redevelopment planning of Victoria Park known as the “Master Plan”, which has been in process since 2004 by the City of Yarra council and has been given approval to proceed by Heritage Victoria.
In the coming months bulldozers will arrive and the redevelopment works will finally get underway.
Victoria Park Open Day
August 16th 2009
For the resort and recreation of the citizens of Collingwood
24 July 2009 - YCC Media Release
Victoria Park to throw open its gates for good next month
An open day at Victoria Park on Sunday 16 August will usher in a new era for the asset as a community park, Yarra City Council said today.
Mayor Cr Amanda Stone encouraged local residents to attend the open day, which will kick off at 10am.
She said that on the day, Council would be opening three gates to the park – those in Lulie Street, Abbot Street and at the corner of Bath St/Turner St – which would remain open from then onwards.
“With the opening of these gates, the residents of Abbotsford will finally have access to this much-loved piece of wide open space,” Cr Stone said.
“We are pushing ahead with the works needed to make Victoria Park a place where residents can walk their dogs, cycle, jog, play sport and have picnics and barbeques.”
OPEN SPACE!!!? Victoria Park IS NOT NEEDED for OPEN SPACE!!!
COLLINGWOOD'S seconds are heading home to Victoria Park, but Eddie McGuire has doused speculation they will be coached by the club's sought-after favourite son, Nathan Buckley.
Just over a decade since the Magpies played their last home match at the Abbotsford ground, they have negotiated a deal with Yarra City Council to make it the new home of their VFL team, starting with nine matches next season.
McGuire was at Victoria Park to announce the deal yesterday with council representatives, and while he wanted to talk solely about that issue he was invariably asked about Buckley. The latest report, broadcast on radio station SEN yesterday, was that Collingwood would offer its former captain the VFL coaching role to stop him pursuing senior coaching jobs at North Melbourne and Richmond.
"It's a nonsense thing to talk about," McGuire said. "There's nothing happening. I'm not going to get drawn on it."
McGuire was much more expansive about the partial move back to Victoria Park, declaring the move to allow the Magpies to "retain our link with the place that is the birthplace of the Collingwood Football Club".
Terry Brown 12:00am July 23, 2009
Collingwood reunited with hallowed turf at Victoria Park CLICK HERE
Collingwood has reclaimed its sacred heart, Victoria Park, and one-eyed fans are misting up.
The Magpies' VFL side will play nine games there next year, ending the indignity of being a tenant at Carlton's Visy Park.
Eddie McGuire is so happy he could cry.
"I had a bit of a tear in the eye," the Pie president said, standing on the hallowed turf after Yarra Council gave the club a guernsey. " Leaving Victoria Park was the hardest thing we've ever done in our lives. It broke our hearts."
EDDIE McGuire says the decision to claim back the Magpies’ traditional heartland was imbued with an emotion only Collingwood people can truly appreciate.
On Tuesday night, a meeting of the Yarra City Council determined that the club’s VFL team would relocate its 2010 home games from Carlton's Visy Park to Victoria Park, the spiritual home of the Collingwood football club.
McGuire said the move has thrilled plenty of people.
COLLINGWOOD will return home to Victoria Park after an impassioned plea by club president Eddie McGuire to Yarra Council last night.
The council voted unanimously to allow the Magpies to return to their iconic former home ground for nine VFL matches next year, Melbourne Leader reports.
In a speech to the council and a packed room in Richmond’s Town Hall last night, McGuire said the club would provide for the Yarra community by hosting junior football clinics before VFL matches, taking young players to MCG and running programs for public housing tenants.
The Age, AAP 11:36am
Magpies to play their VFL matches at Victoria Park CLICK HERE
Collingwood are returning to their spiritual base of Victoria Park next year, with the club's VFL team to play all their home matches at the famous inner suburban venue.
Collingwood now have their administrative and training centre at the state of the art Lexus Centre, while their AFL home games are played at the MCG.
But after reaching an agreement with Yarra City Council, the club will play their VFL games at Victoria Park.
The VFL side has been playing their home matches at Carlton's Princes Park in 2009.
July 21st 2009 Collingwood Football Club gets council approval to play all VFL home games at Victoria Park from 2010 to 2012
On 17/07/2009 10:05 PM SP council list open wrote:
This Tuesday, 21st July at 7pm Richmond Town Hall, Yarra Council votes on what clubs can and cannot use Victoria Park.
Therefore I have called a residents' meeting for this Sunday, 19th July, 4pm at Retreat Hotel, 226 Nicholson St, Abbotsford to discuss the issue. Collingwood Football Club have asked to send a speical guest and he will be asked to come half an hour after the meeting starts to take questions from residents. Please try and attend both of these meetings.
Just a reminder, three doors to Victoria Park will be opened every day from 10am on Sunday 16th August, allowing free use of the ground to everyone.
The corrugated wall on Bath St and Trennery Crescent come down in October.
The Socialist Party is pushing hard for the Turner St walls to come down earlier than the current date of between 18-24 months away.
If you can't make any of these meetings, email us or ring me on 0437856713 to express your view.
On 10/07/2009 12:13 PM SP council list open wrote:
At long last Victoria Park will be opened up to the public. After much community pressure, Yarra Council will be opening up the gates to Victoria Park every day, all day from Saturday 15th August. This will allow locals to kick a footy on the ground or just enjoy the open space. By the way, the corrugated iron walls on Bath St and Trennery Crescent are due to come down in October this year. The Turner St wall is currently schedueled to come down in 18 to 24 months time, but the Socialist Party believes this should be brought forward.
Regards Stephen Jolly
Aside from the enormous social and historical significants of the Turner Street wall, it contains high level contaminents that, if disurbed, will present a very serious health risk to people in the area and patrons at Victoria Park.
Knock down the 80 year old Turner Street wall at your peril Yarra City
RECLINK STATE OF ORIGIN
VICS 20.12.132 defeated SA 2.1.13
Sunday July 5th, Victoria Park
With Victoria Park revamp, Pies eye a return Cameron Houston | June 21, 2009
THE famed black-and-white stripes of the Collingwood jumper are likely to once again grace Victoria Park as the Magpies plan a return to their spiritual home.
Under a Yarra City Council plan to give the long-neglected ground a multimillion-dollar revamp, the historic Rush Stand will be demolished1 and is expected to be replaced by an indoor sports centre, following an expressions-of-interest campaign.
A Collingwood museum, child-care centre and function room have been proposed for the former social club under the Bob Rose Stand.
A concrete wall along Turner Street would also be removed2, which would transform the once-feared Collingwood fortress into a community hub and park lands.
The Magpies have approached the council to stage nine games for its VFL affiliate team at the ground, which it would share with several other sporting clubs including Richmond Cricket Club, Clifton Hill Cricket Club and indigenous football team the Fitzroy All Stars.
1. The R T Rush Stand roof does not need to be removed, This is a waste of limited funds. Repair the gutters and replace some of the damaged tin and repaint the magnificent black and white stripes that are essential and integral to the identity of Victoria Park.
2. The Turner Street Wall was erected in 1929 and we believe the bricks were trucked in from country Victoria and hand made by convicts and have enormous historical value
Allure of Vic Park, like art, is priceless Martin Flanagan | June 20, 2009
LAST week, a sign was posted on the glass doors of what was previously the Collingwood Social Club at Victoria Park by the City of Yarra saying no one is allowed in the building. One of those locked out is former Collingwood footballer Rupert Betheras who had set up an artist's studio in the old press box above the Bob Rose Stand.
Writing an article on, or with, Betheras is no easy matter. He is one of the more unusual characters thrown up by the Australian game. A former street artist, he has packed a lot into his life since leaving Melbourne and heading off across the Nullarbor in a car with no spare wheel while still in his teens.
He arrived at Collingwood in 1999 and played in the 2002 grand final side. He played well too, particularly early — it was apparent that he had a vision as large as the occasion. As a footballer, he was tough, not without class, but a fraction slow. Collingwood cut him at the end of 2003. I reckon he was deeply cut. In football, and in his painting, Betheras gives it the lot.
Collingwood Forever Pies look to head back to Victoria Park Bianca Hall | June 17 2009