AT the John Coleman coterie luncheon held on 26 March, Hastings Football Club stalwart John Watson was elevated to “legend” status. He is the third person to receive this honour, the previous two being Richard Everist and Peter Hibbert.
John Watson played his first senior game with Hastings in 1961 and soon attracted the attention of VFL scouts, particularly Collingwood. However he remained with Hastings and played a total of 278 senior games which include three HFC premierships. He won two best-and-fairest awards, was captain/coach of the senior side, and served for 17 years as a MPFL director, advocate and senior CEO. John is a Life Member of the HFC and in 2013 he was named at full-back in the club’s “Team of the Century.” Apart from his contribution to football, it is worth noting that he has contributed over 50 years service to the Hastings Fire Brigade including a substantial term as captain.
During the course of the luncheon, which was attended by 160 supporters, family and friends, five former players were inducted into the Hastings Football/Netball Club Hall of Fame. They were:
- Alan Hayes: a football journeyman who played 410 games with 8 different clubs where he won 7 best-and-fairests and played in 4 premiership sides. He played with Hastings between 1968 and 1974, being captain/coach in 1968-69. He was captain of the 1972 premiership side and was best-and-fairest in 1969 and 1972. All told, he played 111 senior games with Hastings and was named as a half-forward in the “Team of the Century.”
- Ray Goold: after starting with Deer Park, Ray played with distinction for VFA club Sunshine where he won the JJ Liston trophy in 1974.Ray joined Hastings in 1978 after two years with Sandringham. He won the best-and fairest award in 1978 and 1980. Of his 322 senior games, 92 were played with Hastings where he was chosen in the centre in the “Team of the Century.”
- Phillip Mays: started with Doncaster before playing 175 senior games with Hastings between 1965 and 1979. He was a most versatile footballer who could excel either as a forward or a defender and was a valuable member of the 1972 and 1975 premiership sides. In his autobiography Leigh Mathews recalled playing on “a guy named Mays” in a Chelsea-Hastings game inn the mid 1960’s: “It was to remain the most terrifying day I experienced on the football field…”
- Michael Agnello: after his early career with Fountain Gate, Dandenong Stingrays and Frankston Dolphins, Michael joined Hastings in 2002. He became captain in 2007, a position he held for six years, and won best-and-fairest honours in 2005, 2008 and 2010. He played over 200 senior games with Hastings and was awarded Life Membership in 2011.
- Andrew McCartney: served HFC with distinction both on and off the field. After earlier playing days with Kaniva and then Central Districts in South Australia, Andrew’s work brought him to Frankston and he joined Hastings Football Club. He contributed 110 senior games to the club, mainly at full-back where he held his own against leading opposition forwards such as Simon Goosey. Apart from his contribution on the field, Andrew also served the club as President for six years.
The guest speaker at the luncheon was Kevin Egan, a former Essendon player and administrator, who was interviewed by author Doug Ackerly.