The Keith Chalmers Trophy
The late Keith Chalmers
Honoured by all clubs and leagues are their "best and fairest" winners - and rightly so.
More often than not, unfortunately, those who finish as runners-up for these awards - sometimes only the proverbial hairs breadth behind the winner - are fleetingly acknowledged and promptly forgotten.
In brutally realistic sporting parlance, "There ain't no second prizes".
Whilst this may be so in most sports, however, it is not the case in the North-Central Football League.
In 1975, Mr and Mrs Albert Chalmers, of Boort, took very practical steps to ensure that the players who finished second to the Feeny Medal winners received some tangible recognition and reminder of their outstanding efforts.
The valuable and highly prized trophy given annually by Albert (a former long term player and administrator) and his wife Gwen, is in memory of their son Keith, who lost his life in a car accident in 1974.
A gifted all-round athlete, Keith played junior and senior football for Boort before being called up for service in Vietnam. While undergoing trainig at Puckapunyal he played football in the Army as well as for the Sandhurst club in the Bendigo League.
Just as he was packing to leave for Vietnam, the Government withdrew the Australian forces. Keith came out of the Services and was recruited by the Wedderburn Football Club. Tragically, at the age of 24, his life and a most promising career were cut short on the road.
His name, however, lives proudly on in the award given by his parents. Without exception, every recipient of the Keith Chalmers Trophy has been a credit to the great Australian game. Several of them are holders of both this Trophy and the Feeny Medal.