Today brings the curtain down on another year of Blast from the Past. We hope that it has re-kindled a few memories from yester year and that you have enjoyed reading it. For the final blast we venture back to the sixties and in particular the old SWDFL and the Ganmain club. Today, Grand Final day, we revive the career of one of the toughest to have played with the Ganmain Club and I refer to Frank Hodgkin.

Name: Frank "Iron Man" Hodgkin

Details of Playing / Coaching Career:
Kergunyah (Tallangatta League) 1955-56. Myrtleford (O&M) 1957-60. St Kilda (VFL) 1961-62. Myrtleford (O&M) 1963. Ganmain 1964-67, assistant coach 64,65,66. Coach in 1967. Rutherglen (O&M) 1968-70 as coach. North Albury 1971-74 as assistant coach. Mitta United as coach 1975. Wodonga (O&M) 1976. North Albury (O&M) 1977-78. Mitta United 1979-80. Retired at the end of 1980.

Awards / Medals Received:
Premierships with Kergunyah 1955 & 56. Selected in O&M side to play the South West League at Narrandera in 1957 at age 17. Myrtleford Best & Fairest 1960.
In 1961 won St Kilda's Best First Year player and was runner-up to Fitzroy's Russell Crowe as the VFL recruit of the year. Won Myrtleford Best & Fairest again in 1963. Premierships with Ganmain in 1964 and 1965.
In 1967 won the Gammage Medal for the Best & Fairest in the SWDFL. Premiership with Mitta United in 1975.

Favourite Playing Position:
Centre Half Forward or Full Forward

Most Respected Opponents:
Ian "Bluey" Shelton (Essendon) and Noel Teasdale (Nth Melbourne)

Best Player Seen:
Ted Whitten

AFL Club I Follow:
St. Kilda

Current Occupation:
Retired farmer

Where do you see local AFL heading in the future?
Due to other interests and lack of numbers in the bush it is getting hard for clubs to survive. I think that promotion of Juniors and Seniors on the same day is the way to go making it a complete family day which will help to strengthen interest.

Frank Hodgkin arrived at Ganmain in 1964 with an imposing record and he lived up to those expectations easily. He was regarded as one of the hardest, but fairest, to have played in the South West League for many years. He had instant success with Ganmain and was more than an important member of those Ganmain premiership sides of '64 and '65. He received personal success as well when he won the Gammage Medal in 1967 whilst coaching the Ganmain club. Frank was a fine mark, an excellent kick and could absorb punishment. But at only 5'10" tall and lacking pace, the Ovens & Murray star was not expected to make it in the VFL. But after winning Myrtleford's Best and Fairest in 1960 several VFL clubs sought his signature. It was St.Kilda that Frank selected and he was an instant success as their regular centre half forward. He played 34 games with St. Kilda but returned to Myrtleford after two years. As you can see Frank played with about eight different clubs but he had success with all of them. He played 426 games of senior football over 25 years, thrilling the crowds and taming his opponents. I believe that Frank is at the Grand Final today so if you see him give him a wave and tell him that you enjoyed his Blast from the Past.