Vale Frank Musico - 'Tonner'

A tribute to Frank "Tonner" Musico

Frank started his football career at Silvan in 1973. He was bigger than most kids so he was never afraid to play above his age bracket and Silvan being a small club we didn't always have enough players for each age group. Frank didn't care, he just wanted to play for Silvan, that was his home town and it star...ted his passion and love for his one and only club.
And so the journey progressed all the way through until under 17's, reserves and seniors. By the time he hung up the boots he had amassed over 300 games, an amazing achievement in itself yet many believe he may have taken to the field closer to 400 times with inadequate records kept in the earlier days. This made him the club record holder at the time until his closest friend and cousin Jerry took that title from him.
Tonner won the Reserves best and fairest in years 1993 and 1994 proudly wearing the now infamous number 25. Following his retirement he would always take extra attention to any player who wore his number from that point on, most notably his nephew Steve who proudly wore his uncles jumper in the 2002 senior premiership year.
In 1994, Tonner was awarded the highest accolade possible bestowed at our club, becoming a life member. It was a popular and well earned achievement, one Frank was very proud of. Tonner was awarded life membership of the Yarra Valley Mountain District Football League. He loved the fact this gave him free entry to any game as he pulled up to the gate with his life members card and displayed it to the gatekeeper and demanded his free footy record and off he drove. Many a time the gatekeepers would signal to him where he should park his car but he'd drive off before they finished talking, Tonner parked where he wanted to, not where they told him. Funnily enough very few argued with him. Come finals time he would always want to go watch local footy even when Silvan weren't involved. He was a popular figure with all opposition club members, his infectious imposing nature and trademark thick black beard made everyone want to stop and talk to him. We often joked he had a hidden " magnet" in his jacket that would attract some lets stay unusual types! "Get rid of that magnet" Jerry would often say as we stood waiting for him to finish chatting to these unusual types!
Tonner's presence wasn't just huge in his stature, it was much more than that. He was the heart and soul of our club and the only time he wasn't at a game was when he was on holidays. Even then and with differing time zones he knew exactly when we were playing and he'd send text messages all day wanting to know the scores. Being on the receiving end of one of his texts if we hadn't kept him updated wasn't overly pleasant. Only a month ago as he laid in bed battling his illness, he still wanted to know the scores of a practice match we were involved in.
Even when the side wasn't travelling good, he would always be at the quarter time huddles giving his support. He was also very good at offering the opposition players some ' friendly' advice! For those fortunate enough to have played with him, you always walked a bit taller when he was around. If a scuffle broke out on the ground it generally subsided rather quickly upon his arrival. I'm sure many would recall one of his favourite sayings when he tried to fire up his teammates...."you gotta break bones" he'd say! Such was his kind and caring nature, he would demand this but very rarely would he deliberately hurt an opponent, I think they were just too scared to go near him.
In 2002 Tonner single handedly formed an under 18 side, it had been 5 years since this had happened at our club. His determination to get the team up and going is unsurpassed. The team included his nephew John, step son Jason and the children of many of his old former teammates. Then there was his young son Vinnie who was the teams mascot. This was one of his proudest moments, the day they ran out under his guidance as coach. So much so as the group stared him in the eye waiting for one last pep talk before they ran out for their first game, he stood in silence. The moment got the better of him and he became too emotional to speak! By quarter time this emotion had passed and he reminded the boys in no uncertain terms that if they wanted to win " you gotta break bones".
So many of us have lifelong memories of our end of season trips with Tonner, despite retiring 15 years ago he never missed one. He was the life of these trips and the one who decided where and what we would eat and drink for those 3 days we were away. You could always be assured as we sat down to eat, a round of shots of his choice was on its way. No matter how crook you felt at the time, you didn't argue with the big fella, just grin and bear it and put that shot down or cop the brunt of a Tonner spray!
Tonner had a secret talent of making up nicknames for his mates also. Farmer, the Black mayor, The Pom, Half head, Stalk and probably his most famous that he called everyone was Bupa! If he called you a Bupa, it wasn't a compliment but it probably meant he had a soft spot for you. The same can be said if he yelled at you then it generally meant he liked you, and I think there wouldn't be many people he knew that didn't cop a spray off him at some point.
For many years Tonner, Marg and Vinnie were generous supporters and sponsors of the club and we will always be grateful for their contributions. He didn't like seeing the club struggling at any time and whenever the chips were down he was always there to support in any way. "Jerry, you gotta fix it" he used to say, and until the situation was fixed he would not let up.
Tonner, whilst your physical presence will no longer be here, your spirit, the memories and your legacy at the club you loved with all your heart will live on forever. Those fortunate enough to have played or been involved with you, we will cherish those memories forever as will all those who got to meet you over the years and see the support you gave to our great club. And we will remind the boys that go out to play that they "gotta break bones"!
Our thoughts are with you Marg and Vinnie at this time and the club will be forever indebted to your family for allowing us to have Tonner in our lives for so long. We can't thank you enough for being a part of the club and rest assured his legacy will continue on forever.
Rest In Peace big fella, you'll never be forgotten.


Comment Guidelines: The SportsTG Network is made up of players, families and passionate sports followers like you who have a strong opinion about sport. That's great - we want you to have your say and share your thoughts with the world. However, we have a few rules that you must follow to keep it fun for all. Please don't be rude, abusive, swear or vilify others. Apart from some pretty serious sport sanctions, we also can ban you and report you if things get out of hand. So play fair and have fun, and thanks for your contribution.

Registration Form

Photo Gallery

Seniors Ladder 2017

4th Division Seniors 2017
1 Donvale 60
2 Forest Hill 52
3 Whitehorse Pioneers 48
4 Coldstream 44
5 Kilsyth 42
6 Glen Waverley Hawks 38
7 Surrey Park 34
8 Fairpark 22
9 Silvan 20
10 Nunawading 0

Reserves Ladder 2017

4th Division Reserves 2017
1 Forest Hill 64
2 Donvale 64
3 Coldstream 52
4 Surrey Park 48
5 Kilsyth 40
6 Whitehorse Pioneers 36
7 Silvan 24
8 Fair Park 20
9 Glen Waverley Hawks 8
10 Nunawading 4

Major Sponsor

R&E panelmasters