Sports Hall of Fame Inductee
Category: Sports Honour Roll
Sport: Administrator (AFL)
Tatura’s’ Fred McMahon has had an involvement in GVL football for over 60 years. He joined the Tatura junior ranks in 1953 as a confident rover who was Tatura through and through. He was a fast elusive player who had uncanny goal kicking ability. He was lucky to play in a premiership team and win the Shepparton Junior League best player award.
He commenced his senior football in 1958 under the coaching of great Keith Warburton. He was invited to trial with both Collingwood and Melbourne. However, his love for the Bulldogs saw him stay with Tatura and cement his place in the local team where he became one of the first players selected each week. He was also selected in the GVL representative team on eleven occasions. “Freddo” as he is known, had uncanny goal sense. In 1966 he won the GVL goal kicking award and won Tatura’s goal kicking award on 8 occasions. He holds an interesting record at Tatura as he was runner up in their best player award fourteen times. He did however win the award in 1966. He captained the Bulldogs for three years.
Fred was honoured as a qualified Life member of the League when he played his 200th game and became the inaugural President of the GVL 200 Club. He also helped form the Tatura Football Club past players association. He was a fitness fanatic which helped him to continue playing the game long enough to become the first player to reach the 300 game milestone in the GVL.
Fred’s playing career is only part of his story. It is what he has done for football after his playing days that makes him a stand out administrator.
On retirement he immediately became involved in junior football coaching and for 6 years acted as Country Recruiting Officer for the Melbourne Football Club. He was also a recruiting officer for the Collingwood Football Club for 4 seasons. His love of the GVL saw him become involved with Country Championship games and he has been the team manager of the GVL teams for 20 years.
On a regional level in 1992 he was appointed as deputy director of the Goulburn Murray regional football board and then became the director of football and held the position until the VCFL changed the regional format. He was awarded the VCFL Service medal and the National Football Council Merit award for service to Australian football. Fred also gave over 20 years of great service to the Tatura Cricket Club and the over 10 years’ service to the Tatura Fire Brigade.
Fred has a great love of history and especially the history of the GVL. He researched the League history and made a series of honour boards depicting all those involved with GVL awards and representative team support over the years. The boards took pride of place in the GVL office in Dunkirk Avenue. The League will be forever grateful for Fred’s diligence and wonderful work to quantify the GVL’s history. He was honoured with elected Life Membership of the League.
Fred was appointed to the GVL Board of directors in 2006 and continues to be a board member today. He urged the GVL to institute a Hall of Fame for the League. Fred was against any recognition, however with his incredible record as a player, team manager, football director, historian and wonderful supporter of the GVL and his unbroken 60 year involvement, he was inducted into the GVL Hall of Fame in 2015 and elevated to a GVL Legend this year.
He is the only person in the GVL to have given anywhere near that amount of years and service to the League and to Australian Football. Fred McMahon now justly deserves to be inducted into the City of Shepparton Sports Hall of Fame.