As far back as 2010, it was raised in a general committee meeting that perhaps the club should consider naming the club champion award after a prominent club person, in a similar way too many other sporting and other organisations.
Despite the initiative, the idea lay idle for some time.
Roll forward to the 2018 AGM where then outgoing club president Andrew Edwards officially put this motion to the assembled membership, and it which was duly carried.
Some years passed once again until the current general committee agreed to establish a sub-committee with delegated authority to not only short list some names, but ultimately decide on a name.
This sub-committee consisted of 5 of the 6 most recent club presidents, all honorary life members, being Gerard Arangio, Andrew Edwards, Andrew Maughan, Tom Parker and me.
This sub-committee can collectively trace their time at the club back to the early 1990’s, just before one of the sub-committee members, Andrew Maughan, won the first of his 3 consecutive club champion awards in 1993.
In terms of process, the sub-committee agreed that the appropriate person or persons would need to satisfy the following criteria:
- Must be a life member
- Represents the club’s values
- Provided outstanding service to the club and over a long period of time
- Emphasis on service outside of simply playing
We were seeking someone “who has made the most impactful contribution to the club over a sustained period of time.”
With the selection criteria agreed, we began putting names forward, debated these and from this created a shortlist of 5 nominees.
We then assigned these short-listed nominees to the sub-committee members to research their contributions.
We then met again to debate these short-listed nominees, from which a name was unanimously agreed.
As you may now have guessed, I’m here to disclose the name of the person for whom the Club Champion Award will henceforth be named in honour of.
But before I begin, a big thank you to Jody Maughan, jeweller to the stars, for designing and donating the medal itself.
Our honouree first arrived at the club in the late 1990’s, in the capacity as the father of a colts player.
He came down with another father, the late great Mick Doyle, whose son was also playing colts, both lads being TC old boys.
Now our honouree had some involvement in various aspects of TC life, and from what I understand this was done in an understated way, he was active, but not unlike his time with us at TA’s, he didn’t seek acknowledgement for his varied and significant contributions.
To provide some context, at this time TA’s were struggling both on and off the field.
We barely avoided relegation in 1997, were relegated in 1998, before winning the B grade premiership in 1999, and returning to A grade in 2000, where we again struggled to win games.
I vividly remember an emergency special general meeting that convened sometime in 2003, Andrew Maughan was our president, and yours truly the treasurer.
Our finances were becoming increasingly precarious under the weight of a diminishing membership base and financial contributions and a large debt for the relatively new premises.
We had failed to make any inroads into this debt in the 6 or so years from when the new premises to which it related had been built.
We were technically insolvent, and it was put to those assembled at that meeting whether we should fold the club, it was that serious.
A few years earlier, Tom Parker, who because of his penchant for getting sent off or suspended for his “robust” approach to the game, got to know both Mick Doyle and our honouree as they began to watch the A grade games as well.
Our honouree began to immerse himself in club life, starting with things such as offering vouchers that could be used in his business for the club to sell and retain the proceeds, availing the club of his facilities for away game presentations, meetings, and the like, sitting on general committee for many years, and basically being there quietly in the background offering advice when sought and always there to assist financially.
At its core, he merely wanted TA’s to thrive and prosper, and he set about doing all that he could to achieve this ends.
I’ve personally known our honouree for about 25 years, firstly through our friendship at TA’s and in more recent years through business, and I can honestly say that he is one of the most ethical, honest, no bullshit people you could meet, what you see is what you get, and he will not compromise on his values.
A quick summary of some of our honouree’s key achievements and contributions:
- Provided the club with a loan in the early 2003 to get us back on our feet
- Waived the unpaid balance on said loan
- Actively involved in the recruitment of players
- Actively involved in the recruitment of coaches
- General committee member for approaching 10 years
- Significant sponsor for 20+ years
- Mentor to past presidents
- Source of employment for players
- Club’s most significant and enduring sponsor
Our honouree was the recipient of the George Little Best Clubman Award in 2005, in my view the award we should all strive to win, and was awarded honorary life membership in 2010.
He knows all the current players and all those from past campaigns, he’s no superficial supporter.
With this said, the contributions from him that I value the most, because they show where his heart and soul reside, is the delivering of his post-match addresses, but mostly, his love affair with our home scoreboard.
It is with a huge amount of joy, and honour, that I announce the person who we believe “has made the most impactful contribution to our club over a sustained period of time”, and who the Club Champion Award will now be named in his honour, is Christopher