A man described as a “little workhorse” has won the state’s highest honour for a football volunteer.
Mick Fogarty, head trainer with the Crystal Brook Football Club, was named SANFL Volunteer of the Year at the Magarey Medal count at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday.
Mr Fogarty won a trip to the AFL Grand Final in Melbourne and was invited to join the Grand Final Parade in that city on the Friday before the big match.
Perhaps in keeping with his wishes for this report not to be too “flowery”, he did not mention whether he would be taking part in the parade.
“I can go in the parade and walk along,” he said, adding that he would take son Christopher on the trip..
Mr Fogarty has been club president, committeeman, junior colts and minis coach and trainer in the past 24 years.
“The award is pretty humbling,” he said.
“I like being involved in the club and I like the role of trainer. It is something I can do with my Down syndrome boy Mickey. He loves the club. It is very rewarding.”
Club president Ian Lambert said he was “absolutely chuffed” that his mate had won the award.
“I could not be happier and I speak for the club as well,” he said.
“There was an amazing response on the phones.
“He has done everything. If you run a busy bee, Mick is he first bloke there and the last to leave. He is loved by everyone. He is just a little workhorse.”
Mr Fogarty moved from Georgetown to Crystal Brook in 1993 to run the silos for SA Co-operative Bulk Handling.
As a rover, he played 100 matches for Georgetown-Caltowie and about the same for Gladstone Combine after a merger. He played in Northern Areas Football Association representative teams.
He prevailed over seven other nominees from around the state to win the David Shipway Medal for Volunteer of the Year.
“I am a bit overwhelmed. Thanks to the club for nominating me,” he said.
“I was very surprised to be named the winner because you only volunteer to help your club and community. You don’t expect awards.
“I love being involved in football. It is a passion of mine. Volunteering comes easy because you do it to help people and to see the kids come through the grades is a really great experience.”
He said his son Mickey would be happy for him and had probably seen video of the presentation.
Meanwhile, the Roosters are chasing back-to-back premierships.