It was a night of firsts at this year’s AFL Premiership Players Club’s annual stamp launch.
Since its inception in 2000, the club’s stamp set has only included premiership players and coaches, or umpires who had been involved in grand finals.
This year’s stamp set though features a player, who never played in an AFL/VFL grand final, let alone won a premiership.
It was one of the league’s absolute legends that took for the club to change its rules, with triple Brownlow Medalist and AFL legend Bob Skilton featured on this year’s stamp set.
It was Richmond legend Francis Bourke who first mentioned about Skilton not being in the club a couple of years ago and it went from there.
Skilton said it was an honour to be included on the stamps and be part of the club alongside premiership players.
“Thank you so much for making an exception tonight, for a bloke whose claim to fame from a finals point of view is one losing final,” Skilton said.
“I’ve always been so envious of the blokes, like my mate Barrass [Ron Barrassi].”
Two-time Brownlow Medalist Greg Williams, Paul Salmon and Paul Dear were among others on this year’s stamp set who were present to receive their stamps.
Salmon also received the Jack Collins Medal for being the leading goal kicker in the 1984 and 1985 final series.
Ray Ball received his son’s Luke Ball’s stamps, while Brisbane Lions premiership player Luke Power received the stamps of Lions teammates Simon Black and Jason Akermanis.
Former St Kilda recruiter John Beveridge spoke about both his father, four-time Collingwood premiership player Jack Beveridge and his son, Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge, who are both on this year’s stamp set.
David Dench was recognised with the Ron Barrassi Medal as the premiership winning captain of the 1977 winning team. Barrassi was coach of that side.
The club also announced that Carol Fox, president of Women Sport Australia, as the first female patron of the club.
Fox said she already had ideas of AFLW players and coaches that could be included in part of the stamp sets in coming years.
Umpire Gavin Dore:
Congratulations to AFLUA Life Member and field umpire, Gavin Dore who was presented with the annual stamp presentation at Windy Hill, Essendon on Thursday evening, November 30.
The AFL Premiership Players Club each year inducts 20 premiership players, coaches and officials onto an Australian Postage stamp. The organisation exists to recognise individuals who have achieved the ultimate in VFL/AFL Football, a premiership.
Stamps were also presented to Brownlow medalists including Simon Black and Jason Akermanis, 2016 Premiership Coach Luke Beveridge and triple Brownlow Medal winner Bob Skilton was inducted as a Legend.
AFLUA Life Member Kevin Andrews presented the frame to grand final umpire Gavin Dore. Gavin umpired the 1996 AFL Grand Final between North Melbourne and Sydney and officiated in a total of 302 games during his career.
Congratulations Gavin, a great moment to celebrate your career.