Wednesday, September 20, 2017
A NATURAL TALENT… Colin Edwards reaching for the ball at football training with Shepparton United Football Club at 'The Rec' (Deakin Reserve) with Tom Carey and Garry Buzwell in 1963. Photo: Supplied.

A true sportsman

David Lee September 13, 2017

In memory of Colin Edwards 1937-2017

IT ISN’T often that you come across a true local sporting legend, but when you look back at the life of the late Colin Edwards that is exactly what you see. Colin will forever live on not only in hearts and memories of his loved ones, but also in the minds of the many local sporting clubs and groups that he left a piece of himself with over the years.

It all began in 1937, when one of the best all-round sportsmen the Goulburn Valley would ever see was born. Even as a youngster, Colin had always had a keen interest in sports, but really got into his element when he began his sporting career playing football for Lemnos as a teenager, starring in the senior’s side. His football career continued on when he went to play for City (now Shepparton) United and Shepparton East, taking to the grounds as ruck rover and in a variety of other positions until he settled into full back. At 30 years of age, Colin may have thrown in his footy boots as a player, but continued his legacy passing on his knowledge to younger players as coach of the thirds for two years in the early 1970s.

Colin had a long list of achievements in his days on the footy grounds including playing in the 1959 Premiers with Lemnos (with Doug Palmer as coach/captain), then playing in the 1962 Premiers with City (now Shepparton) United and being crowned the Best and Fairest in 1963.

Despite his natural talent for football, Colin found his true passion in cricket, where his talent continued. Playing for Shepparton Youth Club Cricket Club (now known as Shepparton and Youth Club United Cricket Club) and then going on to play for Karramomus, he was an all rounder but better known for his bowling. To show just how much talent Colin had, he made 127 not out in a match against Footballers on March 11, 1961, which included an amazing 12 sixes and in the 1970 final he took 7-36 against St Brendan’s. But it wasn’t just on the footy grounds that his achievements could be noted. He played in and captained the 1970 Youth Club A Grade Premiership, went on to do it all again a second time, was awarded Life Membership for Youth Club in 1965 and was actually known for his fast medium paced right arm bowling, winning the Clark Trophy bowling average twice.

You might think that his talents stopped there, but Colin was also an avid player of table tennis in his youth and had an interest in golf. In fact, on August 27, 1977 at the age of 39, he took to the green at Shepparton Golf Club and was sitting on 5 under par, heading for a course record, when he suffered a stroke that ended his game prematurely.

But the stroke didn’t stop him with his sporting endeavours as he went on to not only be a selector and assistant manager of the Shepparton Cricket Association team to Bendigo Country Week but also to take to the green of a different kind, playing lawn bowls and kicking into gear his interest in racing horses, owning four horses at one time.

Once again, he proved himself in the sporting world, being taking out the 1999-2000 B Grade RSL Club Championship, the 1998 Diggers Bowls Competition, the 1999-2000 Season Club Triples with G. Clarke and J. Doyle, the 2003 Russell Smith Memorial Triples with M. Mckinnis and G. Guymer and was division 4 winner of the 2006 Pennant.

As well as his long connection with local sports, Colin liked to keep his hands busy running his own plumbing business when he was in his prime. After he retired from plumbing he took up furniture restoration and found himself as an avid gardener, managing his vegetable garden right up until recent years, which his family and friends all reaped the benefits of.

Colin will be survived by his wife, Janet Edwards, children, Karen and Geoff, grandchildren, Stephanie, Madelyn and Lily and Great Grandchildren, Cooper and Nixon.