The Big Eight

Strathmore Football Club gives eight awards named in recognition of eight important contributors to the club. Four are for on-field performance, while the other four provide the main means for the club to recognise off-field efforts. Five of the big eight are named in memory of people whose deaths particularly affected the club and which in various ways continue to do so. The other three honour persons recognised during their lifetime for extraordinary service to the club. Taken together, these eight awards cover a broad sweep of the club's rich history, but there are of course many other people living and dead who have made contributions of similar importance.

Alf Pearce Medal
"A" Grade Best Player

Alf was secretary of the club from 1957 until 1970 and died in 1971 soon after being elected president for his second term. As well as providing outstanding administrative skills during the club's formative years, Alf served extended terms on the Executive Committees of the Essendon District Football League and its then parent body the Victorian Football Union. The oldest of our named awards, the Alf Pearce Medal has been presented since 1972, for many years with the support of his widow and grandson.

Wally Abraham Medal
"A" Reserves Best Player

Wally has given the club over thirty years continuous service since being recruited to team manage our senior team--a job he continued for most of those years during which he has often served on the committee and as a vice-president. Since some luck in a lottery enabled Wal to take an early retirement, he has taken on a self-appointed role as caretaker and cleaner of the clubrooms. He has done most of our boundary marking throughout those years and remains heavily involved in the supply side of our catering arrangements.

Peter Taylor Medal
"A" Reserves Runner Up

This medal was originally struck for the best player in our third senior side after Tails died in a fire in his flat. He was one of the club's outstanding characters with the sense of humour that was needed to successfully coach a third senior side, in which capacity he won a league Best and Fairest. Tails was a core member of the group of young players and their friends who were the heart of our senior club through the 1970s.

Syd McGain Medal
Under 18 Best Player

Syd founded the club in 1954 and was the coach of our first team--in the Under 17 age group for which this medal was originally struck many years later. Syd was an outstanding sportsman, playing a handful of games at Fitzroy and running professionally at Stawell. Following on from his direct contribution to the club, Syd started the Strathmore Midgets Clinic at Cross Keys which is now emulated across the state as Vic Kick. From that he took teams of kids to play at half time at Windy Hill wearing Strathmore and Essendon jumpers which was the forerunner of the Little League, and he continued on to be the first coach of the Little Bombers. In the summer Sid started a similar clinic for young athletes which preceded the establishment of Little Athletics. But just as important as the vision he showed in starting these activities was the standards of decency and sportsmanship which he built into Strathmore Football Club from the start.

Pecka Ransome Award
Best Clubman

A talented winger at the height of a local senior football career, Pecka was a club committeeman, a driving force behind a revived social committee, and coach of our Under 13 A team, when he died in a collision with a truck on the way home from a senior presentation night. His death had a profound impact on the club and helped bring out the compassion and support which a big and maturing club needs to have in the face of the tragedies which inevitably confront us from time to time. Pecka was another core member of the group of young players and friends who were the heart of our senior club through the 1970s. While in other places, a "best clubman" may be chosen to encourage a battler, at Strathmore the Pecka Ransome Award has become a special recognition for persons who have made an outstanding contribution to the club.

Morrie Gunston Memorial Award

After Morrie lost a difficult battle with cancer in 1993, the Gunston family supported the club in creating an award to recognise an outstanding contribution to the administration of the club. While never seeking any particular title or recognition for himself, Morrie applied his rich experience as a life member of two football clubs, and that of his own business, to the behind the scenes work that makes a club function, most importantly in making sure the club's operating income came in and was properly accounted.

Grant Edmondson Award

Since joining the club as a battling footballer in the early 1960s, the Mantis has been a regular helper around the teams, our longest serving committee member and for a time vice-president. He has made a vital continuing contribution to More News since its inception in 1970 and has been an irrepressible source of sometimes corny humour. Facing the sometimes too serious business of providing football for the local community, in 1995 the club decided to create this award in Grant's honour to be awarded to the person who does the most to keep the club happy and smiling.

Tony Farrall Memorial Scholarship

In an era when it was acceptable to be a beautiful person, Tony Farrall served two seasons on the committee while still playing Under 17, serving as minute secretary and membership secretary, as well as being one of the few survivors of the most contested committee election in the history of the club. He had become a handy senior player and was doing well in his university studies when he died as a result of another car hitting his. This award was created to help encourage and recognise other youngsters to contribute off the field, originally with the support of Paul Kaufman, and was revived by the club following Paul's untimely death in 1992.