Our research indicates that this was possibly the only year that these certificates were presented.
The gesture probably went against the grain of the traditionalists who may have felt that life membership of the league was sufficient recognition of a persons’ s contribution to the game in NSW.
The criteria for the awarding the certificates were included: that the applicant shall have given not less than 10 years’ active service to affiliated first-grade clubs or have played in 10 or more representative games for the State.
At that time players with the Eastern Suburbs club occupied rather an unusual position as Jack Williamson, winner of the Provan (later the Phelan) Medal for 1935 had played for the club for only four seasons and yet had represented on ten occasions. Stan Milton, after who the Sydney FL Leading Goalkicking award is named, had, at that stage, played 276 games for Easts over a 17 year period and had otherwise been actively engaged in the sport. He had represented on 29 occasions and during 1935, had kicked a total of 46 goals in nine matches, including eight in the final series.
We have however been given one such certificate which was present to Bryan Rush (pictured). A former Collingwood player who came to Sydney on business and became involved in football. He captained and coached the North Shore club in the early 1920s, represented NSW on a dozen occasions, captaining them several times.
He also coached NSW on a number of occasions in the early 1930s.
There is no record of these awards being presented in the league’s annual reports nor any further mention of their presentation after 1935.