We have often written that people in sport and more particularly in our case, football, who are lost in the throng of the many who make up football clubs, leagues and groups.
In their time their names “are up in lights” and many became most prominent players or most influential officials or perhaps an outstanding umpire.
And yet when they withdraw or are lost to the code, their names and qualities are almost gone forever.
Sometimes there is a medal or trophy named after them so you can say their names may live on. But who questions the name on the medal that was perhaps won by a player from your club? Who knows about him or her for that fact? Who knows what impact that person had on the game in their particular discipline?
Of course this is the case right around Australia. It is the “xxx’ or “xyz” medal but who gives a tinkers cuss who “xzy” was? We could go on about this forever and while times change the circumstances really do not but the memory of their influence or impact naturally enough fades or has faded into the distant past.
And what of those who want to or do change the names of these trophies.? They have no respect for the past.
In Sydney Australian Football there was such a man who led the push. He was a school teacher and probably one of three who spread the game across the city and at the time who went to extraordinary lengths to promote his students into the game of Australian Football.
We have written about Rupert Browne, and of course there was H.G. (Bunny) Shepherd and Tas Carroll. Or to be more precise, Tasman Stanley Shepherd.
Tas. (as he was known to his many friends) was born at Stanley in Tasmania in 1902. After school he went into a career of teaching. By 1928 he was living at Sandy Bay then two years later along with his wife he was Lillis, he had moved to his long time residence of 36 Kimberley Road, Hurstville.
Strangely, he did not get involved with the then newly formed St George Club however he began teaching at Leichhardt Tech where he promoted the game and coached teams from his school in the fledgling (Australian) football schools competition.
By 1931 he had been transferred to Hurstville Central Technical School and was appointed co-manager of the NSW PSSSA (Public Schools Amateur Athletic Assn) Australian Football Team which even then included future St George players in Don Menzies, Steve Duff and the 1939 Sanders Medalist (Sydney Reserve Grade B & F), Albert Butcher.
Tas went on to become intensely involved with schools football in Sydney and like Rupert Browne and H G Shepherd, became mentors to young men who would go on to play senior football in NSW with a percentage moving into the VFL.
Despite his commitment to the game he was never elected a life member of the NSW Football League although his two colleagues, Browne and Shepherd were. Also he missed on the ANFC’s Merit Award, and honour bestowed upon a person for his or her outstanding commitment to football in the state.
Regardless, his loyalty to the game, particularly in the schools remained consistent through to about 1960. In these latter years he was the honorary schools secretary when he was listed as a teacher at the South Hurstville School.
There are many men in Australia who owe their involvement and in some way so too do the St George Club who were the recipient of these players , including a former outstanding club president in Sid Felstead.
Tas’s daughter, Patsy who also became a schoolteacher, was another who the St George Club benefited from his involvement. She turned out to be the club’s publicity officer, writing in the St George Leader as well as the Football Record for a number of years.
Tas died in 1992, aged 90, his death unnoticed by the Australian Football community of the time.
Unfortunately we have no image of Tas.