The passing of former Sydney football identities these days come and go without so much as a whimper from the football community and the organisation they loved and served for a part of their lives, such is the transient nature of the game in Sydney.
We have belatedly been informed that the 1946 Phelan Medalist, and Sydney Hall of Fame member, Bill Cottis, died in May.
Bill was an outstanding centreman for Newtown in the Sydney Competition from the mid 1940’s to the mid 1950’s. He played in 5 consecutive Premiership sides for Newtown from 1946 to 1950 and was one of Newtown’s leading players during this time.
He won the Phelan Medal at the age of 19 in 1946. The 1940’s are regarded as probably the strongest period of Australian Football in Sydney as there was a large influx of Victorian and other interstate players as a result of service in World War II and later National Service.
Bill represented NSW in 1947-48 & 1953.
Another to pass this week was former NSWAFL Secretary between 1975-77 and Balmain president, Ken Hession.
Hession was born and bred in Sydney and moved to Adelaide in the mid sixties where he fell in love with the game. Upon returning he firstly took up with the Western Suburbs Club then later elected onto the NSW AFL Board of Management then into the role of fulltime secretary upon the retirement of Lionel Beale.
He lived the latter part of his life on the Central Coast where he suffered a fatal heart attack this week. His funeral is this Tuesday.