Alfie Trebilcock in the Port Adelaide boot room
I just love the Port Adelaide Football Club because it means so much to me
LEGENDARY Port Adelaide boot studder Alf Trebilcock has been recognised for his incredible contribution to the game and the club, earning the AFL’s prestigious Jack Titus Award.
‘Alfie’ enters his 45th successive season as a volunteer at Port Adelaide in 2013, having served the club through an era that has delivered one AFL and 13 SANFL premierships.
He is an icon at the club – loved and respected by players and staff alike – and his infectious smile is one of the first sights to greet any new player when they arrive at Alberton.
The 71-year-old has cared for the footwear of hundreds of players over almost half a century, witnessing the transition from ankle-high boots with knock-in timber studs through to today’s mutli-coloured ultra-light models.
The Jack Titus Award - named after the legendary Richmond forward who kicked 970 goals during 294 games between 1926 and 1943 before spending many years as a committee member - is presented annually for conspicuous service to the game.
“I just feel humble and grateful to win such a fantastic award,” Trebilcock said.
“I just love the Port Adelaide Football Club because it means so much to me.
“When I started, I didn’t think I’d be winning an award like this and I certainly don’t do the job for awards, but it’s just wonderful to be recognised by such a prestigious honour.”
Trebilcock’s arrival at Alberton in 1968 coincided with the start of Russell Ebert’s decorated playing career with Port Adelaide and spanned his 392 games for the Magpies.
The four-time Magarey Medallist said the award was richly deserved by a man who served the club while also meeting the demands of his city butcher’s shop and raising two children.
“For a person to commit that many years to what is a voluntary role is an indication of the passion Alfie has got for the club,” Ebert said. “
What’s more, he did it while he was running his business and while raising a family and those things also require a lot of time, yet Alfie still dedicated so much of it to the Port Adelaide footy club.”
Ebert said Trebilcock could always be relied upon to fulfil his role to perfection.
“He would be there before training and after training as well as games, so your boots were just something you knew would be right and you didn’t have to worry about them for a moment,” Ebert said.
“Boots are the most important part of your gear and Alfie made sure they were always in the best possible order to enable you to perform.
“Back in the days of hammer-in sprigs, he would change your boots to suit the conditions of the day. He’d go out and inspect the ground and look at what the weather was doing and tailor your boots perfectly.
“He sacrificed a lot of other indulgences that he could have enjoyed to serve the Port Adelaide Football Club and it’s a sign of what it means to him.”
Meanwhile, Port Adelaide Premiership player Damien Hardwick has been awarded life membership of the AFL having reached 300 games as a player or coach.
Hardwick played 54 games for Port Adelaide over three seasons, including the 2004 Grand Final – which would end up being his final game of football.
Hardwick took over the reigns as coach of Richmond in 2010 and reached the 300 game milestone during the 2012 season.