By Phil Skeggs
One of the last surviving members of Ivanhoe’s legendary 1956 A-grade premiership team Ian Anderson has died, aged 88.
Ian played in the centre for the Hoers in our only A grade flag in the VAFA – an achievement he was very proud of.
The team had depth, talent and a good deal of natural aggression and were considered giantkillers by rival A grade clubs.
The Hoers finished minor premiers and the grand final was played against an equally battle-hardened district outfit, Coburg Amateurs, at Elsternwick Park on September 8.
Ian, whose nickname was Mick, was best-on-ground for his heroics in the middle during the second half. The Hoers lost by one point, but under the VAFA rules minor premiers were entitled to exercise a right of challenge.
The replayed grand final at Moorabbin Oval on September 15 was played in front of a crowd of 3000. It was another cliff-hanger and Ian was again among our finest in a come-from-behind 8-point victory.
Teammate Lloyd Williams, who starred at centre-half back and was club B&F in 1956, was a mate going back to their days at Ivanhoe Primary School together with other premiership team members John Miles and Ted Holberry.
“He (Ian) was a good kick of the ball and he always played team football,” Lloyd recalled yesterday. (September 9)
“Ian was a loyal person – he didn’t take potshots at people – and he was very loyal to the Ivanhoe football club.”
Ian was a member of our 1953 Under 19 premiership team. He was awarded the Most Consistent Player trophy at the end of the 1956 premiership season. He played 120 games and was awarded life membership in 1963, which was his last season.
He also served on committee in 1963-65, helping with special fundraising efforts.
Ian also liked to attend past player functions with his old teammate Phil Jones, who played in the 1953 Under 19s premiership and the 1954 B grade premiership. Phil died in July and Ian was too ill to visit the club for the Life Members’ luncheon on August 13.
Ian died peacefully at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre at the Austin Hospital on Thursday (September 8).
The club extends its condolences to Ian’s wife of nearly 66 years Wilma, their children Christine and David, grandchildren Corrinne and Kyle, and great-grandchild Jaz.
His funeral will be held at Tobin Brothers at 816 Doncaster Rd, Doncaster on Wednesday September 21, starting at 2pm. The funeral will also be webcast for those who cannot make it. Simply click here.