Hall of Fame – Roly Marklew


2007 Hall of Fame Inductee – Roland Marklew

Combined Churches Football Club

1960

1973

Premierships : 1960,1971,1972(Seniors), 1962(Reserves)

Grand Finals : 1970 (Seniors)

Most Consistent : 1970

Best Team Player : 1972

Life Member

162

138

Ovens & King Premierships : 1963,1964 (Tarrawingee), 1976 (North Wangaratta)

Coach North Wangaratta : 1974,1975

Runner Up O&K Baker Medal : 1965

Tarrawingee Best & Fairest : 1965


One of the myriad roles he undertakes during the football season, is that of water-steward. From the proximity of the boundary line he absorbs himself in the game and is not short of the well-aimed piece of advice to Rovers players of the umpires. It is obvious that Roly Marklew’s passion for the game still burns brightly. His mind must occasionally drift back to the day nearly half a century ago when as a 16 year old, he played an intergral role in one of the Rovers greatest premiership wins. Roly had made just 9 senior appearances prior to the 1960 Grand Final, but he justified the faith in selectors by performing well. The Rovers players returned in triumph to Wangaratta by train and were met at the station by a brass band and a huge, adoring crowd. Rather heady stuff indeed for a young lad. Rovers coach Bob rose predicted a bright future for the skillful utility, but he struggled in subsequent seasons and was enticed out to Tarrawingee where his father in law was President. Roly had three highly successful seasons at Tarra and returned to the Hawks in 1966. He was a more mature player now, and became renowned for his desperation and hard tackling. He was pilloried by opposition fans for his tough style of play and did indeed hand out more than his share of punishment. But opponents were unable to put him off his game when the time came for retribution. His “in between” height sometimes confused coaches who were in a quandary as to where to play him. So he had varied roles, sometimes giving away inches to key position players but always compensating with fierce competition. Perhaps the best football of his career was played in his last 5 years woth the club. Positioned mainly as a half forward, Roly was more than many half backs bargained for. He was a valuable component of the 1971 and 1972 Premiership Teams and revelled in the big game atmosphere that prevailed. The last of his 162 games was in the 1973 Preliminary Final loss to North Albury. Roly was lured to North Wangaratta as captain-coach in 1974 and spent 4 seasons with the Hawks when they were an O and K Power. The next phase of his sporting journey was a a man in white for a total of 14 years. Of the 500 or so games he umpired a good portion were at the senior O and M level. As could be expected, opposition fans directed venom towards him when he was allocated a Rovers match. But Roly’s love for the Wangaratta Rovers – and for football – never abated. His greatest thrill came when his son Rick, who had been elevated from the thirds, made his senior debut in 1986, the first of 229 senior matches. From that point on, Roly has been a fixture at the Findlay Oval, whether its goal umpiring, helping out the medical staff or doing various maintenance jobs around the Club. He has been senior scorer for Rovers, then Rovers United Cricket Clubs since 1985. His winter match day starts sometimes before 8am when he loads up the equipment trailer and heads off to the away games. A couple of hundred kids have passed through the ranks in his time and he takes a keen interest, as he did, to achieve the glory that came his way 47 years ago.