In recognition of over 40 years service to the Victorian Amatuer Football Association, our very own Tom Brain was awarded Life Membership of the VAFA at the Association's recent gala season launch dinner. Tom, along with long serving VAFA administrator Sue Anderson, was honoured to be bestowed the very rare and prestigious title.
In acceptance, Tom spoke of his love of the game, the camaraderie and the close friendships which had fuelled his passion. Like many, Tom began his love affair as player. In Tom's case it began in the preseason of 1977 for ANZ Bank FC. In the 15 years that followed, Tom developed and honed his club administration skills eventually taking these skills to a number of other thankful clubs, including our own.
During the late 80’s Ross Booth and Peter Hille asked Tom to become involved in VAFA media, an offer which he duly accepted. This led to what Tom describes as an "absolutely magnificent involvement in all things VAFA". "For 20 years I had the pleasure of writing in the VAFA Record. I have written in every grade from F to B grade (you had to be a journalist for A grade). This gained me a great deal of notoriety, albeit both good and bad. It was never a burden, but took time and research was required. The bonus was I met some great club people through this involvement." Tom's media involvement grew into "the real love of my VAFA Career" his over 25 years involvement with the VAFA Sunday Radio show on 88.3 Southern FM.
In late 2002, Tom was elected to the VAFA Board. "To learn and see the VAFA operations from a different perspective was a total eye opener. I put my heart and soul into my time on the Board and totally enjoyed the experience. I was VAFA Duty Officer at the best game of Ammo footy I have ever seen. It was at Sandringham in September 2006 and it will always be a highlight. A massive crowd, 2 talented sides, 2 great coaches made for a fantastic game of football. To be able to present the Premiership Cup to the great Luke Beveridge – WOW! A memory I will always treasure."
Following his stint on the VAFA Board, and with the encouragement of then President Matt Beasley, Tom joined SBMT, was immediately volunteering and continues to do so to this day.
Tom, on behalf of all you friends at St Bedes/Mentone Tigers AFC, congratulations on the richly deserved recognition of VAFA Life Membership and thank you for all you have done for the love of the game.