After half a century of involvement with the Jerilderie Football Club John Purcell was presented with Murrumbidgee Council Jerilderie Sportsperson of the Year award at the Australia Day ceremony on Friday night.
During his 50 plus year tenure at the club Purcell has served as a committee member for nearly 40 years.
His playing achievements include being a team member throughout the 1970s and runner-up club Best and Fairest in 1976.
He was recognised at Friday’s ceremony, held at Luke Park, for his service to the club he loves throughout the year.
‘‘It’s great to win,’’ Purcell said.
‘‘People say footy clubs need help and a lot of them are struggling.
‘‘A big reason for them struggling is there’s such a shortage of footballers, but also there’s a shortage of volunteers and people that want to take on an executive role.
‘‘I love the club, that’s why I do what I do.’’
Purcell has coached all skills levels with the club, from seniors through to juniors (fourths), and has been a mentor to many players over many years.
His role as a team selector means he attends training two nights a week, which equates to a number in excess of 3000 attendances in the role so far.
John said among his proudest moments with the club is supporting his son Aaron Purcell’s football career.
A legendary Demon in his own right, Aaron was awarded the Jerilderie Sportsperson of the Year award in 2014 after kicking 222 goals in the 2013 Picola League season for Jerilderie.
‘‘It was really good to have been honoured alongside Aaron,’’ Purcell said.
‘‘Hopefully, the grandkids can play for Jerilderie and have three generations of Jerilderie Demons.’’
Purcell is a life member of the Jerilderie Football Club and has earned its Club Person of the Year award on many occasions.