Toast to lost loved ones

Paul Petkovich (president Bullcreek Leeming Football Club)
Paul Petkovich (president Bullcreek Leeming Football Club)

In recent years, the club had been beset by tragedy, with three players’ deaths in a 15-month period.

In December 2010, Mitch Gillam was killed in a motorcycling accident in Bali at the age of 20.

Nine months later, Bullcreek Leeming thirds captain Kyle Thomas (25) collided with another player minutes before the end of the grand final match and later died in hospital.

And in March 2012, promising footballer Matthew Jancey died in hospital after spending two days on life support after being found on the floor of his family’s home.

Now, after almost a year of planning, the club is set to unveil the club’s first memorial bar inside the clubroom.

On the wall in the bar will be a memorial plaque and photo of the three men, along with four other players who have died in recent years ” Brad Lane, Lee Gilmore, Stuart Symes and Steve Bertochi.

Alongside the names and photos of the deceased players will be the names of all those who donated money for the memorial bar.

The bar, costing about $35,000, has been paid for through club fundraising and a loan from the West Australian Football Commission.

‘The club started a Centurions Club, where members, players and supporters donated a minimum of $100 to build the bar,’ president Paul Petkovich said.

More than 110 names are on the list and people donated up to $500.

‘We’ve been wanting a bar for a while and we have wanted to have a memorial for the guys, so we got thinking and came up with the memorial bar,’ he said.

‘It has already added so much to the club with so much meaning behind it.

‘Their memory will live on.’

The club will hold a cocktail function for all those in the Centurions Club on Friday.