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Tiger stalwart Bobby Beare passes

By Richard Jones

One of the Kyneton Football Club’s favourite sons in Bobby Beare sadly passed away last week. He was just 57.

I remember a boisterous Bobby on the field for the Tigers during their memorable days in the Eighties and later his oft-memorable remarks from the Kyneton grandstand when I was covering a BFNL match for the Advertiser.

Bobby was a key position player who manned centre half-back or centre half-forward with equal precision and energy.

He started out at the Kyneton Showgrounds in the late Seventies around the same time as I started out at the Bendigo Addy.

And he ended up with a 320-game career with the Tigers.

And if that wasn’t proof enough of his ability Bobby went on to play for Trentham and at the age of 50 as playing coach of the Twos he took the Saints to their 2011 premiership.

It broke a string of eight losing grand finals, including three at HDFL club Heathcote.

They lost three-in-a-row to arch-rivals Mount Pleasant before Bobby took up a four-year coaching stint with Heathcote under-17s.

But it’s his BFNL career which most interests me.

He started off as a 15-year-old in Kyneton’s senior team when Peter McRae was the Tiger coach.

McRae remembers Bobby and teammate Vinnie Szabo out on the Showgrounds turf having a kick and a run well before the scheduled 5.30 pm training start time.

McRae started Bobby on a wing but it wasn’t long before he moved into a key position.

His overhead marking was a feature of his game whether in attack or defence.

Bobby ended up back at Kyneton in 1999 and took out the BFNL’s McDonald Medal as fairest and best in the Twos when he coached the Tiger reserves.

His last game in any league came in July 2017 when he played for the Heathcote reserves against Colbinabbin. He was in his mid-50s.

And Bobby wasn’t the only notable Tiger to pass away in late summer-early autumn.

The club’s great trainer Maurie Smith --- known as ‘Mozza’ to players and officials alike --- passed in late February aged 84.

Maurie was associated with the Tigers for more than half a century --- 54 years in all --- playing more than 100 senior games, running the boundary from 1959 to 1961 and then spending the next four decades as a trainer.

He was the club’s head trainer for 40 years.

Not suprisingly Maurie was a life member of the Kyneton FNC and the BFNL.

He wasn’t extra keen to pass on inside injury information to press reporters, but I still frequently made contact with Maurie in the rub-down rooms before a Kyneton game.

Busy massaging a player’s hammies and ankles Mozza wasn’t a real fountain of information.

But every now and then a small diamond snippet of fact would be forthcoming.

“Shane (Muir) is coming back from a strained hammie,” he might say in reponse to a question about the club’s No. 1 ball magnet.

Or “Kel’s going to play in the forward line. He’s got a bit of a torn muscle” he’d respond if I asked how Tony Kelly was recovering.

Mind you, these snippets weren’t available every match. Quite often Maurie would just bend over more attentively to the player on the table and pretend he hadn’t heard the question.

I last saw Maurie on first semi-final day at the QEO in September when he was getting the Tigers ready for their clash with Sandhurst.

Vale Bobby and Maurie: two Tiger greats.

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