BORN and bred deep in the Riverina at Lake Cargelligo, Tim Sanson didn’t arrive in the Ovens and Murray until the mid-1990s after a brief stint with the Sydney Swans.
But for Lavington, it was well worth the wait.
As a centre half-forward, Sanson was the complete package, height, strength, booming left-foot kick all combined with a serious presence.
He endured grand final heartbreak early at Lavington, firstly as a player in 1996 and then again as a rookie player-coach in 1998.
But in ’98 he would also deliver one of the most unforgettable moments in O and M representative history as he landed a booming 55 metre goal after the siren goal to level the scores and send the game into extra-time.
The O and M went on to win the match against Geelong at Birallee Park to equal the record of three consecutive country championships before Sanson was part of history 12 months later when four titles in a row was completed.
Sanson’s record-breaking coaching career was under way and the disappointment of the two grand final defeats was erased when the Panthers won the first of two flags against Myrtleford in 2001.
Four years later Lavington won its second flag under Sanson in dramatic fashion with a goal after the siren from Daryn McKimmie.
Lavington played off in another grand final in 2008, but lost to Wangaratta with Sanson in a non-playing role.
Sanson coached Lavington for 14 seasons for two flags, two runners-up and three third placings including last year when they lost the preliminary final by three points to Yarrawonga.
He played 231 matches from 1995 to 2007 and coached the club in 275 games for a winning strike-rate of 58 per cent.
Sanson’s 575 career goals is also a Lavington record and at one stage he played alongside brothers Mark, Paul and Brett in a game.