GALLERY: Sporting Heroes

Adrian Purtell started his rugby league career in Albury, playing for the Albury Rams and Lavington Panthers.
Adrian Purtell started his rugby league career in Albury, playing for the Albury Rams and Lavington Panthers.
Purtell would go on to play more than 100 NRL games for Canberra and Penrith before moving on to Bradford in the UK's Super League. He suffered a heart attack after a game in May 2012 and was cleared to resume in April this year. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Purtell would go on to play more than 100 NRL games for Canberra and Penrith before moving on to Bradford in the UK's Super League. He suffered a heart attack after a game in May 2012 and was cleared to resume in April this year. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Seven-time Olympian Andrew Hoy was born in Culcairn. He has won four Olympic equestrian medals, three gold and one silver.

Seven-time Olympian Andrew Hoy was born in Culcairn. He has won four Olympic equestrian medals, three gold and one silver.

Andrew Hoy proudly displays his olympic medals in his home town of Culcairn following the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

Andrew Hoy proudly displays his olympic medals in his home town of Culcairn following the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

Andrew McDonald started his cricket career on the Border. He is pictured here in 1997, playing for New City.

Andrew McDonald started his cricket career on the Border. He is pictured here in 1997, playing for New City.

Andrew McDonald celebrates the wicket of Paul Harris of South Africa during day two of the Second Test between South Africa and Australia played at Kingsmead on March 7, 2009 in Durban, South Africa. Picture: Getty Images

Andrew McDonald celebrates the wicket of Paul Harris of South Africa during day two of the Second Test between South Africa and Australia played at Kingsmead on March 7, 2009 in Durban, South Africa. Picture: Getty Images

Archie Thompson played soccer in Wodonga before going on to play for (among others) the Olyroos, Socceroos and Melbourne Victory. He is pictured here in 1998, taking a break during an Olyroos training camp in Albury.

Archie Thompson played soccer in Wodonga before going on to play for (among others) the Olyroos, Socceroos and Melbourne Victory. He is pictured here in 1998, taking a break during an Olyroos training camp in Albury.

Archie Thompson controls the ball during the Group D 2014 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifier match between Australia and Saudi Arabia at AAMI Park on February 29, 2012 in Melbourne. Picture: Getty Images)

Archie Thompson controls the ball during the Group D 2014 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifier match between Australia and Saudi Arabia at AAMI Park on February 29, 2012 in Melbourne. Picture: Getty Images)

Brett Kirk was a standout for North Albury in the Ovens & Murray Football League before being drafted to the Sydney Swans as a rookie. He is pictured here in 1998, playing against Lavington.

Brett Kirk was a standout for North Albury in the Ovens & Murray Football League before being drafted to the Sydney Swans as a rookie. He is pictured here in 1998, playing against Lavington.

Brett Kirk celebrates victory after the 2005 AFL Grand Final between the Sydney Swans and the West Coast Eagles at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, September 24, 2005. Picture: Getty Images)

Brett Kirk celebrates victory after the 2005 AFL Grand Final between the Sydney Swans and the West Coast Eagles at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, September 24, 2005. Picture: Getty Images)

Wangaratta cyclist Dean Woods won a gold medal at the 1984 Olympics, a silver and a bronze medal at the 1988 Olympics and a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics. He is pictured here with his 1984 gold medal.

Wangaratta cyclist Dean Woods won a gold medal at the 1984 Olympics, a silver and a bronze medal at the 1988 Olympics and a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics. He is pictured here with his 1984 gold medal.

At the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Woods, with team-mates Michael Grenda, Kevin Nichols, and Michael Turtur, won the 4000m team pursuit.

At the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Woods, with team-mates Michael Grenda, Kevin Nichols, and Michael Turtur, won the 4000m team pursuit.

 Australian cyclists from left, Bradley McGee, Timothy O'Shannessey, Dean Woods, Stuart O'Grady pose with their bronze medals for the teams pursuit in Atlanta.

Australian cyclists from left, Bradley McGee, Timothy O'Shannessey, Dean Woods, Stuart O'Grady pose with their bronze medals for the teams pursuit in Atlanta.

Beechworth native Emma George set 12 pole vault world records in the late 1990s. She is pictured here with her mother Merron in 1998.

Beechworth native Emma George set 12 pole vault world records in the late 1990s. She is pictured here with her mother Merron in 1998.

Border born and bred, Fraser Gehrig would play 260 AFL games for West Coast and St Kilda, winning All-Australian honours in 1997 and 2004. He is pictured here playing in the WAFL in 1994.

Border born and bred, Fraser Gehrig would play 260 AFL games for West Coast and St Kilda, winning All-Australian honours in 1997 and 2004. He is pictured here playing in the WAFL in 1994.

Pictured here in 2004 against Carlton, Fraser Gehrig would kick a total of 549 goals for West Coast and St Kilda, winning the Coleman Medal in 2004 and 2005.

Pictured here in 2004 against Carlton, Fraser Gehrig would kick a total of 549 goals for West Coast and St Kilda, winning the Coleman Medal in 2004 and 2005.

A triple Morris Medallist, John Brunner was one of the finest modern-day Ovens and Murray Football League players. He played a total of 186 matches for Yarrawonga and Benalla. He is pictured here playing for the O&M league against the Victorian Amateurs team in 1999.

A triple Morris Medallist, John Brunner was one of the finest modern-day Ovens and Murray Football League players. He played a total of 186 matches for Yarrawonga and Benalla. He is pictured here playing for the O&M league against the Victorian Amateurs team in 1999.

Born and raised in Albury, Haydn Bunton Sr is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time. He remains the only player to win three Brownlow Medals and three Sandover Medals.

Born and raised in Albury, Haydn Bunton Sr is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time. He remains the only player to win three Brownlow Medals and three Sandover Medals.

Bunton played 119 games for Fitzroy in the VFL, kicking 207 goals. He was subsequently named in the AFL's Team of the Century.

Bunton played 119 games for Fitzroy in the VFL, kicking 207 goals. He was subsequently named in the AFL's Team of the Century.

Corowa's John Longmire started his football career at Corowa-Rutherglen before heading to North Melbourne, where he won the Coleman Medal in 1990 and an AFL premiership in 1999. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Corowa's John Longmire started his football career at Corowa-Rutherglen before heading to North Melbourne, where he won the Coleman Medal in 1990 and an AFL premiership in 1999. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Longmire would go on to coach the Sydney Swans to a premiership in 2012. He is pictured here with Swans' captain Jarrad McVeigh. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Longmire would go on to coach the Sydney Swans to a premiership in 2012. He is pictured here with Swans' captain Jarrad McVeigh. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Yackandandah lad Josh Kennedy started his soccer career in Wodonga with the Twin City Wanderers and later SS&A Boomers. He is pictured here in 1998 after winning an Australian Institute of Sport scholarship.

Yackandandah lad Josh Kennedy started his soccer career in Wodonga with the Twin City Wanderers and later SS&A Boomers. He is pictured here in 1998 after winning an Australian Institute of Sport scholarship.

Josh Kennedy celebrates with teammate Tom Rogic after scoring the game-winning goal during the World Cup qualifying game against Iraq at Stadium Australia on June 18. Picture: REUTERS

Josh Kennedy celebrates with teammate Tom Rogic after scoring the game-winning goal during the World Cup qualifying game against Iraq at Stadium Australia on June 18. Picture: REUTERS

Lance Mann was one of the most talented and versatile athletes to come out of the Border region. He would play 80 games for Essendon in the VFL while also winning elite sprinting titles, including the Stawell Gift in 1952.

Lance Mann was one of the most talented and versatile athletes to come out of the Border region. He would play 80 games for Essendon in the VFL while also winning elite sprinting titles, including the Stawell Gift in 1952.

Mann pictured during the Stawell Gift carnival of 1952. He would become the first athlete to win the Wangaratta Gift, the Stawell Gift, and the Bendigo Gift treble in the same year.

Mann pictured during the Stawell Gift carnival of 1952. He would become the first athlete to win the Wangaratta Gift, the Stawell Gift, and the Bendigo Gift treble in the same year.

Mann wins the 1952 Stawell Gift in eleven and fourteen-sixteenths seconds, off a handicap of 71⁄4 yards (6.6 m).

Mann wins the 1952 Stawell Gift in eleven and fourteen-sixteenths seconds, off a handicap of 71⁄4 yards (6.6 m).

Born and raised in Albury, Lauren Jackson ranks as the greatest female basketballer in Australian history, winning multiple titles and most valuable player awards around the world. She is pictured at the Albury Sports Stadium in 1995 as a 14-year-old. The stadium would eventually be renamed the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre.

Born and raised in Albury, Lauren Jackson ranks as the greatest female basketballer in Australian history, winning multiple titles and most valuable player awards around the world. She is pictured at the Albury Sports Stadium in 1995 as a 14-year-old. The stadium would eventually be renamed the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre.

Lauren Jackson reacts during the match against Brazil in the women's basketball preliminaries at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

Lauren Jackson reacts during the match against Brazil in the women's basketball preliminaries at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

Just a day removed from winning a 2006 Commonwealth Games gold medal, Jackson suited up for the Albury-Wodonga Lady Bandits' maiden game in the South East Australian Basketball League. Jackson would score 45 points in the thrilling win over Nunawading.

Just a day removed from winning a 2006 Commonwealth Games gold medal, Jackson suited up for the Albury-Wodonga Lady Bandits' maiden game in the South East Australian Basketball League. Jackson would score 45 points in the thrilling win over Nunawading.

Jackson's WNBA resume for Seattle makes for amazing reading: 7× WNBA All-Star (2001–03, 2005–07, 2009), 3× WNBA MVP (2003, 2007, 2010), 2× WNBA Champion (2004, 2010), 3× WNBA scoring champion (2003, 2004, 2007), WNBA Finals MVP (2010), WNBA rebounding champion (2007), 5× All-WNBA First Team (2003–07, 2009-10). She was also named to the WNBA's All-Decade Team in 2006.

Jackson's WNBA resume for Seattle makes for amazing reading: 7× WNBA All-Star (2001–03, 2005–07, 2009), 3× WNBA MVP (2003, 2007, 2010), 2× WNBA Champion (2004, 2010), 3× WNBA scoring champion (2003, 2004, 2007), WNBA Finals MVP (2010), WNBA rebounding champion (2007), 5× All-WNBA First Team (2003–07, 2009-10). She was also named to the WNBA's All-Decade Team in 2006.

Widely considered the greatest female tennis player of all time, Margaret Court was born in Albury on July 16, 1942. She would go on to amass 62 major titles in her career.

Widely considered the greatest female tennis player of all time, Margaret Court was born in Albury on July 16, 1942. She would go on to amass 62 major titles in her career.

Pictured here in 1999 is Margaret Court outside the Albury tennis complex named in her honour.

Pictured here in 1999 is Margaret Court outside the Albury tennis complex named in her honour.

Wodonga athlete Merv Lincoln shone at the Olympics and was only the second Australian to run a mile in under four minutes.

Wodonga athlete Merv Lincoln shone at the Olympics and was only the second Australian to run a mile in under four minutes.

The main road that linked Albury and Wodonga would eventually be named in Lincoln's honour.

The main road that linked Albury and Wodonga would eventually be named in Lincoln's honour.

Chiltern native Nigel Lappin burst on the AFL scene for Brisbane in 1994 before going on to win three straight premierships for the Lions in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

Chiltern native Nigel Lappin burst on the AFL scene for Brisbane in 1994 before going on to win three straight premierships for the Lions in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

Regarded as perhaps the greatest ever Ovens & Murray Football League player, Wangaratta Rovers star Robbie Walker won an incredible five Morris Medals (1991, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003), 12 club best and fairest awards and played in 4 premierships (1988, 1991, 1993, 1994).

Regarded as perhaps the greatest ever Ovens & Murray Football League player, Wangaratta Rovers star Robbie Walker won an incredible five Morris Medals (1991, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003), 12 club best and fairest awards and played in 4 premierships (1988, 1991, 1993, 1994).

Albury's Steve Rixon played 13 Tests and 6 one-day internationals for Australia between 1977 and 1985. Until Andrew McDonald, he was the last Border product to play cricket for Australia.

Albury's Steve Rixon played 13 Tests and 6 one-day internationals for Australia between 1977 and 1985. Until Andrew McDonald, he was the last Border product to play cricket for Australia.

As part of Albury-Wodonga's 1992 Festival of Sport, the city successfully lobbied to host a World Cup cricket match. As a result, England would play Zimbabwe at the Lavington Sports Oval. In a major upset, the world cricket minnows would topple England by nine runs. Pictured is Zimbabwe tailender Malcolm Jarvis hitting out.

As part of Albury-Wodonga's 1992 Festival of Sport, the city successfully lobbied to host a World Cup cricket match. As a result, England would play Zimbabwe at the Lavington Sports Oval. In a major upset, the world cricket minnows would topple England by nine runs. Pictured is Zimbabwe tailender Malcolm Jarvis hitting out.

Zimbabwean batsman Andy Flower is bowled for just 7 by Phillip DeFreitas during the 1992 World Cup clash at the Lavington Sports Oval.

Zimbabwean batsman Andy Flower is bowled for just 7 by Phillip DeFreitas during the 1992 World Cup clash at the Lavington Sports Oval.

England all-rounder Ian Botham bowls during the nine-run defeat to Zimbabwe at the Lavington Sports Oval. Botham took 3-23 and made 18 runs as England was bowled out for just 125, chasing 134 to win.

England all-rounder Ian Botham bowls during the nine-run defeat to Zimbabwe at the Lavington Sports Oval. Botham took 3-23 and made 18 runs as England was bowled out for just 125, chasing 134 to win.