40 years of family tradition

Phil McQuilton, his grandson Brayden Mulrooney, 10, and son Kieran McQuilton, represent three generations of a family which has been part of the Wodonga Hockey Club since its inception in 1972. The club will celebrate its 40th birthday next weekend. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

Phil McQuilton, his grandson Brayden Mulrooney, 10, and son Kieran McQuilton, represent three generations of a family which has been part of the Wodonga Hockey Club since its inception in 1972. The club will celebrate its 40th birthday next weekend. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

PHIL McQuilton literally stumbled into hockey, and more than 40 years and three generations later he’s still part of the furniture at the Wodonga Hockey Club.

Wodonga will hold its annual club day next weekend, followed by the playing of the Dave Chandler Cup on the Sunday.

McQuilton said he had seen the club grow from the days of playing on grass at Bandiana, then Kelly and Willow parks before finding a permanent home on the purpose-built pitches at Silva Drive.

“I was just with a group of school friends who picked up some sticks at school one lunchtime and ended up playing in a team way back in 1972,” he said.

“Now, on any one day there will be my son Kieran, my daughter’s son Brayden and my brother’s two sons playing for Wodonga.

“It is a sport that becomes a passion and generally spreads right through the family.”

McQuilton credits the club’s growth to a prescient committee.

“They had great vision — when we first moved to Silva Drive it was onto buckshot pitches, like the tennis courts, but we thought it was fantastic,” he said.

“In time we not only had our own grounds but our own facilities.”

President Kyle Brereton said next weekend was a celebration of the Wodonga Hockey Club.

“That includes our past and present players, our life members, our wonderful sponsors, our resilient supporters and terrific juniors,” he said.

“The Dave Chandler Cup has special significance, recognising the past president who died from cancer in 2002.

“Each year the Cup is played between Wodonga and the Magpies and used to increase the awareness of the risks of cancer within men and raise funds for the Cancer Councils ‘Call to Arms’ program.”

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