A Bulldogs' Hall of Famer puts people above premierships

HALL OF FAMERS: Wodonga inducted Keith Ainsworth (left), Ray Smedley, Mick Garvey, Bob Craig and Richard Bence into the Bulldogs' Hall of Fame on Saturday night.
HALL OF FAMERS: Wodonga inducted Keith Ainsworth (left), Ray Smedley, Mick Garvey, Bob Craig and Richard Bence into the Bulldogs' Hall of Fame on Saturday night.

One of Wodonga’s new Hall of Famers says the people mean more than the premierships.

Keith Ainsworth joined Ray Smedley, Mick Garvey, Bob Craig and Richard Bence in front of more than 200 people.

“Like I said on Saturday night flags are fantastic, but footy and netball clubs are all about the people,” Ainsworth said.

“If you don’t have good people no one wants to be there, that’s the thing that stands out for me.”

Ainsworth, who is the Bulldogs’ senior games record holder with 258, has an affiliation with the other inductees.

“’Smeds’ was the chairman of selectors when I first started, ‘Bencey’ was a seconds and senior premiership coach, ‘Craigy’ was my first reserves coach and Mick was my captain when I was vice-captain,” he said.

“It was really good to share it with those guys.”

The 47-year-old says the club holds a special place in his heart.

“It’s been my life, certainly my adult life,” he said.

“Every person I know is through the footy club, it’s a pretty special place.

“I got a little bit more emotional than I thought I would.

“I even shed a tear at one stage, I don’t think I’ve cried in public before, or very rarely anyway, it was a pretty emotional night.”

The honour has capped a special time for Craig.

He was inducted into the O and M Hall of Fame on July 5.

Craig played 223 matches over 15 years, from the early 70s, and was a three-time Victoria Country-winning coach.