ALAN 'Podgy' Rogers has been credited with helping lay the foundations for a successful Kiewa and Sandy Creek amalgamation.
Rogers, who passed away last week aged 78, coached the Tallangatta and District league club in its first season as a merged entity in 1969.
He had led Sandy Creek the previous season and made his intentions clear about bringing the clubs together from the outset.
"I remember him saying there is no Kiewa and there is no Sandy Creek and that we will work together," premiership teammate and good friend David Sutherland said.
"And that's what we did.
"He probably set the standard which the club has pretty much followed since and is why it has had so much success."
Rogers enjoyed success from the moment he walked in the door.
Recruited from Wodonga, the tough rover guided Kiewa-Sandy Creek to premierships in 1969, 1970 and 1972.
He won best and fairests in 1969 and 1972.
Sutherland still marvels at how Rogers took the club to premiership glory in its first year after the amalgamation.
"We had no superstars, we just teamed well," he said.
"He never yelled but when he spoke you listened.
"He had that sort of authority.
"He was a real gentleman as well and knew how to get on with people."
Rogers was named rover in Kiewa-Sandy Creek's Team of the Past 50 years and assistant-coach to Des Richardson.
The electrician represented the Tallangatta and District league representative side on several occasions during his decorated career.
Rogers played his 100th and final match for Wodonga as 19th man in the Bulldogs' first Ovens and Murray premiership in 1967.
The side was coached by former Collingwood player Mick Bone.
Rogers umpired for several years after retiring from football.
"He was a very good umpire too," Sutherland said.
"He knew the rules and could relate to the players."
Rogers, who was a strong swimmer and fine tennis player, was known as the best squash player in Wodonga in his era.