K rock Football

Cats farewell premiership star

GEELONG is mourning the death of two-time premiership player Russ Middlemiss.

A member of the back-to-back flags during the Cats golden era in the early 1950s, Middlemiss died earlier this week at the age of 90 after suffering a stroke last Thursday.

Recruited from Rokewood after being raised in a Ballarat orphanage, Middlemiss debuted Round 6, 1949 against Carlton before going on to play 74 games in the Hoops, with his last coming in early 1955.

A life member of the club, Middlemiss made his name as a half-back flanker despite having never played the position before arriving at Kardinia Park.

His death leaves just six surviving members of the 24 Cats that played across the 1951-52 flags; Terry Fulton, George Goninon, John Hyde, Bill McMaster, Les Reed and Geoff Williams.

Middlemiss is survived by his four children; Glenn, who played 34 games for Geelong and 16 for St Kilda, Christine, Craig and Carl; eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

It continues a sad month for Geelong and the local football community, with the deaths of 1970s stars John Scarlett on July 31 and Kevin Higgins on July 5.

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