K rock Football

Higgins mourned

Kevin Higgins in action for Geelong in 1974. (Geelong Advertiser Image)

THE Geelong football fraternity is mourning the death of Kevin Higgins.

Higgins, who played 128 games for the Cats and 25 for Fitzroy, became an icon on the local scene during the 1980s after guiding Newtown & Chilwell to its only GFL premierships in 1982, 85 and 86.

Recruited from Bendigo League club Sandhurst, Higgins debuted in the opening round of 1970 in the Cats’ nine-point win over Hawthorn at Glenferrie Oval.

Higgins started his career forward but it was as a defender he made his name at Kardinia Park.

He departed Geelong at the end of 1978 and spent two season at Fitzroy.

He played every game with the Lions in 1979 as they reached the first semi-final.

However, his only appearance in 1980 – Fitzroy’s Round 2 loss to Melbourne – would prove to be last game at VFL level.

Higgins was appointed as playing coach of the Eagles in late 1980 as they prepared for their third season in the fledgling GFL competition.

Playing at full-forward, Higgins topped the ton in consecutive years, as Newtown & Chilwell finished runner-up to North Shore in 1981 and defeated reigning GDFL Division 1 premier St Peter’s in 1982.

The Eagles then made three straight Grand Final appearances between 1985-87, winning the first two deciders and falling just short of a hat-trick of flags when beaten by St Albans by 22 points despite having two more scoring shots.

Higgins’ final season in charge at Elderslie Reserve came in 1988, leaving him with an impressive 106-49 win-loss record from 155 games.

He was appointed coach of SANFL club Sturt in 1990 but only lasted only one season with the Double Blues after they could manage just two wins on their way to the wooden spoon.

Kevin Higgins was 68.

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