K rock Football

Tributes for a Joeys legend

Bruno Nicolich with wife Wendy (Image Supplied)

ST JOSEPH’S won’t be the same following the death of Bruno Nicolich, according to president Todd Devine.

Nicolich, one of only two official club legends at Joeys, lost his battle with cancer on Monday morning at the age of 72.

“He was there from day one and has been an integral part of the place ever since,” Devine said.

“His impact as a player may not have been profound, but his impact off the field was incredible.

“When the club really needed him, he was there volunteering – in fact the whole Nicolich family were doing that at the time.

“And that has continued from 49 years ago until now.”

Nicolich, who played at Bell Park, as well as some reserves and under-19 football at Geelong, attended St Joseph’s College.

When the school’s teams were told in the early stages of 1973 by the GDFL they would have nowhere to play if they couldn’t field a senior or reserves team, Nicolich became a foundation player at Drew Oval.

He went on to play 121 games, including a stint as coach of the reserves.

Nicolich served 15 years on the St Joseph’s committee, including four years as vice-president, managed both the senior and reserves teams, and spent countless years as property steward with good mate Raymond Hoadley.

However, he was most famous for his call of best-and-fairest votes for both the football and netball sections of the club.

“His impact on our clubs has been profound, but I think he’s also been very well regarded and respected by our opposition clubs for the work he’s done around the place,” Devine said.

“He’s one of the most recognised characters in the league.

“Our hearts go out to all the Nicolich family; Wendy, Todd and Darren.

“We’ve got Wendy who’s a life member, Todd’s a life member, and Darren’s cooking meal for us on a Thursday night.

“The impact of the Nicolich family on the St Joseph’s Football Netball Club has been absolutely profound.”

Devine says St Joseph’s has plans to mark Nicolich’s contribution as part of the recently completed redevelopment at Herne Hill Reserve.

“Our club only has a couple of legends, and he is one of them,” Devine said. “We were really looking forward to honouring him as part of the redeveloped clubrooms.

“It’s something we’ve been working with the family on.

“We would love to honour the contribution of Bruno and what he’s done for our club for what is nearly 50 years.”

Nicolich is survived by his wife Wendy, mum Maria, sister Helen, sons Todd and Darren, daughter-in-law Bree-ann, and grandsons Branson, Hudson and Lahken.

Twitter: @tom_king79