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An old teammate pays tribute to Don

This photograph was kindly forwarded to OPA Central by Ray Hangan, a member of the Old Paradians’ Association Amateur Football Club’s history-making Grand Final-winning team of 1951.

The photo, captioned “VAFA Dinner October 1951”, shows the late Don McDonald clasping the ’51 Premiership trophy in his right hand, with the B-Grade Premiership pennant providing the perfect backdrop.

Those featured in the image are from left to right: Alf Williams, Don, the President Lou Arthur, the captain Pat Scanlan, committeeman and goal umpire Ossie Meehan and the late great Phil McLaughlin, who is cradling the B & F trophy.

“Alf Williams was a much loved member of the OPA Committee over many years and was on the Committee in 1936 when it decided to launch the monthly lunch,” Ray wrote in a letter accompanying this image.

“The coach of the 1951 team was Paddy J Scanlan, listed in Jim Main’s book as a South Melbourne player from 1920-’26 and captain from 1923-’25; and Footscray captain from 1927-’28. His role in 1951 is a very interesting story.”

For the record, Old Paradians 16.11 (105) trounced Alphington 3.4 (22) to earn the Premiership, in what was the team’s first season back in B-Section.

Don, who lined up at centre half-forward in that match, had captained the team the previous year. Maurie Considine, the full-back in that famous ’51 outfit, first played with Don in 1949.

Donald John McDonald died on July 8 at the age of 92. Requiem Mass for Don will be offered in the Xavier College Chapel, Barkers Road, Kew on Thursday, July 21, 2016, at 2.00pm. A private cremation will follow the service (please note that parking at Xavier College will be limited to family only on the day of the service).


Old Paradians’ Association Amateur Football Club Premiership Team, 1951

Backs          Des Powell      Maurie Considine       Bruce McDonald

H/Backs      Ray Hangan     Pat Scanlan                Denis Toner

Centres       Geoff Kenney  Frank Considine         Kevin Brens

H/Fwds       Brian Taylor     Don McDonald          Brian Turner

Forwards    Geoff Hill         Jack Harrison             Bernie Considine

Rucks          Jack Ryan        Phil McLaughlin          Des Byrne

19th/20th    Brian Hill          Peter Box

Coach         Pat Scanlan Snr

Captain      Pat Scanlan

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