The Old Paradians’ Association has honoured the memory of its football club’s greatest player Phillip McLaughlin, in posthumously naming him an Honorary Old Paradian – on the same day David Boundy retired as the team’s coach after five seasons at the helm.

Phil’s son Phillip junior, daughters Mary, Elizabeth, Kathleen and Maureen McLaughlin, and grandchildren Declan, Eithne and Claire McLaughlin, attended a Luncheon in the Frank Mount Social Room at which Phil was declared an honorary Old Paradian by the Old Paradians’ Association. They are pictured here with Phil’s award on display.

Phil represented the Old Paradians’ Association Amateur Football Club in 185 matches between 1949 and 1961. A club captain in 1952-’56 and 1958-’59, Phil was also a dual club Best and Fairest in 1950 and ’51, dual GT Moore Medallist as B Section B & F, and a member of the Old Paradians’ 1951 and ’58 Premiership combinations. Phil is pictured here amongst the ’58 Premiers holding the football, with Coach Considine standing behind him in the suit and Kevin Rickard to Maurie’s left.

At state level, Phil represented Victoria nine times between 1950 and ’55 (twice as captain in 1954 and ’55),c and in ’54 earned All-Australian status. A Life Member of the OPAAFC, Phil was also named Captain of the Old Paradians’ Team of the 20th Century. At the luncheon, Maurie Considine, who completed his senior debut for the Old Paradians with Phil way back in 1949, glowingly spoke of McLaughlin’s on-field greatness. Phil was 19th man and Maurie 20th in that particular match, and Maurie knew from the moment Phil emerged from the bunker that this was a very special footballer.

Maurie reiterated his long-held view that Phil was the greatest footballer ever to lace a boot for the Old Paradians – a view shared by many outside the club also. As Maurie said in paying tribute to Phil: “A line commonly heard amongst representatives of opposing clubs was ‘Stop McLaughlin, stop Old Paradians’”.

Guests at the Luncheon, including the Parade College Principal Dr Denis Moore and no fewer than eight former football club captains, heard tribute to Phil also paid by way of a letter prepared by Rickard, an old on-field contemporary.

They also heard from Kathleen McLaughlin, who graciously accepted her father’s award on behalf of the family.

“It is a privilege for me to represent my family in accepting this Honorary Old Paradian Award bestowed upon our father, the late Phil McLaughlin. As the children of Mary and Phil Mclaughlin, my brothers and sisters and I grew up one could say metaphorically, on the boundary line of the Old Paradians Association Amateur Football Club,” Kathleen told the gathering.

“Growing up we were so familiar with such names as Maureen and Maurie Considine, Lou and Vin Arthur, Frank Mount, Kevin Rickard, and Keith Sharkie just to name a few. All spoken of with such respect and in such high regard.

“We grew up knowing that a strong supportive community existed known as the Old Paradians, in which both Mum and Dad felt a sense of belonging. A community that remained supportive of Dad until the very end and one which played such a significant part in Dad’s life and identity.

“For those of you who knew Dad you can no doubt appreciate that we never heard of Dad’s football achievements from Dad himself but rather from Mum. It is lovely to think that his achievements and contributions to the Old Paradians’ Club are still remembered today.

“On behalf of Phil’s children, grandchildren and extended family I thank you for honouring him through this Old Paradian Award which I accept with great pride.”

Phil McLaughlin died in December 2015. He is the fourth recipient of the Honorary Old Paradian Award, and coincidentally the fourth football club identity so honoured after Maurie Considine and Guy Rodrigues in 2014, and Keith Sharkie last year.

Established in the Old Paradians’ Association’s Centenary Year of 2014, the Honorary Old Paradian Award acknowledges those men who, whilst not schooled at Parade, have contributed significantly to the cause of the College and/or the Association over many years.

David Boundy was not schooled at the College either, but twelve months ago commandeered the OPs to Division 2 Grand Final victory over Ivanhoe at Craigieburn.

At the Garvey Oval at the weekend, in what was the team’s final home and away match of the Division 1 season, the OPs again accounted for the ’hoes, but were unfortunately unable to avoid relegation to D2.

Boundy was applauded by footballers and supporters alike as he left the Garvey for the last time, and commended for his contributions by captain Chris Kandilakis in the players’ rooms afterwards - on what was a significant occasion for the Old Paradians and the McLaughlin family.