Swans treasure trove all thanks to Trev

Australian football

THE Griffith Swans wouldn't be celebrating their centenary this weekend if it wasn't for the work of Trevor Harrison.

THE HISTORY MAN: The obsession of unofficial Swans historian Trevor Harrison has allowed this weekend's centenary celebrations to go ahead. Picture: Anthony Stipo

THE HISTORY MAN: The obsession of unofficial Swans historian Trevor Harrison has allowed this weekend's centenary celebrations to go ahead. Picture: Anthony Stipo

That's because they probably wouldn't know when it was.

Volunteers are the backbone of bush sporting institutions and Harrison's silent commitment to his unofficial role as the club's historian is a prime example.

It began 10 years ago, when he rescued a treasure trove of Swans programs, documents and collectibles from boxes that were likely headed for the tip.

Harrison went through what he described as "one big mess" of information and digested it, producing a website, Griffith Swans Archive, that contains a level of historical depth that would make even AFL clubs envious.

"This is in about 2001, I think. That's when Ian Wade took over as president and I was on the committee," he said.

"I went up to Ian Wade's depot and he just gave me a whole heap of boxes. The club was having a cleanout.

"I saw it and said 'what's going on here?' I scooped it up and put it all away.

"I just went through them and sorted everything out."

Harrison has found great enjoyment in his undertaking, which came at the perfect juncture in his club life - he was keen to contribute to local football in a different way after spending 13 years as a goal umpire.

His website, www.griffithswansarchive.com, contains all manner of results, statistics, factoids and trivia from Griffith's 100 years of football.

"I've enjoyed just getting the job done," he said.

"This sort of stuff gets lost if someone doesn't roll their sleeves up and does the hard work - that's what it was.

"Someone had to do it and it may as well have been me."

Harrison's obsession has been instrumental in the club's centenary celebrations, which kick off on Friday with an Anzac Day game under lights against Leeton-Whitton at Exies Oval.

The following evening, the Swans will unveil their team of the century - a task only made possible by Harrison unearthing and piecing together Griffith's forgotten or largely unknown history.

The team was put together six weeks ago by a panel including Harrison, Bob Spiers, Ernie Wade and George Duncan, and will be announced at the centenary dinner at the Griffith Ex-Servicemen's Club to be hosted by Sam Kekovich.

"I probably did about 80 per cent of the groundwork for that, to tell you the truth," Harrison said.

"I just had all the information there and gave it to them.

"I'm just the football person, that's all it is. I'm probably just relieved that it's all done, really."

Club president Jeff Harris said clubpeople like Harrison are the "unsung heroes" of bush footy.

"They're the ones that do all the work without a lot of recognition," he said.

"We've been able to add the names to those centenary jumpers and back up the team of the century by great stats - simply because he's bothered to put the work in.

"Those records all exist on his website and there'd be few with better knowledge of clubs and leagues in country footy than Trev, I'd say."


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