‘Favourite son’ farewelled

‘Favourite son’ farewelled

Millicent will farewell one of its favourite adopted sons at 11am on Thursday when the life of the late Herb Henderson is celebrated at McLaughlin Park.

The noted sports star, family man and community identity died on July 31 at the age of 91.

It is fitting that his funeral will be staged at the clubrooms of the Millicent Football Netball Club as this club brought him and his family to this town for the 1959 football season and they have remained here ever since.

Back in the 1950s, he was regarded as one of the best full-backs in the then VFL, was a member of Footscray’s sole premiership side in 1954 and represented Victoria on multiple occasions.

Other accolades have come his way including membership of the Western Bulldogs Team of the Century and the Hall of Fame of the Footscray Western Bulldogs Football Club.

Recruited as a teenager from the Mildura Imperials Football Club, Mr Henderson retired after the 1958 season and his VFL career was 130 games with zero goals.

Then known as the Magpies, the Millicent Football Club brought Mr Henderson from Melbourne to be their coach and he became a league medallist in the South East and Border Football League.

His time in the Mid South Eastern Football League lasted only one season at Tantanoola.

He spent his final playing days in the late 1960s back at Millicent, coached underage teams and was awarded life membership.

Football was not his only sporting interest as he was a champion lawn bowler at local and higher levels with the Millicent Bowling Club.

His community interests included being an elected member of the then Millicent District Council, while many would remember him as a cheery licensed milk vendor.

Mr Henderson was also foundation president of the Millicent and District Basketball Association in 1965.

Married to Ruth for 68 years, their marriage produced three daughters and a son, 12 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.

Millicent Football Netball Club president Joel Redman said the Saints were honoured to host the funeral service on behalf of the Henderson family.

“It is always sad when you lose a legend,” Mr Redman said.

“Herb lived a full life and the Millicent footy club was a big part of it.

“He was an all-round good guy and had boundless energy for sport.”

In anticipation of a large turnout, Mr Redman said additional shelters would be erected outside of the clubrooms.

The news of the death of Mr Henderson prompted a warm tribute from the Western Bulldogs Football Club.

“He was a vital cog in the Bulldogs’ 1954 Premiership side,” stated the AFL club.

“Herb Henderson made his debut for Footscray in 1950 after arriving from Mildura Imperials and quickly established himself as a premier defensive stopper.

“He was renowned for his ability to restrict the best forwards in the game, boasting a strong record even against the likes of legendary Essendon full forward John Coleman.

“The Western Bulldogs Football Club wishes to extend its sincere condolences to the Henderson family at this difficult time.”

Why wait? Get more stories like this delivered straight to your inbox
Join our digital edition mailing list and stay up to date on the latest news, events and special announcements from across the Limestone Coast.

Your local real estate guide - every Thursday


You might also like