Half-century of country sports

Tristan WheelerManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Eddie Glancy has been a stalwart of Bridgetown sport.
Camera IconEddie Glancy has been a stalwart of Bridgetown sport. Credit: Manjimup-Bridgetown Times

Third-generation Bridgetown resident Eddie Glancy has been involved in sport for over 50 years, helping bring through new generations of sporting talent after his playing career ended.

For many years, he and his late wife Noelene were part of the bedrock of Bridgetown’s sports scene, helping to run junior cricket, football, netball and basketball.

Eddie’s involvement with sport started as a player for the Bridgetown Basketball Association and the Bridgetown Football Club.

Eddie amassed more than 300 games for the Bulldogs between 1969 and 1985 and was a player and club president during their first-ever premiership season in 1984, an achievement that he counts as among his fondest in sports.

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During his playing career he twice won league fairest and best, in 1970 and 1975, as well as coaching the Bridgetown side with Dennis Wilson in 1980.

He did not miss a game for the club from 1969 until 1984, when he had his jaw broken at Deanmill, but returned for the end of that season.

His contribution to the game didn’t stop after Eddie retired from competition and he was awarded an Australian Sports Medal in 2000 for his contribution to the football club, which included a spell as president from 1983 to 1986 and sitting on the club’s committee from 1969 to 2006.

As well as senior football, Eddie coached Bridgetown junior football from 1988 to 2000.

His contributions to football led him to receive a Bulldogs life membership.

Eddie played a key role in the resurgence of cricket in the district during the 1990s and helped to restart the Bridgetown Cricket Club in 1997, serving as club president from 1997 to 2005 and as Donnybrook Blackwood Cricket Association president.

“I started up the junior cricket during the ’90s for the kids to play, because cricket had folded up, Bridgetown cricket had folded,” he said

“There was a lot of kids and we started junior cricket up and that went for quite a while till they outgrew juniors and we started up the senior cricket club again.”

As well as organising and coaching, Eddie has also umpired senior cricket games for 23 years and was made a life member of the cricket club.

Eddie’s basketball career lasted over 30 years, during which time he played, coached and umpired, a contribution that earned him a life membership of the Bridgetown Basketball Association.

His late wife Noelene was an accomplished volunteer in her own right and according to daughter Kylie was very supportive of her husband’s sporting pursuits.

“She was a massive volunteer, a life member of the basketball and netball associations in Bridgetown,” Kylie Glancy said.

“They were both very similar, volunteers that gave up a huge amount of time to lots of kids, mainly for junior sport.

“I’m really proud of the impact that both of them have had on Bridgetown ... in terms of junior sport they’ve given hundreds and hundreds of hours in the last 30 years in Bridgetown.”

Additionally, Eddie served as a steward for the Bridgetown Harness Racing Club before they had professional stewards, a role which he inherited from his grandfather and uncle.

Eddie said he considered the biggest success of the his time in sport had been the friends he made while playing.

Eddie’s friend and co-coach Dennis Wilson paid tribute to his career.

“It’s been an amazing sporting career for a country bloke,” he said.

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