Wayne Ford - 2021 Inductee
The Hall of Fame welcomes a player who has played 400 games of football during his career, playing with his home club Katandra and two GVL clubs in Shepparton United and Shepparton Swans.
Wayne Ford grew up on a dairy farm at Katandra the son of one of Katandra’s best ever ruckman and long term player Mervyn Ford. Wayne played junior football with his school, Shepparton North Tech before commencing with the Katandra reserves in the Tungamah League.
His class was noticed by the Katandra coach and he was elevated into the senior team just prior to the finals in 1983.
Luckily for Wayne who was “nick named Jika” he was a member of the premiership team that year and played in another Katandra premiership team in 1984. Wayne was a fast high marking player and was loved by the Katandra fans. After playing in the runners up team in 1986 he decided to try his luck in major League football and with the encouragement from his coach Craig Blizzard he transferred to Shepparton United playing under Coach Richard Warburton.
He chose the right time to join the Demons as they won the premiership in 1987 and 1988.
After playing 43 games with United he got the opportunity to return to his home club to coach Katandra. In 1989 the Blues were runners up, then in 1990 they defeated Shepparton East to win the premiership. Wayne played a total of 97 games with Katandra including three winning grand finals.
In 1991 he was lured to the assistant coaching position with the Shepparton Swans and became caretaker coach in 1993.
He had a year away from the GVL in 1994 when he played with former Swans identities at Tocumwal. However in 1995 he returned to the Swans to become the mainstay of the team for the rest of his career. He was very fit and didn’t suffer many injuries which allowed him to have a long career which saw him play 267 games with the Swans and winning the Best and fairest award. He also coached the Swans under 18’s during his playing career.
The GVL selectors were delighted to have him in their squad, he loved playing for the League and played 8 games in the purple and gold. He completed his playing career with a total of 310 GVL games to his credit. He played in 5 premiership teams in 2 Leagues.
Following his playing career Wayne decided to put something back into the game and took on coaching the Swans Under 18’s again. He loved coaching the boys and had a total of 7 seasons with the Swans thirds. He also coached the Swans under 16’s and spent 2 seasons as assistant coach of Mooroopna.
He is still involved with the game and this year is assistant coach of Undera.
We recognise tonight a popular player who has given so much to the game. Welcome Wayne Ford to the GVL Hall of Fame.