Tribute to the great “Ken Hines”

       

Every year, the clash between Montmorency and Eltham is a much anticipated affair between players and spectators alike. On the line is not only four points, but the prestigious Ken Hines Shield.

     

This year marked the 40th anniversary of the Ken Hines Shield, and after an exhilarating game, Montmorency were able to reclaim the coveted honour. But behind the glory of the Shield, there is the legacy of the late Ken Hines.

   

 

 

A respected clubman of both the Montmorency and Eltham Football Clubs, Ken Hines was a champion both on and off the field. Beginning his senior career for the Young Christian Workers at only 15 years of age (in secret from his father, Fred), Ken was later selected in Melbourne Football Club's team list in 1958.

     

Despite Collingwood claiming him in residential grounds, he declined the offer and returned to play for the Young Christian Workers. It was then that his involvement with the Montmorency Football Club began.

   

Appointed as an honorary Captain Coach to Montmorency in 1959, Ken's highly decorated career saw him win four Best and Fairest awards between 1959 and 1963, as well as the Paul Strad trophy in 1960. Ken was later voted as the number two player and captain in the Champions of Montmorency team (1946-2002) as well as being inducted into the Montmorency Hall of Fame in 2011.

   

A resident of Eltham since 1959, Ken's involvement with the Eltham Football Club was kickstarted when his two sons, Stephen and Peter, commenced their careers for the Panthers. Ken's outstanding tenacity and inspirational qualities saw him appointed to various positions at the Eltham Football Club, ranging from Chairman of Selectors, Committee member and Vice President.

   

Along with his football achievements, Ken Hines was elected to the Eltham Council in 1976, serving two terms in which he helped Eltham Shire flourish in terms of sporting facilities and community.

 

Ken was also an active member at the Eltham RSL. A loving husband to his wife Bernadette, Ken was also a dedicated father to Stephen, Anne Merie, Catherine, Clare and Peter, as well as a caring grandfather of 14. Both Ken and his family were much loved in the local community. 

 

Often, the question "are you related to Kenny Hines?" was frequently asked.

 

It is through this respect and reverence that the Montmorency and Eltham Football Clubs established the Ken Hines Shield in 1977. Ever since, the honour has been a highly sought after prize by both clubs, and as daughter Anne Merie said, was "always something dad was very proud of". 

 

The Ken Hines Shield itself stands for qualities that were held in firm stead by Ken.

 

"He had a big mantra [that] if you didn't believe in yourself, how would others believe in you," said Anne Merie.

 

"He instilled self-belief [which he] passed on to people whether it be football or otherwise".

 

The combination of the Hines qualities, coupled with the determination and courage of the Montmorency-Eltham ANZAC inspired clash, has rendered the Shield as one of the most respected honours of the NFL.

 

After being diagnosed with dementia in 2011, Ken requested that the Shield be retired, as he would prefer it to be "missed rather than dismissed".

 

Both clubs subsequently declined Ken's request, which secretly left him "purely humbled". On and off the field, Ken hated losing more than winning, and with this spirit "beat his battle" with dementia, never letting it define who he was.  

 

Following his passing in 2011, the Hines family affirmed that he will forever be remembered for simply being Ken. Despite this, it is impossible to overlook the fact that Ken Hines was a monumental figure not only in the football world, but the local community as well. A man of great pride, character and integrity, Ken Hines and the eponymous Shield have been immortalised in NFL history - his achievements second to none.

 
 
 

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