Bill Hutchison was a legend on the football field and a man of impeccable character off it. The Essendon Football Club had no hesitation in nominating him as the man in whose honour this foundation should be named.
'Hutchy' played 290 games for Essendon between 1942 and 1957. He played in four Premiership sides, 10 Grand Finals and captained Essendon 122 times. He won seven club best and fairest awards in that time and two Brownlow Medals.
In fact Hutchy should have won three Brownlow Medals (which would have given him a playing record almost identical to that of the great Dick Reynolds). In 1955 Hutchy lost by one vote to Fred Goldsmith. Incredibly Goldsmith received three votes in a game against Essendon despite Hugh Mitchell kicking nine goals on him.
Dick Reynolds noted as much. "He is the best rover Essendon ever had. He should have won three Brownlow Medals," Reynolds once said. "He was a great team man and he was the greatest footballer I met in my career. As far as I was concerned he was one in a million."
But this honour is as much about Hutchy’s character as his football achievements. It is about a man who did everything to get the best out of himself. A man who had to struggle to convince selectors he was ready for senior football. A man who loved to participate and compete no matter what the outcome.
And Hutchy was known also for being a ‘good bloke’ off the field. He would invite players from other teams for a get-together after the game. Sportsmanship was everything to him and he is remembered by footy tragics in many colours as a gentleman.
Legends from other teams have not hesitated in acknowledging Hutchy’s exceptional character. "Hutchy was one of the best rovers I have seen in the game," Lou Richards once said. "He was scrupulously fair and I never knew him to do a mean thing on or off the field." "He played football as he lived his life," said former Hawthorn coach Jack Hale. "I don’t think I have ever met a better rover or better man on or off the field."
And there was this offering from former umpire Allan Nash: "He was an ornament to Australian Rules football and such a fair and clever player that he was a brilliant example to all young boys in the game."
Bill Hutchison was all about getting involved. He was all about the team, fair play and mixing with those he played with and against at the end of the day.
If you have questions or would like more information, please submit an enquiry below or call or email us
0438 13 66 80
Bill Hutchison Foundation
P.O. Box 151
Essendon, Victoria 3040
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