South Australian football fans scramble to find the funds to keep two first Magarey medals in Adelaide, with Tom McKenzie’s 1902 and 1905 gold medals being auctioned later today.

South Australian football is hoping a White Knight will buy two of the game’s first Magarey medals on Thursday night – and keep them in Adelaide under SANFL’s care.

Adelaide coin dealer Grant Morton put up for sale two of South Australian football legend Tom McKenzie’s gold medals, 16 years after he bought the 1902 and 1905 Magarey medals at auction in Sydney.

The reserve price for each medal is $ 32,000 – the price Morton paid for Magarey medals in July 2005.

SANFL, whose finances have been strained by the COVID pandemic over the past two years, has ruled out making its own bids for the medals to be auctioned online by Michael Treloar Auctions.

“We would certainly be interested in discussing with any potential owner the possibility of adding (the McKenzie Medals) to the Adelaide Oval collection,” said SANFL Managing Director Darren Chandler. Daily.

“SANFL’s history committee has worked to establish an extensive collection of Magarey medals, dating back to the first (won by Norwood player Alby Green) in 1898.”

This collection – which mixes the original Magarey medals donated to SANFL and replicas – was created in 2017 by Christine Halbert, wife of 1961 Magarey a Medalist and Sturt great John Halbert. This is a major exhibit in the President’s Room at the Riverbank Stand at Adelaide Oval.

Halbert hopes South Australian football fans can get the money to bid for the McKenzie medals by donating to a fundraising campaign controlled by the Australian Sports Commission.

At the same time, former SA Football Commission member and former West Adelaide Football Club chairman David Shipway rallied former SANFL players and compatriots at Carbine Club to form a union to bid for the Magarey medals. .

Christine Halbert is keen that the McKenzie Medals – which have sparked interest from as far away as Ireland – remain in Adelaide, preferably with public access through SANFL.

“You worry when they’re in private hands, especially if they end up in a drawer and forgotten over time,” she said. Daily.

“You would like to know where they are – they are part of South Australia’s history and there are good reasons to make sure they stay in South Australia. We wouldn’t want that. they are lost again.

McKenzie, inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame, won three Magarey medals – 1902, 1905 and 1906. The location of the third medal is unknown and is part of a mystery that has led to many theories about the location. where McKenzie left the gold trophies.

Morton, a long-time collector of sports memorabilia, had believed that the McKenzie Magarey medals had been melted down for their gold value during the Depression years or even buried with McKenzie at West Terrace Cemetery after his death in 1927 at the age 45.

“I hope the medals find their way back to the McKenzie clubs or the SANFL,” Morton said. Daily.

McKenzie, sometimes referred to as “MacKenzie,” was born in 1882 and played 175 senior SANFL games with West Torrens and North Adelaide before serving in France and being seriously injured in WWI.

Morton sells his collection of sports awards and photographs that he has bought and collected for more than three decades.

There are over 100 significant pieces in the auction lot, including the gold medals awarded to the great John Joseph Woods of Norwood, the 1906 premier gold medal struck for the Port Adelaide star Stanley Cocks and the 1911 medal awarded to West Adelaide player Roy Stearnes after his team won the Australian league title.

Morton also sells a season pass of membership to Port Adelaide Football Club from 1889.

Morton has decided to stay at home during the online auction.

“I’m going to enjoy a glass of red,” Morton said. “The collection has generated a lot of interest, but I don’t know what to expect. It will be sad to let go of a collection that has given me a lot of joy. I hope those who now have access to these rare pieces of sports history will enjoy them as much as I do. “

Chandler said Daily SANFL would prefer that important football medals not be put on public sale by the winners of the trophies or those who inherit the medals.

“Given the historical significance of each Magarey medal, SANFL does not support their sale,” Chandler said. “We understand that this is a decision to be made by every owner.”

Only the McKenzie medals and that of the 1932 winner Max Pontifex are known to be auctioned. The Pontiff Medal sold for $ 37,000 and this return supported a family education fund.

The Magarey Medal is the oldest individual award in Australian football. He was created in 1898 by league leader and Adelaide lawyer William Magarey for the fairest and brightest footballer in SANFL.

Until 1991, the Magarey medal had a different design each season. Today, the medal bears the effigy of Magarey.

The online auction starts at 7:00 p.m. today (Thursday October 7) at auctions.treloars.com

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