LIFE MEMBERSHIPS AWARDED TO CHRIS MIHALOPOULOS, GABE McKINNON and ROSS "ROCCO" STEWART.
One of the highlights of the Western Magpies AFC Presentation Night recently was the bestowing of Life Memberships to Chris Mihalopoulos, Gabe McKinnon and Ross Stewart.
Chris "Micka" Mihalopoulos is truly a club legend both on and off the field.
Micka started at the club in 1995 playing under 13's and he then played in an Under 14 premiership and then was Under 16 B& F in 1999.
He started playing in First Grade in 1999 as a 16 yo (second year after the Western Magpies formed).
He was First grade and Club Captain for ten years from 2003-12 and captained the club to three First Grade premierships in 2006 (def Noosa), 2008 (def PBC) and 2012 (def PBC).
He was the Bill Peirce medallist for Best and Fairest in 2004 and was runner-up B &F in 2002, 2005 and 2007.
With a change in employment to real estate he retired from the senior club at the end of 2012 after guiding the Pies to the flag with an emphatic victory over bitter rivals Palm Beach Currumbin. Micka's finals series in 2012 was simply inspirational.
He still wanted to have a kick and played with the Pies affiliate The Woodsmen in 2013-2015, playing in the 2014 premiership for The Woodsmen. He also helped out when he could with the Pies Reserves and booted 8 goals against Broadbeach this season.
Not content with his playing career he joined the Sherwood AFC Board of Directors from in 2010-11.
The Western Magpies is certainly a major part of Micka's life as he met his future wife Clare at the club when she joined the club as physiotherapist. He is still involved in the club and is one of the best loved and respected players to have donned the Black and White.
His total matches played is not fully known but with 14 years in First Grade it is estimated he played about 220 Senior matches.
Gabe McKinnon received Life membership after he played his 200 senior game this year after joining the Magpies to play with Sherwood Under 12s in 1995.
He has not missed a season since he joined the club from Yeronga
Gabe "Heinzy" McKinnon has played 81 First grade matches and 119 Reserve grade matches. He played in the 2006 Firsts premiership when the Pies defeated Noosa at Carrara and played in 2 Reserves premierships in 2005 and 2007.
He was awarded best on ground in the 2005 Reserves Premiership playing at centre half back.
He grew up in Brisbane but his family was from Adelaide so AFL was always his preferred choice of footy. He started at Yeronga but after 2 years moved to Sherwood in 1995 to play Under 12s and has not missed a season since.
His junior career was not as successful premiership-wise as his senior career as he played in four losing grand finals and in a tied grand final while at Sherwood and also lost an Under 18 Grand final for the Western Magpies in 2003.
He also laments the one that got away as the Pies lost the 2008 Reserves grand final after entering the decider undefeated throughout the season.
He was runner-up in the Reserves best and fairest in 2005 and has a been consistent performer in every season he has played for the Pies.
In 2015 he was runner-up in the Reserves Best and fairest, the JB Medal.
He has been at the club for 20 years and has been a loyal and uncomplaining player. He is the epitome of Rudyard Kipling's hero in his poem "If", taking the good with the bad with equal measure, never complaining and happy to play where he is picked and trying his hardest every match.
He is a deserving Life Member after many years loyal service.
ROSS "ROCCO" STEWART
Ross "Rocco" Stewart played in the Sherwood teams of the late 1970s to early 1980s which was golden period for the club.
He started as a junior in the club as a 7 year old and went on to represent Queensland at Under 15 and Under 17 level.
He won the Best and Fairest in First Grade in 1977 under the legendary coach Les Foote and was runner-up B & F in 1976 and went on to play over 100 senior matches for the club.
He played in 6 of the 8 premierships the Pies won in that period and was one of the best kicks on either foot to have played for the club. He had good skills on both sides of the body and it is said if you needed someone to kick a goal from 40-50 metres out the Rocco was the man to do it.
His career was cut short by chronic ankle injuries and he did other things for many years before returning over 10 years ago to start coaching at junior level at Sherwood which he has done for over 10 years.
He joins his parents in Glynn and Maureen Stewart as Life Members of the club.