West Coast powerbroker Trevor Nisbett has been rewarded for his service to the club and WA football with the AFL bestowing life membership today.
Nisbett was among eight men given the honour by the league.
Recently-retired triple premiership Geelong full back Matthew Scarlett, former West Coast dual premiership player and now Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna, Essendon and Port Adelaide premiership player and now Richmond coach Damien Hardwick, Fremantle coach Ross Lyon and Dockers captain Matthew Pavlich all qualified automatically during the 2012 season by reaching 300 games as a player or player and coach.
Life membership was also conferred under the provision of ‘Special Service to the Game’ to Nisbett, Richmond Team of the Century member Michael Green and former Collingwood premiership player and club president Kevin Rose.
Nisbett played in the WAFL with East Perth before becoming football manager and then general manager of the club. He then worked with Subiaco and was at the club during its run of four successive grand finals between 1985-88, including premierships in 1986-88.
He joined West Coast as football manager in 1989, filling the role for a decade before taking his current role as club chief executive in 1999.
Nisbett has been at the club for its three premiership and has developed into arguably the most powerful man in WA football.
AFL chief Andrew Demetriou said the league commission congratulated each individual on his award and that the game looked forward to thanking each of them personally again for their contribution to football, both on-field as players and coaches and off-field for their service as administrators/officials.
Scarlett retired at the end of 2012 after a stellar career encompassing 284 league games, 29 pre-season games, one State game and three matches for Australia, playing a key role in the Cats' premierships of 2007, 2009 and 2011.
Pavlich, the games record-holder at Fremantle, will begin the 2013 season with 279 games already to his name, along with 25 pre-season matches, one State game and three matches for Australia. Fremantle captain since 2007, Pavlich is also a six-time All Australian with selection honours to his name in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, as well as a record six George Doig medals for the club.
McKenna, Hardwick and Lyon all qualified for life membership on the basis of their combined tally of premiership games, pre-season games and state games, both as a player and a coach.
McKenna played 267 senior games for West Coast between 1988-2000, including the club’s first two premierships in 1992 and 1994, and has coached Gold Coast since the club entered the competition for the 2011 season.
Hardwick played 207 senior games for Essendon and Port Adelaide between 1994-2004, winning a premiership with both clubs, and has led Richmond since the 2010 season.
Lyon played 129 senior games for Fitzroy and the Brisbane Bears between 1985-95 and coached St Kilda between 2007-11, before taking his current role as senior coach at Fremantle.
Kevin Rose played 159 games for Collingwood between 1958-67, including the 1958 premiership, and was president of the club between 1996-98, as well as serving as a Board member for a decade. A life member of the Magpies, he also served as Fitzroy senior coach and was a dual premiership coach with Prahran in the then-VFA.
Green played 146 games for Richmond between 1966-71 and 1973-75, including the premierships of 1967, 69, 73 and 74, and was named in the back pocket in the club’s team of the century. After his retirement as a player, Green served on the Richmond Board and match committee, as well as both assistant coach and reserves coach. Since 1995, he has been a Director of AFL SportsReady and a member of the AFL Tribunal (1995-98) and then the AFL Appeals Board (1998-present).
The Jack Titus award for conspicuous service to the game will be presented to Port Adelaide’s Alf Trebilcock, who will begin his 45th successive season at the club in 2013.