The legend of the late Chris Mainwaring will be enshrined in West Coast history next Saturday when he is inducted into the club's Hall of Fame.

_The Weekend West _ can reveal that Mainwaring, who died of a drug overdose in 2007, will be one of six inductees to be announced at the gala function at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The event will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Eagles' 1994 premiership.

The team's captain John Worsfold, coach Mick Malthouse, then-football manager and now chief executive Trevor Nisbett and teammate Peter Wilson gave personal reflections this week of a 201-game football great who often partied as hard as he played.

Malthouse, who was in Perth this week coaching Carlton against Fremantle, said a private video featuring Mainwaring remained a favourite memento from his successful stint with the Eagles.

He said the video, given to him by Guy McKenna when he left the Eagles in 1999, was one of his most prized possessions from his decade in Perth.

"I can still see him saying to me in that video tape, 'Thanks Mick, I'll have a drink for you, that won't surprise you'," Malthouse said.

"Then that beautiful big grin, that Mainy grin, came on. I don't think I've ever watched the '92 or '94 grand final beyond that year but I've watched that video several times and I always get this great feel about that relationship with Mainy."

The Geraldton-born Mainwaring, who was 41 when he died, was a dual AFL All-Australian, a WA State of Origin captain, a WAFL premiership player with East Fremantle and was named in the Sharks' team of the century.

Worsfold said the West Coast players would joke about Mainwaring's "bourbon aftershave" at some training sessions and would try to run "upwind of him" to avoid any backwash.

He said it had been difficult to accept the nature of his friend's death.

"We all miss him and a lot of us have really strong ties with his family still," Worsfold said.

"We were blessed with the time we got to spend with Mainy and getting to know him.

"It was too short but it was better than nothing."

When shown vision of the 1994 grand final with Mainwaring in full flight, bouncing the ball down the MCG wing before spraying a kick off his left foot, Nisbett said it perfectly summed up the wingman.

"He'd have 30 possessions - 10 somewhere near our guys, 10 like that and 10 out of bounds . . . that was Mainy," he said.

"He was an absolute classic. As a player he was easy to coach, easy to manage and when he trained, he trained."

Mainwaring lived with Wilson when he first moved from Geraldton to play for East Fremantle.

Wilson recalled watching out of his home's window as the country knockabout walked up the pathway to meet him for the first time.

"He was strolling up the pathway to the house and we've all looked out and gone, 'So this is the saviour of the East Fremantle Football Club'," Wilson said.

"He was just an absolute reprobate and so much fun and within the first hour all of us were thinking, 'This is going to be too much fun with this little bloke here'."

West Coast retired Mainwaring's No.3 jumper for three seasons before it was handed to Andrew Gaff in 2011.


The West Australian

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