ROBBIE Mitchell is a legend of the Inverloch-Kongwak Football Netball Club.
In his 50th season as timekeeper and scoreboard attendant, he continues to contribute to the club he loves.
He’s officiated in close to 1000 senior matches, not including numerous reserves and junior matches.
In fact, the only matches Robbie has ever missed were due to a fractured leg he sustained in an unfortunate mishap that saw him jump out of the scoreboard one day when he was locked in.
He missed half the season with the injury but was quickly back in the scoreboard box for his beloved Sea Eagles.
To this day, he is still timekeeper for four matches on a Saturday, as well as manning the gate before the day’s matches start, placing the padding on the goal posts at the start of the day and timekeeping for three junior matches on a Sunday.
He also takes care of the club’s match balls and is at training every Thursday night, waiting for weekly team selections and putting the team sheets on windows at shops in Inverloch.
The scoreboard at Inverloch is even named in his honour.
For Robbie, he says footy is his life.
“I love getting around and meeting new people and enjoying myself,” he said.
“It gives me something to do and it gets me out of the house instead of sitting home bored to tears.
“I’m better off being at the footy than sitting at home doing nothing.
“Getting out to the footy is good for you because it’s getting fresh air into your lungs.”
Amongst the highlights of his time in footy are Inverloch-Kongwak’s premierships, timekeeping and scoring Bass Valley and Alberton interleague matches and being given the honour of timekeeping and scoring a VFL practice match between Fitzroy and Hawthorn at Wonthaggi in the 80s.
And you can bet any of the Sea Eagles’ achievements are celebrated and remembered by Robbie, with his home filled with newspaper clippings, footy records, scorecards and photographs from the club’s time in the Bass Valley, Alberton and now West Gippsland leagues.
Former Inverloch-Kongwak president Russell Miller said Robbie is a stalwart of the club.
“He’s seen all the presidents, coaches and players come and go and he’s the one constant,” he said.
“He’s got his set jobs and you don’t have to worry about him, you know Robbie will turn up and do what he has to do – he’s very reliable and loyal.
“He hasn’t missed many games in his time. I don’t know who’s done that or any job at a footy club for 50 years, so it’s a pretty good record.”
And Robbie isn’t slowing down, with the local legend vowing to continue serving the club.
“I’ll do it until I drop dead, there’s nothing wrong with me,” he said.
“I love going to the footy.”
Robbie’s 50 years in footy