Ian Stewart has been around football in Stawell for as long as he can remember.
Stewart was a member of the Stawell Redlegs' 1978 premiership team, where he lined up alongside his brother, Steven.
It was the Redlegs' first premiership flag since 1950, which their father Geoff Stewart played in. Geoff was a handy footballer in his own right, winning the Toohey Medal in 1951.
"We used to go to the footy every Saturday to watch my old man, then my older brother started playing, and a couple years later I did as well. So, I've been around the club for what I guess is my whole life," Stewart said.
Now after the merger, Ian's oldest son, Brody, is carrying the mantle with the Stawell-based side.
"Of course it makes you proud watching him out there. It makes you want to play again, which at my age we all know is impossible," Stewart said.
Ian started volunteering for the merged Stawell Warriors after hanging up his boots in the late 1990s.
This season he is the team manager for the reserves side, in addition to marking the lines on the oval, a job he has done for years.
"I like the volunteering aspect of it; it's the mateship and the people you meet," Stewart said.
Stewart said it's harder to find people to volunteer.
"Certainly sometimes the work gets overlooked. People don't realise how much people do. If they didn't volunteer, things don't exist," he said.
"The footy team is pretty important around town. All footy and netball clubs keep their communities together, which is great."
Warriors' president Tim Williams praised Stewart's efforts.
"There are not too many fellas round like him," he said. "If we had a dozen like Stewy the club would run a whole lot smoother."
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