Tributes have flowed for police officer and former footballer Sergeant Barry Hills following his death on Friday night.
While Victoria Police association representatives told the story of a much-loved colleague, Sergeant Hills was also remembered for his contribution to Ballarat football.
North Ballarat Football Club stalwart Stan “Digger” Roberts said Sergeant Hills was a talented junior.
“He was as good a player as (Tony) Lockett, they’d bounce the ball, he’d go up in the ruck, grab it, and kick a goal,” he said.
Sergeant Hills moved to St Bede’s College in Melbourne to play with the St Kilda under-19s after playing juniors at North Ballarat and two senior games.
A knee injury ended his career, but he went on to coach North Ballarat juniors and Redan seniors.