Arthur Powers was in his prime as a sportsman in Ballarat in the early 1960s.
Soccer was his game, playing with the Prince of Wales Park-based Wendouree.
He underscored his talent by winning the club’s best and fairest in 1961.
The 78-year-old remembers the occasion, but really that is all he has retained of that proud moment over the years. Memories, but no trophy to admire.
Powers said he was presented with the trophy – a silver cup – but after that he had no idea what happened to it.
“I moved house and lost it.”
So it was not surprising that Powers was nothing less than shocked when Ballarat and District Soccer Association broke the news to him that the lost trophy had been found.
And there was no hiding his delight when BDSA president Herman Bogers re-presented the silverware to Powers at the Ballarat Regional Soccer Facility.
”It brings back some good memories,” Powers said.
“They were the best years of my life.”
Powers said he had joined Wendouree as a junior and graduated to the senior line-up in his teens.
Bogers said the best and fairest trophy was one of three inscribed with Powers’ name found in a cupboard at the Ballarat Soccer Club rooms at Trekardo Park.
He said he made some enquiries and with the assistance of Charlie Payton and Bob Smith had tracked down Powers, who still lived in Ballarat.
Bogers said it had been wonderful to bring a piece of Ballarat soccer history back to life.
Powers and Smith said Wendouree was part of a nine-team competition in those days, with several clubs having an ethnic foundation.
Wendouree largely comprised English immigrants including Powers.
Other sides included Juventus, Croatia, Wilhelmina and Kosciusko, as well as Ballarat City and Creswick.
Rather than take it home, Powers has offered the cup to the BDSA on permanent loan to allow it to be displayed.
Bogers said he was pleased to accept in on behalf of the association, which was working on compiling a history of soccer in Ballarat.
He said with every year that passed by history was being lost.
“We’re keen to gather what we can before its too late.”
He said there had many teams go by the wayside in Ballarat over the years.
“There’s little on record about many of them.”
Bogers said this was it was so important to talk to past players such as Arthur Powers.
“There are lots of stories to tell and we need to record them for future generations.”
He said he would be keen to talk with anyone who memorabilia to ensure there was an opportunity to put it on the record.