Doug Stewart looks over the memorabilia he has collected as a football player, coach and administrator.
Doug Stewart looks over the memorabilia he has collected as a football player, coach and administrator. Allan Reinikka

Stewart off to Hall of Fame induction

IF people deserve recognition for the work they have done for sport, Doug Stewart would have to be near the front of the line.

At the peak of his powers Stewart was a talented footballer who represented two countries at international level.

Before his arrival in Australia, Stewart was capped by his native Burma and then once in this country gained selection for the green and gold.

During the "glory" days of English football in the 1950-60 era there were players who were living legends.

Players like Stanley Matthews are still talked about by football fans who are far too young to have seen the great man in action, but Stewart has either played against these men or coached teams that have faced them.

That was when Stewart lived in Western Australia.

Despite moving away from that part of the country more than a quarter of a century ago he is still remembered and respected there.

On May 16 he returns to Perth to accept another accolade, when he will be inducted into the Western Australian Football Hall of Fame.

Not that he looks upon the trip as a holiday.

"I have been asked to do four clinics while I'm over there," he said.

Stewart said he was looking forward to going because it would be a trip down memory lane, with many of the players he coached now involved in high-profile coaching positions.

"I have been recognised as a player, coach and an administrator," he said.

The Hall of Fame has 100 inductees and Stewart proudly claims to have coached about a quarter of them.

While Stewart is in his senior years he is still active as a coach.

The sessions he will take in Perth are for young players.

This is an area he still enjoys being involved in and he takes skills clinics for the very young during school holidays in Rockhampton.

When someone with a background such as Stewart reaches his senior years it is likely there will be plenty of memorabilia collected.

In recent months Stewart has been sorting through the paperwork and pictures of a lifetime of sport and while in Western Australia he intends to pass them on to a sporting museum.

"I've got such a lot of material, like programs and team lists," he said.

While his list of achievements, stretching from 1953, are too great to reproduce in this publication they include work outside football and even outside this country.

Stewart has coached gymnastics and tennis and even spent three years as the assistant chief of youth and sports with the Department of Welfare, Youth and Sports, where a part of his job was to administer sports and coaching training in Brunei.

Even now Stewart is making plans for the future, putting his name forward to coach youngsters who are training for Special Olympics Australia.

Stewart said he had been accepted and will assist youngsters ahead of the Junior National Games at Newcastle in December.

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