History fills void for Pratts during cancelled EDFL season

Adie and Val Pratt have been volunteering and supporting the Ellinbank Football and Netball club for 70 years now.

Adie and Val Pratt have been volunteering and supporting the Ellinbank Football and Netball club for 70 years now.

Football clubs are often the heartbeat of many local communities and one family that knows that to a T, is the Pratt family.
Adrian (Adie as he’s more commonly known) and Val Pratt have been avid supporters of Ellinbank Football and Netball club since they can remember. This EDFL season would have seen milestones for them, with Adie celebrating 75 storied years with the Eagles, and Val 70.
Adie grew up a dairy farmer and began milking when he was just four and a half. He pulled on the boots for his local side Ellinbank and in 1946, they won the first flag after the war, but he doesn’t remember if he played or not.
“I remember that year we won the flag and all qualified players got a pennant, so I don’t think I played four games that year. I can’t really remember much of the games I played other than the 1953 grand final,”
Over his career though, Adie played in three premierships in 1953, ’54 and ‘55 and despite dealing with vision issues since he was five, played many positions across the ground.
“I did play a lot, but I don’t think I was any good in any of the positions,” he said with his trademark smile.
During the early days the match began 2pm, with no juniors or reserves playing until the late 1950s.
“You went to the footy and then went to the dance at night, that’s just what we did” Adie said. “The hall was always full after home games. You’d go home and milk your cows then come back at night,” Val added.
Despite being 91 and by his own admission, starting to slow down, Adie’s mind is still as sharp as a tack, able to rattle off players names and numbers from the early days with ease.
He has kept a record of every player who has taken to the field for Ellinbank across the past 40 years, often filling the kitchen table with books full of names, numbers and statistics, pouring over them, which draws a smile and a loving shake of the head from Val.
“He’s always been into statistics,” she laughed. “Keeping records, numbers, the whole lot, we have heaps of books and other memorabilia.”

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