September 6, 1977: Gavin wins medal

August 30, 2017

Mooroopna wingman Gavin Saunders won the 1977 Goulburn Valley League best and fairest Morrison Medal when votes were counted at a dinner dance at Shepparton Town Hall last night. 

Saunders, (20) won the medal in a dramatic last votes call to beat fellow Aborigine and last year's Medallist Gary Cooper of Tatura by two votes.

His win was perhaps the biggest shock result in the Medal for many years as the popular favorites for the Medal were Cooper, Rochester ruckman Ron Haring, "News"-Winfield Award winner Garry Murnane of Echuca, Kyabram ruck-rover Tom Devlin, Euroa utility Martin Halliday, Seymour centre Neville Green or Tongala star Mike Souter. 

Gavin himself wasn't at the dinner - he was home in bed when Mooroopna officials called to announced the good news to him. 

One of the GVL's smallest players, the shy Saunders was greeted with uproarous applause by Mooroopna supporters when he arrived, still sleepy eyed at the Town Hall soon after counting of votes was completed at about 10 pm.

Among those to greet him and offer congratulations was Cats president Bob Nightingale, pictured above as he pours a champagne toast to the young champion. 

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