Vale Gary McAllister

27 July 2012

St.Bernard’s Football Club is in mourning following the sad news that favorite son Gary McAllister died tragically in a car accident Thursday afternoon.

Gary played his junior football with Riverside Stars (now Maribyrnong Park) before joining Essendon Under 19s in what was then the VFL.  A year later Gary joined St.Bernard’s where he stepped straight into the senior team, eventually becoming one of the club’s most decorated players.  Gary was Captain of the 1984 Premiership team as well as a member of the 1987 premiership side, in both years playing an integral role in both side’s on-field success.  Gary also achieved the highest individual honour in 1985 when, as club captain, he won the senior club best and fairest in A Grade.  A natural leader on the football field, Gary inspired his team mates with his will to compete, endurance and footy smarts, always putting the team ahead of himself.  Gary encouraged all around him to prepare well for games and was always keen to help others improve their fitness.

In recent years Gary was the senior club’s conditioning coach, a massive role considering the number of players involved and one that was conducted in a truly professional manner.  In September 2010, Gary was appointed as the inaugural fitness coordinator for the football club’s highly regarded Colts program, and was integral to the professional manner in which this ground-breaking program has been run.  Gary’s dedication to this program assisted many young men to improve both their fitness and skill levels.  Gary’s son Ned is currently playing in either our Under 18 or Under 19 sides and Gary could be found at Ned’s games assisting wherever he was needed.  Gary was also umpiring every weekend in the VAFA and often also assisted as a club umpire when required, performing admirably on-field and regularly passing on feedback and tips on issues involving umpires.

Gary’s dedication both on and off the field to our football club was extraordinary and he will be sadly missed.  He was a staunch St. Bernard’s supporter through thick and thin.  Gary gave his all in everything he did and never asked for anything in return.  That was the type of wonderful person he was.  Gary’s brother David has resided on the club’s junior committee and is a friend to many in the senior football club.

Gary’s legacy to our football club is that hard work brings success and he will always be considered a club legend because he epitomized this.

Our hearts go out to Gary’s wife Cath, Ned and daughters Ally and Greer, his brother David and the whole McAllister family. 

Vinnie McGuire