Club History

The Surrey Park Lacrosse Club was formed in 1948 when the Box Hill and Wattle Park Lacrosse Clubs merged. The founding members were George Tillotson, Dick Holden, Bill Griffiths and Ron Eades. The club took its name from its new home ground at Surrey Park in Box Hill. Prominent players during this period included George Tillotson, Dick Holden, Wal Ashton (dec’d - 9.5.2008 aged 90 years), Roy Dickson, Lou Shobbrook (son played for MCC), Ian Nankervis, George Legg and Graeme Lee (current Lacrosse Victoria Secretary).

Through the 1950’s the club fielded 2 senior teams and grew when 2 new junior teams were formed and while there was no team success in the form of premierships, Roy Dickson won the Association Best & Fairest Award (the Vince Healey Trophy) for the best player in A Grade. Frank Moore was a driving force in getting the junior teams started and functioning.

Further growth continued through the next decade and by the end of the 1960’s, the club boasted 3 senior teams and 3 junior teams. The first junior premiership was won in 1963 by the U16 team, while the first senior premiership was won by the C grade team in 1970. Prominent players through this period included Barrie Moore (who topped the goal throwing for 17 years), David Spreadborough, Stephen Spreadborough and Kevin Crane, Robert & Roger Barnes, Ian Hartman, Kim Koska, Norm Wright, Trevor Lee

The club was also well served in administration by George Tillotson, Ed Spreadborough and Dick Holden who were committee stalwarts. George and Ed served long periods as President and Dick as Treasurer. Dick was also a keen fundraiser and was responsible for keeping the teams on the field by repairing all of the club sticks at a time when lacrosse sticks were in short supply. David Spreadborough represented Australia at the 1967 World Championships along with Ferg Stewart who was to join the club in the early 70’s.

100 year old forward line.

In 1976 Fergus Stewart turned 34 and the club then had a 100 year old forward line with Eddie Toomey and Barrie Moore both 33.

Junior premierships continued through the 1970’s as the junior section of the club became the breeding ground for the new wave of senior players. In 1978, the A grade team played in its first grand final, but had to wait until 1981 before it won its first State League (grades renamed) premiership. In 1984 the State league and Division 1 teams took out the premiership double and this was bettered in 1988 when all 3 senior teams won their respective flags. Denis Trainor coached the club from 1975 to 1985 winning premierships in 1982, 1984 and 1988. Fergus Stewart coached the 1993 premiership team (the last quarter was a memorable 9-0 to Surrey Park), Geoff Robinson and Eric Jenney coached the 1995 premiership team

The 1980’s also saw many players achieving Australian selection : Gary Tillotson, Graeme Fox, Mark Haddad, Ken Nichols, Steve Ellis, Alan Bower, Geoff Robinson, Richard Tillotson and Paul Furtado all played for Australia, with club coach Denis Trainor being Australian assistant coach in 1982 and head coach in 1986. Many more players represented Victoria, with one memorable State team in 1984 boasting 9 Surrey Park players.

More State League grand finals followed from 1990 – 1992 without success, but 2 more premierships came in 1993 and 1995. Australian representatives through the 1990’s included Andrew Stewart, Chris Brown, Cameron Toomey, Greg Moore and David Spreadborough (jnr).

Little senior success was achieved over the next 12 years except for a Division 2 premiership in 2005, but after a long wait, the State League team played in the 2007 grand final, finishing runners up. In contrast, the new century brought much success in the juniors with 4 premierships including 2 successive flags for the U17 team in 2005 and 2006.

The club has had numerous winners of the Association best and fairest (The Vince Healey Trophy) : Roy Dickson, Gary Tillotson (2), Graeme Fox, Peter Barnard, Richard Tillotson, Tim Murphy, Cameron McLachlan and Chris Tillotson.

The club has been served well by families with the Tillotson, Spreadborough and Moore families providing 3 generations of players and administrators.

The fledgling women’s team won their first B grade premiership in 2007.

The growth in the club has continued to the extent that there are now 3 senior men’s teams, 1 senior women’s team, 5 junior boys teams and 1 junior girls team. Surrey Park moved to its current location at Mont Albert Reserve via one year at Bayswater in 1997 after moving from Surrey Park.

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