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Announcing the new Rick Trewavas Clubman of the Year Medal (Hanoi and Saigon)

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 30, 2012

The Rick Trewavas Clubman of the Year Medal – from 2012.

The Vietnam Swans are delighted to announce that the Rick Trewavas Medal, formerly awarded to the Swannies’ most courageous player in games against Cambodia, will be rebadged. It will now be awarded to the Vietnam Swans’ Clubman of the Year in both Hanoi and Saigon.

Footy existed in Hanoi in 1998 with the Hanoi Hawks (and the Saigon Saints were in Saigon). The Hawks played several matches before the energy petered out.

Soon after 9/11 in 2001, the boys in Hanoi were back at it again, this time watching the AFL on Friday nights in the Bobby Skilton Room, above Pepperonis (part of the Al Frescoes’ group of restaurants) in Hanoi. It was named the Bobby Skilton Room because Rick Trewavas had a signed, framed photo of the South Melbourne Bloods/Swans’ man who he admired enormously.  The framed was hung on the wall each week (click here for more background information).

It was still two years before Hanoi would actually field a team – but the die had been cast. In November 2003, when Hanoi ran out on the field in the Tri Nations Tournament against Thailand and Hong Kong, they ran out as the Hanoi Swans (which became the Vietnam Swans in 2007). Our Club had officially been born.

In mid 2010, the Club learned that Rick was suffering from an aggressive lung cancer. Our next match happened to be against the Cambodian Cobras (now Eagles) and so we decided to express our support for Rick by recognising our best player on the day with the Rick Trewavas Medal. Brett Jotta won the Medal in that match on 31 July 2010.

In March this year, Mick Johnston won the Medal when we played in Phnom Penh. Last month, in Saigon, Qui Li took the Medal.

Meanwhile, Ross McRae Design kept tinkering with the design of the Medal. And the design kept getting better and better. It became apparent to the Swannies’ Hanoi and Saigon Committees that the Medal, in terms of its quality, history and symbolism was now becoming too big for a stage offered by a friendly match.

A far more appropriate stage seemed to be the Clubman of the Year – in both Hanoi and Saigon.

Clubman of the Year recognises not just the previous two hours on the field, but the previous 12 months off the field. Who has been the lifeblood of the Club during that time? Who has been developing the Club and making the glue to hold it all together? The Rick Trewavas Medal will now give us the opportunity to recount the history and culture of the Club amongst the faithful who turn up for the annual awards evening. It fits.

Mick Francis in the Bobby Skilton Room, Hanoi, circa 2002. Brett Jotta wins the Inaugural Rick Trewavas Medal in Phnom Penh, July 2010.

Last week, we sent Rick a Rick Trewavas Medal with the inscription,

To Rick
Thanks for inspiring
The Bloods
Vietnam, August, 2012

Rick received the Medal two days ago and wrote back:

“It has arrived. Geez it evokes Vietnam. The ribbon colours (red and yellow) and the scale and yellow gold of the medal – Uncle Ho would be proud.

“I have left a message in one metre large letters, emblazoned on my driveway by a high pressure hose, so that if Google Earth passes this way, all can see. It says “GO BLOODS” and is heartfelt. Honk!”

In a classic “one-two” operation, we then approached Rick and asked if he would mind if we shifted the focus of the Medal from a friendly match to the Clubman of the Year: Rick replied:

Mind? You flatter my name. I was raised in a football environment where the Clubman of the Year was the most revered award.

Indeed I’ll Butter Up for that.

Super chuffed me. I’ve already made certain the medal goes to my Grand Daughter.


So, it is now official. The Rick Trewavas Medal, henceforth, will now be awarded to Hanoi’s Clubman of the Year and Saigon’s Clubman of the Year.

Footnote: We are still to give our Best and Fairest Medal an appropriate name (as well as the BOG Medal for the ANZAC Friendship Match).

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