The history of the Kevin Bannan Memorial Shield, as told by Peter Shackleton, Life Member.
There were two major loves of Kevin Bannan’s life; his family and his hockey. In many cases the two intertwined. Over a 50 year period Kevin played hockey for Fairfield (which then became Yarra Valley), Monash University, Bendigo and of course La Trobe University.
In 1981, after La Trobe Men had slid from State League 2 to the bottom of State League 4, Kevin was recruited as the club coach. I don’t need to tell you he was playing for Pennant A/State League 1 for Yarra Valley at that time. He was one of the first coaches to be paid by a club. The impact was immediate. The club won its first premiership in years in the summer competition, it expanded to three teams, it conducted the first ever training camp (Phillip Island) and in September played in finals. Over the years the sides progressive moved up the divisions but for State League it could not break into SL2.
After several years, Kevin was recruited back to Yarra to assist with coaching. It was not long before Kevin moved back to La Trobe to coach the Men and again experience success. La Trobe was promoted to SL2. A teaching appointment to the country saw Kevin move away for a number of years but he continued his strong connection with La Trobe. Both his daughters, Rachael and Linda played for La Trobe, and Kevin was appointed coach of the Women. His focus was on developing skills in younger players. Many players, both men and women, benefited from Kevin’s knowledge and experience.
Sadly, in November 2009, Kevin lost his 2 year battle with pancreatic cancer. Both Yarra and La Trobe lost a true dedicated member.
The Kevin Bannan Memorial Trophy is an opportunity for us all to celebrate Kevin’s life and do what Kevin loved best; just playing hockey.
Since 2010, every year a preseason tournament is held between La Trobe University Hockey Club and Yarra Valley Hockey Club to remember Kevin and his contribution to the two clubs.
View more of the La Trobe University Hockey Club’s History.