A Football Life
Ballan Football Club patriarch Tom Mullane , 84 , made his debut for his beloved club as a 16-year-old.
His career spanned 16 years in days when the team travelled to away games in the back of a cattle truck.
Since hanging up his boots, Tom has served on the Ballan club committee for 52 years, including five stints as president and, until the end of last season, put in 25 years as a goal umpire for the Blues' reserves.
With calloused hands from playing football and living a tough country life, Tom grips an old crusty family football that still gets used for training during the week.The pigskin of the yellow ball has cracked up in time but the Mullane name remains prominent and iconic. (Copyright Michael Dodge/Herald Sun)