It is a mark of the man that John Leedham, barely known outside of Tasmanian shores and without the fuss of VFL/AFL stardom, is placed on a pedestal at least the equal to a revered Geelong figure.
Perhaps even higher in death after Leedham passed away on Saturday, aged 92.
John Devine was a hero in Tasmanian football, turning out for North Hobart soon after winning the 1963 VFL premiership, but it was their former club that honoured Leedham's name first on a new coaches and media box.
Unveiling the Leedham and Devine Centre is more than a nice touch that has rewarded the state's second greatest player behind none other than Darrel Baldock.
The legacy Leedham had not only at North Hobart but also in Tasmania grew first out of North Launceston.
Kerry Scurrah's dad used to tell his son legendary tales of Leedham that was uttered at both ends of the state that would make Baldock blush.
"The fact of the matter is if Darrel Baldock had just never been born, we'd all be talking about Leedham as Tasmania's best-ever player," Scurrah, the former North Launceston chief executive and club board member for close to three decades, said.
"That's probably the most significant thing about John.
"Baldock was wonderful, but he did have that opportunity to play VFL footy that Leedham didn't really have and therefore Baldock got all the accolades of doing that at that level.
"It was really unfair for a man that was born in a different era to be excluded just because he played in our smaller state."
Melbourne, who were the VFL powerhouse at the time, did come a calling early in his North Launceston career, and Leedham was even set to be named at centre half-back for round 1, 1948.
But the teenager hurt the cartilage in his knee at a last training and elected to have surgery in Tasmania, never to return to Melbourne.
Leedham could at least stand as the first Tasmanian to be picked in the inaugural All-Australian side of 1953.
"Big disappointment as a lover of North Launceston and its history is he never has been elevated to the AFL Hall of Fame," Scurrah said.
"To me that is an absolute error, which there is a few of us around the club that would like to campaign to put it right, even though he has passed on. That is what we intend to do I think between the two clubs."
The final honour in life came when Leedham was an inaugural inductee as a Legend in the AFL Tasmania Hall of Fame, later regraded to an icon of the game.
And probably the greatest Tasmanian to never play VFL/AFL football, Leedham was the ruck-rover but was also named vice-captain to Baldock in the Tasmanian team of the century ahead of Royce Hart, Peter Hudson, Ian Stewart, Verdun Howell and Alastair Lynch.
"The other thing that my dad used to tell me, he was the first real personality that stood out in Tassie footy. There had been lot of really good clubs, good teams, very good players, but they were blokes that just turned up on Saturday for a game of footy," Scurrah said.
"They just didn't want all the accolades, whereas Leedham was somewhat and became a showman more so as well as being a bloody good footballer."
Leedham was reputed to be a gifted left-footed player with also a beautiful pair of hands, rarely ever fumbling while having an uncanny ability to find the ball in heavy traffic and exceptional evasive skills who was tough to lay a finger on as well.
So it was remarkable that the lad raised on an isolated farm 20 kilometres outside of Campbell Town, who in fact incredibly did not play the schoolboys football ever, went on to become an icon at the state's two top clubs.
But the success flowed on greater at North Launceston.
Joining the ex-Robins just before his 20th birthday in 1946 and after two seasons for his past hometown team, Leedham was the pillar in arguably their greatest era.
"He came to North in a time they were welcoming back players, who had been at the club before the war and were returning from the war," Scurrah said.
One of the most eminent in the rebuild to earn the club's first flag since 1931 was ruckman Bert Chilcott, who along with Leedham and Ray 'Rattler' Summers at centre bounces, formed a devastating combination.
While the other two were already established in the former NTFA, the well-built ruck-rover stole the show.
Under inspired leadership of Gavin Luttrell, who would coach from 1945 until 1951, a number of returning war veterans and youngsters like Leedham just dominated.
"There was a real move to build the club up strong and if you look at the record books of all those years it worked," Scurrah said.
The Robins won all the flags from 1946 until 1950 that included doubling up in 1946, 1947 and 1949 for the state championship wins.
"So it was probably apart from this current era, and I would say back then was a tougher era with stronger competition than North Launceston faces in this era," Scurrah said, "clearly the most successful era in the club's history during the time Leedham was there."
Leedham was the focus of the team and supporters.
Through his 124 NTFA games, he was regarded as not only the No.1 player in the side that winning premierships became a routine but the competition to suggest, "he must have been pretty damn good".
But it went beyond that.
"He became probably the first cult figure in Northern footy - these days cult figures are usually at the football in Melbourne," Scurrah said.
"He became the real first personality many people only would go to watch just because it being him."
That fever pitch carried on to North Hobart, who lured Leedham to captain-coach in 1954 until retiring in 1959.
Just the one premiership would come his way in the TANFL, but the Demons were a club he had wholly embraced through to his presidency in 1998 to 2009.
It created fun when his two past clubs clashed.
"He'd get up against the North Launceston ladies and stir them up," Scurrah said.
"They loved him because they were all young girls when he was playing.
"So there was just this charisma thing about him."
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