Roos mourn grand final winning star - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roos mourn grand final winning star

28/05/2008 05:31:29 PM Comments (0)

North Melbourne are mourning the death of The Galloping Gasometer, Mick Nolan, the ruckman in the club's first VFL premiership in 1975.

Nolan died on Tuesday night, aged 58, after a battle with cancer.

Kangaroos chief executive Eugene Arocca said Nolan, who earned his nickname because of his big build, loomed large when the history of the club was reviewed.

"He quickly became a revered figure among the North Melbourne community and has remained one of the club's most popular players ... he will be sadly missed," Arocca said.

Coach of the 1975 premiership side, Ron Barassi, who labelled Nolan "one of the most popular guys in football" said the strength of his personality meant the ruckman's 107-game playing record did not sometimes receive the recognition it deserved.

"One of the things about Mick is that he was such a character, and had such an unusual physical appearance, that his features as a footballer might be forgotten," Barassi said.

"The best man in a position to give you an accurate description of his abilities was his rover, Barry Cable.

"He said he was the best ruckman he ever roved to.

"A rover lives or dies on his ruckman in that area, so for him to say that tells you something.

"On top of that, we know he was a great character, but he did have character as well.

"It's all very well being a funny man, but when you're out there in the middle of a footy match, and things are needed, and you produce them, that's character."

Coach Dean Laidley said the players would aim to pay tribute to Nolan with their performance against Brisbane at the Gabba on Saturday night.

"It's a sad occasion and look, myself and the players have spoken about it this morning, we're going to go up there and make sure that we put our best foot forward, certainly for his family and just the way that the football club's evolved since our first premiership," Laidley said.

The players will wear black armbands.

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