CENTRAL Victorian sporting identity John Forbes has called for Bendigo to set up a sports museum.
Given Bendigo's rich sporting heritage, the former Puma rep said it's a travesty that the city doesn't have a public building that celebrates its citizens' sporting achievements.
"It's not for us, it's for the generations that follow and it's important to get a tradition going," Forbes said.
It's not for us, it's for the generations that follow
"There's great tradition in Bendigo sport, because they keep tipping out the champions - there's a procession line of them.
"There's hardly an Olympic or Commonwealth games go by without Bendigo being represented in some shape or form.
"That's the way it should be. It gives the kids something to aspire to, it is important.
"No role models, no results - that's the way I look at it."
VIDEO: John Forbes hosts a tour of his collection
Mitiamo's Forbes has collected a lifetime's worth of sports memorabilia through his former job and would be willing to donate items to a sports museum.
"No problem at all, I've told them that," he said.
Forbes is showcasing part of his collection at the Bendigo Town Hall during his exhibition, Well Played - A Lifetime of Appreciation.
Highlights include a cricket bat signed by the late Sir Don Bradman, a frame of Brownlow Medal winners given to Forbes by St Kilda champion Robert Harvey and a torch from the Sydney Olympic relay.
There's also signed team sheets from the World Series Cricket era from the Australia, West Indies and England sides.
One of Dennis Lillee's infamous aluminium cricket bats sits alongside a wall of wooden bats, including one signed by Sachin Tendulkar.
Other memorabilia from sporting greats including Adam Gilchrist, Greg Norman, Serena Williams, Linford Christie, Shane Warne, Tony Lockett, Jason Dunstall, Adam Goodes and Michael Tuck lines the walls of the town hall.
VOTE: Does Bendigo need a museum to showcase its sporting history?
Forbes' collection was damaged by flood two years ago and some pieces were swept away from his home.
Among the memorabilia washed away in the flood were items from tennis legends Martina Navratilova and Boris Becker.
Keeping those rare items safe is partly why Forbes would be happy to donate to a museum..
"It's got to be locked securely away and treasured. As time marches on this stuff gets more valuable all the time," he said.
Well Played - A Lifetime of Appreciation was the brainchild of Bendigo Mayor Lisa Ruffell and it ends this weekend.