STANHOPE'S 19-season stint in the Heathcote District Football-Netball League will be remembered as part of the club's upcoming centenary celebrations.
Now playing in the Kyabram District league, the Lions are a former HDFNL club having spent 1976-1994 in the competition.
Having originally meant to be held last year, but forced to be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lions will finally get to celebrate their centenary over three days from May 14-16.
What the Lions have planned:
Friday, May 14 - A meet and greet at the clubrooms with memorabilia on display.
Saturday, May 15 - the Lions host Lancaster in round six, which will be followed by the centenary dinner to be held at the Stanhope Recreation Reserve. Adults are $60 per head and under-16 $30 per head.
Sunday, May 16 - the weekend will come to a close with a breakfast and brunch at the clubrooms.
As part of the celebrations, a Stanhope Team of the Heathcote District League Era will be unveiled, which is bound to include many of the stars of the three senior premierships the club won in the competition.
Having made the move from the Goulburn Valley league to Heathcote District in 1976, Stanhope tasted immediate success when it completed the trifecta of senior, reserves and under-16 premierships in its debut season.
In a feat that wouldn't be replicated again until Lockington-Bamawm United won all three HDFNL football flags in 2011, the Lions beat Colbinabbin by 12 points in the seniors, Heathcote by 63 points in the reserves, and Elmore by 15 points in the under-16s on 1976 grand final day at Heathcote.
The 1976 senior flag was coached by full-back Paddy Meehan, while Neil "Possum" Warnett led the Lions to their other two Heathcote District senior premierships in 1986-87.
The Lions demolished Broadford by 96 points in the 1986 grand final and then backed it up with a 73-point hiding of White Hills in the 1987 decider.
A dominant force of the competition, the Lions also played off for the flag in 1988 (lost to White Hills) and 1989 (lost to Heathcote), with the club winning 66 of 74 senior games during those four-straight years of grand final appearances.
Since joining the Kyabram District league in 1995 the Lions have won four more senior flags in 2000, 2003, 2007 and 2008 and are this year being jointly-coached by club great Mark Patten and Denis Grinton.
To purchase tickets for the Saturday night centenary dinner or to give the club an indication of numbers for each event to help with catering purposes, visit Stanhope's Facebook page or contact Gavan Poole on 0427 572 372, Gayle Gray on 0428 072 826 or Glenda Cowie on 0438 572 452.
Stanhope's celebrations will also include the release of the club's centenary book, A Lion's Tale.
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