Sports Hall of Fame: Our very own Don

By Liam Nash

This year, 23 local sporting legends are being inducted to the honour roll and junior honour roll categories in the Greater Shepparton Sports Hall of Fame.

The News is featuring stories on each of the inductees in the lead-up to the induction ceremony on August 16.

Today News journalist Liam Nash speaks to sports advocate Don Kilgour, who is being inducted to the honour roll.

Although the Katamatite local admits he wasn’t a bona-fide gun on the field, his contribution off the park is what earned Don Kilgour a spot on the list among some of the region’s finest athletes.

Kilgour had always dreamed of becoming a sports commentator due to his deep-rooted love of sport and affinity for shining the spotlight on the local game.

His goal came to fruition in 1968 when he became the sports editor of radio station 3SR alongside twin brother Rod.

Kilgour would reach his dream of becoming a sports commentator in 1973, moving on from 3SR to television station GMV6.

During the next 18 years, he would cover the sports as part of the daily news with his beloved brother.

“I presented the sports two or three nights a week, and Rod would cover the other days,'' Kilgour said.

“Between the two of us we never missed a day, although people probably couldn’t tell the difference.”

A keen football enthusiast, Kilgour served as president of the Goulburn Valley Schoolboys Football Association for 14 years where he took country kids to the big smoke to participate in schoolboys carnivals.

His efforts were acknowledged when he was honoured with life membership with the association.

Kilgour was also heavily involved in senior football, taking on the role of public relations officer for the Goulburn Valley Football League.

However, despite a mammoth amount of achievements and an endless list of service awards, one achievement Kilgour singles out as a rewarding moment is being a part of the restoration of Shepparton’s premier footballing venue, Deakin Reserve.

Kilgour spent 20 years as a member of the Deakin Reserve management committee, helping transform the ground from the rough slice of land idling in the middle of Shepparton to the pristine, carpet-like surface it is today.

“I just wanted to see the top level of sport in Shepparton, and AFL teams didn’t want to come here because the facilities weren’t up to scratch,” he said.

“I believed that Shepparton should have the best ground in northern Victoria.”

His efforts within his field earned him recognition away from sport, as he spent 11 years as Member for Shepparton in the Victorian Parliament.

Truly a salt-of-the-earth type character, Kilgour’s advocacy for sport in the region reached different heights when he pioneered the Greater Shepparton Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.

His conviction and persistence helped sway the local council into setting up the Greater Shepparton Sports Hall of Fame to recognise individual greatness at a national level.

“I couldn’t believe that Shepparton didn’t have anything in the form of a Hall of Fame seeing as nobody had bothered in the past, so we approached the City of Greater Shepparton and they supported it,'' he said.

“I didn’t do all those sorts of things to get awarded, I just wanted to see the promotion of sport in the region.”

More Sports Hall of Fame inductees

Sports Hall of Fame: Shepparton’s iron woman

Sports Hall of Fame: Kyabram’s Noela Laws loved softball

Sports Hall of Fame: Fred McMahon

Sports Hall of Fame: Rejoice for Joyce