The local football community is in mourning following the death of Jack Anderson on Monday, aged 62.
Anderson died with family members by his side, nine years after an accidental clash left him a quadriplegic.
While playing for Merrigum against Lancaster in July 2011, the then 54-year-old was on the receiving end of reportedly fair bump, which Anderson did not see coming.
And the Bulldogs were among the first to lead the tributes for the Echuca local, who played close to 600 games for 10 clubs across Victoria.
“It’s been nine years since Jack Anderson was left a quadriplegic during a game of reserves football,” Merrigum said in a Facebook post.
“A courageous man, who has battled manfully since the injury. Just as he did on the field.
“Sadly today (Monday) we farewell Jack. He passed away peacefully this afternoon. With partner Trish (Bishop) by his side, as she has always been throughout.
“We will miss you mate and will not forget you.”
Meanwhile Girgarre joined its fellow Kyabram District League club in paying tribute to Anderson.
“The Girgarre Football Netball Club is deeply saddened by the loss of Jack on Monday,” the statement said.
“Jack was a well-respected member of our club for over 15 years, playing over 200 games in the blue and white.
“Our condolences go to Trish and Jack’s family during this difficult time. You will never be forgotten mate.”
Merrigum will continue to honour their former player in the Jack Anderson Shield, which has been played since 2011 against Lancaster’s reserves side.
Following the match, the shield is given to the winning side and medals are awarded to the best player on each team.
The next game between the two sides will be played in round two on Saturday, April 25.
Anderson’s career also included spells with Echuca East and Reservoir, where he was a senior interleague representative.