It is with great sadness that the Inner West Magpies inform members and supporters of the passing of esteemed Life Member, George McGifford.

George was one of the truly great contributors to the Magpies over many decades and it is doubtful that the Club would have been so successful during the 1960’s and 70’s without his input.

Born in 1933, George was raised in Shepparton, Victoria and joined the navy at a young age. When stationed in Sydney he played football for the strong Sydney Naval team in the early 1950’s. After meeting and marrying wife Lorraine the family bought a house in Campsie and George decided that the local Western Suburbs Club was worth joining and playing for. By 1966 George was voted Club Secretary and started the first of his 3 terms as Secretary spanning 11 years. This was arguably the most successful period in the Club’s history and George was instrumental in recruiting some of the finest players ever to don the famous Wests jersey.

George was also elected to the Board of Directors of the WSAFC Ltd and served several years on the Licensed Club board and was awarded Life Membership in 1982.

Following the loss of Picken Oval as our home ground in the late 1970’s George, along with many Club volunteers worked tirelessly on the establishment of a new venue in Ashbury now known as Wagener Oval.

When Wagener Oval came into being after several years of nomadic existence George knew that the Club needed vital funds and secured a alcohol licence for Wagener Oval and became the licensee raising many thousands of dollars through the establishment of the “Beerwongle Stand” at Wagener for over 20 years.

George also worked as a Club historian and contributed greatly to the fabulous 50th Anniversary function which attracted 300 past players, officials and supporters to our fantastic venue.

After the magpies were able to return to our spiritual home at Picken Oval after 30 years away George never lost his love of the Club or its people and even after he had moved his home to Manly he still was a regular at home games and past player events. We were always better for being in the company of George and Lorraine.

Our deepest condolences to the McGifford Family.