Family’s big tally

Scotchtown Football Club stalwarts (from left) Shaun, Kirk, Marcus and father Michael French are the first family in club and association history to each mark 200 games. Picture: Leanne Everett.

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Football. The French family – father Michael and sons Marcus, Kirk and Shaun – have made it into the Scotchtown Football Club record books.

Notching more than 200 club games each, the family is believed to be the first to achieve such a milestone in both club and Circular Head Football Association history.

All four family members started with the Scotchtown Tigers in their underage years, progressing into the Reserves and Seniors.

“They’ve been there since they were babies, right through,” says Michael.

“It’s been great, to me the club is like your family.” 

Michael started with Scotchtown’s Under 17 team in 1964 before taking time away from the game between 1968 to ’71 while serving in the Vietnam War.

Marcus, Kirk and Shaun started with the club in the mid to late ’80s when Marcus and Kirk appeared together in the 1987 premiership side.

The family spent a season with Killarney Vale Football Club in New South Wales in 1997, playing in the winning premiership where Marcus received the Best on Ground Award.

As assistant coach of the premiership team, this is the only season Michael coached his three sons.

Returning to the north west coast of Tasmania, the family remained involved with the Tigers.

Despite retiring from the game in 1985 after notching more than 300 club games, Michael has remained a loyal supporter of Scotchtown, turning his attention to committee roles including as president for a number of years.

Marcus is credited as the club’s longest serving Seniors captain from 1999 to the mid noughties and Shaun and Kirk have both led the Reserves as captains over the years.

While Marcus and Kirk both retired in 2009 on 286 and 245 games respectively, Shaun notched the 200 milestone earlier this year.

“We’ve enjoyed it and Shaun is still enjoying it now,” says Michael of his youngest son’s role in the Reserves.

“When Shaun’s 200th game came up, I thought, gee I wonder what that adds up to! Between all of us we played over 1030 games, just for Scotchtown.

“I don’t know of any other father and three sons to have done that.”

In 1983, Michael was recognised as a Life Member of the Scotchtown Football Club and in 2007 received the Circular Head Football Association recognition.

Marcus and Kirk have both received life memberships to Scotchtown as well while Shaun remains committed to the club as a player.

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