Much-loved Bruce Fraser, the founding father of Glenhaven Football Club, is being mourned by his family, the club and community.
Bruce, 72, a towering influence in sports in the Hills and beyond, was fittingly awarded the Commonwealth Australian Sports Medal in 2000.
He was married to Donna, and they have two children, Andrew, and Kristy, and four grandchildren, Bronson, Ryan, Dylan, and Theo.
A brilliant goalkeeper in his younger days in Queensland, Bruce played for Pine River, where he helped in the development of that club, and San Souci before moving to Glenhaven.
Glenhaven FC said it was in 1990 when Bruce and other local football enthusiasts decided to form the club. “The inaugural official meeting took place on March 25 1991 at Glenhaven Community Centre, where Bruce Fraser was elected as our inaugural president,” the club said.
After consultation with the then Baulkham Hills Shire Council, a Park Management Committee including Bruce, was formed to develop Holland Reserve which opened in 1991.
Initial funds to finance the Holland Road project were sourced through donations, raffles & BBQs run by the Glenhaven Father’s Club plus the generosity of members. On January 19, 1991, the first Glenhaven Soccer Club Registration Day was held. The club fielded just seven teams in the 1991 winter season.
Bruce served the club as president for the first 10 years, playing a vital role in its success. Apart from his long football playing days, he played many 6-a-side competitions in the Kenthurst and Glenhaven summer series plus touch football. According to club secretary Terry Louras Hoyle, they now boast over 600 registered players representing 43 teams, including 25 junior mixed sides. There are more than 100 coaches, managers and volunteers who support the committee.
Bruce was the first person at the fields even on a cold winter’s morning and was a familiar figure walking his dogs around Glenhaven Oval or Holland Reserve.
Close mate John Robertson said Bruce was incredibly passionate about sports. “He was an avid cricketer, with St George and Kenthurst,” John recalled. “He played a lot of golf, and we joined Lynwood Country Club when it opened. Bruce had retired due to Parkinson’s, and I was between jobs, so we played a lot of mid-week golf there.
“I started full time work again, and Bruce kept going for as many years as he could. He made a lot of new friends there and it was quite amazing to see all the symptoms disappeared when he was concentrating on the game.
“His influence on the football kids throughout the years was just enormous, and his legacy from that will live on.
When he was unable to tend to his beloved garden, we organised a working bee to do a makeover and tidy up. The first ones to put their hands up to attend were the kids that grew up through Glenhaven FC and knew how much they owed the man. It was heartwarming to say the least.
“It was his passion, vision, and drive that has made not just this football club, but all those others that he has been involved in.”
May the turf rest gently on him.