By Lawrence Machado
Terence Minton’s exploits for his beloved Baulkham Hills FC is the stuff of legends and truly inspirational because he is officially Australia’s oldest registered footballer at a mere 78 years.
The oldest tag stunned the English-born Minton, who plays in the over-45s team. It is a massive credit to his remarkable fitness and commitment, which sees him mow and mark all five fields at Ted Horwood Reserve each week, with fellow club stalwart Peter McLoughlin.
“It came as a complete surprise to know I am the oldest registered footballer in Australia,” he said. “I thank my wife Lorraine, the people in this wonderful club and my excellent physios at Beecroft for keeping me going.
“I love the game and I will continue to play as long as they accommodate me and I can run on the field. When you are experienced, the big thing is knowing which point to play on the field. I prefer the outfield, either left half or inside forward. I love the camaraderie in the club and the people are beautiful. I keep fit by walking daily with Lorraine and I also go to the gym.”
he played for a north London club before emigrating to Australia in 1969. He turned out for Carlingford in the Churches League before he and his wife Lorraine moved to Baulkham Hills in 1986. He started playing for BHFC over-35s in 1997, aged 54.
Incidentally, one of his team-mates Keith Pierce is the second oldest player in the club at 67. Must be something in the water in Baulkham Hills! “I got involved with the club when my son, Christopher, began playing and I later began coaching his teams,” Minton said. He took out the Senior Player of the Year in 2014 and has won all possible awards at the club. The charming grandfather has been a part of two titles and one premiership.
Minton has worn many hats in the committee and under his presidency, the club achieved the first of three successive premierships in the mid-2000s.
“The first title ranks among my fondest moments at the club,” he said. Lorraine is very proud of his passion. “I used to think he was a bit mad but this had done him a bit of good,” she smiled. “So far, he has had only one injury while playing, when he broke his right arm.”
If Minton has any regrets, it is that he and his son were unable to play on the same side. He rates Christopher, who now lives in England, a better player than him.
The Mintons, who have been married for 49 years, also have a daughter, Kylie. Baulkham Hills FC president Tony Hughes said Minton is the ultimate club bloke. “Terence will do anything for the club, he has served in various roles, he even picks up the rubbish after the games,” Hughes said.
“He is one of those people the club cannot do without. He is very entrenched in the club and we are very proud of him.”