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100-years strong for milestone trainerThursday, July 13, 2017 - 8:50 AM

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It has been almost 40 years since East Perth won the 1978 WAFL Premiership but 100-year old trainer Ted O'Callaghan remembers it like it was yesterday.

"It was a great win on a very wet day, I remember we got flooded on the bench," he said.

O'Callaghan, who turns 101 on July 20, was an honoured guest of the West Australian Football Commission at the recent Fremantle v St. Kilda AFL game.

He was joined by 1978 East Perth captain-coach and Hall of Fame Legend Barry Cable and 1978 East Perth assitant coach Grant Dorrington, who is now a WAFC Commissioner.

Cable drove O'Callaghan to the game, which was the first he had attended in almost 20 years.

"I am really looking forward to it," O'Callaghan said before the game.

"I've been a Dockers member since they started. I thought I'd give the underdogs a go."

"I support both WA teams unless it's a Derby but I haven't been to a game for a long time."

Born at Narrogin in 1916, O'Callaghan played football throughout country WA as his work with the railway took him to towns including Leonora, Laverton, Coolgardie, Yarloop, Esperance and Bunbury.

He first started helping as a football club trainer at Leonora in 1938 before moving to Perth in 1955 and joining Perth Football Club where he became head trainer in 1960. 

Cable talked him into moving to East Perth with him in 1978, where they won the premiership together against their old side.

O'Callaghan, who retired two years later, said the friendships he'd made through football were the highlight, describing it as "wonderful part of his life".

Cable paid tribute to his long-time friend as the reason he had reached 400 games as a player.

"Ted has been terrific, not only for footy in general, but for the thousands of players he's helped along the way. Without Ted I would never have made it to 400 games," Cable said.

Dorrington said the 1978 premiership would always hold a special place among his football memories and that it was a privelege to host O'Callaghan on behalf of the WA Football Commission.

"He is such a great man and it was an absolute pleasure to have him at the game," Dorrington said.

Photo: Barry Cable, Ted O'Callaghan and Grant Dorrington with the 1978 WAFL Premiership Flag won by East Perth.