The Collingwood Football Club would like to pay tribute to two former players of the 1950s who have passed away recently.

Bill Welsh, who played eight games for us in 1950, was our oldest living past player, but he died on Tuesday, aged 95.

Bill, a key forward in the country and primarily a half-forward flanker at VFL level, played eight games and kicked eight goals for us in his debut season before turning his back on Melbourne to return to his home town of Yinnar, near Morwell.

He would go on to enjoy a wonderful football career there, and more importantly become a leading community figure. That lifetime of service was recognised around his 95th birthday in August, when a local park was named in his honour.

Bill's son, Peter, would go on to enjoy a fine career with Hawthorn and Richmond.

Don Howell, meanwhile, was another country product. He came from Portland and joined St Kilda in 1953 as a promising centreman. He crossed to Victoria Park after three years and 29 games with the Saints, and played 17 games for us across two seasons, including nine in our Premiership season in 1958, playing mostly as a wingman/forward.

Don later played for Frankston and then coached locally and also with Old Scotch. He also served on the St Kilda board.

Don Howell during his playing days with the Pies

The board, staff, players and coaches of the Collingwood Football Club extend our condolences and sympathies to the families and friends of both former players.

Side by side.

Visit Bill Welsh's bio on the Collingwood Forever site

Visit Don Howell's bio on the Collingwood Forever site