GEELONG Football Club best and fairest winner Liam Pickering will make an emotional pilgrimage back to the Wimmera tonight to collect the Wimmera League Toohey Medal won by his father Mike.
Wimmera League officials will present six retrospective Toohey Medals before the 2003 best and fairest count in Ararat Town Hall.
Stawell ruckman Mike Pickering lost a countback to Nhills Rod Coutts in 1969.
Other retrospective medals will go to: Murtoa centre half back Dinny Lindsay, 1963; Warracknabeal centre half forward Graeme Clyne, 1965; Rupanyup forward John Sudholz, 1971; Horsham rover Peter Wood, 1974; and Stawell centreman Tony Beck, 1983.
Mike Pickering died in 1995.
"He was never really big on awards or talked much about his achievements but he was always dirty he never got the Toohey Medal," Liam Pickering said.
"It was the only sticking point you'd hear him talk about, so from that perspective it will be terrific he will be acknowledged."
Mike Pickering was a son of legendary Stawell full forward Walter Pickering.
He played 220 games with Stawell as a mobile ruckman and won three club best and fairest counts. His peers credited him with profoundly influencing a new brand of run-on football in Wimmera League when he returned to the Redlegs, dishing out swift handballs after a stint with North Melbourne.
"He didn't like Melbourne all that much and I know for a fact that he regretted not sticking at his VFL career," Liam Pickering said.
"But they all say he certainly brought a different level to the game when he came back."
Liam Pickering played in Stawell's 1987 premiership under Beck before playing 22 games with North Melbourne and 102 games with Geelong.
He represented Victoria and won Geelong's 1997 best and fairest count.
"Dad was definitely the biggest influence on my career," he said.
"He had more belief in me than I had in myself.
"He was always big on reading the game and he'd go nuts if I was going to the wrong spots. He made me think about my positioning on the ground and he hated selfish players."
AFL legend John Kennedy coached Mike Pickering at Stawell and Liam at North Melbourne and paid them both glowing tribute on a video prepared for Liam's retirement.