FORMER Minyip hardman Laurie Icke died in Ballarat on Sunday, aged 82.
Icke played 57 games for North Melbourne in the Victorian Football League between 1952 and 1955 before moving to the Wimmera Football League to coach Minyip.
He led Minyip to the 1956 grand final, losing to Ararat by 13 points in a heated battle. Ken Milgate played with Icke at Minyip and said he was fearless and tough.
"We played in a final at Horsham in 1956 and Bluey O'Halloran, from Ararat and a pretty good footballer, he came out of the pack and Laurie broke his nose and they had to carry him off," Milgate said.
"He was a pretty tough man. If anyone was in his road, he'd knock them over.
"His eyes used to be glazed. He was a beauty."
Milgate said pain did not stop Icke.
"He was pretty tough. Playing Horsham one day, he had a broken bone in his leg and kept playing," he said.
"He was fearless."
Kevin Krelle, whose father Alf along with Hugh Drum got Icke to Minyip, said Icke left a lasting impression on the league.
"He was at his peak, 27 when he came up here. Pretty young," Krelle said.
"He never hit with his fists, just had a strong body.
"He was a good drop kick. He could kick a ball 50 or 60 yards in the wet."
Milgate said Icke was paid much more at Minyip than he was at North Melbourne.
"He used to tell a story and it was true. He was on eight quid a week at North Melbourne and Minyip-Murtoa paid 20 quid, that's a big improvement," he said.
"That's what league footballers were paid back then. It's different to today."
Icke was the father of former North Melbourne and Melbourne player and now Carlton manager of football operations, Steven Icke.
Steven was born in Minyip during his father's two-year stint at the club.