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Cats to wear armbands in honour of 'Bluey'

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GEELONG players will wear black armbands on Friday night to acknowledge the death of former Cats and Bulldogs ruckman Ian 'Bluey' Hampshire.

Hampshire, who also coached Footscray, passed away aged 70 during the week after battling an illness.

He was a hugely popular figure at both clubs, and played 224 games. In reaching 113 games with the Cats and 111 with the Bulldogs, Hampshire became the first player in League history to surpass 100 games with two clubs.

"Bluey was a much-loved player and past player of the club," Geelong CEO Brian Cook said in a statement.

"He was an exceptional player and a lovely person. The affection felt by those that played with and against him is a mark of both Ian as a player and a person."

There was major symmetry in Hampshire's career. He made his debut in 1968 for Geelong against the Bulldogs, while his Footscray debut came against the Cats in 1976.

Hampshire's 150th League game was for the Dogs against the Cats and his one final for Footscray also came against Geelong.

Known to most as 'Bluey', Hampshire represented Victoria in 1981. He was runner-up in Footscray's best and fairest in 1980 and third in 1981. He also finished fourth in the Cats' best and fairest in 1972.

Hampshire retired half way through the 1982 season and took up the role of Bulldogs senior coach until the end of the 1983 campaign.

"Ian made a big impact at the Bulldogs on and off the field, and is one of a small number to have the opportunity of playing and coaching at the club," Bulldogs CEO Ameet Bains said.

"He was an influential and respected player and person, and clearly left a positive mark on both the Geelong and Western Bulldogs."

Ian is survived by his wife Jan, his son James and grandson James jnr and by his daughter Raelee, son-in-law Geoff and granddaughters Elitta, and Jamima.