Terry Cashion taking a mark. Picture: AFL Photos

LONG before the best footballers in the land played in a national competition, criss-crossing the country to play against each other every week, the Australian National Football Carnival games were those to savour.

This was particularly so given these carnivals were staged only every three or so years.

Interstate games were a feature of every season, but the carnivals were worth the interminable wait, as the best players in the country travelled to the one city for a helter-skelter 10 days during which multiple games were played, a national champion was crowned and the Tassie Medal was awarded to the best player.

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In 1950, the carnival was held in Brisbane, as part of a massive £15,000 investment by the game's ruling body to grow the game in a developing market.


It was a soggy few days in the Queensland capital and there was no surprise that the all-powerful Victorian team won the carnival.

But despite winning just one game out of four, it was the plucky Tasmania which produced the player voted the best of the carnival – Longford rover Terry Cashion.

Tasmanian football historians have long debated whether Cashion or Horrie Gorringe was the best rover to come out of the state.

Gorringe was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2011. And this year, Cashion joins him.

Cashion was said to be a brilliant and scrupulously fair player.

Terry Cashion receives the Tassie Medal in 1950. Picture: AFL Photos

John Leedham, a star Tasmanian who played with and against Cashion, told the Mercury that he was up there with the best he had seen.

"He was very quick, he knew where the ball was going and he would always be there first. He thought the game out very well," he said.

Cashion was a soccer player growing up, but turned to Australian Football and initially played for Buckingham in the State School Old Boys Association between 1935 and 1938.

Terry Cashion playing for Longford in 1949. Picture: AFL Photos

His career started in 1939 and over the next 16 years he played 193 games for New Town, Clarence, Longford and Sandy Bay.

After being transferred to Melbourne during World War II, he played five games for South Melbourne in 1942 before suffering a serious knee injury and didn't play again until 1946 when, back in Tasmania, he joined Clarence in the Southern Districts Association. Clarence joined the Tasmanian Football League the following season.

And that's when the domination began.

Having won Clarence's best and fairest in 1946, he won the best and fairest for the next seven seasons wherever he played.

In 1947, it was for Clarence. Between 1948 and 1951 it was for Longford in the Northern Tasmanian Football Association, then for Sandy Bay, back in the TFL in the premiership year of 1952 and again in 1953.

Terry Cashion in 1950. Picture: AFL Photos

He won the NTFA competition best and fairest in 1948, 1950 and 1951 and the TFL's Leitch Medal in 1953.

He represented the state 14 times and, put simply, he was the best player in the state for the best part of a decade during a period in which Tasmanian football was pretty powerful.

And given he barely played at all between the ages of 19 and 24 because of war service and injury, his career was all the more impressive.

He is Tasmanian football royalty, named as rover in the state's Team of the Century and in 2006 made a legend of the Tasmanian Football Hall of Fame, having been an inaugural inductee.

Terry Cashion in his TANFL blazer. Picture: AFL Photos

And now he takes his rightful place on the national football stage.

"As I grew up and as my children grew up, we came across many, many people who showed us how much Dad was revered as a footballer, but not just as a footballer, as a man," daughter Glenda Murray said.

"He was a gentleman. He was humble and a very kind, thoughtful person. He always said that the glories that he received weren't his. They were his teammates."

According to Murray, while Cashion achieved great success as a player, especially on an individual basis, it was the friendships and companionships gained that he most loved about the game.

"Dad would just be so honoured. He would just be so thrilled," she said.

"I don't think 'proud' is a word that I could ever use with my dad because he was a very humble person, but he would be just so honoured."