Almanac Footy: Remembering former St Kilda player Ian ‘Goalsy’ Drohan


by David Clerehan


Expect to see black armbands on every Saint this weekend.


A St Kilda great who owed his longevity to lambs fry and bacon every Saturday night has died.


Days short of his 87th birthday Ian ‘Goalsy’ Drohan went happily in his sleep on Sunday morning after seeing the Saints beat his wife Sheila’s Demons.


Ian grew up at 37 Elm Grove around the corner from us. I swear he had Cary Grant’s looks and charm and he knew it.


He played mostly reserves but he did achieve three senior games for his beloved Saints in 1955. Delisted by Killer Killigrew at season’s end opened up opportunity to captain coach Maffra with a milkrun including a horse named Les in the deal.


Ian tasted success in Gippsland but returned to his home turf when Les kicked the bucket in 1963. A garbo job with his name on it beckoned at the Inkerman Street depot. Goalsy’s reputation as a terribly slow driver grew by the day over 36 years but he avoided calamity his entire career behind the wheel. I was his Sunday jockey for his last five years until retirement in 1999. Slow moving but non-stop stories an laughs, we were always late to finish.


The shopkeepers worshipped him and many demanded a chat. The extra bonus was Cashies galore – $$ plus enough quality provisions to feed Fiona and newborn Ella for the week.


Goalsy introduced me to his childhood hero Harold Bray who was delightful company as well. Ian made the trip for my 50th (with his wife Sheila from Paynesville. Sadly that’s the last time I saw him.


His best mate Neil ‘Coconut’ Roberts got to say goodbye just recently.


Vale Goalsy.




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  1. Rocket Singers says

    Are you sure it was Maffra that :Goalsy” went to coach in 1956?
    The Maffra Football Story lists Les Foote as captain-coach that year…

  2. David Clerehan has sent me a clarification:

    Ian Joined his coach Les Foote in the move to Maffra in 1956 then took over coaching after Foote’s 2 years. Id love to get hold of eulogy written by Neil Roberts at the funeral. Will ask Sheila. Cheers DC

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