ANOTHER FOOTBALL LEGEND IN HUA HIN; MEET STUART TROTT, AN AUSTRALIAN SPORTING LEGEND

There’s more than one football legend living in Hua Hin as our latest ‘’meet the locals’’ article shows.  We met one round ball legend more than two years ago. That was former England, Tottenham and Brighton defender Gary Stevens. He’s also a 1984 UEFA Cup winner and 1986 World Cup veteran, but now back at grass roots and head coach at the Black Mountain Hua Hin Football Academy.

See more about Gary Stevens at https://royalcoastreview.com/2019/07/gary-stevens-appointed-head-coach-of-black-mountain-hua-hin-football-academy/

ANOTHER FOOTBALL LEGEND IN HUA HIN; MEET STUART TROTT, AN AUSTRALIAN SPORTING LEGEND

Gary’s record is hard to beat, but in the oval ball game, Australian Rules football legend, another Hua Hin resident, Stuart Trott also deserves legendary status.  He has a record of over 200 games at the top level of the sport with clubs St Kilda from 1967 to 1974 and later Hawthorn 1975 to 1977.

Our introduction and conversation with Stuart was thanks to Surf 102.5 FM’s Steve Johnston, someone who recognises what sporting legendary status is all about, albeit a self-admitted Australian Rules ‘tragic’.

ANOTHER FOOTBALL LEGEND IN HUA HIN; MEET STUART TROTT, AN AUSTRALIAN SPORTING LEGEND

Stuart is a 1971 Australian Grand Finalist, a 1972 Best & Fairest and Club Captain, awarded Hall of Fame status with St Kilda.  He was also an administrator at the forefront of the formation of the Australian Football League, roughly the equivalent of the English Premier League.  A Grand Final in AFL attracts 80,000 plus fans; it’s a big deal down under!

As a football talent scout, Stuart’s impact on the sport included recognising the latent talents of indigenous players now prominent in the sport.

ANOTHER FOOTBALL LEGEND IN HUA HIN; MEET STUART TROTT, AN AUSTRALIAN SPORTING LEGEND

The AFL great Nicky Winmar was one of the players he identified and recruited.  A tribal Nyungar man from the south-west of Australia, Winmar is now immortalised with a statue outside the St Kilda home grounds.  This is a statue of him proudly showing the colour of his skin as a gesture in response to racist remarks from some disrespectful football fans which became a turning point in the sport’s attitude towards such behaviour.

Post football retirement, Stuart’s first Thailand visits were in the late 90’s to import Thai fabrics for his successful venture into the ‘rag trade’, the clothing and fashion industry.  A conscious decision to take up residence followed about 15 years ago.  With a Thai wife, he now can’t see himself returning to live down under although he admits only obtaining a Thai driving licence the day before we met. 

One of the reasons he gives for living in Hua Hin is the ease of making friends amongst both Thai and expats here.  Another could be to escape the notorious Melbourne weather; four seasons in a day!  The live broadcasts of live AFL games in Thailand with little time differences means following the sport here is easy.  Stuart’s Thai wife has been a convert, although she is reported to be a Sydney Swans fan!     

Hua Hin’s golfing opportunities also meant he was able return to the sport some 5 years ago.  Now he’s a regular at Palm Hills and Royal Hua Hin with an 18 handicap; very respectable for a 73 year old.

Thailand’s growing interest in Australian Rules Football has yet to attract Stuart’s attention, perhaps a lost opportunity for the sport’s administration.  However he has tuned into another oval ball sport as a touch rugby referee and time keeper at the beach version played at Khao Takiab.

We asked Stuart’s what was the secret to sporting success?  He’s left-handed but kicks the football with his right foot.  That meant opponents found it hard to anticipate deceptive moves on the field when ball was in hand.  He says that’s an unrecognised attribute, common amongst many great Aussie football players.  Incidentally he is also the great grandson of 1896 Australian Test cricket captain Harry Trott.

Stuart’s leadership attributes and personality means he’ll always call out inappropriate sporting behaviors or administrative deficiencies.  That approach applied in his role at the highest level of football administration in Australia but now with a local golf society, including keeping handicaps honest, another reason for his legendary status.

If you know any other regional residents with a story they are willing to share, please contact editor@royalcoastreview.com