MOE’s last senior premiership captain, Allan Steel died last week.

Steel died on Friday following a long illness. He was 84.

Steel played 210 senior games for the Lions, one of which was the 1967 wining Grand Final – the last time Moe has won a senior premiership in the Gippsland League.

Named at centre half forward in Moe Football-Netball Club’s Team of the Century, Steel was among the top players of the 1960s, winning the Trood Award and Rodda Medal as the Gippsland League best and fairest in 1963, the year after he tied for the award with Yallourn’s Rick Belford, only to lose on countback.

Steel also captained interleague in 1965, leading the Gippsland League to victory at the annual Victorian Country Football League championships. Among that team was 17-year-old Alan Noonan, who went on to win Essendon’s goalkicking seven times.

His contribution to Moe saw him coach the senior side for three years, beginning the season after the ’67 triumph.

In what became an unfortunate run however, the Lions lost two Grand Finals under Steel, in 1968 and 1970, the latter acting as a precursor to the pain of what was to follow – three consecutive Grand Final losses (1972-74) – two by one point.

Speaking to The Weekly Times last year, as the Moe of 2023 looked a good chance to break the drought, only to bow out in the preliminary final to eventual premier Leongatha, Steel said he had mix feelings taking over from premiership-winning coach Alby Law in 1968, who stepped aside due to work commitments.

“I wouldn’t have taken it on if Alby still wanted it,” he said.

“I was a playing-coach and you miss a lot of things happening in a game when you’re also playing.”

“We would have at least two premierships more if Alby was still coach.

“They are hard to win, I can tell you.”

Despite a couple of Grand Final heartbreaks, Steel maintains the Moe sides he coached were absolute high calibre.

“The sides I had were bloody brilliant,” he said.

“We would play Dandenong in practice matches and beat them.”

Max Donelly, who died only three years ago, took over from Steel as Moe coach for the 1971 season.

Steel was awarded life membership of Moe FNC for his services, and shares the distinction of having played 200 senior games without once playing a reserve grade game.

The only other Moe player with this record is current senior captain, Jacob Wood.