Collingwood team of the century player Billy Picken has died, aged 66.
The Magpies great, who played 212 matches for the club after debuting in 1974, was a two-time EW Copeland Trophy winner and All-Australian in 1983.
Renowned for his high-marking, the defender’s career spanned 11 seasons.
News of Picken’s death was doubly sad for the Magpies, with the AFL club also mourning the death of another ex-player in Con Britt.
Recruited from the Ballarat Football League before debuting in 1966, Britt played 110 games for the Magpies before he was forced into retirement at just 26 by a knee injury in 1973.
“Billy was a spectacular player, a dashing defender who could take a big grab and a player who performed extraordinarily in finals matches,” Magpies president Jeff Browne said in a statement.
“Soon after making his debut, Billy became a fan favourite with many Collingwood supporters wearing the number 25 on the back of their Black and White jumpers and duffle coats.
“He will be remembered as one of the best-ever players to represent the Collingwood Football Club and one of the greatest centre half backs of his generation.
“Con Britt was a skilful player who spent most of his career across the half forward line and along the wing. He was fast and strong with his attack on the football impressing Collingwood supporters.”
The Magpies will wear black armbands in honour of both players in their match against Essendon at the MCG to be played on Sunday.