Sunday, April 17, 2022

Vale Wayne Donald Goninon (5/11/1952 - 13/4/2022)

Photo:  Wayne Goninon was a University stalwart. [PlessPix] 

Wayne Goninon, a former player with Metro and University, passed away in Hobart last Wednesday after a short illness, aged 69.

Wayne worked in administration at the University of Tasmania and was still employed in a part-time capacity until recently.

He began his playing career at Metro before joining University in the latter half of the 1970s while a student at the university.

He was usually a defender, including in the position of sweeper, but he could also play in midfield.

Wayne was the personification of calmness, both on the field and in life.

He could read the play well and was unflappable in defence and his confidence permeated through the rest of the team.

Photo:  Wayne Goninon (third from right, back row) in a University veterans' team. [PlessPix]  

I first came across Wayne when I coached University from 1977 until 1979.

Fresh from obtaining my coaching qualifications, University was my first senior appointment and we were up against it in the league and I was keen to apply the coaching principles I had learned.

I decided to play the catenaccio system, with five at the back  -  four defenders with a sweeper behind them.

Wayne was my sweeper and the team was not doing well, I’m afraid.

Wayne came to see me for a chat and expressed the view that our set-up was far too defensive and that it was merely putting more pressure on us.

He suggested we switch to a 4-4-2 rather my preferred 1-4-3-2.

I took Wayne’s advice and results started to improve, so I always had the greatest respect for him and appreciated the fact he set me right

Wayne was a great supporter of University football and he continued to play for the club as a veteran.

His son, Simon, played for Glenorchy Knights and University.

Wayne was made a Life Member of University in 1985 and from about 1994 he used to organise annual dinners for the club’s Life Members.

Wayne cared about people and even shortly before his death, knowing he was terminally ill, he delivered a moving eulogy at the funeral of another University stalwart, Graeme Smith.

Wayne will be missed by all those at the University club who knew him.

My condolences go to his wife Paula and to his family.

Photo:  Wayne Goninon in the yellow-shirted team at a University veteran's game to honour University's president Fred Joughin (in the chair at the front). [PlessPix]


Unknown said...

Hi Walter. On behalf of the family, my sincerest thanks for sharing Dad's love of the game and his teammates. I played the sport for one reason only...because Dad did. It is hard to picture life without him nearby...he's was such a great influence on so many.
Thanks again, mate...I hope you're keeping well and life is grand.
Take care, Simon

Andrys Onsman said...

Well said, Walter. I fondly remember Wayne from our Metro days, as I’m sure you do too. Not only a great player (alongside Larry Nunn), a genuine role model but above all an excellent human being. Condolences to his family

Anonymous said...

Thanks Walter,

I am always learning the history of our Tasmanian Game through all your years of coverage.
So very appreciated

I played with Simon, we had a blast when the Uni Boys joined Croatia, ay Angry and Simon.
Much respect

My Condolemces to Simon and all his family, and thankyou for the memories that you have shared of a former player, Father and respected team mate

Brendan Laka and Family

Smudger said...

Long time friend and a teammate, first played at Metro with Wayne in the 70’s very underrated by opposition but not by his teammates , has not been a great week Wayne and Ahmed . RIP Wayne condolences to family

Adam Jones said...

Well said Walter. My sincere condolences to Simon (Piggy) and his family.

Adam Jones and Family

Steve Darby said...

RIP sadly reading too many of these obituaries (though as usual superbly penned by Walter)