– 1947 Job Offers

 The 1947 NSW
Carnival Team Opening
Parade @ Hobart

In 1947, an All-States Carnival was played in Hobart.

These seven team contests were played about every four years.  After World War II because of the disparity in standard, the Australian National Football Council,  divided the competition into two divisions.  New South Wales found themselves in division two along with Queensland, Tasmania and Canberra.  This meant in Hobart they should have played three matches;  They won their games quite handsomely against Queensland Canberra then went down in the final game against Tasmania by ten points 13-18 (96) to 16-10 (106).  They also played South Australia who were a Division I team however were convincingly defeated.

A 1950 pic
of Jim Cracknell
at his best

Following the game it was reported that five of the New South Wales Australian players in their carnival team were offered contracts by two Tasmanian clubs.

The Hobart Club offered Sydney’s captain-coach, Jim Cracknell, Albury FC’s star centre Jim Mathews, and Newtown’s Emrys Owen £10 a week, including a job. Clarence Football Club offered Roy Watterson from the Newtown Club, who would later go on to coach in the Riverina, and South Sydney’s Ron Matthews a job at £8 a week and a retainer of £3 a week.

The report said that the offers would hold good for the following season. Apparently the players are considering the offers, but unknown if they took them up.

– Books to Libraries

The Committee of the Football History Society has resolved to donate copies of their World War I publication to various public libraries throughout the state.

This, the committee thought, will give many people the opportunity of reading about Australian football in the early days in New South Wales, the game in Sydney during the first world world war and the situation with football following the conflict.

The Society has sold around 200 of the books however still have a number over and part of this number are the ones which will be donated.

Anyone interested who would like their local library to receive a copy can contact the Society with the library’s particulars to ensure their branch is on the list.

– Footy at Bowral

Harry Hedger

In 1892 a game of Australian Football was played at Bowral, NSW.

The match, Bowral v East Sydney was arranged by a Mr Charles Church,[1] schoolteacher, and a resident of Bowral, who had previously played for the East Sydney Club in the late 1880s, represented NSW against Queensland and was at one time a member of the East Sydney Club’s committee.

The game was initially scheduled for mid-August but fell through.  Church persisted and the match was re-organised for Saturday 10 September at Athletic Grounds in Bowral.

The condition of the ground was in a very poor state because of rain and a soccer match having previously been played there.[2]

Nevertheless a large crowd gathered to witness the game with East flying to an early lead by four goals to one at half time.

In those early days, goals were the only score counted and the game was played in two halves.  Certainly in this game it was the case.

The second half saw the locals equalise their opponents score and but for fulltime might certainly have overtaken them.  It was said that Bowral’s team was made up entirely “of former Melbourne players.”[3]

Be that as it may, they were encouraged to continue to play the following season by Harry Hedger, captain of the East Sydney team but no more was heard of Australian football in Bowral.[4]

In  recent years though the Southern Highland Hawks junior club has emerged. It participates in the Illawarra junior league.

An Auskick Centre is located at Loseby Park, Bowral Tuesday afternoons at 4.30 p.m.  for approx. 5-7 year olds.

Older players [8-14) play in club teams. The Hawks [Under 11s] won the Club’s  first premiership in 2007, and after the Under 12s and Under 15s won flags in 2008 with the future looking bright.

The club play and train at Loseby Park in Bowral, training Tuesdays 4 – 5:3. Game day is Sunday.

[1] Bowral Free Press and Berrima District Intelligencer 7 September 1892, p.3
[2]  Bowral Free Press and Berrima District Intelligencer 7 September 1892, p.3

[3] Bowral Free Press and Berrima District Intelligencer 7 September 1892, p.3
[4]  Referee Newspaper, 14 September 1892 p.8

– Jim Knocks Himself Out

Society member, Jim McSweeney had a bit of bad luck when umpiring a game at Trumper Park between Eastern Suburbs and South Sydney in 1960.

During the third quarter, Jim knocked himself out after a ball-up in play.  He bounced the ball then ran into it as the ruckmen attempted to punch the ball.

He fell to the ground and lay there unconscious while play continued after which the game was held up for about five minutes while St Johns Ambulancemen attended to him.  He was not especially hurt and continued on with the game.

It certainly was a firey encounter.

  • Players and spectators threw punches as the match ended;
  • One of the punches struck the boundary umpire;
  • Club officials were forced to call in police while a number of people demonstrated outside the umpires’  room after the match.
  • The League president, Wilf Holmes, warned one spectator to leave the ground and told him his admittance would be refused at future games.

McSweeney reported three players for fighting during the match he also reported a reserve grade player for abusing him after the game.

When the match finished a number of spectators rushed at the umpire attempting to strike him, one punch hitting boundary umpire, Ray McMullen.

There was a a fair bit of both on and off-field violence following WWII right up to the seventies.  Thankfully, such is not the case today.

Image shows Jim McSweeney in 1969.  He is the shortest one in the centre of the photograph.

– Society Inspects Material at State Library

When the History Society was first engaged, it began as a ‘sub committee” to trace and record this history of football within the state, not only Sydney but in the entire state of NSW.

The committee evolved into the NSW Australian Football History Society, which has gone from strength to strength and now boasts a membership of over 90 people.

Initially the group was receiving and accepting material that could not be stored.  These boxes of items which include some great historical football stuff ended up in various peoples’ garages and in a number of cases their partners complained so it was eventually forwarded on to the State Library of NSW in Sydney.

When the Society gained rooms at the Western Suburbs Footy Club (Magpie Sports) at Croydon Park, and new material was started to be stored there in a systematic and arranged process, they still longed for the 40 odd boxes already at the State Library.  Unfortunately when you donate items to places like the State Library, you don’t get them back.

However following several years of negotiation the Society gained access to the material which sice has exploded into 92 boxes.

The president, Ian Granland, Vice President Paul Macpherson and Secretary, Heather White arranged a time and date to inspect these items at the library.

They were ushered into the Special Viewing Room at the Mitchell Library and after a robust identification procedure, spent the following six hours examining the pages, photographs and publications stored in these boxes.

After an exhausting period they came up with quite a number of boxes that they have suggested to the library that they would like copied which+, besides being stored could be posted on the Football History Society’s website.

These include several annual reports from the North Shore Club of which Society officials had no knowledge.

“We were thrilled to find these publications” Vice president Paul said.  “Of all the material we have, there is little from the North Shore Club and these items really fill a void.  We will go through them all and soon post them for all to see.

These will make a great special article for the website when they are copied, so stayed tuned.

Image show Paul Macpherson in deep thought while processing the various items provided by the Library.