More Riverina Football Records

The Society has been fortunate in obtaining quite a number of historic Football Records from the Riverina, whether they were called ‘The Crier’, ‘Sou’Wester’, ‘Aussie Ruler’ or ‘Football Record’, there are hours of reading if you click here.

The latest copies, dating back to 1956, were supplied by Geoff Gambell and now bring the number of Football Records from the Riverina area to well over 100.

Many of those posted are Grand Final publications from various years with more copies in the pipe line to be added in coming months.

If you have access to any Football Records and would like to see them published on our site please email us at: History.nsw@afl.com.au

Also, in reading these documents, should you find any broken links, please let us know.

Gillett joins the Board

Academic and long term supporter and football modernist, Doctor Rod Gillett joined the board of the Football History Society at their annual general meeting held today.

Rod Gillett

Gillett has had a long involvement with the game commencing as a lad at Kyabram, Victoria then later Armidale, Coffs Harbour, Sydney and Wagga.

In the 1980s a young Rodney Gillett was vice president of the NSW Football League and later one of the initial members when the Society was formed as a committee of the AFL NSW/ACT but moved on to progress his academic career with postings in Fiji, South Korea, Dubai and currently in Singapore.

He is retiring from work shortly and will settle in Sydney. Gillett is keen to focus on football jumping at the opportunity to re-ignite his interest in the history of the game.

In other moves, professional archivist Paul Macpherson was voted in as secretary while the incumbent, Heather White moved to the back bench: (the committee).

Paul Macpherson

Ian Granland was returned as president and John Addison, treasurer. With the addition of Heather White, Ian Wright, Jenny Hancock, Mandy Keevil and Tom Mahon, take up the remainder of the committee positions.

Treasurer, John Addison announced an operating profit for the year of $2,218.00 but cautioned in his report that it is not the objective of the Society to hold surplus funds and outlined a series of spending projects the committee has agreed to for the coming months.

Annual General Meeting – changes afoot

The Society’s Annual General meeting will be held at the Magpie Sports Club on Tuesday (5 March) commencing at 1:00pm.

Ian Granland

Members have been circulated with details of the meeting and most recently a copy of the 2018 annual report has also been issued which should reach recipients by Monday.

Already there are changes proposed in the makeup of the committee with several nominations received so far. More on that score following the meeting.

The president, Ian Granland, has forecast the need for a succession plan for the Society. He said “the incumbents will not be there forever and time has come when the organisation should be fielding expressions of interest from members and others interested in the various roles.”

Tuesday’s meeting should see a start to this initiative.

Umpire Assaults

Umpires over the years have been the target of thugs, abuse and unnecessary violence.  While this might have occurred Australia wide, Sydney certainly did have its share of it.  Thankfully, certainly the violence towards umpires appears to have been relatively stamped out.

Possibly the most infamous attack was on central umpire, John Leber on the day after ANZAC Day in 1953 at Trumper Park.  The Sydney Morning Herald reported it on page 1 on 27 April as:

Spectator Knocks Out Football Match Umpire A spectator jumped the playing fence and knocked the central umpire, Jack Leber, unconscious during the Australian Rules foot-ball match between Eastern Suburbs and Newtown at Trumper Park yesterday. Then the spectator walked unhindered off the field and out of the ground. The man attacked Leber soon after a fight by players on both sides during the third quarter. All but six players were involved in the fight in the centre of the field. The fight lasted at least three minutes, with Leber, the two boundary umpires and both goal umpires trying to separate the players. From the second quarter many of Leber’s decisions had been hooted by the crowd of 4,000. During the third quarter spell when both teams were resting and Leber was standing with the boundary and goal umpires in the centre of the field, a coatless spectator jumped the fence. He walked over to Leber and knocked him down unconscious.
POLICE CALLED
St John Ambulance men treated Leber for several minutes before he recovered. A boundary umpire, Joe Armstrong, who is a leading central umpire, offered to take over the match, but Leber carried on after the game had been delayed about six minutes. The ground manager, Mr. Jack Ross, called the police, but the game was in progress when they arrived. After the match Leber collapsed in the dressing-rooms and had to receive first-aid treatment again. He nearly collapsed again under the shower. The president of the N.S.W. League, Mr Les Taylor, said the league would prosecute the attacker if sufficient information became available. After the match, which Eastern Suburbs won by 19-16 (130) to 6-10 (46), the opposing captains, Fred Pemberton (Eastern Suburbs) and Jack Armstrong (Newtown) were reported over the fighting incident.

Fortunately the offender was located and subsequently charged. (see article)

John Leber was a great guy.  Initially he played with Newtown before enlisting for WWII.  When stationed near Melbourne in the army, he wrote to the secretary of the Fitzroy Club and asked for a game.  They gave him a run in the seconds for a couple of weeks, but he didn’t set the world on fire.

He was also instrumental in setting up the Boystown Club near Engadine and was one who formed the Sutherland Club in the 1960s.

John worked for TAA (a National Airline of some note) and besides getting the company to annually advertise in the Sydney Football Record, he arranged for cut price travel for NSW interstate teams.

You can read other articles of Sydney umpire assaults here:

NSW Grounds Under New Management

The Society sees itself as a guardian of football activities that have happened in the past in New South Wales; this can be 140 years ago or yesterday.

Mandy Keevil

Committee member, Mandy Keevil, has taken on the role of registering all the grounds in NSW along with their details on the Society’s website.

Mandy is a former senior librarian at the Ashfield Council and her father played with the Newtown Football Club in the late 1940s. He also represented the state on a number of occasions.

The project Mandy has taken while at first sight may seem a tedoius one, however it is a task which will prove to be very important to the football community. Not only for present day supporters but in years to come when people ask the question where “xyz” club started and played their first game, Mandy’s research will throw a light on just where and when.

And her research doesn’t just cover Sydney. She already has a great repository of grounds that were either used for playing or training for the Australian game and is currently working through them to update their particulars and facilities together with an with an online map showing the location.

If you represent a club or have been involved with a club in New South Wales and want your ground included, please email the History Society here to give Mandy more information that she can work on.

Also former committee member, Bob Wilton has given us a call to alert us to an East Sydney Football Club Reunion. It will be held at Paddington RSL on Saturday 16 March 2019 commencing at 12 midday. Just turn up or you can contact the History Society for further details.