1970

1970 Football Record thumbnailIts 46 years since a triumphant Newtown won the flag in Sydney – their last.  And looking back makes you realise how old we are getting.

We have selected a page from the then popular Football Record which highlights an article on the proposed sale of Picken Oval by its owner.

Wests had use of the ground for almost 20 years before ‘an incident’ occurred between the licensed club and a member of the owner’s family.  This resulted in the owner banning use of the ground by the club.

This event took Wests for a spin.  They could not longer train nor play on the ground, in fact the league also lost use of the ground which was a great blow to the game in Sydney.

It might be said that at the time the Wests licensed club were negotiating with the owner to purchase the land, of course this all fell through.

Wests were then forced to look for an alternate venue which included Bankstown’s Jensen Oval and Mac Uni’s Roger Sheeran Oval, Henson Park before they settled on the disused brickpit which became Wagener Oval, Ashbury.  The title of the oval was named after a former umpire and president of Wests in their halcyon days, Bill Wagener.

The owner then began talks with developers with one proposal to build a super mall containing Coles and other variety stores on the parcel of land.  Following urging of local residents, many of whom were Wests supporters, the local council took the matter to the Land and Environment Court which disallowed any development and decreed that the site be maintained as open space/recreational.

So while the land never did end up in the hands of Wests, the club was granted use of the as their home ground.

The page also provides advertisements, one from Allen Sigsworth, a player with the Newtown Club who later went on to become an umpire and Jim Mitchell who conducted a sports store in Crofts Avenue Hurstville.  Jim was a former player with St George and most if not all clubs in Sydney did their business with Jim.

It provides the names and contact numbers of the Sydney club secretaries, some of whom have passed but a number are still with us and at least two, John Armstrong and George McGifford are members of the Football History Society.

The photograph shows Newtown’s captain and coach, David Sykes (also a member), accepting the trophy after winning the 1970 premiership.  League president, Bill Hart is on his right along with a delightful young lady who also managed to get into view.  She would be well in her fifties by now!

Enjoy the read, just click the image above.

Great Football In Sydney During WWII

Phonse Kyne

It would be reasonable to say that Australian Football in Sydney has failed to reach the dizzy heights of World War II.

If you played junior football in Sydney in the fifties and sixties you were forever the target of misguided abuse from people who were traditionally biased and ignorant to our great game.

However during World War II the number of top grade players who either passed through Sydney or were posted here in the services was incredible.

Some players who had no contacts in Sydney simply turned up at a match with their togs seeking a game, such was the movement of men.  Club officials may well have given the player a run in the seconds to check him out then take him off at quarter time in order to play him in the firsts or  if he were a well known VFL player  merely select him in the team, sight unseen, simply relying on reputation.  Clearances for the military or servicemen did not appear to apply in the days of strict rules governing the movement of players.

If you think that these players turning up for a game may have put someone out of the side, well quite often, and certainly during the early part of the war, when teams struggled for numbers, it did not but with the influx of servicemen it must have caused some local angst.

With the introduction of Sunday football into Sydney in 1943 and the inclusion of so many stars the attendances soared, some suggest over the 10,000 mark.  Australian Sydney Football Attendances Graph smallfootball became a very popular sport, even the Prime Minister, John Curtin, turned up at a few games at Trumper Park in 1943.  The increase in crowds was put down to two reasons, 1. the number of servicemen in Sydney attending matches and 2. the great and talented (servicemen) players in the competition who drew more locals to the games.

Some of these players included Phonse Kyne, who won the Copeland Trophy twice and went on to captain then coach the mighty Collingwood side.  Bill Morris was another.  He won the Brownlow Medal in 1948 and won Richmond’s B & F on three occasions.  Several played in VFL premiership teams after the war.

The names of these players included:

St George
Phonse Kyne – Collingwood (Collingwood B & F, captain and later coach)
Norm Campbell – Collingwood
Adrian Dullard – Melbourne
Len Pabst – Hawthorn
Jim Hovey – Geelong
South Sydney
Bill Morris – Richmond (1948 Brownlow Medalist 3 times Richmond B & F )
Jim Miller – Footscray
Bruce Fountain – Footscray
Don Seymour – Footscray
Bill Wood – Footscray
Evan Rees – Footscray
Norm Webb – Footscray
Max Piggott – South Melbourne
Bluey Truscott – Melbourne
Clyde Helmer – Geelong & Melbourne (Geelong Leading Goalkicker)
Terry Moriarty – Perth (Sandover Medalist)
Jim Matthews – St Kilda
Ray Garby – Carlton
A J (Jack) Smith – Norwood captain
Eastern Suburbs
Sam Loxton – St Kilda (St Kilda Leading Goalkicker)
Clinton Wines – Carlton
Jim Mitchell – Melbourne
Newtown
Jack Green- Collingwood
Alex Pender – Port Adelaide
Jack Disher – Sturt
Sydney (Naval)
Jack Sheedy – East Fremantle (Member AFL Hall of Fame)
Bob Neate – Hawthorn
Bob McLean – St Kilda
RAAF
Alby Morrison – Footscray (former captain of Footscray and twice B & F winner & Footscray Hall of Fame)
Ern Henfrey – Carlton
Marty McDonnell – Footscray
George Tilley – Sturt

 

Bill Wood small AlbyMorrison Bill Morris small Ern Henfrey small Jack Sheedy 1 small Ray Garby small
Bill Wood
Footscray
Alby Morrison
Footscray
Bill Morris
Richmond
Ern Henfrey
Carlton
Jack Sheedy
East Fremantle
Ray Garvey
Carlton

 

Of course there were many more footballers of some note who played football  in Sydney during that period.  It has been a long time ago since they graced the grounds like Trumper Park and Erskineville Oval but the memories of their participation still lingers if only just and the Sydney football population of those days must have been extremely thankful to watch these stars in action.  Many of these went on to play for their respective states on numerous occasions.

After the war officials failed to capitalise or possibly recognize the new heights that football had reached.

Separate Image: Phonse Kyne

How Times Change

Just scrolling through some old Records one of our members randomly selected a page from August, 1970, a mere 42 years ago, and sent it through.

It shows the club notes that were written by officials of the respective clubs in the competition, mostly explaining their exploits from the week before.

In this case, the notes are from Sydney University, Manly (Warringah – which notes the acquisition of their new ground, Weldon Oval) and Salesians.  Who, might you ask are or were the Salesians?

They were a team which was drawn from the southern suburbs of the Sutherland Shire, centred mostly on a place called Boystown.  This was an institution for boys who had gone a bit wayward and was operated by the De La Salle Brothers and involving Salesian Priests under the Catholic religion.

These people formed a football club and initially competed in the St George All-Age competition in the 1960s then into the NSW Football League’s SDA or Sydney Districts Association in the early 1970s.

They only last two years and folded.  A shame because the team offered a fair bit of potential.

And of course at the bottom of the page is an advertisement for Jim Mitchell’s Sports Store at Hurstville.

Jim was a former St George player and in the 1960s and 70s was one of a handful of sports stores in Sydney which handled Australian Football gear.  Most Sydney clubs of the time ordered their jumpers through Jim and most certainly purchased their footballs from the same source.

If you are an old time Sydney player you might notice one or two names on the page who’s relatives continued to play the game.

How times change.