A strange mixture of Sydney archival football material turned up the other day. They were rescued by Society Benevolent Member, Dave (Spanner) Spence, from the Western Suburbs Club. Dave said he found them in a box at the league office with apparently no-one there with any knowledge as to where they came from.
- * 1945 South Sydney FC Reserve Grade Premiership Pennant “this is the oldest existing premiership flag we are aware of”.
- * 1950s South Sydney football jumper.
- * Two South Sydney long sleeve football jumpers, in a unique design
- * Two 1930s South Sydney long sleeved football jumpers.
- * Twelve cans of 16mm film showing various 1978 Sydney football games
- * Four unidentified reels of film
The flag and the jumpers are all part of the estate from the late Alby Young (pictured), a life member of the league and South Sydney who had a lifetime involvement with the club and the game in Sydney where he was very well known. He died in his in his early nineties in 1995. All items are in reasonably good condition considering their age and unknown storage locations. All jumpers are woollen and appear to be manufactured in Sydney by ‘Murdocks’, David Jones and Anthony Horderns & Sons. One has been repaired by darning, an almost lost art these days. The flag appears to be cotton and apart from a few holes, looks good.
The History Society was aware of his legacy but thought it had been thrown out in one of the many cleanouts at the league over the years. They were ecstatic at the find most of it still existed and have already begun to preserve the material garments and identify the film reels where possible, which have been catalogued and classified.
note the darning
|click to enlarge|
When it comes to those without identification it is envisaged one of the more experienced members will have to sit when the film is played to identify the teams and the game. Then they will all be put on DVD for long term preservation. It is expected that this will be a costly exercise and Society officials will have to revisit their budget to enable this expensive process to take place. We have already been quoted $35 per 100 feet for DVD conversion and collectively, there’s many thousands of feet of film for processing.
Following searching inquiries we finally found out the origin of the film. It was taken during 1978 and used on Kevin Taylor’s Half Time Footy Forum, during the early direct telecast of the VFL Match of the Day. The attached photograph shows the panel in that year with guest, Fitzroy president Frank Bibby at a time when it was mooted that Fitzroy would move to Sydney. It was taken in mid-1978 at the Epping studios in Sydney of ATN7. From left: Nick Rogers, Fitzroy president Frank Bibby, Ian Wallace, compere Kevin Taylor, John Armstrong, Joe ‘Cleopatra’ Armstrong and Peter Gray, who is on the right.
To ascertain a more exact idea of the jumpers an approach will be made to a former 89 year old South Sydney player to see if he can identify the era of the unknown jumpers.
The South Sydney Club participated in Sydney football in 1890-93. Upon the resurrection of the game in 1903, founding club, Redfern changed their name to South Sydney in 1911. The club folded following the 1976 season.
Society president, Ian Granland played for and was involved with South Sydney in his youth and tells the story that it was quite well known that Alby had all his football treasures in a camphor box at his Rosebery home. Little would anyone realise that these treasurers, one of which must have been Alby’s football jumper when he played, would surface after all these years.