Scanning through the number of publications the Society has in their records, we have come across some humorous, stoic and some genuinely interesting bits of information:
In a 1972 Football Record it said “Wests Third Grade coach, Alan Sales, is talking with a much deeper voice these days. No, he hasn’t got laryngitis, he’s just changed tailors. The result is his short shorts are not as short as before.”
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Also in 1972 popular Rugby League caller, Tiger Black, hosted a sports show on radio station 2KY of a Saturday Morning at 11:00am. Clubs were rostered for one of their number to attend the satellite, Eastlakes Studios to be interviewed by the aging Tiger. The show was sponsored by Tooheys and called the Toohey’s Sports Parade.
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In 1919 the Newtown Football Club in Sydney released details of those club members who served in WWI.
They had sixty-one enlist of whom eleven were killed in battle. Two were awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal as well as the Military Medal while three were promoted in the field to Lieutenant.
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In 1974, the strong Western Suburbs Licensed Club at Picken Oval, where our Society rooms are situated, advertised a Sunday Smorgasbord Lunch when games were played at the ground for $1.20 a head – casual dress.
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NSW have hosted two All-States Carnivals. The first was in 1914 and the opening game was played the day WWI was announced. Needless to say, the seven day series was a flop and financially ruined the league, resulting in the resignation of the trustees who had care and management of the new Australian Football Ground at Alexandria – that was also lost.
The next was in 1933 also held at the Sydney Cricket Ground. NSW fielded quite a handy side but could not match it with Victoria or Western Australia.
The carnival was not particularly well patronised, given that it was held deep in the depression. Admission to the outer was one shilling (ten cents) and 2/4½ (not too sure how that is represented in today’s currency, so I will call it, twenty five cents) to the stands.
One real plus for NSW was the selection of South Sydneys’, rover, Jimmy Stiff (pictured) as best and fairest in the carnival.
“You could have knocked me over with a feather” Stiff said, describing how he felt when he learned of the award.
“As a matter of fact, I never gave it a thought. There were so many good players from other states.”
The Hawthorn Football club showed definite interest in recruiting Stiff but he said he had a good home and job and that he was satisfied living in Sydney.
The rugby league also wanted Stiff and was almost talked into playing with South Sydney Rugby League side by their ace administrator, Cecil Blinkhorn.
“I thought it over hard” Stiff said, “but just as I was going to give it a flutter I remembered the ‘Rules carnival that was to be held here and I gave up the idea.”
In the next couple of years Stiff did play first grade rugby league for Souths and just to demonstrate what a great sportsman he was, Stiff was a regular first grade cricketer with the then Glebe Club which played in the Sydney competition.
Unfortunately, the daring and diminutive Stiff was killed in a road accident in 1937. He was one of the first selected in the AFL NSW, Hall of Fame.
The image at the top of the story shows Jimmy Stiff at the base of the pack ready to dive on the ball in a carnival game against Tasmania at the SCG in 1933.