– Society Cements History Links With Swans

Society officials, President Ian Granland and Vice President Paul Macpherson met with executives from the Sydney Swans Football Club today to discuss football heritage in NSW, as well as what the club has achieved prior to 1982 and within the sport in this State.

For some time the History Society has been gathering as much material as possible on the game from throughout NSW, both tangible and digital, to add to its ever expanding repository of significant historical items and events of the game.

The Swans intention is aimed at documenting the heritage of their club, including the days of South Melbourne FC, and educating their steadily growing membership, which is likely to top 60,000 by year’s end, with not only their history but the history of football in NSW.

Swans CEO Andrew Ireland was very positive in his endeavours to promote the concept and could not have chosen a better mentor than Paul Macpherson, an archivist and librarian by occupation.  His expertise will afford an solid guide to those trainees regarding what is expected in the serious business of seeking out and preserving the heritage of the club during an era which extends well over a period of one hundred years.

The promoter of the concept, former Swans Chairman and now a member of the SCG Trust, Richard Colless AM, was passionate in his efforts to facilitate this gathering of the two parties.

Finally, Society Vice President, Paul Macpherson said “our group looks forward to the next practical steps with the Swans in spreading more widely the knowledge of the long and fascinating history of football in NSW.”

 

– The Boy From Parkes – 1935

jim-reid-2-001If you turn to page 139 in Miles Wilk’s book, Australian Football Clubs in NSW, you read about a player who played with the South Melbourne Club in 1935-36 who was recruited from the Parkes Rugby League Club.

You have to ask if there’s got to be more to it than that.

Well in 1934 a young Rugby League player from Parkes, New South Wales, took himself to Melbourne with the intention of trying  out for the South Melbourne team.  An ankle injury put paid to his chances so he returned to play the season out with the Parkes Rugby League Club.

His name was Jim Reid and back with the Blacks where he had played at either fullback or in the centres for the previous two years.  In 1934 Reid played against the visiting Balmain team so at 19 he was pretty well entrenched in the club.

However come the following year Reid again made the trip to Melbourne to try out with South.

Now I guess you have to ask yourself why would this young man persist in his attempt to break into the VFL ranks when coming from a Rugby League background?

His mother and father were both from Western Australia.  Unusual at the time but by 1930 found them in William Street East Sydney operating a newsagency.  In fact just near the real estate premises of a former president of the NSW League, William Butler.

This was a strange move for someone who had been a railway worker then to run a newsagency or paper shop as it was called in those days, then later to manage brewery owned country pubs, and all this on the other side of the country.

Well, not that much later from his newsagency position, Jim’s father took over the license of a hotel at a Lake Cargelligo, NSW and of course brought his 17 year old son with him.  Then by the early 1930s the family was in Parkes and dad the licensee of the Royal Hotel.

This is interesting because although a 1935 Melbourne newspaper article, supposedly written by Jim Reid the footballer, says his family left Perth or Western Australia to settle in Adelaide for a period of time then onto Parkes, there is no mention of his time in Sydney.

H2008.122/31 Missing South Melbourne
1936 South Melbourne
1st Grade
(SLV 122_031)

His father also named Jim, has an interesting history.  He was born in South Australia in 1884  and his footballer son said that his father had played for both Port Adelaide and ‘Fremantle’, facts we were unable to verify but we did find his father had served in WWI.

Young Jim also said he played on the wing with the South Australian Schoolboys team in the national carnival held in Melbourne in 1924; this would have made him 11.  Well that year the carnival was played in Sydney and no trace can be found of him ever representing South Australia in a schoolboys carnival.  We also checked the 1926 South Australian Schoolboys team that did play in Melbourne to no avail.

Regardless, Jim was also good at cricket both as a wicket keeper and batsman and said he played in several representative teams.

It became obvious that this young fellow was  a talented sportsman and in 1935 the Sporting Globe said of him: “Jim Reid, the South Melbourne wing player has burst onto League football with a bang and surprised all the critics.  Formerly a Rugby player from Parkes, N.S.W. he felt that he would like to play the Australian game … Gordon Rattray, a  former  Fitzroy captain “bracketed him with Austin Roberston as the best man afield against Hawthorn”.  Another 1935 Sporting Globe article said “this season finds him more than holding his own with the best flanks in the game.”

His speed on the ground was quite often quoted.  He played on the wing with South and at one stage was said the be the fastest man in the game.  He is pictured here in the 1936 South Melbourne team at far right in the back row.  We thanks the State Library of Victoria for use of the image.

At the end of the 1935 season Reid said because he had no work he was returning to play Rugby and was sure he would be picked up by one of the Sydney clubs.  He also suggested he could quite easily claim a spot in the Australian side which was set to tour the UK.  He told the press he was offered the job as coach of the Parkes Rugby League team at £4 ($370 today) a week and this was 12 months after the club said they had received 100 applications for the position.

While newspaper articles carried the story, it was probably only a ruse to find him a job.  It worked, and he was quickly offered three positions – and this was deep in the time of the 1930s depression.  He took a job as a driver of an ice wagon.

In 1936 he again turned out for South playing seventeen of their twenty one games.  It was in this year, for the second successive season they were runner-up to Collingwood for the flag.

By this time his parents had moved from the Club House Hotel at Eugowra to another brewery pub, the Federal at Wallendbeen (near Harden).  His father by now was in his early fifties and a move back to Perth was on the drawing board.  He purchased or got himself a job in a newsagency in the Western Australian capital.

Young Jim also decided to make the move west and joined his family at the Agett Street Claremont address.  At 23 he had played 35 games for South Melbourne.

He signed with the Claremont Club and applied for a clearance.  Although he had completed the then compulsory 3 month residential qualification and said he had told at least three officials from the South Melbourne Club of his intention, his clearance was refused.

Following repeated requests South finally cleared Reid, with conditions.  Reid lived up to his reputation as a “speed merchant” helping Claremont to three successive premierships in 1938-40.  He missed selection in the 1939 team because of injury.

Reid was the club’s best and fairest in 1939-40 and also vice-captain of the team in 1940.  He represented Western Australia in the 1937 Carnival.

By 1941 WWII was well and truly underway and he enlisted in the army.  By this time too he was married.  Reid Remained in the services until his discharge in October 1945.

At 32 he made a comeback for Claremont whilst still in the army.  He was keen to get back in the saddle but his club were not what they were before the war.  He saw the season out and managed a handful of games the following year after which he retired.  He was made a life member of Claremont in 1946.

In 1948 he played with Boulder in the Goldfields League.  Used as a goalsneak he booted 52 goals in seven games.  He returned to Perth where he became football coach at his local police boys club and was noted about the same time hitting a quick century for the Claremont Cricket Club.

Reid died in 1983 aged 70.

Stan Day

Following months of searching we are slowly drilling down to the names on a 1932 NSW State photo which the Society inherited some time ago.

The image was taken at the MCG prior to a game against the VFL.

We were able to identify the majority of players by comparing the photo with both club and league images taken around the same time but there were four names with whom we had trouble.

An article in the local Broken Hill newspaper provided some joy in one being identified then after we sent an article and the photograph to the Narrandera Argus we had the son of one of the players in the team, Stan Day, who played for Narrandera at the time able to identify his father.

Stan Day 4A smallSth Melbourne Letter Stan Day 6AEssendon Letter Stan Day - Carlton thumbnailCarlton Letter

Not only that but he sent us some very historical letters Stan received from Essendon, South Melbourne and Carlton clubs asking him to go to Melbourne and try out for their senior sides.

Additionally there is a letter (not included here) from the secretary of the local league providing some info.

The information Stan’s son, Geoff, sent in opens another chapter on how VFL clubs of the day recruited players from areas distant to Melbourne.

Stan never did move to Melbourne but remained in Narrandera until his death, playing with the local side for many years as their star ruckman.

VFL Moves to Sydney

How long is it since South Melbourne relocated to Sydney and went on to become the Sydney Swans?

If you said thirty-three years you would be right.

They have now established themselves as part of the Sydney sporting scene, trend setters in a number of ways and accepted by many whom 30 years ago could not spell Australian football.  Of course now its the turn of GWS to make their mark in Sydney.

But those who orchestrated the move, who pushed the VFL into playing outside of Melbourne, a move which eventually led to the creation of a national competition?  Who were they? Well, they now have all but gone.

You might ask, who was it that came up with the Sydney idea and why?

The VFL president at the time, Allen Aylett, (pictured) certainly was in the box seat for the change and history will probably recognize him as the man responsible for change.

Allen is now 82 and there is no doubting his footballing talent.  He played 220 games with the North Melbourne club, captain and later president leading North to change its image from also-rans into that of a football powerhouse.

But the VFL had to tread on egg-shells in their effort, not so much to make a presence in Sydney, but to convince their clubs of the move, to overcome the straitlaced Victorian Government’s ‘no football on Sunday policy’ (apart from the VFA) and at the same time appease the struggling grass roots football fraternity in Sydney.

In 1980 the fractured NSW Football League administration met with Aylett and VFL General Manager, Jack Hamilton with regards to the possible establishment of a VFL club in Sydney.

The then erstwhile secretary of the NSWAFL, Kevin Taylor, a fastidious administrator who left no stone unturned in documenting a record of the meeting, gave a very factual account of the gathering in the league’s 1980 annual report which can be read here.

More specifically, Kevin’s record of the meeting and what was said is set out here.

Let us not forget that certainly in the first year of South Melbourne’s move to Sydney, the VFL:  rostered a Sydney Football League match as curtain raiser to the main game, paid the Sydney Football League $1,000 as compensation (for what is unsure) each time a VFL game was played at the SCG and most importantly negotiated with the VFL television carrier to telecast the match Australia wide.

And how will history judge Allen Aylett, the dentist who gave so much of his time and energy to change only to have his wings clipped by the VFL in 1983.  We hope people see Allen as a true champion and leader of our great game.

Alas these memories are soon cast aside as life moves on through time and some other issue grabs the attention of the footballing public.  But never so much as the time of the VFL’s move to Sydney.

HOW MANY REP GAMES CAN YOU PLAY?

Mick Grace smallNSW normally participates in one or two interstate games a year.  This then placates the representative faction so domestic football can continue.

However in 1910, the NSW Football League played an incredible eleven representative games over a six week period which restricted their home and away games and pushed the finals deep into September.

On three occasions during the season, the league had to field two representative teams on the same day just to fulfill their obligations.

It was no secret that the NSW Football League were poor managers of their finances and continually finished their seasons in the red.  The main reason for this was that many games were played on Moore Park, which was and still is an open and unfenced arena near Sydney central.  They might well have attracted 2-3,000 spectators to these free games but it didn’t reflect in the finances of the league when they were the ones who manned and took the gate.

Fortunately the league entered the 1910 season with a very rare surplus of one hundred and twenty three pounds ($246.00), thanks to a round robin series between South Melbourne, Geelong, Collingwood Clubs plus the NSW League state team in Sydney the previous year.  The then VFL clubs made no claim on the gate and left the entire amount with the league.

Queensland games were one source of continuing wastage.  Games would attract a poor crowd when they played in Sydney and conversely a big-hearted NSW would not make a full claim on the gate at their Brisbane matches.  In 1910, NSW played Queensland twice, once in Brisbane and an additional match in Sydney. In the middle of all these games, Queensland too played Riverina in Sydney, but were easily outclassed.

DATE

VENUE

NSW Team

Local Team Score

RESULT

OPPOSITION

SCORE

1910-06-11

Erskineville Oval

NSW

12-7 (7(9)

Lost

Nth Adelaide FC

18-12 (120)

1910-06-11

Brisbane

NSW

9-15 (69)

Won

Queensland

5-7 (37)

1910-06-15

Erskineville Oval

NSW

6-6 (42)

Lost

Nth Adelaide Fc

10-14 (74)

1910-07-30

Erskineville Oval

Comb Metro

9-11 (65)

Won

Nth Broken Hill FC

9-8 (62)

1910-08-10

Erskineville Oval

NSW

19-12 (128)

Won

Geelong FC

16-12 (108)

1910-08-13

Erskineville Oval

NSW

11-3 (69)

Lost

Geelong FC

16-12 (108)

1910-08-13

Erskineville Oval

NSW

6-8 (44)

Lost

Fitzroy FC

6-17 (53)

1910-08-17

Erskineville Oval

NSW

6-11 (47

Lost

Fitzroy FC

9-14 (68)

1910-08-20

Erskineville Oval

NSW

10-14 (74)

Won

Queensland

5-11 (41)

1910-08-20

Erskineville Oval

Comb Metro

13-21 (99)

Won

Riverina

8-4 (52)

1910-08-27

Erskineville Oval

Comb Metro

14-22 (106)

Won

Riverina

4-11 (35)

In this year the NSW League employed the services of Mick Grace as coach.  He was a very well known VFL footballer who had played with Fitzroy, Carlton and also St Kilda, the latter in a captain-coach capacity.

Grace lived in Sydney for almost two years, coaching NSW.  In 1911 he coached the state at the National Carnival ion Adelaide, but when he took ill, Grace returned to Melbourne where he died a year later from tuberculosis at the age of 37.  Although he was in the employ of the league, it is unknown who actually paid his salary but considering the league finished 1910 with a debt of one hundred and sixty six pounds ($332.00), the revenue stream of which included all the rep games, most h & a and finals – some of which attracted crowds in their thousands, it is difficult to say that they did not.

The acquisition of Erskineville Oval in 1910 was a real bonus for the league.  For the most part, it was the only ground where a gate could be charged with the then three remaining weekly fixtures played at different venues on the expansive Moore Park.

The league put up one hundred pounds ($200) to the trustees of Erskineville Park as rent in advance for the facility. (In that era, the old Erskineville Oval was located more west of the present site, about where the Department of Housing flats are situated with an east-west configuration.)

1909

1909In August 1909 three VFL teams, Collingwood, Geelong and South Melbourne visited Sydney to play a series of matches which included games against NSW.

They each brought their best teams with each of the games played at (the old) Erskineville Oval over a period of about two weeks.

That year, South Melbourne would go on to win the premiership, and remarkably enough, their game against NSW was very competitive.

Jack Incoll
Jack Incoll

Unlike the other two games (against Geelong & Collingwood), the South Melbourne encounter was played on a Saturday.  This very much impacted on the crowd and with one shilling entry (10c) plus an extra six pence (5c) to the stand, the game raised a gate of one hundred and twenty pounds ($240), certainly was not a bad take for the day.

NSW fielded about the best team available.  All players chosen were from Sydney.  One was Jack Incoll, a 30 year old Newtown player who had turned out for both  South Melbourne and Collingwood during the seasons prior to coming to Sydney.  Another, was team mate Con McCormack, a former Collingwood player who, at 31 had not lost his touch.

Con McCormack
Con McCormack

Balmain player Jack Ashley was selected in the forward pocket for NSW.  He was a big man who would go on to win the Magarey Medal playing for Port Adelaide a few years later.  So the NSW team was peppered with quite a number of talented players.

Of course Ralph Robertson, the mercurial East Sydney then North Shore player was almost a permanent fixture in the state team from 1903-14.  He had played for St Kilda as a youngster and was another who was in constant form.  Already there is a contemporary push to have him included in the AFL’s Hall of Fame.

NSW were two points down at quarter time, one point at the long break but let their opponents draw five goals ahead at three quarter time.  The Blues however rallied and were a chance to take the game but the bounce of the ball favoured South during the final term who went on to win 10-19 to 7-10.

The following Wednesday, NSW with six changes from their team of the previous weekend, put up a great performance.  Geelong had taken out the wooden spoon in 1908 and in 1909 finished second last.

The Blues led the Pivitonians at all of the breaks except the one that counted and were eventually defeated 15-12 (102) to 12-17 (89) before a mid week crowd which was described as ‘fair’.

The game against Collingwood was played on the following Wednesday, 18 September.  On this occasion NSW really had to squeeze to get their numbers. Eight of their regular representatives were not in the eighteen. In those days, people worked six days a week and even then, more hours than eight a day and yet it was this game that drew the biggest crowd.  The exact number is not enumerated but reports tell us that the attendance “was larger than that against South Melbourne, but the gate was about the same”.

All of the VFL teams made no claim on the gate which left the NSW League in the black at the end of the season.  They started the year with a debt of well over one hundred pounds ($200) which provided the opportunity for the League to further investigate, with now some justification, the purchase of a ground which would be their own.  But that is another, and a very, very interesting story.

The weakened NSW team had no chance against Collingwood where they could only manage three goals.  They were beaten 12-12 (84) to 3-10 (28).

It is interesting to read what the South Melbourne team got up to during their 1909 stay in Sydney:NSS Sobraon small

The South Melbourne team are having a splendid time, having enjoyed a *drag drive to Coogee on Wednesday, a launch trip to Middle Head on Thursday, launch trip to Parramatta, lunch a Correy’s Gardens on the return trip and an afternoon on board the **N.S.S. Sobraon yesterday, with a theatre party each evening since their arrival here.  At 10 o’clock this morning they leave the Hotel Grand Central for a drive round the Domain and Centennial Park.  There will be a theatre party after the match.”

*A drag was vehicular carriage normally pulled by four or six horses.  It had seats along the centre of its length facing outwards on each side.
**Sobraon was a ‘training ship’ for wayward boys.

 

First Junior Interstate Game for NSW

1908 FootballerDuring the early period of the twentieth century, in particular pre-WWI, limited junior football was played of a weekend in Sydney although it was played in some schools.

The weekend junior football competition was called the Young Australian Football Association and was separately administered to the league. Up to 1909 this consisted of one age group but an attempt was made in this year to have a new Under 17 grade as well as the Under 20s. Unfortunately, the former could not attract enough teams and were combined with the Under 20 competition.

So in 1909 the Young Australian competition was made up of YMCA, Newtown, Marrickville, Ryde, Drummoyne, Sydney, Balmain and Paddington.

Early in the season a letter was received from the Queensland Young Australian League suggesting that the two play a representative game.

Officials in Sydney thought this a good idea and asked that such a match be scheduled as a curtain raiser to a match between South Melbourne FC and a Combined Sydney side on Saturday, August 7 at Erskineville Oval.

A team comprising of Phelan, Watson, Allman, Kerwin and Marshall (Paddington), Stevens, Ratcliffe, Cole (Drummoyne), McLaren and Kinninment (Balmain), Page and Mack (Sydney), Provan and Blackburn (Newtown), Mitchell and Gil Priestley (YMCA), Billington (Ryde) Reid (Marrickville) was selected.

NSW won the game 15-14 (104) to Queensland’s 4-7 (31).  Goalkickers for NSW were: Ratcliffe 5, Marshall 4, Blackburn, Allman, Page, Kerwin, McLaren and Kinninmont 1 each.

Because a further representative game was planned a few days later between NSW and Geelong, it was decided to keep the Queensland boys in Sydney to play an additional match against their nemesis.

This game was also played at Erskineville Oval however unlike the South Melb Fc game, this one was before a poor mid week crowd.  NSW juniors failed to live up to their previous week’s form and were surprisingly beaten by Queensland, 5-4 (34) to 4-5 (29). The game was a tight low scoring encounter played in blustery conditions.  Goalkickers for NSW were: Ashton, Trivett, Barnes and McDonald 1 each.  Best included Trivett, Barnes, Ashton, Lyons, McDonald, Mahoney, Muir and Chapman.

The NSW team which was made up with: Mahoney, Gray, McDonald (Paddington), McDonald, Chapman (Paddington II), Pierrie (Sydney), Delaney, Creighton (Balmain), Trivett, Barnes (Ryde), Matthews, Lynch (Marrickville), Muir (Drummoyne), Ashton, Debron, Barry (Newtown), Searle (unknown).

It would appear that selectors chose a second eighteen to play Queensland.  None of those selected participated in the first game.

NSW and Queensland have gone to play many, many junior matches since.

1961

The 1961 season in Sydney was one full of action, the employment of a full time employee, the tragic death of an up and coming footballer, accusations of missing money, stuff ups in the final series but best of all, great football.

This is a long read, so grab a cup of coffee and sit down a learn a bit of Sydney footy history.

Sydney University were readmitted to the competition but not in the first grade.Uni Blues, Uni Bolds,   Instead they  fielded two teams in the reserve grade: Uni Blues and Uni Golds.  Neither won the premiership but cleaned up in the League Best & Fairest, the Sanders Medal, with the top three places going to Uni players.

Balmain failed to turn up for a pre-season game against North Shore at Trumper Park.  This brought their tenure in the competition under some scrutiny.  The following week they came out and cleaned up the strong Eastern Suburbs club by four goals in round 1.

The competition started with a dramatic change to 16-aside, a decision which was continually ridiculed as being anti-football and almost unAustralian until the league was almost forced to revert to the normal 18 per team, mid season.

Long term Sydney tough player and coach, Jack Armstrong, turned his hand to umpiring and was ultimately appointed to the competition’s 1st semi final..

South Melbourne FC defeated a combined Sydney team 17.29 (131) to 6.6. (42) at Trumper Park before a good crowd on 28 May.

Eventual premiers, North Shore, kicked 2.13 (25) to defeat the lowly Bankstown side 2.11 (23).  This was one of the lowest post WWII scores in Sydney football.

Bankstown were known by the very bizarre name as the Boomerangs.  Western Suburbs were the Pirates, Balmain the Magpies, St George the Tigers and North Shore the Bears.

There was an Umpires strike in round 15 but football went ahead with the league using stand-in personnel.  The forty year old South Sydney captain-coach, Jack Atkins, umpired a second grade game then backed up as boundary for the firsts only to eventually replace central umpire, the University and NSW coach, Frank Bird, who broke down.

The competition was shocked when 20 year old soldier, Roger Challis, was killed whilst hitch hiking from Puckapunyal in Victoria to play with the South Sydney club.  This talented full forward had played in the Sydney team against South Melbourne the previous month.  He was buried at the Waverley Cemetery with full Military Honours.  Read Football Records article here.

In a bit of embarrassing news, the league full time secretary, Jack Holman, was reported to be admitted to hospital in July. The Football Record had to print a retraction when Jack, who never did get there, had several people visit the hospital and others send get-well wishes and flowers with many wondering where he was.  We guess they could have accepted this had it happened on April 1.

The Australian Football Club Limited (a licensed club venture) held weekly get togethers at Aarons Hotel in Pitt Street.  Membership was an expensive thirty shillings per year ($3).  Sylvania accountant and league board member, Arthur Davey was the prime mover in this project which never did get off the ground.

The league relocated their offices from the NSW Sports Club in Hunter Street, Sydney to Trumper Park, Paddington.

Western Suburbs club were granted a liquor licence, the first for an Australian football club in NSW.  Future league long term president, Bill Hart was in his eighth season as football club secretary at Wests.

A Parramatta Club was formed in July with Ron Cameron elected its president, Kevin Little secretary and Peter Clark, the treasurer.  They adopted pale blue and white as their colours with a jumper design in alternate panel colours.  The meeting was held at the Parramatta Town Hall.  This new club had a four goal win against Newcastle at Trumper Park on 2 September.

In the popular annual Army v Navy game at Trumper Park, the Navy side recorded an easy 14.18 to 11.12 win with all proceeds raised on the day going to the Royal NSW Institute for the Deaf and Blind Children.

The game received good media coverage after reportedly securing the services of a promotion company, Recreation International, to market the game in Sydney.

The last round saw St George, South Sydney and Eastern Suburbs all on equal points in fourth place.  Saints had to play the stronger third placed Sydney Naval in their final game, Souths were opposed the seventh place, Western Suburbs while East were up against the hapless Liverpool team.

St George lost, Souths had a 10 goal win over Wests but Easts belted Liverpool by 165 points to grab fourth place with a percentage 122.2 just in front of South Sydney’s 120.0.  Souths therefore missed their opportunity to play in the finals for the first time since 1949 when, ironically, they were beaten by Easts by one point in the first semi.

Voting for the Phelan, Sanders and Kealey Medals, league B & F Medals, was counted on the second semi final day at Trumper Park with the winners announced over the PA system.  How times have changed.

And now for the fun….

Newtown FC protested the result of their six point preliminary final loss to Sydney Naval at Trumper Park when it was revealed that the siren sounded 12 MINUTES early to end the first quarter.

This came about when the president of marching girls team (who were to perform at half time), plugged her music into the power board and when she tested it, pressed the wrong switch which sounded the siren.  Nothing could be done because the players stopped and changed ends (there was no quarter time huddles then).

This certainly caused an conundrum with officials quickly deciding to spread those 12 minutes over the next three quarters, but they failed to tell anyone.  Was that a wise move, AND, was it within the rules or maybe a situation like this had not been considered possible?

(But wait, theres more…)  To add insult to injury, at the end of the game the (only) central umpire failed to hear the final siren with both teams level on 88 points.  Sydney Naval player, Jack Harding had  marked 40m out but his kick failed to reach the goal just as the siren sounded.  Oblivious to this, umpire Colbert called “play on” which allowed Naval player, Alan Waack to gather the ball and boot a goal.  Sydney Naval by six points!

The umpire even returned to the centre of the ground for the bounce before he acknowledged ‘time’.

The Newtown protest was upheld and the game replayed.  By the way, the marching girls raised a goodly twenty pounds ($40) in their blanket collection for the day.

Another calamity happened in the replay
When starting to pack up towards the end of the replayed preliminary final, league acting secretary, Joe Boulus in dismantling the public address system, accidentally sounded the siren 8 MINUTES before the end of the last quarter – don’t you just hate that?  League Vice President, George Henry, jumped the fence and ran to tell the umpire but it was too late.  Sydney Naval won 10.14 (74) to 7.10 (52).

No protest was lodged after this game.

This impediment put the grand final back a week and because Trumper Park was unavailable and the only ground of some consequence which the league could use was the RAS Showground at Moore Park.  So, on the same day, the Rugby Union held their grand final on the Sydney Sports Ground, the NSW Rugby League grand final on the SCG and the AFL decider next door.  All grounds adjoin each other so besides general bedlam, parking and public transport would have been at a premium.

On top of all this was the resignation of the treasurer in June when it was revealed that the accounts were in a mess.  This was quickly followed by the suspension of the full time secretary when questions were asked about missing money and work that simply had not been done.  But all this will be told in a later story.  Your eyes must be getting sore?

Oh by the way, we have activated our Twitter account.  You can follow us there.