1930s in Sydney

1930 football in Sydney was a period of much dissent yet was also a time when more images of action photographs began to appear in newspapers.

Here is one in a match between the Eastern Suburbs Club and Newtown at Trumper Park taken in early June 1930.  Easts players are in the striped jumpers.

Ironically the sight of the two tenement houses in Roylston Street, at the eastern end of the ground is again captured in this image.  These two houses, which you could have picked up for a couple of hundred pounds (probably for both) are featured in so many football photos taken at Trumper Park over the years.  We doubt if many of us could afford them now.

Click here for a look at Trumper Park today taken from the Glenmore Road end.  A far cry from its fabulous days when it catered for Sydney’s best football.

Early in that decade, South Sydney threatened to leave the league.  Where they would go is unknown but the league was ready to advertise for another side to take their place should they have left.  One reason given by the club for their decision was the omission of their star rover, Jimmy Stiff, from the state team which participated in the Adelaide Carnival.

However a ballot was taken of all the senior players at Souths who resolved to continue playing.

South Sydney were minor premiers in that year although were defeated by Newtown in the grand final.  Souths won the reserves competition.

A glimpse of the schools playing in 1930 include: Stanmore, Daceyville, Ultimo, Maroubra Junction, Kogarah, Hurstville and Gardeners Road.  A team playing in the ‘junior’ competition was called ‘Central Band of Hope’, heaven knows where they hailed from.

Twenty thousand attended a match between Richmond and Carlton at the SCG.  These clubs divided 66.23% of the gate between themselves.

More to come of the 1930s decade.

What Happened to It?

Australian Football GroundWe have written before about the grand ground that the NSW Football League owned between 1911-15 and recently more has come to light about the facility.  This article was published in a Sydney newspaper in April 1912:

“This will be a memorable week in the history of Australia’s national game in Sydney. Why? Because on Saturday next will be a celebration opening the new Australian Football Ground at Alexandria. And what a ground! My! I was astonished on visiting it last. Saturday to see the wonderful improvements carried out in just a few months.

Quite an army of men have been employed for the past nine months, and the work reflects the greatest credit on Messrs. Polin and Preshaw, the architects, and Mr. Tom Sheeley, who has had superintendence of the work. A beautifully turfed oval, with a playing space of 200 yards by 150 yards (the finest in Australasia). This is a big thing to say, but it is a fact. And the grandstand to seat 1500, with training rooms, officials rooms, bathrooms, 1 press accommodation, which is fitted up on the model of the latest modern improvements.1912-04-17 Sydney Sportsman p.2 - Ad for Ground Opening thumbnail

Those in control are to be congratulated on their business acumen and foresight, as they have looked years ahead, and when in the course of time they see crowds of seventy or eighty thousand assembled around the arena, then they will feel that their efforts have been rewarded.

The members tickets for the ground have been selling like hotcakes this month, and amongst the subscribers, who will have their names on the honour board, are the whole of the members of the Victorian and South Australian Leagues.

Mr. Albert E. Nash, one of the finest amateur sports in this city, has a scheme to propound within a few days which he expects will add 500 members to the ground list before the first day of May. The opening match on the ground next Saturday at 3 p.m., will be between the Premiers (East Sydney) and runners-up (Sydney) and from all accounts as grand a game as the final of last season may be expected.

The Botany trams will carry visitors to the gates, first, stop city side of Gardiner’s (sic) road, 2d (2c) fare from railway.”

We shall try to explain how the ground was lost to the code in our next aricle.


Additionally, an interesting slice of information from around the same period (1914) was the production by the South Sydney Club of a form of Football Record, providing the names and numbers of their players together with a score chart:

“South Sydney improved on their type-written dips of the previous week, giving the names and numbers of their players by having them printed, also having a scoring table attached. There were many encomiums passed on the innovation, which, it is to be hoped, will be taken up by all the other clubs. The hon. secretary, Mr, Hughes, and the members of the team are to be complimented on the business-like manner in which they conduct their affairs.”

The Mr Hughes referred to here is Cyril Hughes, an engineer/draughtsman, who was South Sydney’s secretary at the time.  He would later go on to serve in the army at Gallipoli and eventually survive the war only to be returned to the war site at Gallipoli where, as a Lieutenant Colonel, he and his staff mapped out the graves and dead.  They also planned and erected a monument to the slain.  Hughes was featured in Russell Crowe’s recent film, Water Diviner.