Playing long balls into empty space since 2012.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

IYKYH 17/10/19


Mark Boric Express

Acknowledged by Simon Hill

Sadly, Paul Nicholls won't be able to tune in tonight or for the subsequent three weeks. But the good reason is that he is enrolled in a creative writing course which will only benefit himself and his growing readership.

Map and memorials with Paul.

I've received some excel spreadsheets from Tony Persoglia and I will soon start compiling the stats for Melbourne soccer in the 19C.

biographical focus

Reg Date -- League-soccer challenge

Soccer and War

Les Clisby: some notes

Telegraph, 27 April 1936, page 13

Young Pilot Eligible to Become a "Caterpillar" SYDNEY, April 27.
The young Air Force pilot (Mr. L. R. Clisby), who saved his life with a parachute when a Moth plane crashed at Poing Cook on Friday, is eligible for membership of the Caterpillar Club. The Caterpillar Club was formed In America by a leading parachute maker, Irvin. It is the most "exclusive" organisation in the world. Its members are those who have saved lives from planes by a parachute. At present there is only one Australian member. Flight Lieutenant W. G. Rae, of No. 3 Squadron, Richmond. He became a "caterpillar" when the wing of the Bulldog Fighter he was flying at Point Cook commenced to give way in the air, and taking to his parachute, he saved himself.

Australian Christian Commonwealth 17 July 1936
report of a wedding 
Mr. Les. Clisby, the young airman who had such a miraculous escape from death when his 'plane buckled in the air, and landed with the aid parachute at Point Cook recently, was best man

Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), Friday 12 April 1940, page 14

Soccer Clubs Practise For Opening Of Season
Soccer Player In R.A.F. 
At the weekly meeting of the Northumberland and Durham Club on Tuesday night reference was made to the great feat performed by a former member of the club, Les Clisby, who as reported In 'The Advertiser,' brought down three German planes 'somewhere in Europe.' It was resolved to send Clisby a letter of appreciation showing the club's in terest in his performance, and congratulating him on his achievement. It was also decided to write a tetter of appreciation to his mother. Another ex N. and D. player mentioned in the news in connection with aerial exploits on the German frontier is Millington who, when he entered the R.A.F. was a member of the Ascot Park Club. Nearly all the old players — Roper is a notable exception — have signed on for the season and Allen will assist when required.

Died 14 May, only a month after this notice

League v Soccer Challenge 1946

This is a nice piece and is worth contrasting with a similar moment 18 years later in Melbourne when the stars of the VFL took on champion Melbourne team Slavia-Port Melbourne in a charity match at Olympic Park,

It speaks of a more generous time or perhaps a more generous culture in which Rugby League and soccer players could meet in a spirit of good fellowship. Moreover it seems a culture in which players were more adaptable to another code. In the Melbourne game, the VFL footballers were reportedly all at sea in a game that at least superficially appears more soccer-like than Rugby League.

Daily Telegraph 23 September 1946, page 22
Headaches For League MenBy GEORGE CRAWFORD
Canterbury Rugby League players, having their first ex perience in Soccer yesterday, finished the game with headaches after trying to head the ball. They defeated Canterbury Soccer team 22-20 in a 50-50 Rugby League-Soccer match at Henson Park.  
The first half of the match was Rugby League, and the second half Soccer. Three points were awarded for each goal — equivalent to a try — in the Soccer session. The Rugby League team led 19-5 at, the end of the Rugby League session. The Soccer team scored five goals to one in the Soccer session. Strange things happen in such freak matches.  
Yesterday, Soccer champion Reg Date was the star in the Rugby League session. Playing at outside-centre, he cut through with the skill of a Test player. Veteran Rugby League player Henry Porter was the star in the Soccer session, playing at right-back. North Sydney Rugby League secretary (Mr. Reg Bowd) said: "Date would have made a Rugby League Test centre."  
Soccer ex-international, J. ("Bully") Hughes said: "Porter is the first player I have seen this year to bottle-up Date.''

100 Years ago today 17 October 1919

Illawarra Mercury (Wollongong, NSW : 1856 - 1950), Friday 17 October 1919, page 2

Adamstown and Koira met in the Nurse Cup Competition at Woonona on Saturday last. The former won after an exciting game by 1 goal to nil. In the same competition Balgownie played the Y.M.C.A. (Sydney), both teams on a previous occasion having played a draw. The game resulted in a draw, neither side scoring. A fine exhibition of football was shown by both sides. Woonona meet Cockatoo Dock in the Nurse Cup Competition at Woonona on Saturday,
The following is the draw for Saturday, 18th in the third grade division : — Gwynneville v, Port Kembla at the Port, C. Gilmore, referee ; Unanderra v. Dapto at Dapto, A. Robb, referee.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Soccer Footage at the Australian War Memorial

This post records some of the footage of substantial soccer content at the Australian War Memorial. They take two forms. The first is actual footage of soldiers playing soccer. The second is speeches in which Australian soccer soldiers are memorialised.

1. Footage of Australian forces playing soccer

  1. RAF Station Salbani, West Bengal, India ... Starting from around 3.10, Crew soccer team with their RAF coach Flight Officer Sid and soccer match. 434840 Flight Sergeant Mick Pullen a North Melbourne Australian Rules football player tries to stop a penalty (and does a really shit job). 
  2. Visits to war graves, Sandakan North Borneo and Bougainville. Includes soccer footage of Australian team around 4.00.

2. The following Australian servicemen died on active duty and the recordings linked are speeches of their commemoration. 

Each played soccer as their only code of football. Some listed below only played at a significant junior level whereas others reached a high level. The material here is probably more important for the textual story told rather than the actual footage. It is interesting that the Memorial focuses on their soccer careers.
  1. The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (18797) Corporal Ronald John Engstrom, 1 Field Squadron, Royal Australian Engineers, Vietnam War.
  2. The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (8513334) Lance Corporal Todd John Chidgey, 2 Commando Regiment, Afghanistan.
  3. The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (2786939) Second Lieutenant Terrence Edward Langlands, 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, Vietnam War.
  4. The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (213) Private Francis Williams, 34th Battalion, AIF, First World War. Frank 'Goub' Williams played for West Wallsend.
  5. The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of Chaplain Squadron Leader Gordon Gladstone Wood, Overseas Headquarters London, Royal Australian Air Force, Second World War.
  6. The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (429286) Warrant Officer William Bruce Judd, No. 207 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War.
  7. The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (420215) Warrant Officer George William Liels, No. 454 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, Second World War
  8. The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (185458) Lance Corporal Shannon McAliney, 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, Somalia
  9. The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of Captain Peter James McCarthy, Royal Australian Corps of Transport, Australian Army, UN Middle Eastern Operations 1988.
  10. The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (481) Squadron Leader Peter St George Bruce Turnbull, No. 76, Second World War.
  11. The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (VX77341) Lance Sergeant Abraham Bezalel Beth-Halevy, 2/12th Battalion , Second World War. Played for the Palestine team that touredAustralia in 1939. He remained in Australia but saw the war as an opportunity to fight against Nazism.
  12. The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (SX7429) Corporal James Hinson, 2/48th Infantry Battalion, Second World War. AWM claims he represented Australia. Played for Birkalla Rovers in Adelaide.

Friday, 11 October 2019

Soccer at the Front: the 34th v The Tommies

This is a tremendous article that relays a letter from Peter Coppock, the Australian soldier and Merewether Advance footballer who participated in a game between the 34th Battalion from Maitland and a team of English soldiers (Tommies). It speaks to the importance of soccer to this group of Australian soldiers and their qualities as players. The letter reveals Coppock's good humour and also to some extent his modesty (downplaying his achievements). As a tragic footnote to the story, Coppock survived the rigours of the war only to be struck and killed by lightning in 1922, after his return to Newcastle.

Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate, 4 February 1918, page 3

Mr. W. B. Tamlyn, secretary to the Northern Association, has received a long and interesting letter from Peter Coppock, the ex-Merewether and inter-State half back. Peter comments on Soccer matters in general, and says either Wallsend or Weston Alblons would win the competition. He was a good Judge, as these two teams met in the final, Wallsend, it will be remembered, winning 2 goals to nil. The versatile Peter states that he selected a team to play some R.F.A. Tommies. He had a job to get a team, but succeeded, and the following is an account of the game, which was played just behind the lines: The 34th Battalion (or Coppock's team) won the toss, gaining no advantage neither sun nor wind being in evidence. The Tommies Immediately attacked, but Taylor surprised them and put the ball well down the field to Bates. The winger got across a beautiful centre, but the forwards were too slow, and the Tommies' backs cleared the danger. Jones, however, banged the ball back, and it was sent just over the bar. The next few seconds found the Tommies' centre forward making towards the 34th goal. He tricked Lovett, the ex-Teralba boy, and closing in beat goaly Sneddon, and so the Tommies led one to nil. This reverse stirred the 34th up, and they hotly attacked. A lot of bustling took place near the Tommies' goal, and Messenger had bad luck with a quick shot, which hit the post and bounced out again to Jones, who, closing quickly in, put through, thus making the scores one all. Excitement was very high, the supporters of the 34th making themselves heard, and shouting out all sorts of odds on the 34th, but the Tommies indulged in some splendid passing bouts, and for a time had the 34th tied up, but Sneddon in goal could not be beaten, and the interval score was one goal each. 

Starting the second half, the colonials made for the Tommies' goal, and things were very willing. The Tommies' goaly was in good form, and always appeared to be in the right spot. James put in a good shot, but this was sent well up the field. Lovett and Taylor were defending well, and sent the ball back. The Tommies' right back jumped up to head the greasy ball, which glanced off his head to Harris, who put out to Bates, whose good centre made matters very exciting. The general mix-up in the Tommies' goal area caused a great deal of laughter. On one occasion there were three players on top of the ball, and the Tommies' full back put it out with his hand, but the referee did not see the offence, and the 34th claims for a penalty were ignored. The ball was eventually sent clear, but Jones put in a hot shot; which hit and broke the upright. The game was delayed for a few minutes until the wounded post was repaired. Resuming, the Tommies made for the 34th goal, and from a suspicious looking offside position their inside scored their second goal. Referee "'Buggie" White's decision for a goal caused him to be strifed by the 34th supporters. The colonials were not yet beaten, and made desperate attempts to draw level, but luck and the Tommies' good goalkeeper kept them out. The last few minutes of the game were all in the 34th favour, but no further score took place, and the Tommies had won a hard fought game by 2 to 1. The 34th, though beaten, were not disgraced. The Tommies' team have not been defeated, and the hard game played was a great surprise to all who saw it. Peter says it reminded him of the games 'twixt Morowether and West Wallsend, Cessnock and Weston. 

The 34th team was: A. Sneddon (Cessnock), goal; E. L .Taylor (Cessnock), H. Lovett (Teralba), backs; F. W. James (West Wallsend), W. Jones (Adamstown), P. G. Coppock (Merewether), half-backs; T. Pease (Adamstown), R, A. Bates (Minmi), J. Brady, E. Messenger, and Harris, forwards. "Buggie" White was selected to play, but arrived late, and so was persuaded to act as referee, and did his work, so Coppock says, well. A. White, the ex-Adamstown player, was selected, but did not play. The colonials' colours were blue and gold.

The above should be very interesting, practically all the 34th team being Newcastle Soccerites. Peter concludes his letter by saying he is quite well, and sends good wishes to all his Soccer friends. He also adds a P.S. to say he had been awarded the Military Medal for doing his duty in the battlefield. All join in congratulating this Soccer soldier on the honour conferred on him. Though Peter says it was for doing his duty, yet it is good to know he could do it so well as to merit the honour he received. He also signs himself lance-corporal, but does not say when he received that rank. Coppock is not the first Newcastle Soccerite to win the M.M. Steine, the ex-Wallsend player, recieved the award some months ago.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Five Oz soccer books

A sample of the books I considered as possible inclusions.

Asked by Jason, a listener to If You Know Your History for advice about good soccer books to read, Paul and I have come up with our own lists of 5 (possibly mutually exclusive -- though who knows?).

Disclaimer: I am not trying to say the books I list are the best or most important books about oz soccer. They are merely books that are worth reading for differing reasons. Many of them are books that should be on the shelves of soccer clubs around Australia. And before you @ me, this is a personal list of books that have spoken to me and I know I have left off books that others would have at number 1.

Give us your 5!

Reasons for reading. The following criteria are useful:

  1. revealing untold stories
  2. correcting badly told stories
  3. simply entertaining
  4. important analysis
  5. personal/emotional power
These are my books in order (I'll read from the bottom)

  1. Mosely, Philip. Soccer in New South Wales, 1880–1980. Bannockburn and Carlton North, Vic.: Sports and Editorial Services Australia in association with Vulgar Press, 2014. 1,2,4
  2. Williamson, John. Soccer Anzacs: The Story of Caledonian Soccer Club. Applecross, WA, John Williamson, 1998. 1, 2, 4, 5
  3. Maynard, John. The Aboriginal Soccer Tribe: A History of Aboriginal Involvement with the World Game. Broome: Magabala, 2011. (Recently updated and published by Fair Play) 1, 2, 4, 5
  4. Hay, Roy and Bill Murray. A History of Football in Australia, Melbourne, Hardie Grant, 2014. 1, 2, 4
  5. Gorman, Joe. The Death and Life of Australian Soccer. Brisbane: University of Queensland Press, 2017. 1, 2, 4
Honourable mentions
  • Deans, Adrian. Mr Cleansheets. Melbourne: Vulgar, 2012. 3,5
  • Andy Howe's Encyclopedia of Socceroos. (published by Fair Play)  1, 2
  • Peter Kunz Chronicles of Soccer in Australia - The Foundation Years, 1859 to 1949 (published by Fair Play) 1, 2
  • Peter Allen's book on Reg Date (which I haven't read)
  • Kallinikios, John. Soccer Boom: The Transformation of Victorian Soccer Culture, 1945–1963. Sydney: Walla Walla Press, 2007. 1,2,4
  • Warren, John with Andy Harper and Josh Whittington. Sheilas, Wogs and Poofters: An Incomplete Biography of Johnny Warren and Soccer in Australia. Sydney: Random, 2002. 1, 2, 4, 5
List of Australian soccer book references from my book, The Game That Never Happened

  • Gorman, Joe. The Death and Life of Australian Soccer. Brisbane: University of Queensland Press, 2017.
  • Grant, Sidney James. Jack Pollard’s Soccer Records. Sydney: Jack Pollard, n.d. [1974].
  • Hay, Roy and Bill Murray. A History of Football in Australia, Melbourne, Hardie Grant, 2014.
  • Hay, Roy and Ian Syson. The Story of Football in Victoria. Melbourne: Football Federation Victoria, 2009.
  • Hudson, Chris. A Century of Soccer, 1898-1998: A Tasmanian History. Hobart: Peacock, 1998. 
  • Kallinikios, John. Soccer Boom: The Transformation of Victorian Soccer Culture, 1945–1963. Sydney: Walla Walla Press, 2007.
  • Kreider, Richard. The Soccerites. Perth: SportsWest Media, 2005.
  • Mangan, Patrick. Offsider. Melbourne: Victory, 2010.
  • Maynard, John. The Aboriginal Soccer Tribe: A History of Aboriginal Involvement with the World Game. Broome: Magabala, 2011.
  • Mosely, Philip. Soccer in New South Wales, 1880–1980. Bannockburn and Carlton North, Vic.: Sports and Editorial Services Australia in association with Vulgar Press, 2014.
  • Murphy, Brendan. From Sheffield With Love. York, UK: SportsBooks, 2007.
  • Thompson, Trevor. One Fantastic Goal: A Complete History of Football in Australia. Sydney: ABC Books, 2006.
  • Warren, John with Andy Harper and Josh Whittington. Sheilas, Wogs and Poofters: An Incomplete Biography of Johnny Warren and Soccer in Australia. Sydney: Random, 2002.
  • Williamson, John. Soccer Anzacs: The Story of Caledonian Soccer Club. Applecross, WA, John Williamson, 1998.

IYKYH 10/10/19

I want to start with a shout out.

It's my mother's birthday today. Happy birthday mum! She's 82 and yesterday I had my first sensible conversation with her in nearly a year. The dementia seems not to have had as deep a hold as we had thought. Fingers crossed for more improvement.

Notes and clean up
1. Mark Boric Express
2. Mark Boric and the Alec Barr incident.
On Tuesday, Fairfax published a sokkahriotz piece written by Alec Barr from 1960. On the piece's 59th anniversary. #sokkahtwitter went nuts of course (with some justification imho). Vince Rugari morphed into contrarian mode and it was hitting the fan. 
I made the point that while we complain about soccer history missing from the papers we probably didn't mean this kind of history. I'm happy to cop the bad stories as long as the good get a run as well.
Boric on Alec Barr
Twitter thread
He was also jailed for killing a couple of pedestrians with his car in a tram zone.
Mark's important point was made in another tweet:

[Barr] would have liked the A-league model and loved Victory having a Scottish song. But in his constant highlighting of every single incident of trouble brought on by the temperamental/volatile immigrants he is also responsible for the stigma that still remains against the game. 
While we accept that such historical pieces need to be resurrected from time to time, we need also to acknowledge that the conditions in which they were written and published were skewed by prejudice and bias.
3. Paul Nicholls has made a call for the FA trophy to be resurrected as the trophy for the proposed second division

4. Moment of frivoility
Andrew Urry: The prize is that you get announced on @ifyouknowyourh2 tonight as a gentleman of wit, wisdom and observational excellence. OK?

5. Paul's map.

6. A more important tweet was the following:
This makes me sad for two reasons: 1) Joe has dumped soccer and 2) people who think he hated wogball clearly haven't read this. The Forgotten Story of ... South Melbourne and Middle Park
Since Monday evening, over 15,000 impressions and 660 engagements. It's the third most engaged tweet I've ever made. 
(The second was a promo for my appearance on Foxtel and the first was a stern response to an Irish journo who said something quite silly about a passage of play in Gaelic football match)
The response speaks to the importance of Joe Gorman as a writer and journalist and the extent to which the game has lost an important figure, one who was able to create "mythology based on fact", something the game still cries out for.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

100 years ago today 10 October 1919

Independent (Footscray, Vic. : 1883 - 1922), Saturday 11 October 1919, page 3

..... "Soccer" Player Returns. Mrs. Dunlop, of 13 Herbert-street, has received word that her son, Driver J. H. Dunlop, is returning home on the Ajana. Driver Dunlop, who is attached to the 6th Army Field Artillery Brigade, has been on active service almost four years. Prior to enlisting he was employed by Mr. Mayall. Another brother, Wilson Dunlop, was killed at Bullecourt in 1917. Both boys were members of the Scotch Thistle Soccer Club.

Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954), Saturday 11 October 1919, page 8

EIGHT-HOUR DEMONSTRATION. The full programme of the Eight-hour demonstration, to be held on the New castle Show Ground on Monday, November 17, is advertised to-day. The procession will start from Watt-street, and proceed by way of Hunter-street, to Denison street. The sports programme contains many attractive items, including'a boxing contest, and a Soccer football match be twcen Sydney and Newcastle and Maitland combined team. Numerous dancing events are also provided, and there will also be an exhibition of high jumping. Liberal prizes are offered for the best displays.

Geraldton Guardian (WA : 1906 - 1928), Tuesday 14 October 1919, page 2

The Cricket Season.— The opening of the cricket season took the form of a scratch match on Saturday at Queens Park between teams captained by Messrs Gibson and McDonald respectively. A close and interesting game resulted in the former winning by the narrow margin of two runs. Meetings will be held to-morrow night at the Victoria Hotel to form a Geraldton club and to complete the formation of the Soccer players club.

Queensland Times (Ipswich, Qld. : 1909 - 1954), Friday 10 October 1919, page 7

FlOOTBALL NOTES. BRITISH ASSOCIATION GAME. It is pleasing to note that the miners of the Bundanba area are thinking of starting a collery competition, and intend playing the British Association game. This should brighten the pros pects of the Soccer code for the next year. The Bush Rats are to be complimented on winning the Charity Shield this year. They put up a great game against St. Helen's, 1 to nil being the result of a hard fought game. Mr. D. A. Gledson, M.L.A., presented the winners at the close of the match with the shield The association secretary (Mr. T. T. Mereer) states that the Ipswich executive recently had a visit from a delegate from the Brisbane Q.B.F.A., in the person of Mr. Hurst, a former noted player of Soccer. Mr. Hurst made mention of rival games which he had played in 30 years ago, on the old Ipswich reserve, and against the Bush Rats at Dinmore. Mr. Mercer states that the Ipswich executive is endeavourlng to arrange for a match with the premiers of Brisbane, the competing teams would be the Pineapple Rovers and the Blackstone Rovers, the latter being the premiers of West Moreton. This will, doubtless, provide a treat for Soccerites.


North-Eastern Advertiser, Tuesday 16 April 1940, page 3

... Football with an international flavor has been added to the sporting activities of the A.I.F. The first match ot this kind was played by a scratch soccer team from an infantry battalion, and the Rishon Maccabi team at Rishon Le Zion.
Leave was granted to more than 100 men to attend the match and give vocal support to the A.I.F. team.
Of the social aspect of the match the district paper said: 'Local-style refreshments end produce were pro minent and did much to lend cheer to the occasion.' Perhaps it should be explained that a large brewery is situated at Rishon.
The outing was one of the most enjoyable the troops hare had in Palestine. The Australian team had never played together before, bat put up a good showing, the final score being 3 to 1 against them.
Their uniforms were varied and ragged, but this is to be remedied as soon as the Comforts Fund can obtain sweaters and trousers in the appropriate colors. Football boots are also scarce. For this game a thirty mile trip had to be made to a famous Scottish regiment to borrow them.
As soccer is universally played throughout Palestine, games of other codes are restricted to inter-regimental fixtures. However there is a good number of soccer men in the force, especially among the units from the coalfields. In the Australian team there were two ex-Imperial army men, a Cameron Highlander and a Royal Fusilier. The last named, Sergeant Monty Stems, is incidentally the first member of the 2nd A.I.F. to collect a medal.