Playing long balls into empty space since 2012.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Day 5: On Our Way to Wembley

The seemingly indefatigable Todd Blackwell picked me up from the Premier Hotel at 930 on 17 September and we drove through light Newcastle traffic to Johnston Park, the home of Westy, West Wallsend FC.The ground reminded me a little of some outer suburban Melbourne grounds that are nestled in bush settings.

Johnston Park, 'Wembley', the home of West Wallsend FC
However, this one - affectionately known as Wembley (some wag's response to another ground in Newcastle being named Crystal Palace?) - is different. It has the feeling of historical permanence. It's been here a while and is not going to be used for any purpose other than football in a hurry. It will be getting a brand new electronic scoreboard (situated to the right of the photo) in the coming months. The board will be named in memory of the young club rising talent Jaryd Hayter who died tragically at work.

I travelled to Wembley as part of my ongoing process of trying to come to grips with the strength of Newcastle soccer culture. Here I met Bob Hepplewhite (groundsman, caretaker, club legend) who led us around the clubrooms with a torch (power was cut for repairs). Bob apologised profusely for this and for the fact that the club hadn't seemed to have retained the trophies and memorabilia collected through the years. He showed me a couple of good photos and some trophies that needed a bit of a polish and we went outside into the light.

Of the stories he told us my favourite was of Reg Date, the legendary Wallsend player against whom Bob had played as a young man. Reg said to Bob, "If I kick the ball in your direction, you better get out of the way. You might get hurt." Bob responded dismissively, until he saw close-up the power of his kick. Reg could break nets with the ferocity of his shots and so Bob was indeed careful.

But more that the story, Bob made me realise just how embedded in the game's history he and his old club are.

Later in the day I contacted club secretary Megan Crowhurst and she sent me some good photographs but I imagine that of the hundreds that have existed only a fraction remain available. Four of these are presented below. They are particularly useful to me because they reveal images of some of Westy's Anzacs.

West Wallsend 1899-1900-1901
Back Row: Alex Muir, R. Durie, F. Leckie
Middle: J. Maunder, W. Teasdale, R. Harden (Capt)
Front: J. Curran, R. Howie, S. Swan, R. Leckie, J. Robertson
Officials (left to Right) F. McCann, P. Strachan, Dr Hocking, J.H. Denton, P. Dick,
F. Leckie and R. Leckie are brothers. J. Maunder is the father of Henry and Podge.
W. Teasdale became Manager of Cullen Bullen Colliery on the South Coast.
West End Bluebells, 1918
Back Row: T. Coates, W. McKenzie, J. Laverty
Centre Row: F. Craig, J. Couttes, R. Sneddon, A. McKay, A. Hodge
Front Row P. Convery, G. Kaiser, T. Coates, T. Sinclair, W. Smith
West Wallsend British Football Club
NSW Junior Champions 1913-14. District Premiers, 1914
Back Row - J. Curthbert (Treasurer), E. Robinson, W. Lee (Vice Capt.), Jim Leckie (Capt.), John Leckie, F. Cantello (Trainer)
Middle Row - F. Craig (President), R. Turnbull, B. Clapham, A. Anderson, G. Taft, A. Hodge (Manager).
Front Row - P. Muir, N. Turnbull, T. Gelder, H. Botte, L. Johnson

Of the 1913-14 Westy NSW Junior champions team, Cantello, Clapham, Jim Leckie enlisted and died at the front. It is likely that others also joined up but this is yet to be ascertained.


West Wallsend 1920
Back Row (L to R) - W. Lee, W. McKenzie, H. James,
C. Coutts, R. Sneddon, H. Maunder, W. Smith, A. Hodge
T. Coates, F. Brown, W. Maunder, T. Snclair, D, McLauchlan
2nd. row; 1st. & 2nd. last name missing.



Hopefully I can find out just what this cup represents.


Tuesday, 17 September 2019

West Wallsend NSW Junior Champions 1913-14

It's a measure of the strength of Newcastle soccer that West Wallsend would win the NSW Junior Championship in 1913-14. But perhaps more significant is the number of these players who a few short years later would be battling and dying in the trenches in France.

Of the above players Cantello, Clapham, Jim Leckie enlisted and died at the front. It is likely that others also joined up but this is yet to be ascertained. To be clear, these players are not children. They are young men (early 20s at time of death). Yet the waste is clear to me.

I was asked today: why do research that makes you sad? Sometimes I wonder.

Toowoomba Soccer Honour Roll 1918

Paul Nicholls passed this Darling Downs Gazette article from 9 May 1918 via twitter. It is reproduced in full below. I have numbered the list to get the count right and make it easier to observe the numbers killed. It needs to be noted that by 1919 the number of enlistments registered rose to 140 https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/20357405

Now to find the object if it still exists. 
(Drew a blank on the Queesnland register of war memorials https://www.qldwarmemorials.com.au/search?postcode=4350)



HONOUR BOARD.
BRITISH FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
An, Honor board containing 110 [actually 107, out of whom at least 22 were killed] names of former members of the British Football Association, was unveiled last evening at Herriott's rooms by Mr R. Harwood a vice-president of the association. There was a large gathering, and the ceremony was carried out in due solemnity. The board itself is a striking piece of work, being solely designed and executed by Mr. H. V. Allom, the junior secretary of the association, and a pupil teacher at the Harlaxton State School. The letters of the names of the men who answered their country's call have been neatly carved out, and on the whole, the board itself reflects great credit on Mr. Allom. 

Mr. H. New (secretary of the senior association)) introduced Mr. Harwood who, before unveiling the board, suitably referred to the nature of the gathering. He spoke in praise of the gallant work that many members of the association had performed on the field of battle. To the relatives of those whose dear ones had fallen, he tendered the sympathy of the association, and trusted that those who were going strong at the front, would be spared to return.

THE NAMES. The names on the board are:— 

  1. A. Adams, 
  2. S. Adams (killed), 
  3. F. Anderson, 
  4. H. Barker, 
  5. S. Besant (killed); 
  6. J. Butler, 
  7. W. Binns, 
  8. E. Brown, 
  9. G. Board (killed), 
  10. A. Black. 
  11. J. Boule, 
  12. L. Birch, 
  13. R. Brazier. 
  14. R. Burrowes, 
  15. W. Bury (killed), 
  16. R. Burke, 
  17. S. Cousens, [killed]
  18. J. Cousens, 
  19. H. S. Crowe. 
  20. W. Crowe, 
  21. A. Cooke, 
  22. B. Cooper, 
  23. N. F. Coote, 
  24. A. Davies, 
  25. P. Dawes, 
  26. E. K. Davies, 
  27. P. Drummond, 
  28. H. G. Dawkes, 
  29. A. Dundasch, [killed]
  30. W. Dundasch, 
  31. F. Dunstan. 
  32. H. Falconer. 
  33. Jas. Falconer, 
  34. Jno. Falconer, 
  35. Les. Folk, 
  36. G. Foreman, 
  37. F. Fountaine (killed), 
  38. D. Gallogly, 
  39. D. Garry, 
  40. E. Garrett (killed), 
  41. C. Garrett, 
  42. F. Gilson, 
  43. J. Gilson, 
  44. L. Groom (killed) 
  45. C. Groom (killed). 
  46. W. Head. 
  47. G. Harrington, 
  48. A. Hart (killed), 
  49. A. E. Hazell, 
  50. F. Harth (killed), 
  51. G. Harth (killed), 
  52. E. Hanzell, 
  53. W. Heilig, 
  54. W. Hillocks. 
  55. E. Hillocks, 
  56. F. Hughes (killed). 
  57. W. Hughes, 
  58. W. Holmes, 
  59. W. Inglis, 
  60. J. Kelly, 
  61. F. G. Linden, 
  62. F. Martin (killed), 
  63. P. Martin, 
  64. S. Martin, 
  65. H. Martyn (killed), 
  66. W. Millward. 
  67. W. Millican; 
  68. H. Minter (killed), 
  69. A. Mollison, 
  70. D. Mollison, 
  71. Jim Montgomery (killed), 
  72. Jas. Montgomery, 
  73. F. Morgan. 
  74. S. Morgan, 
  75. M.Munday, 
  76. F. Murdoch, 
  77. J. M'Leod (killed), 
  78. ?. M'Cormack; 
  79. A. M'Kean, 
  80. J. M'Kean, 
  81. J. M'Manus (killed) 
  82. J. Proellock (killed), 
  83. A. Palmer, 
  84. F. Roberts, 
  85. J. Robson. 
  86. W. Read. 
  87. W. Ross, 
  88. J. Shearer, 
  89. G. Skuse, (killed), 
  90. A. Smith, 
  91. H. G. Smith, 
  92. T. Smith, 
  93. E. Summerfield, 
  94. J. Stevenson, 
  95. S. Tacey, 
  96. S. Tregea, 
  97. A. Tregea, 
  98. W. Tregea, 
  99. S. Townson, 
  100. D. Vance, 
  101. A. Weis, 
  102. J. Wiley, 
  103. A. Williams, 
  104. D. Watson, 
  105. H. Younger, 
  106. J. Yule, 
  107. W. Yule.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Merewether Advance FC 3rd team in 1905

Many thanks to Greg Groombridge from Merewether Advance Football Club for sending this image of the MAFC1905 3rd team. The photo was supplied to him by Ian Nunan whose grandfather is the Greg Ritchie in the photograph. It's tattered but has lots of character. Some of the names are given below. D Williams and J Powell are listed on the Honour Roll.

MEREWETHER ADVANCE FOOTBALL CLUB

WINNERS (3RD) GRADE BADGES 1905

A. Lovell  J. Fairhall P. Fairhall (coach)   H. Danvers  W. Robson

_________ ________ ________     Johnson (vc)   D. Williams  G. Ritchie (Pres)

J. Luxton     ____________ J. Powell

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Carrying Coals to Newcastle? Day 1.

Breakfast in Hamilton and pick up a local paper with a double spread on local soccer (plus a bit of overseas) and a back page promo of the impending Grand Final. Sigh.

Yesterday was a big day. Up at 6 and off to Tullamarine airport. Flew into Sydney at 10am and wended my way to Glebe Point Rd where I caught up with Greg Werner and we spent the day nattering about NSW soccer. We were both filling in time before the launch of John Maynard's,The Aboriginal Soccer Tribe at Gleebook's at 6pm but Greg was both generous and full of great stories.

During the day I took some calls so I think my feelers are starting to work. Michael Parris from the Newcastle Herald called me and I think he's working on an article for publication next week. Geoff Brown from the Edgeworth Eagles contacted me and he has promised me some terrific stories. I'll catch up with him at the grand final.

The launch went well but if I may be critical, the absence of prominent advocates of indigeneous soccer was noticeable. A good smattering of sokkahtwitter was there, including Paul Nicholls, John Smith and a number of other but where were the Craig Fosters and other leading figures of indigenous soccer advocacy?

The book was launched by Larissa Behrendt who, for a non-soccer person, (or to use John's marvellous appeallation, 'a wobbly-ball person')  did a good job of getting across the issues and opening John up for some stories in their Q and A after the 'official' launch.

A good set of questions from the floor demonstrated just how important this book (and the issues and problems it consolidates) is.

It was great to make contact with John again (and his redoubtable publisher Bonita Mersiades) and hopefully I will catch up with him on Wednesday (day 6).

My problem of getting to Newcastle was solved by the very generous offer of my new hero Todd Blackwell to give me a lift from Glebe to the door of my hotel in Broadmeadow. We shared a terrific couple of hours, crossing the Harbour Bridge then the Hawkesbury and into Newcastle. I think I learned the team colours of the Newcastle NPL teams on the way and heard Todd's story of his role as semi-official photographer for Newcastle soccer among many other stories.

He's a great guy. Thanks again Todd.

Today I will meet David McGaw shortly who has (also incredibly generously) offered to take me to a number of memorial sites this afternoon where I will get a picture of the task in front of me, trying to track down all of Newcastle's soccer Anzacs from the first world war. It's a big task but it will be rewarding.

More on this later.


Thursday, 12 September 2019

Billy Maxwell

Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW : 1900 - 1954), Wednesday 22 June 1910, page 8

ASSOCIATION CUP.

The competition for the Gardiner Cup was set going last Saturday, the two teams to be put out of their misery with a jerk being Canterbury and Sydney. The sudden-death nature of the competitions puts the teams on their mettle, for a defeat means obliteration from the list of aspirants. 'Adamstown, the holders of the cup, jonrneyed down to do battle with Sydney, and although the Rosebuds were without the 'assistance of many of last year's dandy players, they managed, after a very poor game, to settle the pretensions of Sydney.

'Bob' Elgie was again in gaol for Adamstown, but one looked in vain for thedandy pair of backs— Doyle, and that sturdy atom of humanity, Campbell. Others of the champion team who were missing were ' Skinner ' Maxwell and George (halves), the Jennings Brothers, and Price (forwards).

Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), Friday 13 September 1912, page 11

SOCCER GAME.
Soccerites will regret to hear of the death of Billy Maxwell, the well-known Adamstown half-back. Which occurred at West Newcastle on Wednesday last from pneumonia. When he was in his prime, four years ago, he had very few equals on the field. He Was a member of the Broadmeadow and Adamstown Clubs, which won the Gardiner Cup, State champioship, and also the Ellis Cup. He represented New South Wales against New Zealand and West Australia, and also played for Northern Districts In the Inter-district games against the Metropolis and South Coast. He leaves a wife and family, and also two brothers, both of whom are members of the Corrimal Club.

Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954), Tuesday 25 February 1913, page 6

ADAMSTOWN
Last night a meeting of the committee who are arranging a benefit to Mrs. W. Maxwell was held at Carnley's Hotel. Mr. J. Jennings presided. The chairman reported that Messrs. Stephenson and Howarth, of Paradise Pictures, had agreed to give a show in aid of the fund. The report was received, and it was de cided that the benefit take place on April 5th. Some details were arranged, and it was resolved to approach the British Football Associations of the State to assist in the benefit. The meeting then closed. 

Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), Friday 30 May 1913, page 11

SOCCERJCODE.
GARDINER CUP STARTS T0-M0RR0W. THE DEFEAT OF BALMAIN.
(By O.L.)

The Gardiner Cup match between "West Sydney and Merewether, which is to be played on the Broadmeadow Show to-morrow, is to assist the benefit fund which is being raised to assist the widow of the late "Skinner" Maxwell, an Adamstown player, and in his day one of the best half backs in the State.

Monday, 9 September 2019

Merewether Advance Roll of Honour

Northern Times 23 October 1917 reported that "a pleasing feature as far as Newcastle was concerned, that since the war began, and recruits had been called for, the numbers that had gone from the Newcastle district were far in excess in average, of any other district in Australia." The piece argued that the "Merewcther Football Club had done that part well by sending 71 of their members who had made a name for themselves on the battlefield, as well as the football field." These were words spoken at the occasion of the unveiling of the Roll of Honour for the MAFC enlisted players.


The board was described as being "constructed of Queensland maple, measures 6ft wide by 5ft. 6in. high, with canopy top, supported by fluted pillars and scrolls, and bearing the Union Jack and Australian flags and a football. The colours of the club are hung on each side ot the board, which is inscribed: Merewether Advance Football Club, Roll or Honour; for King and Country."

Unfortunately, the board seems to have been lost, perhaps demolished along with the arts building that housed it. Hopefully it was rescued and is sitting somewhere ready to be discovered when I venture to Newcastle this Saturday for a bit of a research and discovery trip.

Below I have transcribed the names as best I could. I'm still haing difficulties with a few (see the asterisks). Also, the board lists only 67 names and not the 71 claimed so there are more names to find.

Merewether Advance Roll of Honour 1914 – 1918

E. Back
A. Lewis
F. Poole [D]
E. Poole [D]
W. Victor
R. Betholli
H. Wallace
C. Pickersgill
J. Pickersgill
A. Shepherd
W. Westhead
E. Clark (E. Clarke was killed)
J. Bartley
J. Doyle
A. Jennings
J. Thorpe
T. Wardaugh
F. Albert [D]
E. Richardson [D]
H. Grey*
F. Newburn
P. Coppock
D. Lloyd
J. Pearce
W. Powell
J. Jones
G. Adamthwaite
H. Finch
E. Peacock
A. Jones [D]
T. Allanson [D]
J. Allanson
E. Firth
J. Ferguson [D]
F. Banks [D]
C. Stewart
J. Powell
G. Ruddy [D]
J. Stewart
C. Hobson (wounded)
T. Hope
J. Gill
R. Twist
W. Twist
J. Ruddy
A. Wright
T. Bell
R. Trimingham
R. Mallen
A. Searle
G.* G**** (Alfred Gibb?)
F. Thopmpson
G. Houghton
G. Barnes
A. McLean
J. McKenzie
F. Harvey
D. Williams
G. Searle
W. O’Neil
J. Elliott
E. Sparkes
A. Williams
J. Blackburn
J. Banks
J. Mitchell
J. Winters
H. G*oley (M. Gidley)
J. Hobson


Friday, 6 September 2019

100 years ago today 12 September 1919

Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), Monday 8 September 1919, page 8

BRITISH ASSOCIATION.
FOOTSCRAY THISTLE WINS DOCKERTY CUP.
Mention of the English "Cup ties" and "finals" were revived on Saturday, when Footscray Thistle played Windsor in the final for the Dockerty Cup at Middle Park, in the presence of a large crowd. Footscray, aided by a strong wind, led at half-time by 1 goal to nil. In the second half, with the wind Windsor attacked, but Footscray broke away, and in an endeavour to clear, Tunn kicked the ball through his own goal, adding another to the Footscray lead. From this on, although Windsor had all the advantages, they failed to give the Footscray goalkeeper anything difficult to handle. When the whistle blew the score remained unchanged, and Footscray won, 1 goal to nil.



Saturday September 6


Dockerty Cup Final
Footscray Thistle 2 (???, Tunn o.g.) Windsor 0 Middle Park Ref: J.Downie
Footscray Thistle: W.Twigg, Clarke, H.Twigg, D.Rowatt, A.McLean, Liversedge, W.Biggart, J.Rawlinson, Thomas, Carr, A.Fletcher.
Windsor:



The Herald

BRITISH ASSOCIATION
Spotswood v. Preston, at Spotswood— M'Donald.
Windsor v. Footscray Thistle, at Middle Park— Medlicott.
N and D, v Melbourne Thistle, v. Middle Park— M'Cully. Pt.
St David's v Albert Park, at Middle Park— Butler,

Queensland Times (Ipswich, Qld. : 1909 - 1954), Friday 12 September 1919, page 7


 Followers of the Soccer game on Saturday witnessed a stirring match be tween the Dinmore Bush Rats and the Bundanba Rangers, who won by 4 goals to 3. At half-time T'Rats were leading by 3 goals to 2, but T'Rangers put it over the Dinmoreites in the next half, scoring 2 goals.

Newcastle Sun (NSW : 1918 - 1954), Friday 12 September 1919, page 2



Thursday, 5 September 2019

IYKYH 5 September 2019


  1. Mark Boric.
  2. More on Whyalla. Greg werner made this comment on fb: "A really fascinating chat with Darren, but interesting that there was no mention of Yakka Banovic who hailed from Whyalla and has since moved back after a stellar career."
  3. Garry McKenzie has wrecked my plans, sending me a random link that has sent me off down a wormhole. St Helens -> MIMAG -> buried history of Mt Isa soccer in its pages + phenomenally good images. Lesson about the way serendipity plays a role in our efforts as historians
  4. Paul Nicholls has sent us a fantastic piece of writing. He's trying to find a path between the data rich research of someone like Peter Kunz and other more philosophical-critical writing like mine. He's treading a really interesting path, giving a soccer tale a mythological feel
  5. I'll be off to Newcastle on a research trip friday week. Looking forward to getting acquainted with all the old clubs as well as NewcastleSokkahHistoryTwitter in the process.
  6. I'll be going to John Maynard's launch in Sydney.
  7. Victorian Historical committe survey

100 YAT

Jason Goldsmith

Bury??

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

100 years ago today 5 September 1919

Discuss Paul Nicholl's comment about limits of one date

Saturday August 30


V.A.B.F.A. Metropolitan League
  • Northumberland and Durham United 3 (Soames, Dillon, Robinson) Albert Park 1 (T.Anderson) Middle Park Ref: H.Baker
  • St David's 2 (Nelson, Kerr) Spotswood 2 (Owen2) Middle Park
  • Preston 2 Windsor 3
  • Melbourne Thistle 0 Footscray Thistle 3 (Rowlinson, Thomas, Rowatt)



https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/202437651


Saturday September 6

Once more nothing in the papers


Dockerty Cup Final


Footscray Thistle v Windsor Middle Park Ref: J.Downie


Toowoomba Chronicle (Qld. : 1917 - 1922), Friday 5 September 1919, page 6


RETURNED SOLDIERS' CLUB SPORTS
It were well if those returned boys who have already expressed their willingness to play with other sporting club teams, could be relieved of their responsibilities to play with the Returned Soldiers' Club team. At the meeting held at the Soldier's Church of England Rest Rooms last night, this appeared to be the big difficulty in forming a cricket team for the ensuing season. With that sportsmanship, characteristic of the boys on the battlefield, they are determined, as soon as they. can, to get an eleven together--whether they are mediocre or not--to take part in the senior competition in Toowoomba. Captain Kimber (president of the R.S.S.I.L.A.) presided, and included among those was Lieutenant B. Nicholls (secretary). The Chairman in introducing the business said that object was to discuss the ways and means of the desirability of forming a returned soldiers' sports club, under the auspices of the league. All the men should take part in sport—clean sport—and he thought that they should endeavor to foster the sporting instinct in the men, and football, cricket, etc., would help it. They had the men in their ranks, enough to form cricket, football and baseball and, if necessary, bowling teams. It was a bit late now to discuss the football season, but the cricket season was coming along and they should have a team in the competition. This year, in football, they had come out with a Soccer team and so far they had not lost a game. (Applause.) Lieutenant Nicholls desired to know if the sports club would be open to league members only or open to all returned soldiers. It was decided to open membership to all returned soldiers. Mr. V. Rawlings moved that the club be affiliated to the Toowoomba Cricket Union. Mr. H. Poon said that many good cricketers were coming homeland with en like Charley Burness, Geo. Phie and Alf. Walker and others, they could get a good team. Mr. W. P. Stewart moved that a re-turned Soldiers' Sporting Club be formed. This was seconded by Mr. J. Graham, and carried. Captain Kenyon raised the question of finance, and asked would the league find that or would the clubs contribute to it—would the Returned Soldiers' Cricket Club be independent? Would the members mind paying their subscription to the Cricket Union as well as to the association? The chairman remarked that the gathering was not as representative as it might have been; there were a good few downstairs who did not bother about coming upstairs. He added that a sports club would bring the men together a lot more.
Mr. W. P. Stewart then moved,— "That next season a cricket team be formed, as there were sufficient cricketers among the returned boys to form a team next year."
This was seconded by Mr. B. Reid, and carried. Mr. Rawlingjs thought that about £10 would be sufficient to start the club. Mr. Brett asked if it were not necessary to appoint sun-committees to deal with the various sporting associations. Mr. Graham moved,—-'That a subcommittee bo appointed, to deal with tiie formation of a cricket team, and the following wore appointed:— Messrs. If. Puon, A."?. (ircen, V. Rawlings, L. Urett and .(. Graham. These were appointed to see prospective pfavers and report at a future d:'te. Messrs. X. Oelkers and V. Rawlings reported their inability ' to play with the soldiers' team, on account of their having promised their services to other teams i:i the competition.


Arrow (Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), Friday 5 September 1919, page 4


NEWCASTLE SPORT
RUGBY TOURISTS' SUCCESS
(By THE SCRIBE.)

SOCCER'S KERR CUP. 
The Kerr Cup match, Hamilton v. Annandale, created a sensation. Though Hamilton were leading by four goals to one at half-time, Annandale made such a splendid finish that they won by six goals to four. The local team is still wondering what happened. These games have not proved the attraction they have in the past, but Fernleigh. Annandale and Canterbury have made such reputations here that any future visit thev may make to the North will attract a large crowd. This week both the Wallsend Park and the Showground will be utilised for Gardiner Cup games. Adamstown and Minmi will meet at Wallsend Park to decide which will enter the next round. They have met twice, once at Minmi (a draw of one goal all), and again at Adamstown were Minmi defeated by three to nil. Minmi should turn the tables to-morrow as their cup team is an exceptionally strong one. Their renowned centre-forward, Cramp, will probably be with them, having recovered from his illness. Adamstown may be unable to play Doyle and Hayes, but Sneddon will be in his place and the genial Jocker will assist materially. Hamilton and West Wallsend will clash for the fourth time this season at the Show Ground. Hamilton will drop Williams owing to an injured foot, and will play Merrion in his stead. They are confident of winning, but as West Wallsend are playing their Ellis Cup team there's an element of doubt about the matter. Adamstown and Woodpeckers appear to be unable to reach finality, and will re-play their semi-final for the Lyall Cap again this week. The junior semi-final between Rovers and West Wallsend will also be played, and thus some few representative players who took part in the Newcastle v. Sydney and Maitland matches are raising the question of payment for their services. This matter is serious and considerable discussion is expected at the full delegates meeting tomorrow night. If they receive the amount they suggest they will immediately become professionals, and it will be interesting to note how their status with the Gardiner and other cup matches will be affected. 

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Towards a History of Soccer in Mount Isa

This is another one of my work-in-progress articles. Following on from a previous piece on my personal experiences of soccer in Mount Isa, this is a more sequenced revelation of articles and photographs in the town. I'll be adding more material as I find it.

1929
The residents of Mount Isa are indeed keen on sport and despite the dust the recreation ground sees the Soccer teams on Saturdays and the League game on Sundays. Thanks to the splendid response from the Mount Isa Company, the improvements to the grounds will be commenced next week and it is to be hoped that the improvements will be completed be fore the return match with Cloncurry.
Townsville Daily Bulletin
15 July 1929 p 12

1930

1931
SOCCER FOOTBALL.
A correspondent at Mt. Isa writes: On Saturday last the Mt. Isa soccer association held a social at Hanlon's Cafe, and a very enjoyable evening was spent. Good music was supplied by Mr. H. Shaw and Mr. S. Martin. Mr. E. Thomas congratulated the premiers and presented the trophies. Mr. Panak congratulated Mr. Thomas, and Mr. Earl, chairman and secretary on their good work during the past season. There is no doubt these two men have worked hard, towards making a success of the game in Mt. Isa. We have had three teams here for the past three years, it is pleasing to see how popular soccer is becoming In the Isa. It was with sincere regret we learned of the proposed departure of our chairman, who is very popular amongst the boys, and it is to be hoped he will be with us again next season.
Townsville Daily Bulletin 7 August 1931 p 8

1932
Sport is not overlooked at Mt. Isa. In football the Rugby and Soccer games are played, and there is tennis and cricket.
Barrier Miner 4 April 1932 p 2

1933

1934


  1. Thistles
  2. Magpies
  3. Rovers
The soccer match which was played between Thistles and Magpies on Sunday 22nd. July proved very exciting,   the half time scores being one to nil in favor of Magpies. The Thistles began to warm up towards the end, but   could not hold their opponents the Magpies winning by 3 to 2. Mr. W. Middleton was the referee and gave every satisfaction.
Townsville Daily Bulletin 27 July 1934 p 7

The soccer teams, Rovers and Magpies, met on Sunday last an excellent game resulting in 4 to 3 in   favor of Magpies, and giving this team a fair chance of winning the cup. At times sparkling play worked spectators into excited action, and at times it looked as though Rovers would over-run their opponents. Mr. Middleton gave every satisfaction as a very Impartial referee.
Townsville Daily Bulletin 24 August 1934 p 7

The Soccer teams, Thistles and Rovers, met on 8unday August 26th to try conclusions, and at times it would appear that the Thistles would conquer, but the final scores were one goal to nil in favor of Rovers. Mr. Mlddleton as referee was most impartial. All the players appear to be keen on making the trip to Cloncurry on September 9th.
Townsville Daily Bulletin 31 August 1934 p 4

1935


  1. Magpies


1936


1937

1938


  1. Corinthians 
  2. Underground

At the conclusion of the soccer and football season the association held an evening in Smith's Hall on the night of November 26. Mr. R. A. Clarke presented the Secretary of the association (Mr. S. Budd) with an inkstand which was donated by the three teams which competed In the games. Mr. Rudd was also the recipient of a pair of cuff links presented by Mr. Ireland on behalf of the underground team. Mr. Rudd in acknowledging the gifts paid a tribute to the energy exercised by all who took part in the soccer game. 
Townsville Daily Bulletin 10 December 1938 p 11

There was a very large gathering of soccer players and supporters during Saturday night in the C.W.A. Hall, when the trophies won for the season just ended were handed across. The Corinthians won all three trophies donated by Messrs F. Tadman, H. Smith and Jeff Willan. In the absence of Mr. Harry Smith, who donated the shield, Councillor Norman Smith presented the handsome shield and, In presenting it to the captain of the winning team (Mr. Fairbrother) said the feat was extraordinary, as the Corinthians had won all three trophies donated. He paid a tribute to the players, who had given their best in securing the coveted shield and hoped it would infuse zeal in the years ahead for other teams. Captain Falrbrother suitably acknowledged the trophy on behalf of his team. The evening was then given over to dancing and musical items. Musical Items were rendered by Mr. B. A. Clarke, mandolin, and monologues by Mr Chas. Gray.
Townsville Daily Bulletin 10 December 1938 p 5

1939


  1. Corinthians
  2. Rangers
  3. Underground

1400 MILES FOR SOCCER MATCH. MT. ISA. August 15. The Mount Isa Representative Soccer team has returned to town after travelling 1400 miles to play a representative Ingham team, which was defeated by 4 to 2. The Ingham team comprised nine Italians, a Spaniard, and one Chinese.
Queensland Times 16 August 1939. p 10 

On the night of 30th September, In the C.W.A. Hall, the presentation of trophies won by Soccer teams took place, and were presented to the various clubs. Councillor R. Clarke presided and called on Mr. MacRae to present the Llttlejohn Cup, which had been won by the Rangers Club. Mr. Bob Lawson, in accepting the cup on behalf of the captain (Mr. Les Rudd), of the Rangers, thanked Mr. MacRae on behalf of his team, and said that it was the second time the club had won this cup. The Gray Cup, which was donated by Mr. Charles Gray, was then presented by the donor to Captain Fairbrother, of the Corinthian Club. The speaker congratulated the captain on the success of his team In winning the cup. In responding. Captain Fairbrother thanked Mr. Gray and paid a glowing tribute to his club-mates for the harmonious spirit that existed through out the season. The Jeff Willan Cup was also won by the Corinthians, and will become that club's property tor all time. Mr. Jim Burton accepted the cup on behalf of Captain Fairbrother. The Sari Castle Stewart Cup was also won by the Corinthians and Captain Fairbrother very modestly asked Mr. E. Brewer, a club-mate, to accept the gift. Prior to presenting the cup, Mr. S. Rudd, the president, said that when Earl Castle Stewart was at Mt Isa, despite his handsome donation to the R.S.S.I.L.A., he approached the Earl and asked if he would donate a trophy to the Soccer Association, and the result was the beautiful cup he now asked Mr. Brewer to accept on behalf of his club. Mr. Brewer briefly returned thanks to Mr. Rudd. Councillor Norman Smith was next called on to present the shield that he had donated to the winners of the premiership. He congratulated the underground team in having won the premiership and asked Captain Perry, of that team, to accept the shield. The speaker spoke glowingly of the club's performance, and congratulated play ers on their win. He also referred to the great distance the soccer players had travelled to play a match at Ingham. Captain Perry, in accepting the shield, thanked Mr. Smith in suitable words. During the evening Councillor Clarke entertained the gathering with many popular airs on his banjo mandolin, and Mr. Kerwin, conductor of the Paramount Band, also pleased those present with numerous melodies, on his piano-accordeon. A feature of the evening was the singing of Mr. Pat Harris, a tenor, late of the Adelaide Repertory Company.
Townsville Daily Bulletin7 October 1939 p 9


1940
reference in Cloncurry Advocate 8 March to the new season

1949

The Courier-Mail 2 June 1949 p 7 refers to the "newly formed Mt Isa Association".

1950

1951

1952

1953
  1. BSD
  2. Pannonia
  3. Scotties
  4. St Helens
Sunday 24/5
St Helens 3 v BSD 1
Pannonia 3 v Scotties 1

Sunday 14/6
Pannonia 3 v St Helens 0
Scotties 3 v BSD 0

Sunday 21/6
St Helens 4 v BSD 1
Pannonia 2 v Scotties 1

Sunday 28/6
Pannonia 2 v BSD 0
St Helens 3 v Scotties 0

Sunday 5/7
Scotties 0 v BSD 0
St Helens 5 v Pannonia 1 (game spoiled by send offs and walk offs)

Sunday 9/8
British Isles v Europe (Abandoned)

1953

  • BSD
  • Pannonia
  • Scotties
  • St Helens


1954


Mt Isa plays Ingham in September

  1. Pannonia
  2. Scotties
  3. St Helens
  4. Hollandia
  5. ?
1955

Mt Isa visted Townsville
  1. Pannonia
  2. Hollandia
  3. St Helens
  4. Scotties

1956

Mt Isa beat the visiting Townsville team 4-1

  1. Pannonia
  2. Mt. Oxide 
  3. Shamrocks
  4. Leichhardt
  5. ?
  6. ?

1957

  1. Pannonia



The Canberra Times reported on an active internationalism in Mount Isa. Soccer gets a mention but not before the Hungarian cricket team.

On the sporting side new Australians have come to the forefront in many fields. They are also trying their hands at typically Australian games such as cricket. The Pannonia Cricket Club is almost totally a New Australian Club. They are also giving zestful performances on the soccer field and are represented in every local soccer team.
The Canberra Times 8 October 1957 p 2

1958
  1. Scotties
  2. Irish
  3. St Helens
  4. Mary Kathleen
  5. Concordia
  6. Mt Oxide

1959


  1. Scotties
  2. Irish
  3. Pannonia 
  4. Concordia
  5. Scandinavia
  6. Isa Rangers
  7. ?

  • plus Some junior teams


1961


Upsurge in junior soccer. The U16 Sparta team visted Ipswich and Brisbane with some success.


1962

  1. Scotties
  2. Brittania 
  3. Pannonia 
  4. Concordia
B grade introduced

The following is excerpted from MIMAG June 1962:
Today, soccer is big business all over the world. Fantastic sums of money are paid on transfer of top quality players from one team to another. Literally millions of pounds are spent annually on football pools, based on the results of league and cup matches. Players are ‘stars’ and ‘specialists’, and are treated as such.

In Australia, soccer, started as early as 1880. In 1882 the New South Wales Soccer Association was formed, quickly followed by other States. The Australian Football Association was formed in 1921. Australia entered the international field in 1922. Competitive matches between States began in 1929 when England presented a Soccer Trophy. After the Second World War Australian teams entered both Olympic and World Cup competitions.

Soccer was played in Mount Isa right from the early days, although there were no organised form until approximately 1936 [probably an error, see 1934 above]. During the war many matches were organised with armed services teams and competitive play was wide spread.

The game lost its organised form for some years after the war, but in 1953, organised soccer was again instituted with its clubs playing knock-out games. These were Scotties, Pannonia, St. Helens and B.S.D. The following year the Mount Isa Soccer Association was formally inaugurated and the popularity of the game was high. During a two-day soccer carnival, teams from Ingham played against Mount Isa. Five local teams were in the field. 
Touring was again in vogue in 1955 when an Isa representative team went to play in Townsville. 
The game continued to climb in popularity in 1956 and Wellington Oval became the venue for Sunday matches. Six clubs played that year. The two new ones were Mt. Oxide and Shamrocks, formed from the old B.S.D. Club. Townsville returned the previous year’s visit and lost 4-1 to Mount Isa.
Passages of play from British Commonwealth v Rest of Europe on Easter Sunday 1962.

"Soccer or Association football has been playes in Mount Isa since the 1930s Photos [above]   were taken during the recent drawn game between the British Commonwealth and the Rest of Europe, at Wellington Park."
Today soccer football continues to thrive. The year 1961 saw an upsurge in junior soccer when a representative team of lads under 16, mainly from the junior champions “Sparta” toured Brisbane and Ipswich with considerable success. Cor Valkenburg, a former Pannonia goalie from the early days, travelled with and managed the team. This year saw the introduction of “B” division matches and the further development of junior soccer, with more and more schools interested in competitive play. Improved conditions at Wellington Oval and the promise of floodlighting for evening play will see further expansion of interest in the game. The main clubs are showing a keen interest and the omens are good for a season of really fine sport.
The season officially opened on Easter Sunday with a match between well balanced teams representing the British Commonwealth on the one hand, and the rest of Europe on the other. 
League play this season centres on four main teams, Scotties, Brittania, Pannonia and Concordia. Players like Joe Mezes of Pannonia, Peter Houghton and Joe Wicks of Brittania, Peter Wendt of Concordia and Adolph Nimaus and Bert Harding of Scotties, were well worth watching last year and are proving as good again this season. Bobby Moore of Scotties, continues to amuse as well as to shine. All sections of the community are gloriously intermingled in these teams, with the Company’s Mining Department seemingly supplying the bulk of the stars. Alex Pavusa and Bobby Cairns are our leading referees in the current season.


1966
  1. Concordia
  2. United
  3. Scotties
  4. Irish 

1967
  1. Irish (winners of Scottish Cup)
  2. Scotties
  3. United
  4. Independent
  5. International
  • (Concordia folded after winning previous year) 
North West Star August 28. 1967
1968

1969

Ampol Cup results
Sunday, 04/05/1969 Mt Isa - Hollandia-Inala 3:0

1970 

Ampol Cup results
Sunday, 19/07/1970 Merton - Mt Isa 6:1


  1. Anglo (claret and white)
  2. Irish (green and white)
  3. Scotties (navy blue and white)
  4. Concordia [German] (white and black)
  5. International [Italian] (all red)
  6. Blue Adriatic ['Yugoslav' largely Croatian] (light blue and white stripes, a beautiful strip)
  7. Scandia [Dutch + other Scandinavian ethnicities] (orange and black)
  8. Eiffel (cobalt blue and red socks) (the only ethnic French team I know of in Australia.)


Sunday soccer at Mt Isa, 1970. National Archives NAA: A12111, 2/1970/33A/1
Concordia v Eiffel, with section of mine site in background.
Notice the banked cycling track encircling Wellington Oval.
The photos below are from the same collection, probably of the same game.

1975
Ampol Cup results
Sunday, 15/06/1975 Mt Isa - Lions 1:5