Explore the History of australian football

​Essendon full forward Ted Fordham

WANFL: Old Easts’ Astonishing Fight Back

For much of their existence Swan Districts had been the Cinderella club of Western Australian football but that all changed in 1961 when Haydn Bunton was appointed captain-coach. Almost overnight, Swans stamped themselves as a power club, claiming premierships in 1961, 1962 and 1963. The last two of those flags were won at the expense of East Fremantle, who also went on to lose the 1964 grand final at the expense of Claremont. In 1965 Swan Districts and East Fremantle again met on grand final day and Swans were widely tipped to prevail. They had comfortably overcome reigning premiers Claremont in the second semi final whilst East Fremantle had had to battle their way through two tortuous finals matches before reaching the ultimate match of the year.

For three quarters, the 1965 grand final panned out as anticipated, with Swans apparently in the box seat. Kicking into the breeze in the first quarter Swan Districts kicked 5.1 to Old Easts’ 2.6. At half time the margin was five goals in favour of Swans, and at the last change the scoreboard showed Swan Districts on 14.5 (89) leading East Fremantle 9.14 (68). Given that Swans would be kicking with the aid of a strong wind in the final quarter most observers could have been forgiven for expecting them to extend their lead and win easily. In fact, the opposite happened, as Old Easts seized control all over the ground and added 9.4 to 2.1 in one of the most concertedly determined and vibrant displays ever produced in a grand final. Their triumph gave them their twenty-second senior grade premiership making them by some measure Western Australian football’s most successful club.[3] East Fremantle’s success also meant that for three seasons in succession the premiership had gone to the team placed fourth at the end of the minor round.

The chief inspiration behind Old Easts’ success was their on field general, captain coach Bob Johnson, a former Melbourne footballer who asked nothing of his charges that he was unprepared to do himself. In both the preliminary final defeat of Claremont and the grand final Johnson booted 8 goals. Others to make vital contributions included ruckman David Imrie who won the Simpson Medal for best afield, ruck-rover Bert Thornley in the ruck, centre half back Norm Rogers, and tough tackling centreman Harry Neesham, whose weekend release from his national service posting in the eastern states had been specially arranged by the club. 

After the grand final East Fremantle embarked on an eastern states tour which included wins against a Spencer Gulf combined team by 35 points, Broken Hill by 21 points, and a Queensland combination by 22 points.

For Swan Districts it had been an excellent season for the most part with the team comfortably topping the ladder after the minor round. However, a single poor quarter of football ruined everything. Ironically, Swans had won all three minor round clashes with East Fremantle. They also defeated every other team in the competition at least once, and in the second semi final overcame Claremont by 20 points, 9.14 (68) to 6.12 (48). Then came the heart-rending disappointment of the grand final. Bill Walker’s Sandover Medal win afforded meagre consolation. To the surprise of many, after the 1965 grand final Swans’ fortunes would dip alarmingly and it would be a decade and a half before they again challenged for Western Australian football’s top honour.

Claremont did almost everything right in the home and away rounds and were widely favoured to repeat their 1964 achievement and capture the flag. However, they ended up rather meekly bowing out of contention after losses to Swan Districts by 20 points in the second semi final and East Fremantle in the preliminary final by 13 points. Claremont supporters, like those of Swan Districts, would not have much to cheer about in the ensuing decade and a half.

In the final home and away round of the season West Perth achieved a hard fought and confidence boosting 12 point win over the team they would confront in the following week’s first semi final, East Fremantle. When it mattered more, however, the Cardinals found Old Easts too hot to handle, losing 13.14 (92) to 16.15 (111).

Fifth placed Perth were a team on the verge of the greatest era in their history, but in 1965 they were blighted by inconsistency. Hefty wins over the likes of Claremont were mixed with losses against lower ranking opponents. Demons supporters would not have long to wait for a dramatic upturn in fortunes, however.

Similarly, better times were just around the corner for East Perth, who in 1965 at least managed to improve by two places on their 1964 wooden spoon. At their best the Royals were capable of giving the top sides a run for their money as minor round victories over Claremont, Swan Districts, East Fremantle and West Perth proved.

Subiaco produced little to enthuse about for their long suffering supporters in 1965. The Lions won just 7 matches for the year, but on a positive note they did manage to defeat all four finalists. Subiaco also provided the league’s top goalkicker for 1965 in the shape of Austin Robertson junior who booted 116 goals. It was the third time Robertson had headed the WANFL’s goal kicking list.

For South Fremantle 1965 was yet another dismal season and the halcyon days of the 1940s and 1950s must have seemed a distant memory to the club’s supporters. The red and whites won only 5 and drew 1 of their 21 minor round games, but among their victims were top four sides Swan Districts and West Perth, while the draw was achieved against Claremont.

Interest Soars in the Apple Isle

For the second season in succession crowds in Hobart reached new highs, with 235,370 patrons attending roster matches, 57,801 the finals, and a grand total of 331,448 turning up for all games during the year. In the grand final, Glenorchy, which had topped the ladder after the roster matches, and convincingly downed New Norfolk in the second semi final, overcame the challenge of North Hobart, surprise winners by a point in the previous week's preliminary final against the Eagles. Showing greater pace and fitness the Magpies pulled away from the Robins in the final term to win a low scoring game convincingly by 31 points, 10.15 (75) to 6.8 (44). They went on to secure the state premiership, downing NTFA premier Scottsdale 11.16 (82) to 9.8 (62) in the final in Hobart. Scottsdale had earlier won the NTFA premiership with a 19.21 (135) to 11.13 (79) grand final defeat of North Launceston. Premiers of the NWFU, for the second season in a row, were Cooee, who overcame Ulverstone 12.14 (86) to 7.9 (51) in the grand final.

Something to which hindsight accords considerable significance was New Norfolk full forward Peter Hudson's feat in kicking 101 goals to top the TFL goal kicking list. Hudson would go on to become one of the greatest and most feted full forwards in football history. In 1965 he was the first player since Lefroy's Tom Heathorn in 1934 to "top the ton" in the TFL.

Other States and Territories


Sydney’s wealthiest club, Western Suburbs defeated their 1964 conquerors St George in the NSWANFL grand final. Scores were Western Suburbs 17.15 (117) defeated St George 12.9 (81). The win gave the Magpies their third premiership.

Morningside won their first ever senior grade QAFL flag with a 20.15 (135) to 9.8 (62) defeat of Mayne.

Eastlake won the Canberra premiership for the fourth consecutive time. A youthful Alex Jesaulenko was a member of their victorious grand final team. Eastlake won convincingly 20.16 (136) to 8.14 (62). A highlight of the season was the visit of WAFL club East Perth who defeated a combined CANFL side by 23 points, 14.11 (95) to 9.18 (72).

In Darwin, Nightcliff - formerly known as Works and Housing - defeated Darwin in the grand final by 39 points. It was the club’s third senior grade premiership win.

FOOTNOTES

[1] Footy in the 1960s by Michael Roberts and Michael Winkler, page 67.

[2] https://kbhill7.wordpress.com/tag/ian-rowland/, retrieved 8/1/16.

[3] East Fremantle also won the 1943 wartime premiership which was contested by under age teams and to which the WAFL accords the same status as senior grade flags.


Other grand final results - VFL: Essendon 14.21 (105) d. St Kilda 9.16 (70); SANFL Port Adelaide 12.8 (80) d. Sturt 12.5 (77); WANFL: East Fremantle 18.18 (126) d. Swan Districts 16.6 (102); VFA: Division One - Waverley 14.13 (97) d. Port Melbourne 10.25 (85); Division Two - Preston 15.12 (102) d. Mordialloc 9.10 (64); TANFL: Glenorchy 10.15 (75) d. North Hobart 6.8 (44); NTFA: Scottsdale 19.21 (135) d. North Launceston 11.13 (79); NSWANFL: Western Suburbs 17.15 (117) d. St George 12.9 (81); NTFL: Nightcliff (formerly Works and Housing) 11.13 (79) d. Darwin 5.10 (40); QAFL: Morningside 20.15 (135) d. Mayne 9.8 (62); NWFU: Cooee12.14 (86) d. Ulverstone 7.9 (51); CANFL: Eastlake 20.16 (136) d. Manuka 8.14 (62); TSP: Glenorchy 11.16 (84) d. Scottsdale 9.8 (62).

Ian Rowland (St Kilda)

VFL: The “Unthinkable” Happens

Between 1954 and 1964 Melbourne was beyond question the pre-eminent power in Australian football. The Demons qualified for the finals eleven times in a row, reached eight grand finals, and won half a dozen premierships. Central to this continued dominance were club coach Norm Smith and skipper Ron Barassi, who “were like Churchill and Montgomery - indivisible, indomitable - claiming premiership pennants as if by right”.[1]

Then, late in 1964, everything changed as Barassi upped sticks and transferred to Carlton where he had accepted the role of captain-coach. In 1965, for the first time in living memory, Melbourne failed to contest the finals. They would not do so again until 1987.

The old guard, it seemed, had irrevocably changed, and there were even some who over-dramatised the situation by averring that football had somehow lost its soul. For most, however, it Barassi’s move was merely the biggest of the countless football topics to be chewed over as the 1965 football season approached.

As that ’65 season developed it appeared, paradoxically, that some things had not really changed at all. Of the four clubs which had contested the finals in 1964 three - Essendon, Collingwood and Geelong - were back a year later, with St Kilda’s replacement of Melbourne the only change.

The Demons’ fall from grace was, of course, a hot topic throughout the year, not least when the club made the astonishing decision to sack coach Norm Smith after a round nine loss at the hands of St Kilda. The 61 point hiding was Melbourne’s biggest since 1952, but it was also the club’s first loss of the season. The thing that appears to have roused the club committee’s ire was Smith’s criticism of umpire Don Blew on radio station 5AW. Blew issued a writ for libel, and when Smith sought the backing of the Melbourne committee it was not forthcoming. A few days later, on the eve of the Demons’ round ten match against Essendon, Smith received a letter from the club informing him he was sacked.

Essendon duly defeated Melbourne, which was coached for the match by “Checker” Hughes, with some comfort, and a week later, without giving any real explanation, the Melbourne committee reinstated Norm Smith, but whether the rift caused by his sacking was ever fully healed is doubtful. Melbourne won just 2 more matches all season to slump to seventh place on the premiership ladder, the club’s lowest finishing position since 1953. Ironically, Barassi’s Blues finished just ahead of Melbourne on percentage on the premiership ladder.

VFL: Saints Impress, but Bombers Achieve Success

At the end of the home and away rounds St Kilda occupied top spot with 14 wins with Collingwood also obtaining the double chance with one win fewer. Also on 13 wins, but with an inferior percentage, were Geelong, while Essendon with 12 wins was fourth. The opening week of the finals brought a shock as Essendon not only overcame pre-match favourites Geelong they did so emphatically, more than doubling the Cats’ score.

The second semi final saw St Kilda scrape past Collingwood 13.24 (102) to 14.17 (101) thereby procuring for the Saints a place in the season’s premiership decider, the first time this had occurred since 1913, and only the second time ever.

St Kilda’s grand final opponents turned out to be the Bombers who cruised past Collingwood in the preliminary final with even greater ease than had been the case against the Cats a fortnight earlier.

A crowd of 104,846 showed up for the grand final with a close game anticipated, and for two and a bit quarters, at which stage Essendon held an 2 point advantage, this was what they witnessed. However, over the remainder of thge third term the Bombers turned on the style to rattle on 5 unanswered goals and effectively clinch the match. The last term was evenly contested and in the end Essendon triumphed by 35 points, 14.21 (105) to 9.16 (70). Ted Fordham with 7 goals from full forward for the Bombers was perhaps the best player on view, whilst Ken Fraser at centre half forward, ruckman Brian Sampson, rover Johnny Birt, and ruck-rover Hugh Mitchell were others to attract plaudits. St Kilda were best served by the Tasmanian duo of centreman Ian Stewart and centre half forward Darrel Baldock, with Rodger Head in a back pocket and rover Ian Rowland also playing well.

For Essendon, the rise to greatness was perhaps unexpected after a somewhat disjointed season which had seen them flit repeatedly between fourth and fifth spots on the ladder (although a fleeting highpoint saw them occupy second place on percentage in rounds thirteen and fourteen). The Bombers’ pre-finals form was not particularly outstanding although, perhaps significantly, it did include a 5 point victory over St Kilda in round sixteen. In the last home and away match of the season Essendon were atrocious for three quarters against Carlton before fighting back to get within within 9 points at the end. There was no real indication that they were about to produce one of the most exhilarating bursts of September form in VFL history, but the records speak for themselves.

Second placed St Kilda claimed the minor premiership and were many observers’ favourites for the flag. After stepping on Melbourne’s coat tails for nine matches the Saints seized their opportunity as the Demons’ season started to go haywire. In round ten they trounced Hawthorn at Moorabbin 24.12 (156) to 11.9 (75) to claim top spot on percentage, and they remained in first place for the rest of the season. A titanic tussle with Collingwood in the second semi final followed, with St Kilda ultimately procuring a morale boosting 1 point triumph. However, on grand final day, the Saints failed to ignite. In the view of Saints rover Ian Rowland, who played a superb tagging role on Essendon’s Jack Clarke to be one of his team’s best, “the club just got caught up in the euphoria of the occasion and didn’t handle it very well.

“Nobody had been through the Grand Final experience. A lot of time was spent on peripheral things like organising tickets and coping with backslapping fans. We just took our eye off the ball.”[2]

St Kilda’s exquisitely gifted centreman Ian Stewart won the 1965 Brownlow Medal on a countback from North Melbourne’s Noel Teasdale.

Collingwood’s disappointing finals fade out, which comprised losses to St Kilda by a point and Essendon by 55 points, was rendered all the more disquieting by “the Somerville Incident”. Ten minutes into the preliminary final Essendon’s John Somerville was poleaxed in a behind the play incident. He had to leave the field of play, and would miss the grand final, while his direct opponent, Duncan Wright, was raucously booed for the remainder of the match. The public response to the incident was so acrimonious and widespread that the police launched an investigation, but when only four people came forward as eye witnesses, all with important variations to their stories, this was dropped. However, the repercussions were not over as Duncan Wright had, it turned out, had played the last of his 23 VFL games. Somerville resumed with the Bombers in 1966 and went on to play a total of 106 VFL games before retiring in 1967.

The Magpies endured a slow start to the 1965 season, winning just 2 of their first 6 minor round games. A 3 goal win over Footscray in round seven was then a prelude to an eleven game winning streak which only came to an end with a narrow last round loss to South Melbourne. Unfortunately for the ‘Pies that was where their good form for the year faded out, although it has to be admitted that their 1 point second semi final defeat at the hands of the Saints could all too easily have gone either way.

Geelong finished the 1965 season in fine form thanks to convincing victories in consecutive weeks over Melbourne, Fitzroy and Hawthorn. Few teams could match the skill of the Cats, but in the first semi final the Bombers handed them a football lesson. It was around this time that some observers began to question Geelong’s ability to produce their best, eye catching brand of football when subjected to intense finals pressure. The Cats would seemingly go some way toward addressing this perceived weakness in 1967, but after that the same kind of criticism would repeatedly be levelled at them until they finally broke through - in decidely emphatic fashion, it has to be said - for their next premiership in 2007.

A free scoring, fast improving Richmond were the first of three teams to finish two wins adrift of the final four. The fact that the Tigers were close to being a credible major round team was shown on several occasions in 1965, most notably perhaps in their brace of wins over Essendon, by 4 goals at Windy Hill in round four, and a 58 point trouncing in round fifteen at the Tigers’ new home ground of the MCG. Richmond’s relocation to the league’s pre-eminent venue would prove, in time, to have been an inspired move, both from an economic and an on-field perspective.

Carlton, under fledgling coach Ron Barassi, improved by four ladder places and four and a half wins on their 1964 showing. At their best, the Blues were a match for most teams, as they proved with wins both home and away against Essendon and versus Geelong at Kardinia Park. In what from the point of view of the press but probably not the respective teams was the season’s quintessential “needle match” Melbourne overcame Carlton 13.17 (95) to 6.22 (58) at Princes Park in round eight, which was the only meeting of the two sides for the year. The Blues made the night series grand final in 1965 for the first time in seven years, but lost heavily to North Melbourne.

As was mentioned earlier, the Demons started the season in premiership form but the bewildering dismissal and reinstatement of coach Norm Smith effectively derailed their hopes. During the first half of the season they downed eventual top four teams Geelong and Collingwood, while in stark contrast the final nine rounds of the year included defeats at the hands of the three teams which finished immediately below them on the ladder.

By South Melbourne’s recent standards 1965 was almost a successful season The Swans had not finished as high as eighth since 1960, and not won as many games as 9 for over a decade. Their home form was particularly impressive, giving rise to 7 wins and just 2 losses. Among their victims were Essendon by 8 points in round six, Geelong by 14 points in round nine, and Collingwood in round eighteen by 16 points.

North Melbourne, which played its home matches at Coburg this season, finished well off the pace in 1965 with just 5 wins from 18 minor round matches. The Kangaroos did, however, win the VFL night series thanks to a 14.13 (97) to 9.3 (57) grand final defeat of Carlton at the Lake Oval. The match was watched by a new record crowd for the competition of 37,750. Another highlight of the year, although it was not realised at the time, was ruckman Noel Teasdale’s joint victory in the Brownlow Medal. Originally, Teasdale came second on a countback, but the VFL in its wisdom later decreed that all Brownlow runners-up who had finished second despite polling the same number of votes as as the winners would be awarded a retrospective Medal.

Tenth placed Footscray, eleventh placed Fitzroy and wooden spooners Hawthorn only managed 4 wins apiece in uniformly dismal seasons. Hawthorn’s fall from grace was particularly surprising as the Hawks had been a force for most of the decade. A meagre highlight for the men from Glenferrie was the feat of John Peck in topping the VFL goal kicking list with 56 goals. It was the third time in succession that Peck had been the league’s leading goal kicker.


VFA: Panthers and Preston Pounce

In 1964, Waverley escaped relegation from division one to division two of the VFA by winning their final match of the season. Just over twelve months later the Panthers again triumphed in their last game of the year but on this occasion that game was the grand final. Opposed by Port Melbourne, on Port’s own home ground, Waverley were at times seemingly outplayed, but the Borough’s kicking for goal was simply dire. Moreover, after getting their noses in front in the third term, the Panthers absolutely refused - apart from one very brief spell - to be dislodged, and in the end they even managed to chisel out some breathing space for themselves. Final scores were Waverley 14.13 (97) defeated Port Melbourne 10.25 (85).

In the second division grand final, played at Toorak Park, Preston comfortably overcame Mordialloc, after the Bloodhounds had dominated the early exchanges. The Bullants ultimately won by 38 points, 15.12 (102) to 9.10 (64), having posted 9 second half goals compared to Mordialloc's 4.


Big V Humbled

Victoria’s dominance of interstate football, reinforced so emphatically in 1964, was called into question a year later following a disastrous and humiliating loss at the hands of South Australia in Adelaide. The croweaters restricted the Big V to just 3.1 (19) for the match, their lowest ever interstate score. South Australia amassed 12.11 (83) and therefore won by 64 points. As always, the Vics were swift to table excuses: the players were tired after two recent hard matches in Perth against Western Australia; the inclement weather nullified their natural advantages in pace and skill; the umpiring was questionable. In truth, the cold, wet conditions were much more familiar to Victoria than the home state, but it was South Australia who handled the ball better, used it with greater conviction, and altogether played fluently and purposefully.

Just over a month earlier in Melbourne the boot had been firmly on the other foot as the VFL trounced South Australia by 59 points, 19.17 (131) to 9.18 (72). Early in the second quarter South Australia led narrowly only for the Vics to unleash a spectacular burst of power football which yielded 6 goals in ten minutes. After that, the match was as good as over.

The following Wednesday in Devonport South Australia downed Tasmania by 68 points, 16.26 (122) to 7.12 (54). However, when the two sides again confronted one another three days later in Hobart the home state put on a spirited and skilful display highlighted by star full forward Peter Hudson’s tally of 8.1. In the end, the visitors edged home by a single straight kick, 14.24 (108) to 16.6 (102).

All three of Western Australia’s interstate fixtures in 1965 took place on home soil. The sandgropers edged home against a VFA representative side, 12.17 (89) to 12.8 (80) before playing two matches against the VFL. In the first, Western Australia scored a hard fought and highly meritorious victory by 9 points, while in tghe second the Big V obtained revenge to the tune of 19 points.

In Melbourne, the VFA and Tasmania played out a close and entertaining tussle, with the home side ultimately prevailing by 7 points, 12.11 (83) to 11.10 (76).

Section Two of the Australian interstate championships took place in Sydney and Brisbane. In the former city Australian Amateurs comfortably overcame New South Wales while in Brisbane the Queenslanders won a high scoring game against Canberra by 21 points. In the championship final, also played in Brisbane, Australian Amateurs defeated the home state by 16 points, 11.14 (80) to 8.16 (64).

Two other interstate matches were played in 1965. In Sydney, Queensland defeated New South Wales 19.14 (128) to 16.10 (106), whilst Queensland were also victorious in Canberra against Canberra, winning 13.10 (88) to 11.19 (85).

A Review of the 1965 Football Season

 ​Gary Window (Central District)

A Changing of the Guard Looms

For the first ever time SANFL matches attracted aggregate crowds in excess of a million people including a single match record of 62,543 for the grand final between Port Adelaide and Sturt. The emergence of Sturt as a team with premiership-winning potential was a major reason for the rise with the Double Blues attracting a league high total of 352,246 spectators to their 23 fixtures. Meanwhile, Port Adelaide’s 22 fixtures were watched by 325,477 people.

Another reason for the increased attendances was the vast improvement shown over the second half of the season of Central District. The Bulldogs, bolstered by the acquisition of former South Fremantle star Tom Grlusich, won 7 of their last 10 matches to finish seventh.

The premiership again went to Port Adelaide but the Magpies were pushed all the way in both their finals matches. Against South Adelaide in the second semi final they trailed until seconds from the end, with a last gasp goal by Peter Mead ultimately giving them victory by 5 points. In the grand final clash with Sturt the Magpies led by 35 points early in the last quarter only for Sturt to get within 3 points at the finish. Although the vast crowd was unaware of it that last quarter was a sign of an imminent changing of the guard in South Australian football.

Sturt coach Jack Oatey had put together a classy team which flashed the ball around with pinpoint accuracy. In 1965 they added a considerable amount of grit to their play and with a bit more luck a premiership flag could have been unfurled at Unley prior to the start of the 1966 season.

For reigning premiers South Adelaide 1965 was an immensely disappointing year. In the second semi final against Port the Panthers were a point in front with the ball deep in their attacking zone and just ten seconds left on the clock. Somehow, the Magpies got the ball forward to Peter Mead who goaled with the last kick of the game. South’s preliminary final clash with Sturt was every bit as unsatisfactory as the second semi. In a tightly contested match South led by 16 points at the final change but proved incapable of holding off a desperate, fast finishing Double Blues side who got home by 7 points, 14.10 (94) to 12.15 (87).

Norwood returned to finals action in 1965 for the first time since 1962. The main impetus behind the Redlegs improvement was the consistently superb form of their ruck division, particularly ruckman Bill Wedding and rovers Haydn Bunton and Bob Oatey. Ian Brewer’s fine performance at full forward - he kicked 96 goals to top the league list - was also telling. When these players all failed to fire in the first semi final against Sturt Norwood’s season was effectively over. The Blues ultimately won easily by 45 points 15.12 (102) to 6.21 (57), after the Redlegs managed just 2.1 in the second half.

North Adelaide won 13 matches, which normally would be enough to qualify for a part of the finals action. South Adelaide, Sturt and Port Adelaide were among their victims, but the Roosters lost a “must win” last round game against South to topple out of the four. Injuries to Bob Hammond and Dudley Hill, both key players, probably damaged North’s prospects, but the team was expected to be there or thereabouts in 1966.

Glenelg had a weak goal to goal line and it was largely this that was blamed for the team’s mediocre showing. The Bays won 10 and lost 10 to finish sixth. In 1965 best and fairest Brian McGowan and Colin Rice they had a roving duo second to none. Both were former VFL players, and their class repeatedly showed in an otherwise unmemorable season for the Bays.

Central District’s unexpected rise to seventh has already been mentioned. A particularly gratifying side effect of this improvement was Gary Window’s feat in becoming the first Bulldogs player to win the Magarey Medal. Two years earlier Window had won the seconds Magarey Medal and he was the first ever such player also to claim the senior award.

West Torrens, which managed just 4 wins, had their worst season since the war. Prior to 1965 the Eagles had not finished lower than fifth since pre-war days. Torrens had the worst attack, statistically at any rate, in the competition, and they sorely missed star centreman Bob Shearman who stood out for the season whilst awaiting a clearance to Sturt. 

Ninth placed West Adelaide were another side to under-perform quite woefully. Their centreman Robert Day was one of the leading players in the competition but he had few noteworthy team mates in 1965.

Last placed Woodville matched their 1964 showing by winning 3 games. Overall, however, there were a number of positives, not least the fact that they were substantially harder to beat than in their debut season. The ‘Peckers managed to down both Norwood and West Torrens for the first time in 1965, and came close to toppling Glenelg in round fourteen.

​Carlton president George Harris welcomes Ron Barassi to the club.

BACK TO:   Season Reviews

​Bert Thornley (East Fremantle)

​Austin Robertson junior (Subiaco)

Brian McGowan (Glenelg)

Robert Oatey (Norwood)

​Bill Walker (Swan Districts)