Other Key Chapters

The Major Players

Western Australia can be proud of having many first-class players through its ranks. This chapter honours no less than 325 of our local heroes. From the Adair brothers, Harold Boys, Charlie Bannister, Johnny Beveridge, George Burt, Walter Gardner, Bob Cherry, John Coyne and sons Chris and Jamie, Jack Conduit, Reg Davies, Bobby Despotovski, Robbie Dunn, Ivan Ergic, Stan Lazaridis, Gary Marocchi, John McInroy, Craig and Gareth Naven, John O’Connell, Jason and Michael Petkovic, Bert Robertson, John Sydenham, Eric and Rhys Williams, Dale and Marc Wingell, and Robert Zabica to literally name just a few.

Senior Cup Competitions and Grounds

There has been some stunning silverware on offer in this State, the most recognisable is without question, the Charity Cup, which began in 1903. Other elimination competitions include the Challenge Cup & Shield, Association Cup, D’Orsogna Cup, Caris Challenge Cup, Boral Cup and more recently, the State League Cup. This chapter provides as many of its winners as possible.

WA Representative Matches

The first representative match for a Western Australian senior State team was against a visiting English Test cricket team in 1902. A couple more games against English cricketers took place before bona-fide football opposition started to arrive after WWI. This chapter gives a report on almost all of the first-class representative matches, together with the WA line-up and referee where possible.

Control Centre

Perhaps for the first time in Australia, a chapter has been produced to recognise the man (and more recently, women) in the middle. It provides, as accurately as possible, a complete list of first-class referees back to 1896.

Goldfields and Coalfields

Football is as old in the regions as it is in the metropolitan area, especially in the goldfields and south-west of the State. A brief history is provided of the beginnings in most country football hotbeds. The earliest recorded game of ‘football’ was played in Gingin, in 1862.

Always on a Sunday

With the Soccer Federation of WA controlling semi-professional football, there remained the need for soccer at a social level. The first Sunday amateur association began in 1968 and as history has shown, this particular area of the code has grown to become as big as the junior competitions. There was even a period of bitter rivalry between two successful amateur bodies. All the first team tables are recorded as are the major amateur cup winners. Stalwart administrators Ted Gray, Julius Re, John Venn, Gavin Braithwaite, Peter Faulks, Bob Page, Ian Jones, Vic Andrich, Alistair Mackay and Dave Nurse all played their part in strengthening the amateur game.

Dream Teams

This chapter covers both junior and school football, which began as early as 1900. In fact, the first years of football were so successful, it became a serious threat to the Australian game.

The Women’s Game

Football played by women in an organised sense has been only going since 1972. Although records are meagre, a picture of its history was still possible. Sunday Times writer Richard Bales laid the original foundations for organised football during the early 1970’s. Games in Queensland and New South Wales were recorded in the late 1920’s-early 1930’s but only on a social level. Similar games were played in WA not long after WWII. Dr Oscar Mate and Eric Thomas were among the few who realised the potential of the women’s game.

The Backstage Staff

Without club administrators (of whom most are volunteers) the game simply wouldn’t get to the changing rooms. A club administrator’s job is never fun, he has to be a jack of all trades in order to get players onto the pitch, which he quite likely had to mark out in the first place! A list of administrators has been compiled in recognition for the hard work they have put in over the years. Julius Re and Nick Tana are two such people who made a significant contribution to the game, albeit in two different ways.

A Faith in Football

Religion in football has hardly been written about in the past, but it is out there. In fact the ties between religion and football are much closer than people imagine, as Paddocks to Pitches explains.

Sponsorship, Media and Recognition

Without sponsorship dollars, the professional clubs and controlling organisations especially, simply could not survive. Western Australian football has had many generous supporters of the game, who knew full well their return would be minimal, however, realised their valuable contributions kept the game afloat.