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ARTICLE: "Lathlain Oval: Where Perth Football Club found success in fresh fields", by J. Townsend, 19/9/17

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ARTICLE: The name Pat Fogarty barely resonates in WA football circles now but it is doubtful that West Coast Eagles would be preparing to move to Lathlain Park next year without the Perth secretary’s foresight more than half a century ago.
Perth were based at the WACA Ground for most of their first 60 years but Fogarty, who was secretary for nearly 20 years before having two stints as president, was long convinced the club would only thrive by moving into the heart of its growing district.
It was a strategy later replicated with great success by West Perth in their shift to Joondalup but a move that attracted significant opposition from Perth supporters in the tough years after World War II.
But Fogarty was adamant — Perth had to move or perish.
He had identified the rudimentary ground at Goddard Street, the geographic centre of a new housing development, as the ideal site for the club and spent much of energies convincing the Perth city council of the value of his vision.
Merely delighted…

ARTICLE: "Perth Oval: Chestnuts, plane flights and Royal rumbles fro East Perth", by John Townsend, 14/9/2017

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ARTICLE: The tale of Charlie Chandler’s tree blossomed in the late 1950s but it was the chestnut’s failure to flower in 1961 that made the myth a legend.
The famous tree was a Perth Oval landmark for many decades, but the significance of its rare blooming was not recognised until Chandler, a returned World War II soldier and rabid East Perth supporter, identified several serendipitous events.
Chandler made the tree a barometer of East Perth premiership chances when he pointed out that, after many years without a flower, it had blossomed in 1956, 1958 and a year later.
They were all seasons that the Royals won the flag as a cohort of outstanding players in Graham “Polly” Farmer, Ted “Square” Kilmurray and John K. Watts combined superbly under inspirational coach Jack Sheedy.
East Perth were red-hot favourites in 1961, having beaten Swan Districts four times in the season, but the tree would not flower.
The bare tree proved a powerful omen.
Swans would go on to win the premiership, while the …

ARTICLE: "Bassendean Oval: Home of hard men, on and off the field", by John Townsend, 18/9/2017

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ARTICLE: As a boy growing up in Perth’s western suburbs in the 1970s, there were few prospects more terrifying than catching the train to Bassendean Oval to watch Claremont take on Swan Districts.
The train ride from Swanbourne was straightforward enough, even though the last couple of stops before Success Hill started to bring contact with characters best avoided once the game started.
A three-minute trot down Thompson Road, a right and then left to the main gates on Old Perth Road and you were in the ground.
Then the fun started.
The railway has played a major part in Swan Districts’ history, with Bassendean Oval’s position on the Midland line providing easy access to the city and eastern suburbs, which supplied many of its players over the decades.
Sports were played at the then Bassendean Reserve from the early part of the century, but it was the foresight of former South Fremantle player RA (Dick) McDonald in the mid-1920s, then a member of the Bassendean Road Board, that saw funds ra…

ARTICLE: "East Fremantle Oval: From sand and scrub to a footy fortress", by John Townsend, 20/9/2017

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ARTICLE: Jack Sheedy grew up opposite East Fremantle Oval, so there was no question he would relish the chance to play on the ground he saw converted from a patch of sand and scrub into the home of the WAFL’s most successful club.
One of WA football’s most famous figures as his title Mr Football would suggest, Gentleman Jack — or Bible Jack as he was also known after offering to swear his innocence on a bible during one of his assorted tribunal appearances — Sheedy was at the peak of his powers when he first ran on to East Fremantle Oval in April 1953.
He was 26, already a veteran of 150 club games, two premierships, a couple of years as coach and countless stoushes when Old Easts moved from Fremantle Oval to their own premises a couple of kilometres east of the port town.
“I was born and bred here and lived in the street opposite when the ground was built,” Sheedy, now 90, recalled at his recent induction into the club’s hall of fame.
“My parents took me to the football every week and I …

BOOK REVIEW: "Goodbye Leederville Oval" - More than an Oval, by Chris Egan, 12/9/2017

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Dr Kieran James’ book – Goodbye Leederville Oval is a unique and credible insight into Perth’s sporting culture. It covers three major themes – the fluidity of Perth’s sporting culture, the pain of transition in Australia of sports moving from semi-professional to professional pathways and one that is currently being further examined across the state. What is it to be a Western Australian?
James uses soccer to elicit his supporter group as part of an intimidatory force and uses the literature from the United Kingdom soccer scene to introduce his supporter group. It is the fluid connections that come through that are the highlight of the experiences of Kieran’s youth. There is a transient connection to the WAFL by boys of his generation, especially when compared to the intensity of support in the VFL.This is challenged by the ‘parochialism’ at state level which superseded the interest in metropolitan clashes. 
Dedication came with the ‘cultural’ acceptance that kids would be ‘permissed’ …

WAFL Golden Era

WAFL Footballers (Golden Era, 1976-1990)

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