GOODBYE LEEDERVILLE OVAL: New book published about WAFL Golden Era, 1984-86, by Kieran James
Message from the author Kieran James: "My new book is now available for purchase. Topic: West Perth unofficial cheer squad 1984-86. Also looks at the big games and main players in the Western Australian Football League (WAFL) over this period 1984-86".
To buy large-print paperback edition: http://www.lulu.com/shop/kieran-james/goodbye-leederville-oval-history-of-west-perth-cheer-squad-1984-86-large-print/paperback/product-23408672.html
|Dr Sean Gorman (left) and Dr Kieran James|
I would like to thank: Mr. Brian Atkinson (official historian of the West Perth Football Club and the author of It’s a Grand Old Flag); Michael “Mike” Blewett (co-founder of the WPFC cheer squad 1984-86); Caveman (leader of the Footscray not Western Bulldogs lobby group based in Melbourne); John Devaney of Full Points Footy website and Full Points Publications; Chris Egan (Australian Society for Sports History Perth chapter member, Perth Glory historian, and Peel Thunder supporter); Professor Lionel Frost (Monash University and editor of Sporting Traditions); Dr. Sean Gorman (Curtin University academic and the author of BrotherBoys); Professor Chris Hallinan (Monash University); Pave Jusup, Kova, and Sime (MCF hooligan firm at Melbourne Knights Soccer Club); Patrick Mirosevich (present-day South Fremantle cheer squad member); Mark Whiting (East Fremantle supporter); members of the Lost WAFL Facebook group; and members of the Say NO to any AFL clubs in the WAFL Facebook group.
FOREWORD, by Brian Atkinson
This is a book with a difference. It recounts primarily the memories and reflections of a then 15-year-old school boy who jointly founded a cheer squad for the West Perth Football Club (WPFC) in 1984 to succeed the previous one that was disbanding. These memories and reflections cover the 1984-1986 period. The nature of social relations within the group is also examined.
|Dr Kieran James (left) and Mr Brian Atkinson|
The author recalls commencing to follow West Perth in 1976 at the age of seven, and describes some of his early memories. The performances of the West Perth team and of many of the players from 1984 to 1986 are then recounted. Readers will enjoy recalling many team and individual highlights from that period in particular. Some interesting exchanges with cheer squads from the other Western Australian Football League (WAFL) clubs are described.
|Tin shed with Technical School behind it, 6 July 2011.|
The book will assist to preserve the memories and part of the history of the transition period of the middle- and late-1980s when Australian Rules Football was changed forever, and the impact that this change had on the WAFL.
This book is very well researched, extensively referenced, and very well written. It will create controversy amongst readers. Many will strongly agree with the views of the author. Many will strongly disagree. But all West Perth supporters will enjoy their recollections of the players and the times of the mid-1980s.
Mr. Brian A. Atkinson,
West Perth FC official historian,
Perth, 19 November 2011.
Book Extract (from Chapter 4, page 153):
Book Extract (from Chapter 4, page 153):
South Fremantle versus West Perth, Fremantle Oval, Round 19 (9 August), 1986
I once talked to Pete C. and spent the game with him on the scoreboard bank’s concrete terracing at Fremantle Oval (at around the half-forward flank position closest to the northern-end goals) for a match against South Fremantle late in the 1986 season. The flags had vanished and there was only the two of us left at this juncture in time. Pete C. and I hadn’t even arranged in advance to meet; it was a chance meeting. I would have to say that the cheer squad no longer existed at this point. However, Pete’s charming, quiet, and thoughtful manner had not changed.
After the game Pete C. and I walked through the Fremantle city streets together and I think Pete took a Number 106 bus or a train back to Perth while I took a different bus to Booragoon. We probably parted at Fremantle train station. I originally wrote this paragraph 26 years later, on 9 January 2013, and I still haven’t seen Pete again since that day at Fremantle Oval near to the close of the 1986 season. As we walked through the Fremantle city streets together, as the dark and the chill started drifting in from the ocean (minimum temperatures were 4.5 and 4.0 degrees Celsius on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th August 1986), we were both fairly subdued and disappointed as it looked like our team’s season was over (the team probably could not make the final-four) and all the hope of the past two years had come to nothing. I think that another reason for my anxious and melancholic mood was the realization, pushed to the back of my mind, that my life was changing and it would never be the same again. I was 17-years-old, in the first year of university, and the adult world of responsibilities, choices, careers, and consequences was fast closing in, whilst childhood was at an end. In football terms, there was also massive change at work behind the scenes as the powerbrokers were putting together and planning for the new as yet unnamed super-team which would play in the VFL in 1987. Every genuine football person in Perth knew that the WAFL would never be the same again no matter how upbeat the newspapers were. Like my childhood, the old WAFL was slipping away. The days of 14,000 plus crowds at the match-of-the-round were never coming back.
|West Perth unofficial cheer squad (1984-86) co-founders Mike Blewett (left) and Kieran James, Exchange Hotel, Kalgoorlie, 14 July 2011.|