Resource History Thread - Footscray Football Club and Western Bulldogs newspaper archive

Vinegar Mess

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Hi all. I’m an historical researcher and sometimes spend hours at the State Library trawling through old newspapers on microfilm. I’m forever getting sidetracked on the sports pages of ancient copies of The Argus, The Age and the Sun News-Pictorial.

If anyone is interested in checking out reports of FFC/WB matches from the deep (and sometimes dark) past then feel free to nominate a game or incident you’d like to revisit. I’ll use this thread to post an excerpt from the contemporary newspaper(s) as a jpg file. It’ll be like creating a selective online archive.

Requests can be as vague or detailed as memory allows. Offering up “I remember a game when Norm Tivendale held Phil Carman to one goal” is just as good as suggesting “Footscray vs St Kilda at Western Oval, 1978 Round 13”.

I’ll reserve the first instalment for the first game I ever attended (a win!) which I’ll post during the next couple of days. Otherwise, suggestions are most welcome. Cheers.
 

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The Original Swooper

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#2
Mid to late 60's. Dogs come from behind to beat Pies by a few points. I'm sure it was Bryant (or Jillard) kicked a long bomb to win the game either just before or on the siren. I was young. I remember the walk home to Maidstone and everybody was singing and cheering in the streets.
 

Vinegar Mess

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Mid to late 60's. Dogs come from behind to beat Pies by a few points. I'm sure it was Bryant (or Jillard) kicked a long bomb to win the game either just before or on the siren. I was young. I remember the walk home to Maidstone and everybody was singing and cheering in the streets.
Probably 1967, late in the season. We trailed by 23 points at three-quarter time; stormed home to win by six points. Both Bryant and Jillard played but neither scored a goal. Could it have been Don McKenzie? It was the day he kicked eight. Other wins against Collingwood in that era where by more comfortable margins so deduction suggests this is the match but I’ll check out the report in the Sun. Great suggestion.
 

The Original Swooper

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#4
Probably 1967, late in the season. We trailed by 23 points at three-quarter time; stormed home to win by six points. Both Bryant and Jillard played but neither scored a goal. Could it have been Don McKenzie? It was the day he kicked eight. Other wins against Collingwood in that era where by more comfortable margins so deduction suggests this is the match but I’ll check out the report in the Sun. Great suggestion.
The margin is right and coming from behind too. I just recall the goal that won us the game was a long bomb. Perhaps over time the memory has been embellished. Lol. I was 7 or 8 at the time. I seem to remember the bomb coming from just forward of centre. I must have said to my dad a dozen times on the long walk home " I never thought we'd win that". I also recall him being caught short and having a pi55 in the park we cut through ( (Essex st iirc). He'd stand at the footy with mates drinking cans whilst I had my spot standing behind the gate they let the police horse through. There were no banners so I could see through the cyclone wire if I sat on the ground.

Everyone was singing the club song as they walked. It was like we won a final. Guess we didn't beat the Pies too often back then. I think it may have been the game that hooked me as a Bulldog forever.
 

Vinegar Mess

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Round 1 1976 Western Oval vs Essendon

My first match. We lost by one point. The addiction started then.
Okay, it’s added to the list. We had an amazing team ‘on paper’ - can barely believe Essendon could have ran us close let alone win. Then again, that was the 1970s.

Interesting anecdote: It was the debut match for Alan ‘Dizzy’ Lynch whose career ended fourteen weeks later in a Richmond jumper. He played Geelong twice that year - Round 7 for us then again in Round 13 representing the Tigers.
 

Vinegar Mess

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I liked the game where Shane Loveless kicked a bag against South Melbourne - pulled down a bunch of one handed marks in the goal square
A rare win during the Royce Hart days 8/45 win/loss record. Okay, I’ll try and dig up this one also.

The regulars where we stood referred to Shane Loveless as ‘Pinhead’. Was this a widely used nickname or just by the punters behind the Footscray race who were seeking laughs during the very worst of seasons? Shane had a couple of ripping weeks when he had consecutive hauls of 8 and 7 goals, the latter being the match you’ve mentioned.
 

Vinegar Mess

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Please do not mention Royce Hart. It still hurts so much.

So you stood by the Footscray race? I probably saw you from my seat up in the Whitten Stand!
Yes, I thought I might have copped a ban for mentioning He Who Must Not Be Named.

We stood at the very top of the race - the players literally ran out from under our feet, the smell of liniment wafting up - firstly as a little kid in the mid-1970s on a stool leaning against the wire mesh, later as an adult until the last ever game. So many indelible memories; now my kids go and kick the footy there - funny old world, eh?
 

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#11
A rare win during the Royce Hart days 8/45 win/loss record. Okay, I’ll try and dig up this one also.

The regulars where we stood referred to Shane Loveless as ‘Pinhead’. Was this a widely used nickname or just by the punters behind the Footscray race who were seeking laughs during the very worst of seasons? Shane had a couple of ripping weeks when he had consecutive hauls of 8 and 7 goals, the latter being the match you’ve mentioned.
I do recall many of the Social club members called him that.
 

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Vinegar Mess

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Mid to late 60's. Dogs come from behind to beat Pies by a few points. I'm sure it was Bryant (or Jillard) kicked a long bomb to win the game either just before or on the siren. I was young. I remember the walk home to Maidstone and everybody was singing and cheering in the streets.
Swooper, after reading the match reports I’ve decided to give your nomination the honour of being the first match posted in this thread. Sounds like a stirring win.

Sadly, it proved to be our last of the season as the Dogs lost the remaining three games by 3, 2 and 2 points. Fitzroy won two of their last three so we finished bottom. No wonder there was such merriment after beating the Pies.

I was able to locate the match reports from both The Age and The Sun.
 

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#14
Swooper, after reading the match reports I’ve decided to give your nomination the honour of being the first match posted in this thread. Sounds like a stirring win.

Sadly, it proved to be our last of the season as the Dogs lost the remaining three games by 3, 2 and 2 points. Fitzroy won two of their last three so we finished bottom. No wonder there was such merriment after beating the Pies.

I was able to locate the match reports from both The Age and The Sun.
Thanks VM. Great memories. We really were the Bulldog Battlers back then.
I think by that age I already had Wee Georgia's #6 on my jumper. Little did I know that in 10 or 11 years he was to be my first Senior coach. Thanks again.
 

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Yes, I thought I might have copped a ban for mentioning He Who Must Not Be Named.

We stood at the very top of the race - the players literally ran out from under our feet, the smell of liniment wafting up - firstly as a little kid in the mid-1970s on a stool leaning against the wire mesh, later as an adult until the last ever game. So many indelible memories; now my kids go and kick the footy there - funny old world, eh?
I stood at the side of the race behind the Hyde St School Band seats.

I remember one game at WO against Richmond in the rain when Ian Morrison kept Roach kickless and we won. Was Round 19, 1979. Templeton kicked 6. Always tell others about that game because of Morrison’s effort.

And yeah Pinhead was a popular nickname for Loveless on the members wing. Had a small head in comparison to tree trunk legs and arse. Wasn’t considered very bright either


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Vinegar Mess

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I stood at the side of the race behind the Hyde St School Band seats.

I remember one game at WO against Richmond in the rain when Ian Morrison kept Roach kickless and we won. Was Round 19, 1979. Templeton kicked 6. Always tell others about that game because of Morrison’s effort.

And yeah Pinhead was a popular nickname for Loveless on the members wing. Had a small head in comparison to tree trunk legs and arse. Wasn’t considered very bright either


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I’ll add that to the list, mcglee. I was at that game but the memory has mostly evaporated (I recall Shane Walsh debuting but that’s all). I checked out the stats at afltables.com and am staggered at some of features of this match:

At first I thought your comment about Morrison/Roach was hyperbole however Roach’s stats literally were 0 kicks, 4 handballs. What makes this achievement even more incredible is that Roach was in form and had kicked ten goals the week before.

We smashed Richmond 97 - 41 and had almost triple the number of scoring shots. It was such an unexpected result given the previous week the Tigers had amassed 28 goals whereas we leaked 31(!) against South Melbourne.

Will definitely source the match report next time I’m at SLV - will be interesting reading.
 

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I’ll add that to the list, mcglee. I was at that game but the memory has mostly evaporated (I recall Shane Walsh debuting but that’s all). I checked out the stats at afltables.com and am staggered at some of features of this match:

At first I thought your comment about Morrison/Roach was hyperbole however Roach’s stats literally were 0 kicks, 4 handballs. What makes this achievement even more incredible is that Roach was in form and had kicked ten goals the week before.

We smashed Richmond 97 - 41 and had almost triple the number of scoring shots. It was such an unexpected result given the previous week the Tigers had amassed 28 goals whereas we leaked 31(!) against South Melbourne.

Will definitely source the match report next time I’m at SLV - will be interesting reading.
Thanks, Vinegar. The weather was really shitty - we sat on the fence instead of standing , covered in plastic - so it was one of those classic Dogs beat better side at home games. That kickless stat has stuck in my memory for nearly 40 years!


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Vinegar Mess

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Wonderful thread.

Would you have something on a Footscray Richmond game from 1972? It was round 21 or so and we lost by a few points after being about 8 goals up. Bartlett and Sandilands both kicked bags
Did you attend this one, scooter? Yes, we trailed by 43 points at quarter time and lost by 2. I’ll add it to the list for next time I’m at SLV.
 

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1976 - Round 1
at Western Oval
[3 April 1976]

Footscray 16 - 16 - 112
Essendon 16 - 17 - 113


As requested by Chicago1. His first ever game - a one point loss. Hopefully he went the following week when we smashed Melbourne.

Sunday Press - 4 Apr 1976


The Age - 5 Apr 1976


Sun News-Pictorial - 5 Apr 1976


Sun News-Pictorial - 5 Apr 1976
 

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Did you attend this one, scooter? Yes, we trailed by 43 points at quarter time and lost by 2. I’ll add it to the list for next time I’m at SLV.
It was my first ever game.

My Richmond supporting grandfather took me. Richmond were on their way to the grand final and we were right down the list. He thought Richmond would pump us and I was to be a Tiger for life. Instead I jumped on the underdog and was shattered when Richmond got up.

I still hate Richmond to this day.

Funny how your mind works, though. I thought we were miles in front and they came back at us? Maybe because I spent the first half barracking for Richmond!
 

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#24
It was my first ever game.

My Richmond supporting grandfather took me. Richmond were on their way to the grand final and we were right down the list. He thought Richmond would pump us and I was to be a Tiger for life. Instead I jumped on the underdog and was shattered when Richmond got up.

I still hate Richmond to this day.

Funny how your mind works, though. I thought we were miles in front and they came back at us? Maybe because I spent the first half barracking for Richmond!
It might have been my first game too? I got my licence when I turned 18 that year, so I drove myself to the ground. I can't remember the result :huh: but I remember watching John Birt, who used to teach at my school [Essendon Grammar] come on in the last quarter of the ressies to save the game for them - he was captain / coach
 

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#25
Thanks for that, Vinegar. Yes, Gary Dempsey best for the Doggies and 15 marks(seemed like a bazillion to me). I had never seen anything like it! Footscray almost came back to win it after being so far behind. Lost by one point. I had my team. As I remember it cost $2 to get in and a Footy Record was 20c. I stood behind the Barkly Street goals with a fellow American teacher who also had never been to a game. We nominally chose our teams before the start based on where we lived. She lived in Moonee Ponds so went for Essendon and I lived in Maribrynong and went for Footscray. I never would have imagined on that Autumn day that 41 years later the love affair would continue... err... with the Doggies, not the other teacher. She's long gone! Thanks again.
 
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