Club History The South Melbourne/Sydney Swans history thread

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Ozmale62

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Picked up the Daily Telegraph this morning and inside there was a 2014 mini mag has Buddy on the front cover and the usual predictions inside from "panel experts"

Inside there is a article which i found particularly interesting it focused on our past and the 1934 season where Pratt kicked 150 goals but we lost to Richmond in the GF it goes to say Pratt reckoned some of the players took bribes to play poorly and confronted them after the game.
JohnG,

Thought this might interest & I hope that I don't actually bore you with some history...

I actually had the pleasure to meet Bob Pratt & sit down with him & his wife Olive for a few hours at his home in 1996 or 1997, only a year or two after Mike Lefebvre released his book "Bloodstained Angels" which detailed the golden period of the Swans in Melbourne.

During our conversation on his playing & coaching memories of the 1930's to 1960's, he clearly stated that even then, he was still of the opinion that some of his teammates had taken a bribe to play dead in the Grand Final of 1934. One of his biggest gripes from that Grand Final, was that no-one was kicking to him irrespective of whether he had an opponent on him or when he was in the clear. It should be remembered that he had kicked 150 goals to that point.

What I found particularly interesting was that he went & pulled out his memorabilia that his daughter scrap booked for him & we noticed that he also scored 87 behinds that year also. Effectively meaning that he had 237 shots at goal that actually scored. Some of his results were amazing, where he had days of 10 goals 2 behinds & yet other days he had figures of 2 goals 7 behinds, if I remember the numbers correctly. What is also interesting is that Pratt kicked his 150 goals in only 21 games (18 Home & Away rounds & 3 finals), whereas when Peter Hudson equalled the 150 goals in 1970, he did in 24 games (22 Home & Away Rounds & 2 Finals).

Another couple of quotes that you may be interested from that meeting, was that he thought Laurie Nash was the most rude, arrogant, self centred player that was going around, but he also considered him the best player that he ever played with. He explained about one game against the Bulldogs where in the last few minutes of the game, Nash went into the Centre & proceeded to kick a long torpedo goal on his right foot. Running back to the Centre, the Dogs players said he couldn't do that again & Nash said he would do it on his left next time, which he proceeded to do & win the match. Amazing to hear about the exploits of a true champion of our game & makes one understand why Nash used to say that the best player he ever saw in his time in the game was the person in the mirror.

Lastly, Pratt said that had Johnny Leonard (Playing Coach in 1932) had stayed at the Swans in 1933 rather than going back to his native WA, then the Swans would have won back to back or possibly a three-peat of Grand Finals, such was his admiration of the little fella (Rover).
It was funny, upon arriving at his home, he said that he was contracted in regards to signing items however I was more than happy just to meet him & discuss the past. Eventually after hours of chatting to him, his daughter came by to take him & his wife out & he then signed everything that we took. He was a true gentleman, a person that at that time had a great recollection of everything & a real legend of our club & the game.
 

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RW

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JohnG,

Thought this might interest & I hope that I don't actually bore you with some history...
Not boring at all! One of the things that this board has lacked is a dedicated thread for people to share their recollections of supporting the club, not just for South people but the early Sydney days as well. I have moved your post here as I feel it deserves more attention rather than just being hidden away in a match preview thread.
 

Ozmale62

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Makes me feel sick that our players could've thrown a game like that all those years ago.
DeadlyAkkuret,

Yes, I agree that it doesn't seem right by today's standard, but as JohnG said above that this was the time of the Great Depression & whilst football was more of an amateur sport, money was very short for a lot of people so people had to make do with what they could. Remember Boston & their White Sox doing the same.

Certain rogue elements filtered through all of the clubs, including South Melbourne, as players were being paid a pittance to play & back then SP bookmakers were taking bets on football matches.

SP Bookmakers in their guise of normal gentlemen, were able to be part of Football Club Committee's, worked with or possibly sponsored Clubs & some were known to employ players outside of football.

No-one alive today really knows for sure if anyone took bribes to throw the match, but Bob Pratt was sure that it happened & could not prove anything.

Nowadays, we have new rules designed to ensure that these types of things do not occur in football, so hopefully & I'm sure that we do see a game clean of this sort of thing.

Also, I have attached a picture of one of the items that Bob Pratt signed in my presence, for your reference.
- It is an envelope with his signature clearly showing, which I have personally framed & included another signed picture of him into it.
(I actually have two of these in my possession)

The reason that I have attached this, is that I have noticed a lot of potentially fake signed memorabilia being sold on a famous Buy Sell website purporting to have been signed by Bob Pratt.

What I have noticed is that the signatures do not look anything like the many that I have in my possession. The "B" in Bob does not curl properly at the bottom as shown in the picture as the fakes have the "B" continuing to strike across & up into the "O" & that "TT" in Pratt are shown with a single strike through across both "T's" which is wrong as they are both done individually by Bob. Just hope that you don't get caught out like some.

Pratt and Sydney Credit Card.JPG
 

GotTheGoodes

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The reason that I have attached this, is that I have noticed a lot of potentially fake signed memorabilia being sold on a famous Buy Sell website purporting to have been signed by Bob Pratt.

What I have noticed is that the signatures do not look anything like the many that I have in my possession. The "B" in Bob does not curl properly at the bottom as shown in the picture as the fakes have the "B" continuing to strike across & up into the "O" & that "TT" in Pratt are shown with a single strike through across both "T's" which is wrong as they are both done individually by Bob. Just hope that you don't get caught out like some.

View attachment 46552
He must have really liked you... He gave you his credit card with sigature included (bottom right)!
 

Ozmale62

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He must have really liked you... He gave you his credit card with sigature included (bottom right)!
Nah, its John Citizen's card.. with lots of the number 9 in it... (from an ANZ promotion quite a few years ago actually)

I should admit, that I have a real passion for collecting football memorabilia & talking to the past to try to connect the past with the present. Maybe the Swans would like to put together a museum & all of us collectors can contribute to it to keep the past relevant to the present members & supporters as well as our future players & supporters.
 

baja

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Great idea for a thread, I hope newer posters feel free to contribute to any discussion about the old days even questions and I like the idea it is on our main board where opposition supporters can contribute as they probably wouldn't even bother to browse a sub board, well I know I don't.
So many posters over the years have contributed great memories so I had a quick search and I thought Id tag a few that are deeply interested and /or are connected to our club through various ways Id love to read more from them, Michael Riley , Reggi05 , basher williams , Yeah SJ , paula daly , Yakas , Bandit55 Im sure Ive missed quite a few that was just from one old thread.

Go Bloods!
 

Ozmale62

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Baja,

Basher Williams was a favourite personality of mine when I met him also. He really had this steely glare in his eyes when he spoke & a real gruff exterior. You could tell that he was a real hard man in football as people had always told me what you see is what you got.

I always remember a particular story about someone, cannot for the love of me remember the person, caught up with Basher & gave him the customary punch to the body & say "How are ya Basher". Williams, for probably the only time in his life, looked back at his assailant in some degree of shock & pain & explained that he just got out of hospital after heart surgery.. Tough man.. you bet.
 

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baja

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Another couple of quotes that you may be interested from that meeting, was that he thought Laurie Nash was the most rude, arrogant, self centred player that was going around, but he also considered him the best player that he ever played with. He explained about one game against the Bulldogs where in the last few minutes of the game, Nash went into the Centre & proceeded to kick a long torpedo goal on his right foot. Running back to the Centre, the Dogs players said he couldn't do that again & Nash said he would do it on his left next time, which he proceeded to do & win the match. Amazing to hear about the exploits of a true champion of our game & makes one understand why Nash used to say that the best player he ever saw in his time in the game was the person in the mirror.
.
Nash was an amazing footballer no doubt and I don't doubt Pratts comments.

Pratt also said that the year 1934? when he kicked 150 goals he would have kicked more had the dominant Nash who played at CHB swinging to CHF standing 175cm tall ever kicked to him, Pratt said Nash always ignored his leads. Nash kicked 53 goals that year, 47 of them from 9 games.

A week before the 1933 Grand final series Nash broke several fingers in his hand and was expected to miss the final series, he kicked 6 goals that game with his broken hand, missed only one week was dominant through the finals and was best on ground in the 1933 Grand Final with 13 marks and 29 kicks.

Nash also kicked 18 goals in a state game, back then it was truly best against the best, 2 at quarter time and 16 in the last 3 quarters, wow.

In the 1945 Grand Final "The Bloodbath" Bod Chitty ran at him to knock him out but Nash got in first and threw one of the best punches ever seen knocked him out cold and wasn't even reported for it, some say Nash who was wearing a leather guard on his arm had it lined with metal, who knows.

You can be sure it wasn't Nash who threw the game or Peter Reville, they turned on their team mates after the shock 1934 Grand Final loss a lot of finger pointing and reports of fisticuffs. We played in 4 Grand Finals in a row winning only 1933.
 

Ozmale62

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Laurie nash must of been one heck of a talent i tell you that much,

Great op and great thread idea
swansrule100,

Do you know what the scary thing about Laurie Nash was.... he actually only stood at 1.75m or 5'9"... That is smaller than Dick Reynolds, the famous Rover who won three Brownlows for Essendon during the 1930's.

He is shorter even than our current Captain in Kieren Jack who stands around 1.78m or approx. 1" taller at 5'10". We all see how little Kieren looks on the footy field against some of the players, but imagine Kieren playing CHF against someone like Josh Kennedy each week yet outmarking him.

Yet, the great Laurie Nash was playing as a CHF or a CHB against taller players week in week out & not only competing, but beating his opponents consistently.

Yes I am aware that the taller Ruckmen in the league at the time were only 1.87m or around 6'3", but Pratt said he had the ability to sit on their shoulders & outmark them time & again also as well as the ability to spin himself in mid air to ensure that he missed any potential buffeting from stray fists & the like.

So yes, I totally agree.. he must have been one hell of a talent to not only be so successful on a footy field, but to also play cricket for Australia as probably the fastest bowler in Australian cricket at the time.

And yes, Pratt said the story about Bradman's shoes was real as Laurie Nash had admitted nailing them to the wooden bench upon his return to footy as he really didn't like Bradman's attitude to his teammates. But that's another story for another time.

Its history like this that is lost unless it is shared in books, written down or shared with those that follow this great club of ours.

So lets just Cheer Cheer the Red & the White...
 

Michael Riley

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You could always build something like the Blueseum. A virtual club museum, but it would be good to have a publicly accessible museum.

Fitzroy have a display at Etihad and it would be good to see something similar for the bloods.

BTW 1934 was the Year for goal kicking.
George Doig kicked 152 in WA and Bill Pearson kicked 220 for Old Scotch in the VAFA (though this probably includes non Association games)
 

robbieando

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He kicked two in the first quarter and was moved to Full Forward after the Vic Full Forward was injured and kicked a further 16. Sorry I cant recall that Full Forwards name.
I thought he started at CHB but happy to be correct. Never a game I've researched closely for some reason. We should bedford who the Full Forward was as was there and all;)
 

baja

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I thought he started at CHB but happy to be correct. Never a game I've researched closely for some reason. We should bedford who the Full Forward was as was there and all;)
I think he started at CHF in the state game however that year that he was selected for this state game he played at CHB for South, I also am happy to be corrected.
 

baja

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Not boring at all! One of the things that this board has lacked is a dedicated thread for people to share their recollections of supporting the club, not just for South people but the early Sydney days as well. I have moved your post here as I feel it deserves more attention rather than just being hidden away in a match preview thread.
Id like to hear from early Sydney supporters too and their early memories, was it Capper? I semi supported St George in rugby coz of the uniform not a real great interest in rugby but when the Storm started I took a more active interest in the sport now Im a huge Storm fan. Im interested in what made them start supporting our club and their early memories.
 
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RW

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Id like to hear from early Sydney supporters too and their early memories, was it Capper? I semi supported St George in rugby coz of the uniform not a real great interest in rugby but when the Storm started I took a more active interest in the sport now Im a huge Storm fan. Im interested in what made them start supporting our club and their early memories.
I didn't take an interest in footy until the late 90s but I have an uncle who would have been around the club in that era and I think he would have met Capper, he is in his late 70s now and doesn't get to as many games these days but I still see him on the odd occasion at the SCG with his young nephews so at least has kept the tradition alive!
 
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PVF

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Loving this thread guys :thumbsu:

I'm hoping to start a collection of South Melbourne/Sydney stuff because I love the history of our club.
 

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