The great Blue and White drought.

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The great Blue and White drought.

Post by blueandwhite on Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:18 pm

Most Southies would be aware we have not lifted the Thomas Seymour -Hill trophy since 1964, 50 years ago this year, when the club went from bottom in 1963 -to premier in 1964. Unfortunately 1935,1938 and 1964 are the only Premierships our grand old club managed to win in all of the 20th Century. One of the traditions (apparently..? Sad ) is that the victorious side gets to raise its colours on the West End brewery during the days following the Grand Final. Well, the last time South visited the brewery to take part in this ceremony, the brewery was in Hindley Street!

I was lucky enough to attend the 50 year Reunion of the 1964 Premiership team , which was held last Saturday night at the Adelaide Oval. I can honestly say that it was an absolutely fantastic night , well attended by enthusiastic supporters family and friends of the players of 1964. Present also were people like myself , just "rusted on" tragics I guess who enjoy a good time but also wanting to rub shoulders and shake hands with grey haired 70 year old men who were my childhood heroes.
All players from the team were present except for 3 that have passed on, Graham Christie, Dick Jackson and the great David Kantilla. Even the umpire from the grand Final -Ken KG Cunningham was present, as well as a few remaining trainers and waterboys  also converged on Adelaide Oval that night .
Tony Shaw the back pocket player from the side did a fantastic job organising and hosting  proceedings, which included a couple of book launches, some very good and very rare video footage of games during that great season.

I was 6 years old when South won the 64 flag. I cant remember a lot about it, but I do vividly recall watching all the players, and knew their numbers down pat, even better than I knew my Times tables at school! For many years at school I wore a South Jumper lovingly knitted by mother , with the number 5 on the back. That being the number worn by the great Lindsay Backman. I wore that jumper often until it ..just wore out! My father took me to the footy many times in 1964, but come finals time he said being so small with such large crowds Id see very little, so we stayed home and listened on the radio. "There will be plenty of other times" ...he said... Rolling Eyes 
So fast forward to last Saturday night. All my childhood heroes were there ..Kerley, Darley, Day, Alan White, Alf Skuse, Bob Schmidt, Lester Ross and of course..Lindsay Backman. So it was with some trepidation, and no small amount of dutch courage on my part, that I confronted Lindsay Backman on Saturday night.I told him the story of the little boy with the jumper with No 5 on the back, he said to me "youre not a stalker are you..?" and we both laughed long and hard and had another red wine....

Perhaps one of the great anecdotes to come to light during the night concerned Dr Harley who was the club doctor at the time. He was the club doctor for many years and also the Grandfather of Tom Harley dual Geelong Premiership captain, and a very dedicated South supporter. Bob Schmidt, one of Souths all time greatest players, had a nasty finger injury, so bad in fact that it required amputation. Dr Harley duly performed the procedure and,.... wait for it....kept the finger in a jar on his mantelpiece for many years! Shocked  Shocked  Exclamation  affraid 

Kerley had a few words about each of the players as they were presented to the crowd. There were many light heartened moments of course and some great stories, but a few things struck me. These guys share a very special bond obviously, and it was almost palpable the respect that they have for one another. They are obviously great friends, and as Evan Arnold said in his address , they are more than that - they are great mates. They have been organising reunions for 50 years, and they travel the length and breadth of the country to attend each year. So the mateship forged during 1964 has stood the test of time. I wondered afterwards, would I have this level of respect and loyalty to my work colleagues 50 years on ? ,that these guys clearly show for each other.. somehow I doubt it. It does show that Footy is in someways far more than a sport or a pastime...

The venue itself was amazing, the Ian McLachlan room. With commanding views over the Adelaide Oval and the scoreboard (with the scores from the 64 GF featured) and the cathedral beyond.I was taking in the view with a current league player and we both thought it was an amazing venue nowadays... I did feel the need to add, that there would be only one thing that could make it better.....I said.."Watching you guys run around out there for 2-3 games in September."

Another really pleasing thing for me , was that 8-10 of our current players were present, as well including co captains Josh Thewlis and Nick Murphy. At one stage I glanced over to the current day players table,whilst the video highlights were playing. Their eyes were glued to the screen , transfixed..particularly when the Grand Final highlights were shown. Then after the official proceedings had concluded ,several supporters decided that it would be an excellent idea for the past greats to meet todays players and this duly happened, and for me the highlight of the night was watching Nick Murphy, Neil Kerley, Josh Thewlis and and Peter Darley having a chat.

all in all it was a fantastic night.Go Yee-ohs!
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Re: The great Blue and White drought.

Post by panther magic on Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:16 pm

Sounds like a fantastic evening Blue @white. One can only hope our current team can be inspired to emulate the feats of the 1964 premiership team.


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Re: The great Blue and White drought.

Post by darley16 on Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:23 am

Great post B&W, fantastic summery of both the night and your life-long support of our club, well done.

There will be another SAFC league premiership, it's not that far off. As a club we doing too many good things and less self-destructive things and in doing so we are building a foundation on which success can built and sustained, we can now see that in our U/16's by way of example. My hope is that some of those "grey haired 70 year old men" can cheer on their modern day younger versions to our next Premiership.

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Re: The great Blue and White drought.

Post by JoPan on Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:39 pm

Legends, all of 'em.

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Re: The great Blue and White drought.

Post by Andos Mullett on Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:37 am

Looks like there is a drought on here. So very quiet.

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Re: The great Blue and White drought.

Post by bluecat on Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:02 pm

Agreed Andos Mullet. Been a bit of a drought at the footy too... Shhhhh!
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Re: The great Blue and White drought.

Post by saintal on Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:21 pm

Thanks for the recap B+W. Enjoyed it.

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Re: The great Blue and White drought.

Post by Ben W on Fri Jul 04, 2014 2:45 pm

10 years before I was born, Holden had just released the EH Holden!

Would love to watch the match in full, but to my knowledge they have only ever saved a highlight package of that match!
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