1966 and all that: Round 17 – Fitzroy v St. Kilda

Dark clouds gather


Saturday 20th August
Brunswick Street Oval


The teams

B. Cole, Hellings, Wood
HB. Hayes, Cobain, Ellis
C. Eastman, Peoples, Hobbs
HF. Oakley, Lazarus, Bahen
F. Lynch, Cromarty, McCrae
Foll. Brown, Fry
Rov. Newnham
Res. Booth, Benison


St. Kilda
B. Head, Murray, Synman
HB. Cross, Breen, Griffiths
C. Moran, Stewart, Oakley
HF. Ditterich, Cooper, Davis
F. Morrow, Neale, Rowland
Foll. Mynott, Kennedy
Rov. Smith
Res. Sierakowski, Dowling


Good teams are often able to replace missing stars with players who rise to the occasion and shine brightly. Such was the case with 17 year old Allan Davis replacing Baldock on the half forward flank against Fitzroy at Brunswick Street Oval in round 17. Playing in only his second full match, the youngster from suburban East Sandringham kicked four goals in a dazzling display which saw him named as best on ground. 1966 was to be the start of a long and distinguished career for Davis who played 250 VFL games, representing four clubs along the way.


The Saints started the game with seven behinds before they managed to put one through the big sticks. Disgusted with their first quarter inaccuracy, they came out firing on all cylinders after quarter time and booted eight goals before the long break.


St. Kilda swamped the Lions in the second half adding nine goals to two, but despite its pleasing win, another dark cloud fell upon St. Kilda as ‘Big Carl’ Ditterich was reported in the last quarter for striking Fitzroy’s centreman Daryl Peoples.


The suspension of Ditterich on top of the injury to Baldock was seen as potentially a disastrous blow to St. Kilda’s premiership hopes. The front pages of the Melbourne papers told the sad story for the Saints after the tribunal hearing that week. ‘Ditterich suspended: 6 games’ reported The Age. The outcome was that Ditterich would miss the finals in 1966.


And that game proved to be the swan song for VFL football at Brunswick Street Oval with Fitzroy moving to Princes Park for its home games the following season.



St. Kilda 0.7 (7) 8.15 (63) 12.16 (88) 17.22 (124)
Fitzroy 2.6 (18) 3.7 (25) 5.9 (39) 5.10 (40)



St. Kilda – Davis 4, Neale 4, Cooper 2, Kennedy 2, Cross, Morrow, Rowland, Smith, Stewart
Fitzroy – Hayes, Lazarus, Lynch, McCrae, Newnham



St. Kilda – Davis (best on ground), Stewart, Murray, Morrow, Head, Cooper, Smith
Fitzroy – Hayes, Hellings, Peoples, Eastman, Hobbs, McCrae, Oakley


St. Kilda had nine players with 20 or more disposals while Fitzroy’s top stats were recorded by captain John Hayes, Allan Lynch and Daryl Peoples.


Injuries: St. Kilda – Cross (strained knee ligaments)
Umpire: Perkins Crowd: 12 265


Reserves: St. Kilda 18.16 (124) defeated Fitzroy 7.7 (49)
Under 19’s: St. Kilda 10.6 (66) defeated Fitzroy 7.11 (53)


Around the grounds

At the Western Oval – Carlton 12.14 (86) defeated Footscray 4.1 (25)
At the MCG – Collingwood 21.15 (141) defeated Melbourne 12.12 (84)
At Glenferrie Oval – Essendon 15.10 (100) defeated Hawthorn 11.13 (79)
At Kardinia Park – Geelong 17.16 (118) defeated North Melbourne 11.13 (79)
At the Lake Oval – Richmond 10.12 (72) defeated South Melbourne 10.11 (71)


Highlights of the round
Richmond rover Blair Campbell, playing his first senior game, saved the Tigers with a goal after the siren. His nervous first goal in league football gave Richmond a win and kept their slender finals chances alive. Essendon’s Ted Fordham had his kicking boots on kicking seven goals against Hawthorn in greasy conditions at Glenferrie Oval. Down at Kardinia Park Doug Wade continued his good form kicking six goals against highly regarded North Melbourne full back John Dugdale. Like the Saints, the Cats also had injury worries after ‘Polly’ Farmer left the field with a knee injury in the third quarter. Traditional rivals Collingwood and Melbourne met at the MCG in a one sided game which saw the Magpies rev up for the finals with a 57 point win.


St. Kilda defender Ian Synman played his 100th consecutive VFL game in round 17.


The race for the ‘top four’ after Round 17
Collingwood 56 148.8%
St. Kilda 52 145.2%
Geelong 52 132.7%
Essendon 52 118.9%
Richmond 50 119.2%


Next week – Round 18: The Questions


St. Kilda v Hawthorn at Moorabbin – could the Saints be tipped out of the top four or could they even finish on top of the ladder?
Collingwood v Footscray at Victoria Park – Collingwood were safe in the top four but would they be minor premiers?
Carlton v Geelong at Princes Park – where would Geelong finish inside the top four or could they miss a finals berth?
Essendon v Melbourne at Windy Hill – Essendon’s question was the same as Geelong’s.
Richmond v Fitzroy at the MCG – could Richmond snatch a top four position if other results went their way?
North v South at Arden Street – the only game with no impact on the final four!


Interstate Footy – SANFL
South Adelaide 11.12 (78) defeated West Torrens 7.10 (52)
Port Adelaide 15.13 (103) defeated West Adelaide 5.12 (42)
Central District 11.14 (80) defeated Norwood 11.9 (75)
North Adelaide 14.16 (100) defeated Woodville 9.8 (62)
Sturt 20.18 (138) defeated Glenelg 7.11 (53)
Country Footy


Almanackers, tell me your favourite/first/home country footy club and next week we will take a look at how they fared that day in 1966.


Meanwhile …
In Turkey, an earthquake which ripped through the country’s eastern provinces on 17th August killed at least 2400 people.


In Vietnam, 18 Australian soldiers from the 6th battalion were killed in the Battle of Long Tan which took place in Phuoc Tuy province south east of Saigon. It represented the largest loss of Australian soldiers during one battle in Vietnam, however it was regarded as a military success.


Later that week, on the 23rd August, 200 Gurindji people walked off the ‘Wave Hill’ station in the Northern Territory in protest over low wages and poor conditions.


Read The Age, Monday 22nd August 1966, for coverage of all matches HERE.


Read more of Peter Clark’s weekly reviews of  St Kilda’s triumphant 1966 footy season HERE


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About Peter Clark

is a lifetime Geelong supporter. Hailing from the Riverina, he is now entrenched on the NSW South Coast. His passion for footy was ignited by attending Ovens and Murray League matches in the 1960's with his father. After years of watching, playing and coaching, now it is time for some serious writing about his favourite subjects… footy, especially country footy, and cricket.


  1. Colin Ritchie says

    Hi Peter, thoroughly enjoying your series.
    My dad played with the Colac Imperials in CDFL late in his career after we moved to Colac. We also followed Colac then playing in the Hampden League,
    Home matches decided which game we attended.

  2. Thanks Col, next week we will check out how the Colac Imperials went in the first semi of the CDFL and Colac’s form in the second last round of the Hampden League for ’66. It is not a part of the state I am very familiar with, although I have enjoyed trips down the Great Ocean Road and, of course, the occasional a visit to Kardinia Park.

  3. Dr Rocket says

    Hi Peter,

    Fateful day for Big Carl that round in 1966….very harsh suspension.

    in 1966 we were living in Kyabram so it’d be good to know how Ky went in that final round, but after having lost four stars from the 1965 GF to the VFL: Dick Clay, Ross Dillon, Maurie Fowler, and Frank Fanning, it was a difficult season for coach Charlie Stewart…. who then went and got Stanhope into the finals in 1967.

  4. Good morning Dr Rocket. Can i pick your brain?

    I’ve recently chatted to another FA contributor re VFL players hailing from Hay. I reckon Scott Morphett, (Geel), Billy Brown, ( Rich), & Jon Liley, (St .K). Does that sound right to you: anyone missing?

    Ta Peter for the latest installment of St Kilda’s 1966 season. Intriguing around the ground scores/updates. Footscray 4.1; who kicked the point ? Blair Campbell, probably better known as occasional Victorian and Tasmanian spin bowler. Collingwood played Melbourne in the grand final two years prior; the sixth time in a decade. Melbourne’s made the grand final twice since, with neither match being against Collingwood. Brunswick Street Oval: i’ve ran a few laps of that surface, though not a couple of years. My legs are buggered.

    Looking forward to round 18.


  5. A harsh suspension indeed! I see that Daryl Peoples played the next week.
    In those days the tribunal often meted out big suspensions, sometimes as a knee jerk reaction to eye-catching incidents or players. These days the tribunal/MRV is much more formulaic in its approach.

    In 1966 I was living in Albury and vividly remember tuning in to GMV6 for the Shepparton district footy results.

  6. Good morning Glen!

    D. McKenzie (Footscray) kicked the point.

    Blair Campbell is one of several VFL players in the 60s and 70s who also played cricket at first class level. Peter Bedford, Max Walker and Graeme Watson are others that comes to mind.
    Young players don’t have time for both footy and cricket these days.


  7. Dr Rocket says

    Yesss, Glen! you’ve named the three that I know of…
    Big thing were expected of Jon Lilley’s younger brother Peter, but he only played Under 19s at St Kilda.

    Peter, so many more leagues and clubs in the GMV 6 viewing area back then.
    I remember the station covering the 1968 O & M grand final won by Corowa.
    I’ll be interested to see your report on Kyabram.

    Oh, and Allen Aylett another Victorian rep in cricket and football.

  8. Philip Mendes says

    Peter – I’m curious whether it was known that day it would be the final game at the Brunswick Oval, or did that decision come later?

  9. Wally from Williamstown says

    Russell Cook of South Melbourne was another VFL footballer to play cricket for Victoria and in seven first-class games took 16 wickets as a left-arm fast-medium pace bowler. I attended a function back in 2016 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the last game at Brunswick St and a certain Fitzroy player who played in that game in 1966 said he MAY have been taunting Big Carl about how the Germans went in the Second World War, and in Carl’s attempts to get at this player for retribution, poor old Daryl Peoples got in the way and copped it and ended Carl’s finals campaign and a spot in the grand final.

  10. Peter Clark says

    That is intriguing!
    As they say …”Don’t mention the war”

  11. Peter Clark says

    Philip, I understand negotiations with other venues were under way at the time after an agreement with Fitzroy Council on a new lease failed. Preston and
    St Kilda were named as other possible new venues for the Lions. Princes Park was named as the new home ground later in ‘66.

  12. To my memory Russell Cook only played the one season for Victoria: 1968/69.

    He was also one of the members of Victoria Police who played VFL footy in my youth: a fair way back !


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