1968 SANFL Grand Final – Sturt v Port Adelaide: Triple Threats


This Budget crops up from time to time, but I’d only ever seen its exterior, so I was very pleased when my latest purchase hit the front doorstep today (thanks Postie).

The cover was comparatively bland, the TS Hill Trophy superimposed over a pre-drone-age shot of a packed Adelaide Oval, deep deep pockets and all.



Was this Golden Fleece ad more suited to the rugby playing states?



For the fourth successive year, the Double Blues and the Magpies were “… sharing the limelight of Grand Final Day …”. The creation of the new Promotions and Publicity Officer role, filled by Don Roach, showed remarkable foresight.



Talk about burying the lede – yes indeed, Gough presented the Trophy and Flag to the winners.

Future four-time Magarey Medalist Russell Ebert was a gun from Day 1 and plenty has been written about him by others. Mark Coombe’s playing career was halted by injury 1975. In his second year he won the South B&F, and was selected in the “Greatest South Adelaide Team” in 2002, such was his impact in his eight seasons. Coombe also went on to umpire at League level, before his troublesome shoulder intervened once more. “Irish” Mulholland carved his name into Elizabethan immortality in 1971 when he kicked five last quarter goals in the winning First Semi-Final against Sturt.

Malcolm Blight’s six first year matches weren’t enough to bring him to the attention of the scribes.



The brief preview of the Seconds GF mentions future League premiership players Wild and Nunan.

I wonder who Kalangadoo ended up with, as those S-E Magpies hadn’t won a flag since 1958 and didn’t win their next until 82-83-84.



Some arcane details about these illustrious clubs.



From the days that the West End Brewery was in the west end of town. And before advertising removed all traces of sexualisation of women. Not.



Number 3 got the nod for his first Grand Final.



Can anybody please explain why H Kelly were in the “family way” and if so, what was the relevance? No cylinders, valves or compressors there now, just Adelaide’s largest range of mobility scooters.



Sports stores, car yards and those funny Germans. Adelaide circa 1968.



An interesting lesson in the fixed costs associated with insurance policies for the mathematically inclined.



Fielke, Cousins, Kelly and White carved out reasonable careers at senior level for the Eagles, but only Frank Leonard did the same for the victorious Bloods.


Apart from Wayne Jackson, the Torrens twos were a bunch of lesser lights compared to Sturt’s Zoanetti, Brooks, Kennett, Hunan, Wild, Lauder, Raymond, Whicker and Greenslade, but they still took out the honours.



Amscol upped its advertising game in the 70s (to no enduring avail). Cartoonist Paul Rigby was everywhere in the sixties and seventies; his daily cartoons in The News always included a boy and a dog,



I took a sharp breath inwards when I saw this page. I’d never seen this Centrals team photo, which shows their new guernsey (and my personal favourite). If the other nine sides were given similar treatment, then this Budget will have been an excellent purchase. Big Dean Farnham only played a handful of games in 1968; he played for SA a couple of times before being picked up by Fitzroy in 1974.



Saverys sold everything – they even had a decent enough record section to provide the content for their Stereo- and Radiograms.



I’m not too sure what the shields above the Bays blokes were, after all they hadn’t since added to their solitary 1934 flag. From the size of some of those forearms, the keys to the Tigers weights room must have gone missing.



John Ploog specialised in brooding self-portraits methinks.



Why on earth was the North photo shot at Elizabeth Oval? This Roosters line-up was chock full of recognisable names, but the biggest of them all was hidden up the back. As was Barrie Robran.



Tinned potato salad – bring it back.



Those brown paper newspaper wrappers – bring them back too.



I don’t remember North’s jumper being this deep a red, but I’m not arguing with the inclusion of this shot. Barrie Robran’s second season yielded the first of three Magareys.



No photos, imperial heights and weights, with last year’s premiership celebration subtly sublimated. Diamond Jim Tilbrook was built like a backyard rainwater tank, including the brick pillars for legs.



What a collection of famous footy names we have here. I haven’t checked, but four Victorians would surely have been a record at the time.



My grandparents went to India on the Orsova in 1966.



Norwood was at the foot of the table in 1968. Losing Ron Kneebone to a newspaper round was a bitter blow for neophyte coach Bob Oatey. Better times were ahead.



The Davis Cup at the Drive. ONLY 7,000 SEATS AVAILABLE!

Bill Bowrey’s win over Arthur Ashe in the dead fifth rubber was Australia’s only victory, so the Cup passed to the USA.



Port needed more players like the other teams had, apparently. Ebert and Light were marginally better than West End Light would become.



I haven’t seen this game come up around the second-hand traps for a while. Yep, Rigby again.



South Adelaide have been making up the numbers since 1964 (yes, I’m still bitter about 1979).



This ad ran for years. Not sure why.



Sturt’s photo lacks the polish and flair of its onfield performances.



Every Adelaide home needed its own supply of extruded rubber weather strip and battery boost. Trots at Wayville – they brought ‘em back last year.



Ahh Torrens. John Birt never really had the cattle, but the Eags improved under his watch. Why they felt the need to fiddle with that guernsey is a mystery up there with Harold Holt’s disappearance.


Hi Jan.



Westies were big improvers until The Weed found out that the mid-weeks at Balaklava weren’t as far away as he first thought.



Baggy Trousers?



Has there been better use of the white footy in a team photo than this Woodville one? Is that Peter Plus in the front row? As noted earlier, Blighty wasn’t prominent early, playing six games in this, his first season.



Coke yet again wins the 3 graphic design votes.



The first of the modern-day incarnation of the Champions of Australia was held the following Saturday. Was RDB ever known as “Brasso” though?

None of the nags going around at Vic Park ring too many bells, but I’m sure someone will let me know who I’ve missed.



Terry Ebert (Russell’s cousin, not his brother as stated here) also made his debut in 1968, but for the Tigers. The writer was spot on with their assessment of the Centrals’ newcomers.



The reason for these “statistics” only going back to 1907 may be because the South Australian Football Association was renamed the South Australian Football League in that year. Or maybe not.



What a slogan.



A discount on a charge account? I’ll have to ask the “attractive hostess” to explain this.



The Washup


Here’s how the 1971 Budget reported on the 1968 Grand Final, in which Sturt’s domination of the SANFL was further entrenched. Eric Freeman returned in early September from an Ashes tour to warm the bench for the Magpies in their finals campaign, making his pair of Port goals noteworthy.



The Rothman’s newsreel once again manages to pronounce the League’s premier individual award as Magga-ree. Peter Endersbee’s legendary pair of early checkside goals were more impressive on paper than on the screen, but in the context of footy from half a century ago, they became indelibly associated with this match.


Finally, Sturt has commemorated this solid victory (including a ripping technicolour team photo) here,


Check out more stories from Swish HERE



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About Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt

Saw my first SANFL game in 1967 - Dogs v Peckers. Have only ever seen the Dogs win 1 final in the flesh (1972 1st Semi) Mediocre forward pocket for the AUFC Blacks (1982-89) Life member - Ormond Netball Club -That's me on the right


  1. Some Woodville cricketers in those West Torrens sides. Former B Grade captain Tim Young and Jack Staker in the Seconds. And are they former 70s A Graders Malcolm Philip and Wayne Hare in the Under 19s?

    And is that car dealer Adrian Eustice captaining Westies’ Under 19s?

  2. Thanks Swish for the trip down memory lane. Would you believe i was fishing from the Victor Harbor breakwater that day. Believe it or not, I caught over 100 salmon trout that brilliant day. Every other angler there caught similar amounts. Finally getting back to my car, I was eager to find out who won the Grand Final.

    However I had to wait until just passing Mount Compass before my car radio would pick up a signal. At last I was delighted that my great day was topped off with a Sturt victory over Port Adelaide. Not only that but I suspected my Dad (a one eyed Redleg that loved it when Port Lost) would be over the moon. He also helped me clean my catch, so delighted was he.

  3. West Torrens Gold (and Blue). A Thirds (Under 19’s) Flag. You undersell them Swish. Greg White played 185 games (70-81); Peter Cousins 143 games (71-82); Peter Kelly 109 games (70-77); Lin Fielke 104 games (69-75). Daryl Kruse; John Cowling; John Staker & Glyn Howell were handy from the Ressies team.
    Torrens had a long time head trainer Charlie Scroop – wonder if C Scroop was a grandson. And surely W Dangerfield is a distant great uncle of the great man? Like Matthew Pavlich – West Torrens taught him everything.

  4. For all the fuss, Sturt almost rookie Endersbee did not have a long career, just 47 games, until 1971, when he headed off to Nimbin to be a hippie. However, he did star in the game and utilized those deep pockets you mentioned Swish.
    (Note how the match was played in a drop-kick and mark style)
    Interesting that Mulholland was identified as an Irish recruit. I wonder how much Gaelic Football he had played prior to coming out to Australia? When you think about it, Irish immigrants with Gaelic experience were probably coming in all the time.
    I wonder if Kalangadoo paid their coach? However a house and job is not bad!
    The fixed costs of car insurance is interesting. A plot shows the zero intercept is close to $17. The fit is close to a straight line, but the premium for a $1000 car is disproportionately large!
    Swish, I think the deep red guernsey for Robran is because you coloured it in!
    The heights and weights of the players on the player list are interesting. Those half inches are critical, as are the hundredths of a stone, or were those pounds? Why were the ages not listed in years and days as well?
    Hey Swish, you did not work out the fixed cost of the cruises advertised by Moffat Travel. Just plot the cost vs the number of days. The fixed cost is about $100, but for cruises between 10 and 15 days the price is essentially random. The 32 day cruise more. Interestingly, a 15 day cruise is cheaper than a flight to London.
    The Sturt team photo shows a random selection of long and short sleeve guernseys; woolen and lace.
    Tony Clarkson retired after this game to do a higher degree in Edinburgh.

    “Baggy Trousers”, very good!

  5. Luke Reynolds says

    “In the family way” was used in the novel “Power Without Glory” to describe a pregnant lady, not sure that’s what H.Kelly & co were referring to?

    What a pity Port Adelaide couldn’t get those blue & magenta jackets in 1902. Bring it back.

    As always, plenty of gold in this, great stuff Swisch.

  6. Rod George says

    Noticed quite a few future Broadview players in the “Thirds ” Grand Final from both teams

  7. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Some quality in these comments, thanks again.

    McA – as we discussed, there was some genuine historical gold to be found on the WTDCC web site. For those who missed the conversation, Fred Bills was called for chucking three times in the WT A Grade in the 63/64 season by Col Egar. Let that sink in.

    Fisho – are any of them still in your freezer?

    PB – White, Cousins and Kelly were all stalwarts for the Eagles during a difficult decade. I apologise.

    6% – Doc Clarkson was one of the first names that I recognised when I first took in the photos lining the change room at Bob Neil #1.

    Luke – there was also a movie of the same name about a similar topic, but still flummoxed by its connection to pistons and grinding etc.

    Rod – Broadview was always an attractive option for blokes looking to have a dob. Say g’day to Rob Murt if you see him.

  8. I still have the copy of the ‘68 grand final budget I bought at the match so found this very illuminating. Great piece!

  9. Swish, as was often my practice, whenever I had a big catch (very often from Victor), it was my practice to donate a large proportion of my catch to the players from the Norwood Footy club. My old St Morris Primary school friend, Brian Norsworthy, a Redleg, lived a few streets away and so I took them to him for distribution. So no, I don’t have any left in the freezer.

  10. Frank Thomas says

    This is the only time my name appeared in a Budget. It was my second-last game of footy. I played one game in April ’69, had a knee op in May, and never played again. Such is life!

  11. Frank Thomas says

    I’m afraid there was no Thirds flag for the Eags that year. If I remember rightly, we gave Westies a 56 point start at half-time and lost by 9. We needed a fifth quarter!
    And again, memory is a bit hazy, but I think Craig Scroop was Charlie’s son.

  12. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks John. Just trying to carry on your good work in my own small way.

    Was Brian related to the Centrals Norsworthys Fisho?

    Geez that’s bad luck Frank. Sounds like you’ve taken it better than I would have.

  13. Sorry Swish, I don’t know Brian Norsworthy played a few good games for the Redlegs and heaps for the reserves and at one stage captained the side. I was very friendly with him when we both attended St Morris Primary. Barry Norsworthy of Centrals and i never crossed paths and so I know little about him.

  14. For the record Swish, both Norwood and Central District had a Peter Vivian playing for them . Norwood’s was a classy rover, known affectionately by his many fans as “Buckethead”. He oplayed in the fifties and early sixties and captained the side in ’61.

    Centrals Peter Vivian, whom I’m quite sure you’re familiar with, was also a rover and known as “Milky” for obvious reasons. Again I’ve no idea if they were related but both could play. Cheers

  15. Thanks Swish as always a great trip down memory lane and Sturt supporters in particular took a liking to the article on some face book sites

  16. Jingle bells Batman smells
    Robin flew away
    Father Christmas burnt his whiskers
    Smoking Craven A

    Loving the Budget reviews. Every time you do one I dig out the 1970 Grand Final Budget for a re-read. It’s the only one I own.
    Keep it up

  17. Great read Swish. I, too, have zero idea why the North photo was taken at Lisbeth. Sadly the promised joy of the 1969 season in the commentary never eventuated. In fact we didn’t even make the finals!!

  18. Swish turns out the North photo is at the bay but still not determined why

  19. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Hey Rulebook, thanks for re-sharing this around the traps.

    Tell your mates on Facebook that they are wrong.The grandstand at the Bay had stairs that flanked either side of the stand itself. Elizabeth (as shown in the Centrals and North photos) has stairs that commence at the front of the stand, one set going up into the aisle between the left and centre banks of seats, the other set going into the aisle between the centre and right hand bank of seats.

    Furthermore, Elizabeth has three banks of seats, Glenelg has four, Elizabeth also has more rows of seats than the stand at the Bay. The narrow windows at the base of the stand in the North photo provided the natural light into the Elizabeth change rooms.

    See the beginning of this, which shows the Bay stand (the one on the left)


  20. Thanks Swish have sent on

  21. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks to Nick Haines for helping me get to the bottom of the North photo – it was taken at Elizabeth Oval, which was used by North for an internal trial (pre-season) as Prospect Oval was being used for district cricket. Nick’s contact (some bloke called Barrie) recalled that he (Barrie, not Nick) stood Kym Lehmann that day.

  22. Great write up.
    You query about North wearing a darker red. In fact that was North’s correct colour, similar to the Prospect Cricket Club and Prospect Council colours. When colour TV came into operation in 1975, North had to change to a much brighter red because the dark red supposedly “bled” on colour TV. SImilarly Fitzroy changed from their traditional maroon to a much brighter red at the same time.
    Nick Haines will tell you that North got their colours from Prince Alfred College which also had a deep red as their main colour.

  23. Peter Macdonald says

    Hello, I came across your site by accident. Westies beat North who were the best team all year in the second semi to make the Thirds Grand Final. Sadly I can say that our captain Adrian Eustice (the car guy) died suddenly in October 2019. I think Adrian’s footy career was curtailed by National Service including a spell in Vietnam. It is correct the Eagles made a big charge at the end and we fell in at the end. Thanks for the memories, Go the Bloods!

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