1969 SANFL Grand Final – Sturt v Glenelg: A Greenslide

This Souvenir Football Budget from the STURT V GLENELG GRAND FINAL has seen better days. It may have fallen victim to a tartan thermos spillage incident in the Creswell Stand, if some of the staining in the early pages is any indication.


Apart from its odd page size (9 1/2 inches x 7 inches), the standout feature of this collage is the date, Saturday, October 4, 1969.


A draw in the First Semi Final between West Adelaide and West Torrens meant a replay the following Saturday, pushing the remaining weeks of the Major Round back by a week. This meant that future ace footy historian John Devaney’s last footy match for eons was the replay. It also opened the door for one of the more controversial Grand Final player selections in Australian Football history (read on).



No late ’60s Budget would be complete without Stanley’s appearance in a Golden Fleece ad.



He wasn’t yet “Judge” Don Brebner when he compiled this President’s Message, which omitted any reference to Molloy’s sharing of the Tassie Medal with WA’s Peter Eakins. Note that the Champions of Australian was also delayed by a week, which I’m sure thrilled Richmond no end, $7000 prize money or not.



The T.S. Hill Trophy, and the man behind it. With some other old white men.



“Action replays of thrilling incidents” Four Corners followed Rolf Harris on Grand Final night. The should have paid closer attention.


Local companies such as Halls felt the effect of industry consolidation in the ’70s and ’80s. It’s been a long time since you could get a Fruita or Stonie at your local ServWel (although they sort of live on under the Kirks softdrink banner).



Jack Oatey’s profile was surrounded by some thoughtfully penned words that seemed infused by some inside knowledge. Euphemisms such as “lack of bulk” and “not always prominent” left plenty of room for interpretation.



Bob Shearman had movie star looks. Diminutive rover Mick Nunan was best to avoid the sort of hole that brought Trevor Clarke undone earlier in the year.



The preview did not mention the biggest story of the week leading up to the big day, but at least the patrons were apprised of the half-time “entertainment”



TAA had “more fun”


Channel Nine was generally “first for football” and it had “highlights”, not “thrilling incidents”.



The Advertiser had Kerls on Tuesdays, but Butler, Agars, Schwartz and Kingston worked all week.


The Bank of Adelaide is not to be confused with the current day Adelaide Bank. The former was subsumed by the ANZ Bank in 1979, the latter an imprint of the Bendigo Bank.



This analysis-free table shows Port’s dominance of the Fifties. The recent years had a sameness at the top, in contrast to the world at large of the late Sixties.



Captain-coach Kerls’ Brylcreemed hard nut is framed by the compulsory “pound for pound” Eustice reference. Doug Long’s playing style is easy to visualise.



Clean-cut v-capt Ken Eustice was surrounded by some fairly direct descriptions of some of the Bays’ lesser lights.



The extra week of finals meant that some hastily convened curtain-raisers were needed. The Schoolboys team included Linden Fairclough, head prefect at Elizabeth High who had already played several League games for Centrals. Future AUFC Blacks premiership coach John Griffen was one of several names that would be familiar to readers of a certain vintage and geography. The High Schools combine finished well ahead, 19.16 to 13.8



How good was Ken Farmer? His record year of 1936 was just (spoiler alert) eclipsed by Fred Phillis during this Grand Final.


Amscol’s advertising improved markedly in Seventies; I suspect that this ad had been around for decades. Amscol disappeared in the Eighties (I’m detecting a theme here).


I remember all of these umps except Lean.



Coke’s promotional sophistication stands out, but they should have made more mention of the white plastic cap that cleverly sealed the opened 26oz. bottles, but not tightly enough to survive vigorous bottle shaking by pre-teen boys as a kitchen certain ceiling in Elizabeth Vale would attest to (sorry CP and Elva).


Stewart Moffat Travel were the kings of random capitalisation. They also sponsored Woodville in the early Eighties.



How well these two sides backed up from their respective Premiership celebrations is not known, but the result was a win to Norwood. Uni’s John Sandland joined Glenelg the following year, playing in their 1973 flag. Paul Rofe had a colourful legal career and dentist Neil Beagley was briefly a team-mate of mine one afternoon in the Eighties when he “filled in” for Rocky’s Ratpack. A handful of the Redlegs went on the solid League careers. This Norwood side collected a handful of Seconds Magarey Medals to McInnes (three time winner), Brian Woodcock and ‘Biscuits’ Menz. The ‘Legs saw off the Blacks 15.16 to 9.13.



Here are the teams for the 2:20pm fixture.


Glenelg’s number 11 had played in a Tigers’ flag the week before. Here’s the abbreviated story (as lifted from here)


“In 1969, the first semi-final between West Torrens (coached by blow-in John Birt) and West Adelaide (coached by blow-in Murray Weideman) was drawn, requiring a replay the following week and putting back the finals schedule by a week. When Glenelg toppled Westies in the preliminary final (held on VFL Grand Final day), the fast thinking Bays officials took advantage of a National Service loophole and registered Richmond’s Royce Hart as one of their own for the Grand Final, a week on from playing in the VFL Tigers’ flag. Hart was reportedly paid $2000 for this appearance, which was made possible because of the rules around his Adelaide based “Nasho” in 1969. Wearing number 11, Hart was subjected to some uncharacteristic Sturt “attention”, but after he came to, his pair of goals in a losing side was all Hart had to show for his single game for the SA Tigers.”


A peek back to the pen-pix or the match preview won’t reveal any mention of Hart, which indicates the last-minute and/or secretive nature of his inclusion.



It’s hard to tell whether the Bays-following original owner of this Budget stayed on for the final quarter or just ran out of lead in his or her pencil, but the final score was Sturt 24.15 (159) to Glenelg 13.16 (94), giving the Double Blues their fourth flag on end. This score remains the highest in a SANFL premiership decider and Malcolm Greenslade’s 9.4 has never been bettered in a Grand Final.


Phillis ended the season on 137 goals, setting a new record that lasted until Tim Evans’ 146 tally in 1980.


These two teams played a slightly closer GF in 1970, but again Sturt was the victor in spite of a tardy start.


Somewhat ironically, three Sturt players made appearances for Richmond in the VFL under the National Service regulations that operated around this time. Brenton Miels played seven games in 1969/70 whilst stationed in Melbourne (missing the 1969 Sturt season, but returning for the 1970 flag). Michael Nunan and Malcolm Greenslade were VFL Tigers for one and two games respectively in 1971 (Greenslade is still remembered at Punt Road for this mark)



MG Magarey Motorcades – bring ‘em back. Phillis polled 18 votes, nudging out his fellow Tiger Ken Eustice (16 votes) with the last votes of the count. Equal third were Brian Mulvihill (WT), Bob Shearman (Sturt) and Barrie Robran (North), all with 14 votes.



Some unremarkable ads



Cheltenham is no more, replaced by a housing estate and shopping centre. Steel Helmet was one of my favourite horses back then.


It also looks like Fred won the Valiant two-door hard-top.



There’s plenty going on in Bruce Andrew’s Around Australia round up. The prospect of development in PNG was uppermost in his thoughts, and the game was still coming from a long way back in the non-traditional states.



I wonder if this recording is available on Spotify, or do I need a back door into Napster to get a copy.



The full lists from today’s combatants reminds us that the entire list can’t all play on GF Day. I used to love seeing Kalleske, Zoanetti and Kretschmer going around in the televised Seconds games.



Around the states #colliwobbles



Big Den as a ruckman never did happen. “Young, Marrett and Milde”



Woodville starting to kick on under Teaser. The early days of Buff and Zip Zap. “Young Saywell”



The Commonwealth also produced a related series of team-themed elephant figures – they remain very collectible.


I have no idea whether these insurance rates are competitive; I’ll try their after hours number later on tonight.



These teams from the first semi included the AFL’s best ever CEO.



Norwood and South won five games between them. Norwood improved more quickly.



Club “Analysis”



The chunky pineapple bits were the best part of Ski Yogurt.

Umps – did Murray Ducker need to reapply each year?



For the record – good to see the Tarnished Spooners get over their Silver opponents on July 26. I remain mystified about this fixture’s continued prominence in the SANFL programme. Gough put an end to it, I believe.



Ah!! To be full of beans again.



Doug, Lawrie, Geoff, Alan and Pat





When Sturt took on the Bays in the first Footy Park Grand Final in 1974 (and my first), that Budget told the story of this game thus:



Sturt’s website tells the story from their perspective here.


The video of the match shows Sturt’s continued supremacy (despite the oblique camera angles and gratuitous half-time Rothman’s darts) . Keen observers may appreciate the huge arc required for Fred Phillis’ first goal, the creative use of picket fencing and the fire extinguishing methods adopted at the Creswell Stand end in the last quarter. However, sticklers may be rankled by reference to “Ken Palmer’s” goal-kicking record and Phillis’ “Margory Medal” winning season. No vision or even mention of Royce Hart’s being flattened in the first quarter is present.



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. Stewart Moffat Travel – major sponsor of Rod Olsson’s 1-win Peckers in 1982.

    Bib Stillwell and Graeme Bignell bought Davit Ford to create Stillwell Ford back in the early 70s.

  2. Peter Hawkins says

    G’day Mark.
    Mate, just brilliant. So much to reminisce about here. I was at the game, in fact I saw every grand final from 1964 to 1990. Love the bit about Stewart Moffat travel and the Random Use of Capitals. And I had forgotten about the chunky bits in Ski yoghurt.
    A pity though about Princes and Saints not being able to commandeer Adelaide Oval these days. I too also wondered about this strange bit of league programming.

  3. Dr Goatboat says

    Wonderful stuff

  4. Interesting the Blacks got to play Norwood Seconds. I remember seeing an Amateur League game on TV in the early seventies, so the League had some prominence then.
    From that Blacks side, I played with Maurie Croucher in the 1980s. He was a real gentleman.

  5. Bill Linkson says

    Didn’t the Bays bring out an actual live Tiger onto the oval before the bounce ?? …seem to recall that happening but may have the years mixed ……

  6. 6%- I recall seeing SAFA games on Channel 9 (?) in the late 70’s, I think. I remember a mate’s older brother playing for Athelstone. Seems a long time ago, now.

    Another great post Swish.

  7. Very disappointing game after the build up of Fred’s goal kicking and Marjorie Medal and the prospect of Kerls taking another bunch of cellar dwellers up the ladder. Bays never in it and Hart looked disinterested even before the big hit. Stuff he coped with every week in the VFL and don’t recall any suggestion it was more than a strong contest.
    Schoolboys – Barry Norsworthy or Richard Cochrane? Both Dogs stalwarts?
    The drawn First Semi was as close to heaven as my Eagles got before the amalgamation with the Peckers. Full Forward Peter Stokes hit the post from the top of the square with a set shot. Ever thus.
    Reckon Tango Miss would have been too good in the Third Race the 2yo. As this post shows she went on to be a top sprinter/miler winning a Thousand Guineas at Caulfied the next spring and a William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley as a 3yo. The great Manikato won the William Reid 5 times in succession 1979-83. https://www.racingvictoria.com.au/the-sport/racing/australian-racing-museum/hall-of-fame/trainers/grahame-heagney

  8. Rulebook says

    Swish loved this fair few familiar names that I harassed re greys for Ad Uni including,Jim Kat how he didn’t save the old,RAH hospital using a huge,Bob Neil banner as advertising is a mystery.The late John Sandland kicker of the final goal in the Sanfl 73 gf and the late great,Stazza may have even stood each other.Ron Bland was a teacher at Norwood High.Schollboy wise Lou Cailotto of Flinders Park fame,Greg Schlein played for the legs and roosters,from the roosters side,Graham Wickham v good cricketer as well,Adrian Rebbeck,David Hissey who greatly appreciated me sending the article on and of course,Griff best coach I have been involved with.Any of the Norwood premiership years budgets,Swish I reckon they would go v well thank you

  9. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    There has been a flood of on-line interest in this piece too.

    I asked Graham Cornes about this match, here’s his response:

    “Memories. Was halfway through jungle training at Canungra. The draw stuffed it all up so it looked like I would miss the GF. Somehow JH Ellers convinced the CO to give me leave and fly down for it. All so futile. On the bench for 3qs watching Hart ko’d & us get thrashed.”

    Wayne Pennell recalled:

    “Great memories of listening to that game on Dad’s radio in the back shed! I was s Tiger through and through at 6yo and this game cemented my brothers resolve to be a Sturt supporter….I’m sure just to torment me! Great article Swish!”

    From Tim Harcourt:

    “My phys ed teacher at Unley High Malcolm Greenslade kicks a bag (9 goals) & goes on for a school record 30 years – 5 as student & 25 as Teacher like Welcome Back Kotter”

    Michael Atkinson said:

    “But Sturt lost to Woodville at Woodville that year. I suppose a fourth consecutive premiership was some compensation.”

  10. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks all for the comments

    McA – Easybuilt was a more fitting sponsor anyway

    Peter H – you’ve got me covered, I saw 1974-86 and 88, 90. Did you keep your Budgets?

    Dr GB – it was

    6% – I wonder who was the last of those players to play a game for the Blacks?

    Bill – you’ve got me there but I’ll do some exploring

    Mickey – there’s a whole treatise on the SAFA just waiting to be written. The Sunday arvo match of the round was played at Adelaide Oval with superannuated second-string commentators Ron Kitchen, Gary Window and Elbows Aitken on duty, with lots of superannuated ex-League players too, including Lou Cailotto mentioned above and Ingle Farm’s contingent of former Roosters such as Dennis Sachse, Terry Collins and Ken “Barrie’s brother-in-law” Francou.

    PB – correct re Norsworthy and Cochrane. Sir Kinsman got up in the 5th.

    ‘Book – well spotted all round and thanks for spreading the word.. I had the ’78 GF on my list but the Budget from that year is a shocker, full of cheap ads for curtain companies. Still might do it next although Barry Nicholls may have me covered there.

  11. Swish, when this match was on, with Norwood not competing,I would have been fishing, either salmon fishing at Port Norlunga or bream fishing in the Port River.However I had my ear glued to my tranny, hoping for a Sturt victory. I wanted the Blues to go on and eclipse Port’s 6 in a row. As you know, that never happened.

    At that particular time Bob Oatey was in the process of re-inventing the Redlegs by introducing talented young players into the team.

    And Swish, did you know both the Legs and the Bulldogs had a Peter Vivian playing for them at different stages. Norwood’s Vivian played in the fifties and early sixties and sported the nickname of “Buckethead”. Centrals Vivian, as you well know, was known as “Milky”. Both were rovers while Buckethead was Norwood’s captain in ’61.

    Ten four, over and out.

  12. Great article. I remember the day of the grand final well. I’d thought of going to it but my experience in both 1965 and 1968 when I hadn’t seen a thing because of crowd congestion finally caused me to change my mind. Instead I joined with a bunch of mates to play out our own version of the GF on our local rubbish dump. Sturt won by about 20 goals, which for years afterwards was something to which I accorded almost supernatural significance. Modesty should preclude, but I can distinctly remember kicking 18 goals from centre half back. Probably the highlight of my footy career.

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