1971 SANFL Grand Final – North Adelaide v Port Adelaide: Swampies Outfoxed

I didn’t attend the 1971 SANFL Grand Final, but my collection includes this timeless record of the first Roosters flag since 1960.


The Budget was graced with this classical photo of two esteemed champions of our national game. John Cahill, despite his dubious lace-up technique, was Port Adelaide personified. Mike Patterson was on a quest to become the first Victorian Premiership coach in SANFL history, wearing North’s recently adopted Big V guernsey.


Both had sensibly chosen the adidas screw-ins to help navigate the choppy Adelaide Oval surface on Second Semi-Final day, when this photo was taken.


The background scene shows the Norwellan Bluey wearing throng, all standing on the grassed south-east mound except for those early arrivals who snagged a spot on the wooden benches just behind the famous sharp-topped pickets, or on the few terraced rows available.


What was on the banner? (There were some incredibly long banners over the years. Which ones come to mind?)



Sharp eyed fans will note that Jack is wearing the previous season’s hooped socks as he roosts the Faulkner wish his signature left-foot action.



This uncredited preview was a solid representation of both sides’ seasons and the form of the individual players. It stands up to this day, with assessments such as “eliminating unnecessary frills”, “robustness” and “places himself beautifully” matching my memory of Von Bertouch, Francou and Jaworskyj perfectly. Similarly, Broadbridge as “lion-hearted”, Cahill as “irrepressible evergreen” and Freeman as a “constant threat” were the apex of aptness.



Pipe bands as half-time entertainment. Bring ’em back. Nothing more needed then. Or now.

Don Dunstan. Bring him back too.



$1000 – that makes it alright then does it W.D. & H.O. ?



It would be marvellous to track down some footage from World of Sport of these competitions. It was a big deal (for me) when Terry Phillips won in 1968.


I think most umpies stuck with the 15 yarder, but Max O’Connell probably still used rods, perches or half-a-chain-and-a-bit to measure his. Taubmans also made advertising copy easier.



Full page ads for British costume dramas #yourabc



The Magpie logo used here predated the 1975 introduction of their SANFL approved version. These pen-pix could have been improved by including games and goal tallies (and perhaps occupations). Didn’t Ebert look overjoyed at his Magarey winning season?



No mention of Fritzy’s Test averages, or Ross Haslam’s accountancy grades. Wayne Broadbridge was Troy’s father.


Things went better with Coke (sponsored by the Adelaide Dental School)



The Cocks of the North recruited from the state’s rural areas extensively, doing well out of Whyalla, Coonalpyn and many points in between. Garry Sporn was a late starting recruit from just over the border.  “The Von” sired a couple of Australian netballers in Laura and Nat, while Ken Francou married one (Julie Robran). Again, logo-watchers will note that this Rooster was invented for Budget purposes.



Some legendary names here too, but an even more legendary ad, featuring the legendary Barrie Robran in some mystery training socks. Legend.



People used to give you bits of paper that you had to physically take to the bank to get the money recorded in your passbook. You could also write on one of those bits of paper and put it in an envelope and post it to ETSA/SAGASCO/EWS to ensure continuous supply for the next few months. It was called commerce.


It took twenty five years for this beer ad to be surpassed.***



The Thirds was the U/19s. A handful of players from both of these sides went on to gain League honours.  A drawn semi-final had threw the schedule out for this grade, hence the Prelim Final. Norwood 12.9 (81) nudged out North 9.15 (69)


Gibbs had the Adelaide Oval baked savoury goods rights. They weren’t my favourites.



The Budget editor could always lock in competing ads from the News and the ‘Tiser, plus duelling TAA and Ansett ones.



Centrals fell away after half-time in the League Prelim against Port the previous week, the first finals match that I attended. Their Seconds were strong, with players of the calibre of ’65 Magarey Medallist Gary Window, Trevor Stanton, Mick Daly (all former League captains), Sonny Morey, Bill Cochrane and future senior coach Alan Stewart. I’m not sure how Sturt smuggled in 1972 All-Australian Tony Burgan, Ken Whelan was still trying to break into the Blues’ senior attack and Bruce ‘Dizzy’ Raymond was a few years off providing the SANFL Grand Final Day headline entertainment. Brian Martin, Trevor Sims and Rob Barton were other big names from Oxford Terrace. Centrals got up by 3 goals, 9.12 (66) to 6.12 (48).


By the way, Ross Faulkners are still around @coodabeens.



Prelim finals around the country. Bourke was *just* among the bps and goalkickers.


Swooper Northey was going around in Sydney. Preston’s Phil Ashmead lobbed at Elizabeth in 1973. Other famous names appearing include West Perth’s Farmer, East Perth’s future Port Magpie Carl Fragomeni, Rod Olsson at Sandy Bay, Doc Baldock at Latrobe and a score of famous players in the VFL Prelim.



The News. Mum used to give me 5 cents tied in the corner of my hanky so that I could buy it one the way home from school. It may have been up to 10 cents by 1971. To think that we lined Murdoch’s pockets for all those years.



Here are the teams. Port included Kevin Salmon at the expense of Bob Kingston late in the piece, Salmon’s number 27 getting a guernsey on the scoreboard to inform the crowd.


Only the best-looking players were selected for these pages, as is very apparent from these twenty eight headshots.




Ansett. Enough said.



The next swag of pages lists each Grand Final from 1950 – 1970 inclusive, one of the few documents that I’ve seen that reviews each of these matches and also lists the teams, scores, goalkickers and best players in one place. It’s now digitised, thanks to this piece, so browse as much as you want. That had to be a ginger beer long-neck that Rick Schoff was grasping in 1969, given Sturt’s preponderance of Baptists and other wowsers.


Beneficial Finance sent SA broke in the early 90s. Too many unregulated spivs corrupted the Great South Australian Dream depicted in their ad.


The Naked Bunyip indirectly begat Alvin Purple.



From the day’s Morphettville fields, Mikado, Belle Trice and Caliente all ring bells with me. If trifectas were invented back then, the Race 7 result of 2,8,5 would have bought fish and chips on your return trip to Nailsworth if you were a Roosters fan.

They must have been very tired at 5KA.



Here’s the full list of results for the 1971 season.



The previous round wrap is an un-needed reminder of Centrals’ demise the week before, but Lyle Skinner’s lace-up makes up for it.



The posterior of the Budget provides these tables for posterity. Note the Mini-League Ladder.

These Mobil Footy Photos were the last of their kind.



Does anyone still drink brandy?



The best that Stanley could hope for would have been a rushed behind.



North jumped Port and the 6.11 to 0.3 half-time score proved insurmountable for Fos’s bunch. Fritzy Freeman copped a nasty facial gash that looked like something from Peckinpah, even in black and white monochrome. Port’s last quarter flurry made the scores look interesting, but North were always going to keep their beaks in front.


The 1991 Grand Final Budget told the official story of this game two decades hence.



If it is true that history is written by the victors, then North’s version of events is here.


Here’s the customary Rothman’s branded movie of the the game, narrated by future Naked Vicar Show member Kev Golsby, who manages to invent yet another mispronunciation of “Magarey”. I commend it to you all.



*** except by this one, twenty five years later.



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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. Dave Brown says

    Love it (anytime Port lose). Also love that the Von Bertouch sisters have both married into multi-generational SANFL families (Gallagher and Bode) so these close SA footy ties may continue. Interesting that North’s country contingent is so obvious given they were behind the push to bring in country zones in 1972. Some of the riches of Norwood’s sweep of the country before this is apparent in the thirds in players like Taylor, White and Blythman. At least half of that squad are country boys.

  2. “In Perth ex West Torrens Phil Tierney scored his 100th goal”. Ouch. It was ever thus. A season at East Perth was a career at West Torrens.
    Thanks for the 1953 summary. Gave me goosebumps.
    I tried checking some of the familiar racehorse names for a memory jogger, but as names can be reused after 17 years unless it was a champ, most of these are going around for the 3rd time. Bugger getting old. Not even Google can remind you where you left your glasses, keys or horse names.
    Thanks for the memories Swish. Mostly bad.

  3. Swish, I’ll always remember that ’71 Grand Final. Actually i wasn’t there for, at that very moment, Heather and I were in the process of getting married. However we were all given progress reports on that match as it continued.

  4. Luke Reynolds says

    A very unflattering pic of J.Cahill in his lace-up guernsey. I’ve never understood why lace-up football jumpers were a thing.

    Love the Darren Jarman ad at the end, looks very much like Jim Carrey in “Dumb and Dumber”.

  5. Marrett and Milde, possibly the last blokes to miss shots for goal from the goal square! Darrell Cahill possibly the last to have a pie and a fag at half time? Also one of my favourite players. Norfadlay (official KG pronunciation) should get down on their knees and give thanks for number 10, for without him…. Great memories, even though Port lost, extending the drought started in 1966.

  6. As Barrie Robran always said (with characteristic modesty ) sister Julie Robran was the best sports person in the family and more decorated than he or brother Rodney

    Like Don Dunstan he was always ahead of the times

    Well done Swish

  7. Robert Douglas says

    Excellent read – loved it. Tony Burgan was an All-Australian in 1972 not 1968 however !

  8. Thanks for this Swish. I can’t recall if it was ’97 or ’98 or both (hopefully not ’17) but Coopers ran an ad in the paper which an image of a pale ale and their caption was the parochial, “This weekend we’re making Victoria bitter.” A beer ad to rival the one featuring Fudd.

  9. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    I appreciate the responses, thanks all.

    Dave – Norwood were ahead of the game in many ways, Carmel Court especially

    PB – I was once driven to Whyalla by Charlie Pyatt in his Mercedes. Alas, I was too young to appreciate the significance.

    Fisho – I hope your earpiece was concealed

    Luke – Which one was Andrew?

    Bucko – Stick around, I’ve got 1977’s

    Tim – There was only one Australian skipper in the Robran family.

    Rabs – Thanks, corrected (and suitably ashamed)

    Mickey – Unfortunately 1973 won’t be appearing in this series until I can obtain the Budget.

    Also, thanks to Rulebook for passing this on to various Robrans, and relaying a reply from Barrie himself. How do you frame an email?

  10. Rabid Dog says

    Swish – I’ve since found out there are TWO of me – the other RD is using his real name.
    Rabs out.

  11. I’m a late learner for reading Swish.
    These Budgets for the GF must have written themselves. Just add the previous years result to the list of GF winners, augment all other lists write a predictive article on this years game and you are at the press.
    Russell Ebert was never one to smile much. I remember well from the Sunday Morning post-round TV show. How do they manage these now, with five day rounds?
    Page 7, Fox Williams and Jack Cahill talking tactics after the State game? He probably wore the big V to practise each week. In those days players wore their best trophy guernseys to training. Tony Burgan used to wear the All-Australian guernsey twice a week. Did he not wash it, or did he have two?
    From the player bios, I note that the good players go into the League team in their first year and wonawards against the other more mature men in a year or so. I wonder why AFL recruits take so long to mature these days. Are they not given a chance?
    Hey Swish, your Mom couldn’t wait for your Dad to get home with the News? Or were you more reliable? Your story begs the question: Was there never any snot on your hankie! If there was, the man at the newsagent must have been sick regularly.
    The change rooms at the Adelaide Oval look pretty ordinary.
    I was fascinated by the crowd numbers for the GFs. The Adelaide Oval packed in up to 60000 punters. More than they manage now todays in safety-conscious society. As I recall, they used to build temporary stands above the Richardson gates.

  12. Rulebook says

    Superb Swish love nostalgia and as you no sent thru to the great man and receive a reply made both our days richer yesterday

  13. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    6% – I was far more reliable than my father in many many ways. You’d be surprised how different each year’s GF Budgets were. Superficially the same, but the historical content varied quite a lot. Thanks for your observations.

    Thanks again ‘Book. It’s gone straight to the (imaginary) pool room.

  14. For the benefit of 6%, I was at the 1965 GF with the record crowd of over 62,000. I was 12 years old, stood on the northern mound to the west of the scoreboard and had to find 2 empty Halls soft drink bottles to turn upside down, push into the ground and stand on, in order to be able to see. Caught the train in, by myself, at 3.00am and waited outside the eastern gate until opening time at 9.00am. Sat thru Senior Colts and Seconds GF before the big one. Great days, not capable of repetition today….

  15. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    What time did you get to the 1976 GF Bucko?

  16. Dave Holliday says

    I was there in front of the scoreboard on the mound enjoying every moment of the game as the Mighty Roosters beat port into submission. What a great side the Roosters had with Patto at the helm and Barrie leading the way. The first premiership I saw North win and did it in style again the following year.

  17. Randal Williams says

    the 1971 Grand Final was one I didn’t see in this period–I was interstate; Good to see the highlights, admittedly with the poor quality of the newsreel after so many years. Webb was the X factor with his opportunistic goals, and B Robran of course. Port couldn’t get going until the last quarter ( a bit like the 1964 Grand Final) but that was due to North’s dominant play all over the ground. The commentator still couldn’t pronounce “Magarey” properly ( after how many years?) and we had the regulation spectator light-ups of Rothmans cigarettes, but still good to see it all.

  18. Rocket_Rooster says

    I certainly saw the 1971 Grand Final. It was the 24th birthday of the greatest, Barrie Robran, and didn’t he have a happy birthday. He just completely dominated the game and was the difference between the two sides. The Rothman’s clip doesn’t do him justice nor does the surviving ABC footage which shows all Port’s 9 goals but only 5 of North’s 10 goals.
    And finally as great as Barrie’s game was in the Grand Final his last 15 minutes in the 1971 Second Semi Final had to be seen to be believed. 18 minutes into the last quarter of that game Port led by 21 points, Barrie, despite having to endure quite unsavoury tactics scored 3 magnificent goals himself as North scored 7 goals 1 to 1 goal 1 to turn that 21 point deficit to a 15 point winning margin.
    I don’t believe we will see his like again.

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