SANFL 1975 Grand Final – Glenelg v Norwood: Colourful Football Identities

 

Earlier on this 20 degree day, I’d played school footy, then hot-train-and-bussed it to West Lakes with my mate Bucko, the most courageous kid I ever played footy with. Talk about opposites attracting.

 

I think we plonked ourselves near the scoreboard flank. My memories of the day end there, but I still have my copy of this artistically ambitious Budget to jog my (and maybe your) memories.

 

1975 was the first year of colour television in Australia, and perhaps this had an influence on the cover design that involved a sublimated photo of opposing captains Marker and Wynne rendered in an of-the-era yellow tone.

 

Norwood topped the ladder at the end of the minor round, a game ahead of Glenelg and Sturt, in coach Bob Hammond’s second season. The heavy scoring Tigers outgunned the Redlegs in the Second Semi-Final, requiring the latter to dispense with Port Adelaide in the Prelim.

 

Glenelg had lost three Grand Finals since 1969; its famous 1973 win was the club’s second flag. Norwood’s last premiership was in 1950, losing five Grand Finals in the period 1952 to 1961. However, their recent 70s form was on an upward path.

 

 

Super Mild – how was this mildness measured?

 

 

No half-time entertainment was mentioned.

 

 

Alright for a handful of years anyway.

 

 

The Judge talks down the 1975 season, but talks up the Datsun Cup. Hmm.

 

 

The concrete steppes of Footy Park were in use every week, but Adelaide Oval was home to both South Adelaide and Port Adelaide (due to the latter’s unresolved spat with the local council).

 

The tricky West Lakes winds seem to have affected the shooting for goals in the finals, especially the combined 19.52 in the Elimination Final.

 

 

Evergreen facts and figures bloke Ern Kolosche provides sound historical analysis and suggests a swag of rule changes designed to produce closer matches more often. What could go wrong?

 

The King Gee ad could have done with a better slogan.

 

 

Where was John H Ellers’ production line reconditioning done?

 

I can personally vouch for the “top quality vinyl leather” used to construct my Centrals crew bag.

 

Oddly enough (I’m looking at you Ern), the GF with the biggest aggregate score was closer than the one with the smallest aggregate.

 

 

How did Johnnies last so long? Alternatively, why did it have to go?

 

 

Kerls was about to rack up another “2” in the Pos column. Would he ever coach another flag?

 

 

Bob Hammond’s time at The Parade was extraordinarily successful, winning two premierships and making the finals in each of his six seasons. He was also briefly caretaker coach of the Sydney Swans. Bob Oatey had taken Norwood from tenth to fourth over his six seasons prior to Hammond’s tenure and should take some of the credit for returning the ‘Legs to a position of on field strength.

 

 

“… will be considered by the League in future negotiations and planning”

 

I’m not sure how to reconcile the Port et al count of 62 seasons up to 1974, given that the SANFL centenary was to be celebrated in 1977.

 

 

Good on the umps for getting their own article.

 

 

Norwood always did well in the Reserves. Why was that?

 

Sturt were regulars in the direct telecasts of the selected Twos match of the day and I was surprised that they hadn’t grabbed a dew-kickers flag or two of late.

 

 

My fascination with the early game extends to spotting the names that were on the way up, on the way down or just passing through.

 

Noel Pettingill ended up in the Double Blues in 1976, perhaps this helps explain why. Grant Zubrinich played 86 games over seven seasons at Norwood before adding 94 games in five seasons at Sturt. Paul Adler played had to wait until the following year before making his senior debut, eventually playing in Norwood’s flags of 1978 and 1982 in both key attacking and defensive roles. This game was sharp-shooter Mike Coligan’s last game for the club.

 

Greg Wild (four senior flags), Phil Heinrich (184 senior games) and 1976 premiership players Sanders, Hill and Heinrich all had claims to Double Blue fame, as did Andrew Zilm.

 

The Redlegs started the club’s most successful day in a quarter of a century with a 16.20 (116) to 7.9 (52) drubbing.

 

 

Glenelg averaged about five goals a game more that the second most prolific team, Port Adelaide.

 

Fred Phillis racked up another ton, so the Bays would have been expecting a decided advantage up front in the big one.

 

Norwood’s scoring came from up field and on the ball, Ross Dillon the most potent.

 

 

The winners in the other states were North Melbourne, West Perth, Windsor-Zillmere and Glenorchy in case you were wondering. (Apologies to the NTFA and NWFU)

 

Woodville appeared to have the jump on Centrals in the under age ranks, but through Alan Stewart, the Bulldogs were able to correct this in the next few years, winning numerous junior flags.

 

 

Peter Mead was given the nod for the Grand Final.

 

The Arnott’s Award was calculated by adding up the wins in the League and Reserves and multiplying by the 2 points that are awarded for each game when calculating ladders in SA (as it should be too).

 

 

A collage of Tigers

 

 

Car and sporting goods salesmen abounded, kept honest by a sprinkling of coppers and skippered by a solicitor.

 

 

Is there a colour version of this photo anywhere?

 

 

Again, can we track down a colour version? And why don’t all of the jumpers have collars?

 

 

Despite the red collars above, this was a very white collar list, although Greg Turbill scores full points for being a wool presser, as do maintenance carpenter Greg Nicholson and fitter and turner Neil Button.

 

Ross Dillon must have been a pioneer in the world of systems analysis, an occupation rarely seen on these lists in the 70s. John Wynne reportedly did his best promotions work at Sam’s Disco (allegedly).

 

Norwood’s list was much younger than I remembered it. Dunstan and Kerley, for example were both only 22 years old, despite their VFL experience. Thiel and Michalanney were still in their teens as were the roving duo of Turbill and Craig.

 

 

This Redlegs collage can be used to work out which players received a weekly award from Stefano’s during the season (see p37). Spoiler alert, Neil Craig and Mike Poulter both missed out.

 

 

This page barely survived the match and the trip home, so it’s a bit rough. The overhead shot highlights the Members Stand and the public aluminium seating down below.

 

Craig Marriott missed the final twenty.

 

 

The scores reflect the close but scrappy nature of this match. Norwood opened with five consecutive behinds, but settled to take advantage of the scoring end. The Bays took their turn to the Golf Course end to lead narrowly at half-time. Reminiscent of the 1974 Grand Final, the Redlegs failed to establish a defendable lead when they had second use of the wind and a Tiger victory was expected by most at the last break.

 

Norwood’s famous win was made possible by late goals to Ross Dillon and reserve Michael Olsen. Fred Phillis was left to rue his three last quarter set shot misses and his dirty day in front of the sticks generally.

 

 

Who was Ossie Rule? I’m not sure that anyone cared.

 

Mases was a prominent name in the Adelaide red meat game, but they jumped on the chook bandwagon. Primo Caon did his apprenticeship with them, enough said.

 

 

Glenelg stormed home in the Second Semi and were generally regarded as the likely winners of the big one.

 

Kerls and Twiggy had booked the following Monday off.

 

 

Apart from the Major Round and Last Ten Games and the head-to-head tally, none of the Norwood v Glenelg records needed to be updated after the Grand Final.

 

The Club Records also remained intact.

 

 

 

Pages 30 and 31 look to have been transposed.

 

I’d be very surprised if Fritzy Freeman wore adidas boots in 1965.

 

A handful of Bays went around in the 1970 GF, but unsurprisingly, none of Norwood’s 1960 side were still on the park.

 

 

Both of today’s competitors had seen extensive lean times.

 

 

I don’t quite remember the reason for my annotations (presumably it was the number of players used).

 

There are some names there that I don’t recall but others such as Glenelg’s Phil Dack and Reg Pollard, North’s Bob Scaglia or Pecker Timor Godrik still ring bells despite their infrequent appearances.

 

Anyone from those lists stand out for you?

 

Warren Packer replaced Sandy Nelson in Motley & Greer’s cavalcade of stars, but Colin Casey was soon to depart to join Nelson at their Unley Rd premises.

 

Anyone remember squash?

 

 

 

 

True SANFL tragics will take delight in the newly introduced club logos that signify each club’s array of fundraising enterprises.

 

Sturt’s ’74 Premiership Red must have been top shelf if those prices are any indication. South’s Centenary Year Annual Picnic was the bargain of the century.

 

Sheeds was doing Sportsman’s Dinners almost half a century ago. Cash, no doubt.

 

Peter Woite’s air conditioner was worth about the same as the Grand Final winner’s prize. Who says that there was no money in footy back then?

 

“Drop Something Sport?” was often used as puerile questioning concerning the flatulence of a close pal (so I am told).

 

 

I loved my block letters. Still do.

 

 

 

The most obscure reference that I can find here was Westie’s Victor Flierl, current day Semaphore Road record shop owner and member of 80s Greasy Pop band The Garden Path.

 

I’ve left plenty of low hanging fruit for the keen reader, but I don’t think that Port’s #19 legged it off to Queensland.

 

 

In case you couldn’t find them on the other two pages, the umpies’ numbers are shown yet again.

 

The combined Jim Beam / Gilt Edge column had all your just-add-Coke beverage preferences covered.

 

The fields were small at Cheltenham but the quality was up to its usual standard.

 

 

Greg Norman found fame in the 1976 West Lakes Classic. The 1975 version was won by Bob Shearer; “richest ever” meant $20,000, the winner trousering plus-4ing $4,000.

 

 

The famous chimney spared no expense with its colourful player display, which presciently showed Norwood as the highest of the five.

 

——-
The Lead Up

 

 

 

Norwood’s lack of goal-scoring avenues was thought by many to be their weakness, especially given Glenelg’s heavy-scoring record during 1975.

 

John McInnes was of course an ex-Redleg himself, which may have influenced his selection of the underdogs.

 

On The Day

Here’s the last ten minutes or so, plus the post-match celebrations.

Watch out for Bob Hammond’s leather coat.

 

The Wash Up

Norwood’s proud heritage has been preserved on-line, largely due to the efforts of Mike Coligan. The 1975 premiership is recounted here.

 

 

The match reports from the Sunday Mail and The Advertiser paid fitting tribute (Schwartz’s piece is an especially fine piece).

 

 

 

Mike Coward, Geoff Kingston and Ray Barber added some vivid colour to this famous final. Doug Thomas was Doug Thomas.

 

 

Finally, here’s how the 1984 Grand Final Budget looked back on this match.

 

Acknowledgements

The cuttings above were provided by my favourite Twitter account @1975sanflseason, which faithfully reproduced the 1975 SANFL season in real time (with a 43 year lag) last year, and is currently doing the same for 1976. Well worth following.

 

Norwood has done a sterling job recording its proud history at the Redlegs Museum site which was a valuable reference.

 

 

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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

Comments

  1. There is always some pearls in these Budgets
    For me, the Sturt reserves list is of interest. Jim Katsaros had played for the blacks and Peter Milte would in the future, when his career at Sturt was over. Peter Hargreaves lived across the road from me on Edmund Avenue. I have not thought about him for years.
    I notice Bob Hammond is listed as Captain Coach in the Redlegs team photo. This must have been a start of the year idea that was not current by the business end of the season.
    I am surprised you are asking for colour photos of the teams. Get out the Textas Swish!

  2. Dan Hansen says

    I, too, was at this game. The first SANFL Grand Final I attended.

    I remember sitting in the upper deck, between the goals and the scoreboard at the golf course end. I cant remember much of the game but I remember the pundits on the Footy Show the next day arguing if Jimmy Thiel beat Freddy Phyllis or not. Fred had six shots at goal but kicked only six behinds. If a Full Forward outmarks a Full Back six times he has won the day. If a Full Back keeps a Full Forward goalless he won the day. The argument continues.

  3. Thanks Swish. What memories you have brought back to me. I didn’t get to go to this game as my parents were visiting heather and me. Instead we watched it on our new colour TV set. Dad, a real red and blue blooded person, was absolutely over the moon as, of course , was I.

    At the start of the season we didn’t know what to expect as Phil Carman, who had starred as a centre man the previous season, had left for Collingwood. Anyway, if I remember correctly, the Legs lost their first 2 games but then were undefeated until losing to the Bays in the second semi.

    Knocking off the ‘Pies in the Prelim Final (I attended Footy Park for this match) was an absolute delight for me. It was with great expectation that Dad and I sat around the telly on the big day. What a hard fought game it was. Mum and Heather relocated to the kitchen leaving “us boys” on our own.

    When the final siren sounded the ladies knew the result for the cheering from the lounge was very loud. I hadn’t seen Dad so happy for so long.

    Great work Swish, keep up the good work.

  4. Dave Brown says

    Love it, as you might think I would. Having watched the game a few times on the TV, that wind was rotten. The commentators until 10 minutes into the last quarter consistently make out they are describing the prelude to a Glenelg win.

    Re. the 62 seasons, for some reason they start their count at 1907 despite the fact a four team finals system was played in the five seasons before that.

    I do like the Williams twins playing for West against Port in the 19s GF. Meanwhile, Clive Palmer must be planning to mine the Cheltenham Cemetery.

    Wish every club had (their equivalent of) a Redlegs Museum

  5. Rulebook says

    I was there as a 12 year old I do not no why but remember the route dad took to drive to footy park vividly
    the goal,Phillip Gallagher kicked in the last q passed just over my right shoulder and a lady grabbed my dad and kissed him when the siren went great memories ( some amusing comments on Norwood face book pages where I have placed the article also ) thanks,Swish

  6. Thanks again for the rabbit hole. I know you like to drawn connections to the Bulldogs whenever you can Swish. Here is one I am surprised you did not point out to the readers.
    The 1975 Seconds Grand Final was Sturt vs Norwood.
    Sturt Seconds were coached by Daryl Hicks.
    Daryl Hicks went to coach Central in 1978 after a stint at the NFL
    He ended up living in Elizabeth/Salisbury for more than 40 years. He ran three gyms and ended up in Deacon in the Catholic Church. For more details on this and a contemporary photograph
    https://thesoutherncross.org.au/features/2017/05/08/daryl-kicking-new-goals/
    Or this one with the ears more prominent…
    https://thesoutherncross.org.au/news/2018/11/28/deacon-dazza-retires/

  7. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks 6%, your comments are always way better than my pieces. I knew Hargs and his mate Tony Pfeiffer in the early 80s when they used to play men’s softball on a Friday night at Walkerville Oval. I avoided mention of Centrals in this one, but the Hicks years were very important ones.

    Ta Handbag. Did the upper level still have the barbed wire strung across the top at the back? It was still there in 1978 from memory as I watched that one from the Northern End.

    You sounded very happy Fisho. Thanks.

    Onya Dave, I didn’t rewatch the home game. Not sure that I need to after all.

    Thanks for spreading the word ‘Book. I hope it’s brought a smile to a few Redleg dials.

  8. Some trainspotting. Richard Hill #20 in Sturt reserves – played in their 1976 league flag (sorry to give away the ending @1976sanflseason). Great all round sportsman. Single figure golfer and coached 8 flags in Adelaide Hills footy league (my brother played in several). Assistant basketball coach at the 36ers where his son Brad played (not the footballer). Still coaching basketball in SE with Mount Gambier Pioneers where he has won 5 flags.
    On a sadder note – perused my West Torrens Eagles list. 2 wins and cellar dwellers. Wallace, Inglis, McKenzie, Cassin, Faletic could all play. Not sure why we were always so crap? Partly the quality of the League at that time. Matthew Pavlich’s father Steve and uncle Mark in the team. Both went ok – not stars. Still we are the only team to have a subsequent murderer on the list.
    Great memories. Thanks Swish and @1976sanflseason.

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