A photo from the past


The 1975 Williamstown Juniors Under-11B team. The author is in the back row, fifth from the left.


At a recent function, my mate Dale – with whom I had played both junior footy and cricket – commented in passing that he had been given a copy of an old footy photograph. What made this photo significant was that Dale and I were both in it.

I told him that I was more than curious to see the picture and so he arranged for Ted Hudson, our old Under-11 coach, to email me a copy. The next morning, there it sat in the in-box: the 1975 Williamstown Juniors Under-11B team. Ted mentioned that it was taken prior to the first game of the season. We were about to run onto the field to play Altona Central at the Hospital Reserve, neither of which – club nor oval – exist today. Over the past week or so I have studied the photo intently, peering into the faces of mostly long-forgotten team-mates. Thankfully, Ted also supplied me with a list of names. Strangely, only two of my Under-11 chums were with me five seasons later when we won a flag in the Under-15s; that subsequent premiership photo until now was the only record of my junior footy days.

What happened to all these guys? Where are they now? There are only two or three in the photo with whom I am still in touch. Some of the boys in the old photo have cheeky grins, some are looking serious, some have arms folded in classic footy photo pose. My wife believes that, sadly, at least one of them died some years ago.

And as for me? Mop of blond hair (also no longer in existancece), shorts way too small, hairy collared jumper which still even looks itchy all these years later. I am looking pensive. Nervous about the prospect of playing my first ever game of footy, maybe?

About Darren Dawson

Always North.


  1. Andrew Starkie says

    Smokie, why don’t hunt down each team member. would be a fascinating series of pieces.

  2. Smokie, that’s a classic! I too recently stumbled upon my Under 10s team photo from the Studfield Junior Football Club circa 1979 (the Hawks). It’s amazing how those pics seem a lifetime ago while also feeling like only yesterday. Cheers.

  3. Smokie – ripper photo. Where did they all go? Great question. When you look at these photos it really makes you contemplate life’s journey I reckon.

  4. Davey Boy says

    If only the photo had that old “half circle” hut as a backdrop. That would have been perfect.

    It almost looks like it was mandatory to have blonde hair if you wanted to be in the team.

  5. I recently was shown a letter of thanks given to our Primary A school team’s coach, signed by every member of the team. I remembered all of the players as most of us were in the same class at school for at least a few years. Some of them I played with as an adult and still see regularly nearly 45 years later. Now that’s the bonding power of footy! An interesting side light to the reminiscing was that our 2 ruckmen in Year 7 were our 2 rovers 4 years later!

Leave a Comment