Almanac Books: Introducing Gravel & Mud – An Anthology of Football in the Mountains of Western Tasmania





Football and communities are synonymous with Tasmania’s west coast. And so we introduce a fine new anthogy:



Gravel & Mud: An Anthology of Football in the Mountains of Western Tasmania

Compiled and edited by John Carswell, Tony Newport and Chris Carswell

Just like the fluctuating fortunes of the mines, football has gone through times of boom and bust. Just like the miners the sport has endured. Just like the people – passion, pride and parochialism have combined to weave a tough and fascinating history. Gravel & Mud is an anthology. Stories and histories have been selected not just for their historical context but also their entertainment value. There is the Six Million Dollar Man – former journalist, Liberal party leader and businessmen Bob Cheek who spent a year in Queenstown as captain-coach of the City Football club and lived to tell the tale. There are unassuming origins of out and out champions of the game. Syd Coventry, captain of Collingwood’s famous four successive premierships played in a Gormanston competition before signing with Collingwood. Ian Stewart, triple Brownlow medallist, was born in Queenstown. Arthur Hodgson a Carlton best and fairest winner played in the QFA before signing with the Blues. There are characters aplenty. Champions who stayed. Journeymen who came and went. Famous matches. The three decades of Gravel versus Mud. Queenstown teams versus Rosebery teams. No quarter given and the decider always contested on the Gravel. There are the early days. The Carters versus Lumpers. The rough and ready days of Old Tullah, Williamsford, Zeehan and the famous mountain men of Gormanston. There’s Chris Fagan coach of Brisbane, born and bred on the West Coast his father Austin a Queenstown legend. There are the stalwarts – the women, trainers, committee men and coaches. Barrackers like Milda Lockett, Chalky Clark and Roy Griffiths who could snarl on one side of their face and smile on the other at the same time; and in Milda’s case sip on a stubby of VB. And there are a few stories about rugby being played in the mud and a visit to the West Coast by the great Nick Farr Jones. There’s the heartbreak. The loss of miners and footballers at work and on the ground. There’s the triumphs – not just overcoming the adversity of tough and unforgiving opponents but also the elements, the grounds, the weather, gravel and mud.Football and community are synonymous with Tasmania’s west coast mining towns.



To purchase copies visit


The authors will be at the Almanac/Uni of Tassie FC lunch in Hobart on July 30. All welcome. Details of the lunch HERE.


  1. This looks like a cracker of a book.
    I look forward to reading it

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