A Tribute to Fred ‘Chocka’ Bloch

I turned up at Adelaide University FC in 1984 and quickly developed a close friendship with our football co-ordinator Fred ‘Chocka’ Bloch.

The Blacks are the largest football club in the country, currently having nine senior sides with Chocka being the key person in the club’s history. As maths and science students would appreciate, he’s therefore the most important person in the history of the game.

It has been a pleasure to be Chocka’s right hand man. To show how Chocka is different, he always answers my phone calls and ignores everyone else’s.

Chocka is, in short, my hero.

 

Fred 'Chocka' Bloch.

Fred ‘Chocka’ Bloch.

 

Chocka attended Adelaide Boys High and then while working for the National Bank (now known, of course as the NAB), was offered a chance to study for an economics degree. After graduating with honours, it was noticed by a NAB employee of his incredible maths ability and they asked Chocka if he really wanted to work in a bank? Chocka realised he didn’t, and to the NAB’s credit they let Chocka go, and through his friendship with Professor Geoff Harcourt, the Prof helped Chocka get some work lecturing at Adelaide Uni in the commerce department.

Professor Harcourt also suggested Adelaide Uni’s football club appoint Chocka as assistant coach of the club – including being coach of the A2 side in 1968. We’re eternally grateful to the Prof for getting Chocka to the club.

Fred became involved in the Student Union, and was Chairman in 1971 and ’72. He was also in a Uni Jazz band – playing the guitar. Chocka’s musical talents were later put to use in arranging the lyrics to the club song to the timeless classic California Here I Come. But it is his role and involvement becoming the head administrator, spiritual leader, guru, tribal elder and overall most important person in the World’s Greatest Footy Club – the Adelaide University Football Club – which I wish to expand on.

Chocka, after being involved in the club from 1968 to 1972 moved around with work and study commitments – including a spell overseas. Chocka returned to the club, coaching the A1 side in 1980 and ’81, but in his own words, realised he was better suited to administration rather than coaching. As he moved into an administrative role, his overall influence on the club increased – in particular, in the lower grades.

At footy clubs, it is impossible to give people and players the appropriate recognition. Chocka, however, always seemed to give the worst player in the club more respect than the best player, and might be a huge reason as to why I got on so well with him!

While every Blacks player past and present cares about the success of the A-Grade side, the club’s folklore has been built on a vigorous sense of the ridiculous, and an ethos that showers glory on the meek and demands humility of the mighty. There’s no better example of this ethos than the cult of Bob Neil, which Chocka embraced immediately. He was, in reality, the main instigator of the Bob Neil myth. The rest of us were simply willing disciples.

The Adelaide Uni footy presentations are called Hold your Bowlies. The name is due to Chocka being with a group of mates at the Royal Adelaide Show. In sideshow alley, a lady plugging the clown game seemed to be yelling out “hold your bowlies!” so everyone started imitating her and, inadvertently, Hold Your Bowlies was born.

Chocka was the host of Hold Your Bowlies from 1980 to 1990 and when a mistake or anything anyone thought was out of order, for example, “Hey love enjoy your …?” occurred, Chocka had to skull a beer. Believe me, this was before the current era of responsible service and responsible drinking. Yet when Chocka had had enough, his car miraculously drove itself home.

Our presentations at Adelaide Uni Football Club are unique, and are really a vaudeville act. They are loaded with intricate rituals and conventions designed to invoke a spiritual sense of unity and give short shrift to the self-indulgent tedium that most football clubs tolerate in their weekly formalities. Every player in the club has a nickname and several players have individual songs about them; Our Don Haslam (to the tune of Our Don Bradman), Fatty Little Darren Graetz (We’re Happy Little Vegemites) and Sandy Climb Every Mountain Hancock, are just a few.

 

Chocka Bloch conducting on of his time honoured "Hold Your Bowlies' sessions in the 80s.

Chocka Bloch conducting one of his time-honoured “Hold Your Bowlies’ sessions in the 80s.

 

When I was married in 1992 I insisted on two non-negotiables to my then-fiancée Emma: I did not want to get married in a church and Chocka was to MC our reception. The great man was sensational on the night, doing a ‘book of rules’ for the wedding. It was like bringing Hold Your Bowlies to our wedding. At one stage in proceedings, Chocka says to the guests; “Chocka’s rule 13.2 is not normally needed at a wedding, but playing his 100th game today… winning two jugs of beer – courtesy of Mr and Mrs Bertram – and a key ring goes to: Paul ‘Hi Top’ Baker.” Bakes walks up to the mike and says; “Thanks everyone for coming to my 100th game dinner, and Rulebook, I just think you could have invited a few more of my mates.” A standing ovation erupted from the footy table, while there was stunned silence from the rest! Luckily, Emma liked ‘Hi Top’ Baker.

Each match report had only the scores, the goal kickers and the best players with room for one, maybe two funny stories and anyone handing in their score sheets without a funny story would risk Chocka just making one up about them. A player may have kicked 10 goals and won the game in the A Grade match, but Clinton Rule (a.k.a Clinton Rules O.K?) having to climb in to the Torrens and rescue a trolley and save himself $500 after a drunken night in the Uni bar, will inevitably gain far more publicity and promotion than making the best players in the A grade ever would.

The scores and results of the club’s weekend games are really just a small part of the overall fabric and unique club spirit at The Blacks, and far more memorable than the new song that has been written about the questionable hygiene of a previously anonymous (and henceforth immortal) bloke who sometimes plays in the D Grade.

The Blacks have always been ‘bird’- friendly. In the old days, the players’ girlfriends would jostle for a spot close to Chocka, presenting the raffle up on stage. Now we’re fully evolved and we have the Girl Guides (our female side) to keep us company at Bowlies, which fortunately doesn’t prevent the occasional Blacker still thinking he’s James Dean for a day, and quite rightly receiving recognition.

Every opposition club and ground had a nickname. In the later days, Chocka would only reprise his Bowlies role for Kilburn games, with his motorcycle jacket and his off-color humor. Other highlights were “Can the Blacks crap on the Catholics today? And the answer is?” (for Rostrevor College etc.) There were the Tarnished Spooners and the Silver Spooners of St Peters College, and so on.

Arguably, Chocka’s greatest influence was the introduction of contract sides where groups of mates played together, and each with their own name. There was Hancock’s Half Hour, The Glamour side, The Chardonnay Socialists, Fosters Green Ars—oles, the Bastards and The Scum are just a few examples of the team names. Each side developed their own culture, almost becoming a club-within-a-club. To be recognized and offered a so-called contract to play in one of these sides is highly valued, and a form of acceptance, with guys more excited than winning the Lotto when signed up. Chocka was the crucial person in implementing and developing this structure, and hey, imagine picking 8 sides purely on ability! You’d never finish selection.

Chocka loved the social element of the lower grades. I remember turning up for a game one time with the match yet to begin. “Hey Book,” says Chocka. “I’ve picked the best players. There’s Wayne King, Frank King, Mark ‘Hea–ob’ Headland, Jeremy ‘Dosa’ Clapp and Eric ‘Sniffer the Greek Kangaroo’ Passaris. Give me the scores later at the pub.”

Chocka was incredibly organised with all 350 players, their photographs and personal details all catalogued for each year. He personally registered every player and this was all before the era of digital technology. Chocka Bloch was the key plank in keeping the club running efficiently, with the administrative tasks of running a club with eight sides all basically run on volunteer labour. Just astronomical!

Chocka was also Head of School for the Commerce Faculty at Adelaide Uni. I was doing shift work during a lot of this era so I was in Chocka’s office a lot of the time. So much so that it was about three years before one staff member learned that I didn’t actually work in the Commerce Department.

Like a lot of academics and teachers, Chocka was basically able to run this department due to having all his lectures catalogued and stored – with a few variations, of course. Generations of Adelaide Uni accounting undergraduates have cut their teeth on computational methods and hypothetical football scenarios involving The Blacks coming out on top. Many of the club’s finest players first heard about the club through Chocka in this setting. As the great man was fond of saying; “Yep. Got the commerce part done. Hell ‘Book, we’ve got more important things to do! We’ve got the world’s greatest footy club to run!”

In terms of the fiduciary side of The Blacks, everything was banked and stored on very organised balance sheets. In a lot of ways, under Chocka’s rein we were probably better run than a few AFL clubs.

Chocka was also heavily involved in the SAAFL at committee level. He was committed to the values of amateurism and the advancement of community football and wrote a history of the league. The history of the Amatuer Football League book was seven years in the making, and was a huge project involving an enormous amount of communication and organising with all the clubs. he helped Big Al Statton and Elaine Davoren in particular and numerous committees running the league

For Chocka it wasn’t whether you won, it was how you went about it. if you would win having fun and staying true to your values, well it meant even more. As JT famously remarked; we were a drinking club, loosely organised around football.

When he received his OAM for services to footy, we had a Roast to honour Chocka. I was involved in the organisation. One afternoon my phone rings. “Hello. Malcolm Ashwood speaking,” I say.

“Hi Malcolm,” says the voice at the other end. “It’s Barrie Robran here.”

I immediately stand at attention, as God is on the phone.

“Malcolm,” says Barrie, “I’m just seeing if it is ok with you if I propose a post to Fred at the end of my speech?”

“That’s fine Barrie,” I reply. I get off the phone thinking; ‘geez God just asked me for permission to toast Chocka!’ It was a great moment.

Towards the end of that evening, Block took centre stage and told everyone that “at the risk of offending people, I wish to name the five most influential people in my administration career…” Chocka included me, and called me ‘Mr. Passion.’ That meant more to me than being awarded life membership of the worlds greatest football club.

In closing, I strongly make the point that Chocka has been the most important and influential person in Adelaide University Football Club’s proud and long history and has helped and guided so many young guys along the journey of life.

He is an incredible person; funny, gregarious and with a unique ability to communicate and have fantastic relationships with anyone from any upbringing. At the club centenary dinner in 2006, Chock was roundly recognised with a standing ovation from the 1,000-strong group at the Convention Centre as the living, beating heart and soul of The Blacks. As Peter Maddern said, “the 1986 Glamour side was a mixture of western suburbs junkies and decent Spooner folk.” Without Chocka, this sort of thing would never have happened.

The man has a silly t-shirt collection. He broke down the barriers and made the club what it is today.

Thank you Sir Fred Archibald Bloch. My hero!

[Add your Chocka story in the comments section below – Ed]

Not just “another” North Adelaide player, but Chocka himself (from The Pash Papers – Jeff Pash)

Fred ‘Chocka’ Bloch

North Adelaide

* Played 77 games for North Adelaide 1961 to 1967

* Runner up Best and Fairest 1964 (despite only playing 12 games due to a broken hand. The winner, Barrie Barbary, played 20 games)

* Won North Adelaide Best and Fairest in 1965

 

Adelaide University FC

* Coach A2 Side 1968-72 ( Captain-Coach 68)

* Coach A1 1980 – 81

* Secretary 1984,1987-1989,1995-2001

* Football Coordinator 1982-2006

* Awarded a Order of Australia (OAM) in 1999 for services to youth and Australian rules Football through his involvement with Adelaide University Football Club.

 

Please Share this article by any and all forms of social media and comment below with your favourite Chocka memory. The great man deserves it!

 

THE FOOTY ALMANAC’S NEW E-MAG LONG BOMBS TO SNAKE IS ON SALE NOW! FIND OUT HOW TO GET YOUR COPY.

 

 

Comments

  1. I think this line nails it:

    While every Blacks player past and present cares about the success of the A-Grade side, the club’s folklore has been built on a vigorous sense of the ridiculous, and an ethos that showers glory on the meek and demands humility of the mighty.

    That’s my sort of organisation.

  2. Bizz Sarre says:

    Well said Book. The key to Chocka’s influence was his involvement in every team and every player. And every nickname. He went to every final. He hosted every BBQ, even cleaning up every Richard III. And all the while never taking himself too seriously. We thank the Commerce Department for their latitude!

  3. Lovely Lisa says:

    Both my parents worked with Chocka in the Bank, so when I became involved with The Blacks one of the first things Chocka asked me was “are you Geoffs daughter?” Dad used to enjoy chatting to Chocka just as much the “c’s” play. A great bloke who has always remembered his roots. Great words Book.

  4. Chocka was also instrumental in the bonding between Riverside (my club) and University during the 80’s. Two very diverse club backgrounds, yet Fred seemed to know exactly how to get both groups of players to mix and what to say. Chocka, was always a guest at the End of Season, Riverside dinner, and his speeches were memorable and very funny. It proves, that two very different cultures; one from the deep roots of the western suburbs and the other from the lofty educational system of Adelaide University could mix and socialise, as if they had been long time buddies. This was all brought about by Chocka. A fantastic article Rulebook.

  5. Chocka sounds like an absolute corka. Great stuff RB. Love the idea of picking the best on ground before the game, then going to the pub. Superb.

  6. Michael Rehn says:

    Malcolm, I don’t feel qualified to comment really as I’ve had no footy involvement with Fred and only one half year of attending his lectures in Economics over 40 years ago. I found him to be an interesting and helpful lecturer !!! As a very young Norwood supporter I recall him carving us up from the middle in his North Adelaide jumper, and his photo is in a Mobil footy album which I still have. From a centreman’s point of view I guess the bloke who took his spot overshadowed him a little, but that bloke, Barrie Robran, has overshadowed everyone in SA if not Australia !!!!

  7. Paul Manuel says:

    I like Luke, was playing at Riverside when I met Chocka. A truly great guys who helped forge friendships within the rivalry….a fine art! Congratulations on the article! Nice work!

  8. Alex Page says:

    Great article Book. Very articulate indeed.

    I think you hit the nail on the head with gregarious in describing Chocka – a character larger than life itself.

    My only regret is that I wasn’t twenty years older so I could have spent more time in his presence at AUFC…well that and shaving my nose once…that was a terrible idea

  9. Sam Nickless says:

    Great article Book. As a first year player in the A10s I did quite well on an accounting 1A assignment and the next thing Chocka said ‘nice work, you’re Assistant Treasurer’. The next year I was the 19 year old Treasurer of the world’s greatest football club managing a business with a $150k turnover (Most of which was for Elastoplast tape and Boz’s drycleaning bills to be fair) and trying to limit losses (Gordo – $25/ticket for unlimited beer didn’t make money – not even in 1990!) and insurance exposure for the Black’s Ball.
    Chocka gave great responsibility and was also a great mentor – I even got access to Clarrie the computer (as well as significant commerce department photocopying!). Chocka delivered on the contracted distinction for Accounting 1 of course. The experiences Chocka gave me were more important and allowed me to learn more than most of the courses at Uni.

  10. Pre/end of season trips to Melbourne were pretty sensational, including his his 40th birthday (1984, I think!). I wish I could’ve earnt a contract with Hancock’s Half Hour. Sounds like quite a team!

  11. Luke Reynolds says:

    Wonderful tribute Malcolm. I’ve seen you mention Chocka before but to have him explained in this detail helps explain your admiration. So many great stories in this, particulary enjoyed the one about your wedding! Another fantastic AUFC story, surely a Blacks book isn’t far off?

  12. Book of all your articles this is the most brilliant and eloquent – an outstanding effort detailing the immense impact Chocka has had at the AUFC.

    The broad spectrum of people from all walks of life is a key factor often overlooked that makes it the best place to play footy and make lifelong friends. The sight of Spooners sipping their imported beers next to broke western suburbs lads on the scrounge for a few drops of bob Neil’s sweet sweet nectar “out the back” courtesy of the proprietor is brilliant – all whilst singing bobby Neil bobby neil bobby Neil in unison.

    Simply a superb article well done.

    Long may the tradition continue at the worlds greatest football club.

    Thank you Chocka for making the club what it is today.

  13. Dan Sergeant says:

    Great article Rulebook. Chocka was the heart and soul of the blacks. He treated everyone the same whether you were an A grade superstar or a bloke struggling to get a kick in the Scum. (Boz excluded).
    As football coordinator he was brilliant. He ran a tight ship and anyone who dared to challenge his authority risked a mouthful of abuse. One of his key roles was to oversee the process that was lower grade selection. This shambolic process involved all the coaches from the C grade down to the Scum sitting in a room at the pub and selecting who would represent the lower grades of the worlds greatest football club. Chaos generally ensued. I recall one particular evening where Chocka and Dirty went head to head over the selection of the Chardonnay Socialists. It was Uni holidays so players were hard to come by. The C grade coach he made a grab for some of the Chardonnay players, much to Dirty’s disgust. Threats and counter threats were exchanged, comments such as “They won’t play for you, they only want to play with the Chards” were levelled. As the night dragged on Chockas blood pressure continued to rise. “Dirty I’ll pick your side” was Chockas opening gambit to try and broker a solution. Deaf ears. “Dirty I’m going to pick your side if you don’t pull your head in”. Deaf ears, arguments continue as the vein in Chockas head reached bursting point. Slamming his folder on the table Chocka yelled out “For fucks sake Darien stick your dick in your ear and fuck some sense into yourself”.
    The room cracked up, sides were selected and paperwork was duly completed.

  14. When I was 16 going on 17 between matric at Unley High and first year Uni my parents left to live in the UK (my dad had left in September and mum December and they ended up living there for 30 years.

    But I was lucky enough to be taken in by Chocka and Maida Bloch at their place on Fullarton.

    It was a big summer –

    The Ash Wednesday bush fires that swept south australia and Victoria

    Bob Hawke’s magnificent election victory ( I cycled from Chocka’s place to trades hall to work on the victorious ALP campaign). The 1983 election also saw Rosemary Crowley – mother of Blacks player Stephen Crowley – elected to the Senate

    John Bannon began work as SA’s youngest Premier after his election in December

    The Ashes in cricket

    Mick Nunan reviving the North Adelaide football club

    When Maida went back to work and the girls to school Chocka and I hadn’t started uni yet so I had the full Fred Bloch routine

    Fitness – running swimming gym work and pre season for the Blacks

    Full discovery of rhythm and blues in “the Presley Room” Fred’s amazing collection of records

    Full academic enlightenment with Fred’s amazing collection of books – politics economics history philosophy and literature

    And best of all – movies

    As soon as Fred’s daughters Suzanne and Robyn went to school we’d return all the boring kids movies and replace them with the “adult entertainment variety ”

    Favourites were the Story of O and Time Bandits not to mention the Secret Policeman’s Ball

    Yes before I started my formal education at Adelaide Uni I had 3 months crash training course with Fred Bloch and it set me up for life

    Fred is the most generous creative multi talented person on the planet

    And to add to Rulebooks fine story I too once met Barrie Robran on the tram in melbourne going to watch his sons play. I told him I knew Chocka and he said

    “Freddy Bloch is one of my favourite people ”

    You can’t top that – the word of God himself

  15. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    Chocka has the heartiest laugh I’ve ever encountered. Seeing him double up while slapping his thigh with his notes (per the picture above) at HYB was one of life’s great sights.

    And his whistle, it could silence the pub in nanoseconds.

    I’m ‘Swish’ because of Chocka.

  16. Sniffer Passaris says:

    Rulebook
    Best article you have written – I think anyone who has played for the Blacks or studied Economics/Commerce at Adelaide Uni would agree that Chocka had a big influence on their lives – a unique and generous person. Well done Book for writing this article and thanks Chocka for giving me the nickname “Sniffer” – it haunts me to this day, some 30 years later.

  17. Brian Rocky Austin says:

    Book, a great tribute.
    Chocka is my hero too.
    He changed lives..in the best way.
    A signed photograph of Chocka, I secured at the last Blacks’ Long Lunch takes pride of place in my office.
    I love the man. Thanks Chocka

  18. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    I would like to thank John Harms and Steve Baker for there help and patience with this article
    Tom Martin for his significant imput and Swish Schwerdt for the photos as I read the comments I think how lucky I am to have the great man as a close friend.Luke and Paul you capture,Chockas huge input re the rivvies and Uni fantastic relationship perfectly.Thanks JTH,Dips and Luke and re each Uni comment you can genuinely feel the love and huge influence,Chocka has had on all of our lives.Scrote word perfect
    Please share the article on every social media form possible and JTH the mention on sen tonight was also greatly appreciated

  19. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Thanks Michael Chocka always used to say he saw Barry Robran play in the reserves and promptly retired
    I have spoken to my dad and many others who all tell me what a top player,Chocka was ias we all no the great man is very modest.Plug your words describe with so much feeling the warmth and affection each way of the Bloch and Harcourt families thank you !

  20. You’ve outdone yourself here Book…. your words are becoming more poignant and prophetic each week.

    The Blacks V College games were always highlighted by Bowlies ….be it at the Wellie, Dover or whatever drinking house was tolerating either club in the 80s. Chocka will always be part of our lives & remembered fondly alongside the Hickinbotham Supermagnum of warm ‘champagne’ and sharing of Green Ginger wine!

    Surely it is incumbent on you now RB to take up the challenge and immortalise the great man, by compiling the definitive Chocka Block Wall of Fame nicknames/monikers of all past & present Blacks…

    you’ve got all summer!!

  21. Dart Altmann says:

    Well written book
    Captures the breadth and amazing warmth and energy that chocka bestowed on us all. He kept scrubbers like me playing the game for over a decade with contracts in teams coached by legends including Gazza Martin, Buster McHenry, Jethro de Boar, Solomons Carey and the great club legend Bob himself, aiming just to get a mention at bowlies, jugs if real lucky and in turn making the best mates for life. He always had time for a chat and story. The wild ride and fun of the band at bowlies, chocka singing Minnie the moocher amongst others is gold. Having the honour of doing a few bowlies during Chockas brief suspension? one of life’s highlights!!!
    Raise a glass for chocka and thanks!! Dart

  22. Rabid Dog says:

    Outstanding article Book. Brought back all the memories of the 80s and 90s during my time of maximal Blacks involvement. I had spoken in depth about the early days of Chocka’s return to AUFC (not the ‘Johnny come lately ‘ soccer club trying to steal the AUFC logo) with Nose Eckert and the enormous influence Chocka’s return had upon the Club, and the retention of players throughout the Club. It’s fair to state that my involvement (after meeting Richard ‘6%’ Smith) w AUFC saved my academic life, set me up with the people with whom I am the closest, and has led me to where i am today. Reading the comments above has brought back SO many thoughts and memories of my time at the Blacks – too many to individually comment upon. Happily, I was one of the few that had my own nick-name before joining the Club – hate to think what could’ve come about!

  23. Matt Mayes aka the blonderwandan says:

    Excellent article prompted so many memories. If you think back to what made the club what it is its chocka.Not too many people would host what we now call “super sunday” in their back yard. His ability to hold a crowd of drunken young footballers with no microphone was amazing although he did throw the odd plastic chair to maintain focus. When i went to work in berri in riverland early in my blacks career i noted a f bloch best and fairest in 1961 (?) They still temember him for his one year at the bank/handy footballer. I still rate grand final bowlies 1997 ( 5 x lower grade flags) as one of the best nights ive had..chocka was no small part of that

  24. Love it, well done Book

  25. Fantastic article Book. A classic case of so, so many owing so much to one very special and humble man.

  26. Chocka’s influence was huge and far reaching. Like many here I owe so much to him and what he made the Blacks. He covered all bases and got the balance right between football, enjoyment and setting up for the future. So many lessons there for how to run a successful organisation. The sense of inclusion, “every player gets a go”, “all walks of life” congregation and respect for opposition were unique traits of Blacks football that set a benchmark for our great game in general. It also makes for a very strong club into the future and an amazing community (cult?) to be part of. It attracts the best people and improves people as people.

    Great memories include:

    The night Chocka made his Hold Your Bowlies comeback after his heart attack. On the basis that we were “concerned about his health”, I hired “Nurse Nina” to assist him on stage. Chaos ensued….

    Thursday nights in the selection room at headquarters. You had to be there…

    “Tick the f..ken sheet”

    “Did you go to Saints?” (player answers no) “then tick the f…ken sheet”

    “Did you go to Saints?” (player answers yes) “that’s OK then!! (with more than a hint of sarcasm)”

    Inability to watch the last quarter of tight A-Grade matches (too stressful)

    Bringing “The Computer Nerd” to Super Sunday to drive the projector

    The endless list of Kilburn / Mound Men jokes (maybe that’s a separate post – could go on forever)

    Seriously there could be enough material for a book on best nicknames, best selection room quotes / stitchups and Kilburn jokes…

  27. Peter Flynn says:

    Would definitely be in the running for a Malcolm if we had one.

    Bravo R Book.

  28. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    DL a nick names article is in the pipe line.Dart Chockas influence on all of us is huge a credit to yourself that your medical practice is with mates from your Uni playing days of nearly 30 years ago.Blond Rwandan that HTB of 97 5 flags night was special.Wes spot on.Dima selection was quite often more fiery than games fantastic memories of a great man and his huge input in to the WGFC
    Thank you Please keep sharing the article

  29. Dart Altmann says:

    Well written book
    Captures the breadth and amazing warmth and energy that chocka bestowed on us all. He kept scrubbers like me playing the game for over a decade with contracts in teams coached by legends including Gazza Martin, Buster McHenry, Jethro de Boar, Solomons Carey and the great club legend Bob himself, aiming just to get a mention at bowlies, jugs if real lucky and in turn making the best mates for life. He always had time for a chat and story. The wild ride and fun of the band at bowlies, chocka singing Minnie the moocher amongst others is gold. Having the honour of doing a few bowlies during Chockas brief suspension? one of life’s highlights!!!
    Raise a glass for chocka and thanks!! Dart

  30. Jamie Mason says:

    Fantastic article Malcolm. You summed up Chockablock beautifully.

  31. Dave Brown says:

    Once again, Malcolm, you make me regret my misspent youth in the Barr Smith Library. Great work – it’s clear Chocka has contributed so much to the club and had a positive impact on many, many lives! And to think that you own a phone that has been used to speak to Barrie Robran…

  32. Matt Hochman says:

    Book, fantastic read. This isn’t an article, it’s an ode to the ‘living, beating heart and soul’ of the World’s Greatest Football Club. Made me wish I was ten years younger and still living in Adelaide.

    Like many other lower-grade scrubbers, my brother and I were honoured to be anointed by Chocka with some ridiculous club nicknames. It was like being inducted into the Skull and Bones society, apart from the fact that Chocka spread the same sense of comradeship to all Blackers, regardless of whether they were rookies and stalwarts. It was key to his greatness.

    Let me know when you release his bio, Book!

  33. chocka bloch says:

    Book you’re still a bullshit artist, although great to read from such legends of the past. It was all your & Prof Harcourt’s fault I came to The Blacks ( the Scum were called The Greys in those days) as I was going out with the legendary Thompson Football Club in the north parklands before I got the call. So I came out to training & saw enough ratbags to give it a go. And then I met Bob Neil.

  34. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Dart considering you are at Maddison Square Gardens fair excuse to comment twice.Thankx Mase and
    Browny yep you should have played for the blacks.Hochers always great amusement re Chocka towards the Hochman clan with your sister as kicking coach.Chocka about the only article where I havent bullshited and apologies not 1 sledge of Troy Chaplin

  35. Neat and Tidy says:

    Surely Rulebook earns two jugs of beer for this one. Well done, Book. Chocka Bloch, sensational effort.

  36. Rulebook.
    A great tribute, and very enjoyable read.
    He sounds like one hell of a bloke.
    Cheers
    Smokie

  37. Dick O'Shannassy says:

    A great article, MR. It reminded me that blokes like Chocka are living treasures.

    It also reminded me of Neil Donaldson OAM and his contribution to the University (of Western Australia) Football Club which is as follows:

    1954 Joined University and played in the now defunct Metropolitan Junior Football Association between 1954 and 1958.

    1955-56 Club Secretary

    1957-58 Club President

    1959 University’s second team joined the WA Amateur Football League in B Grade

    1959-62 Club Vice President

    1963-65 Club President

    1963 Coached University C Grade team

    1964-68 Coached University D Grade team

    Played 252 games for University over a period of 15 years.

    1967 Awarded University Life Membership

    1969-74 Coached University A Colts – Premiers 1969, 1970, 1971, 1974; Runners-up 1972-73

    1975 A Grade Selector & Manager of A Grade premiership team

    1976 Coached University A Colts – Premiers

    1976-80 Intervarsity Coach

    1985-2014 Club Patron

    This UFC recently won 4 premierships (including A Grade) and now has a total of 84 flags – we think that might be an Australian (and hence World) record.

  38. Marcus Trimboli says:

    Certainly an absolute legend. I met the great man in ’98 at the SAAFL medal count. I saw he was taking photos and I asked if he’d mind arranging a photo a with Barrie Robran for myself and a team mate. Of course he did. He then took our details and said the photos would be in the mail. They arrived within a few days. Not just a photo either, there were 3 photos, signed with personal messages from Barrie Robran.
    I eventually joined the AUFC as a coach once my playing days at Rostrevor Old Collegians were over. It was was this kind of action from Chocka, in addition to the legendary stories I’d heard along the way, that played a major role in encouraging me to join the Blacks.
    It’s so important the current custodians of the AUFC carry on the fine work of Chocka.

  39. Rick Neagle says:

    Didn’t know the man well but funny as!! Beautiful tribute to the great man Rulebook.

  40. Demi Moore says:

    Excellent read Rulebook.
    I still remember Chocka giving me my blacks name ‘Demi’ – I hated it, but quickly learnt that’s what it and the club was all about, having fun (with footy coming second)… it was and still is my dream to one day play a game of scum footy!
    Ben ‘Demi’ Moore

  41. Nick Raschella says:

    Well written Rulebook.

    I have many Chocka stories from my 3 years at Uni especially as I studied Economics/Commerce and was always walking past Chocka’s office plus the years after Uni. But some of the best fun was with Chocka going thru the list of new player, each year, be it 60 or 90 and assigning nicknames to the new players. Most of those nicknames have stuck for life for those individuals as well as the ones he gave when I wasnt involved including mine.

    If I had never met Chocka there would be a massive hole in my life’s experience and I wouldnt be the person I am today.

  42. Jeremy Hochman says:

    Bloody great article – after starting out with the Blackers doing boundary umpiring as a tiny tot for the rest of the Hochman clan and FGAs, I soon realised that Chocka was the living, beating heartbeat of the Blacks who had a massive hand in shaping the club culture. I have many fond memories of Chocka wandering past Bob Neil #1 on a sunny Saturday noon and checking out how the FGAs were going and knowing everyone’s name (even all 11 of the Snorkels) – testament to his love and dedication for the club! Knowing this was paramount to me knowing that the Blacks was where I wanted to end up playing when I was of an eligible age.

    Keep up the good work Book!

  43. Jeff Milton says:

    Great article Book. There are so many Chocka stories from when I went to my first lecture at Uni and in walked this guy in a T Shirt (he had a different one every time) and stated by asking if there was anyone in the room who didn’t know who Barrie Robran was? to so many countless Hold your Bowlies ( especially those at the Queens Head) He knew every player and took an interest in everyone.
    He built a club that has had such a huge positive effect on so many young men and created so many life long friendships and memories.
    His legacy is such that he put so many traditions in place and influenced so many people , that it has enabled the club to continue to be great although he is no longer involved on a daily basis. That is a remarkable achievement..

  44. Extraordinary.
    I considered playing soccer until attending one of Chocka’s Financial Accounting lectures in early 1991.
    Wouldn’t have known boo about the club had the great man not constantly referred to the Blacks in his examples.
    Have loved being part of the club ever since.

    ‘Book, what about Chocka using his place up near Urbrae to host end of season “revues”?

  45. Your best article yet Book.
    A good story relies on great material and Chocka and his legacy to the blacks provides exactly that.
    An amazing contribution to footy, but an even bigger one in demonstrating what life is really about – maximum votes go to F Bloch…..

  46. The Badman says:

    Excellent article Book!
    It perfectly sums up Chocka and his infectious enthusiasm for everything. His tireless work at the Blacks was nothing short of amazing. Legend of a bloke.

  47. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Thanks n and t.Smokie he is.Dick fair record,Neil Donalson ! ( flags would be close with us ) Trimmers and
    Half Woman Chocka was a amazing recruiting tool for the blacks and desperately missed.Papa,J Hochers,Milts fantastic and so appropriate words,Chocka was a teacher of all of us in so many different ways.Totally agree Jags and Badman 3 votes Fred Bloch

  48. Played RB. I had the Fred Bloch Mobil Footy Card pictured age 10. Fred must be nearly 90 by now then. I was intrigued by the name more than anything. Years later I thought John Clarke must have been inspired by it for Fred Dagg. Antipodean Fred Flintstones. My grandad who took me to watch the West Torrens Eagles each weekend was a Fred.
    Cruel bastards. Explains why the name is dying out.

  49. david butler says:

    A very well written tribute Rulebook which really captures Chocka’s character and contribution to the club and the young men he mentored. Anybody would be proud indeed to have such a tribute penned in their honour. Being educated on the other side of Frome Rd I didn’t have the benefit of Fred’s academic teachings but I understand his lectures and assignments not only included reference to Bob Neil but to other ‘rank and file’ Blacks players. My son Anthony was quite shaken off his stride to find himself named as a business owner with a complex depreciation problem (or something suchlike) in a question in a Commerce exam already causing him some grief!
    Cheers
    Harry

  50. Blue Collar says:

    love it book! club legend!

  51. Scott Uppington says:

    Great work RB. Love the story from your wedding!

    Chocka, a true legend & a family friend for many years.

  52. Gerald Patrick Ward says:

    Fine article Rulebook. Chocka made me feel popular and laughed at my jokes which was a rare talent. I didnt love football, but I loved playing at the Blacks. It’s hard to quantify one persons influence on your life but I don’t know of many others who have made such an impact on so many blokes.

  53. Peter Crossing says:

    Well done young Malcolm. Excellent tribute.
    Time for a Fred reminisce.
    In 1968, the first year of the Bloch ethos, Fred was captain-coach of the team that journeyed to Brisbane for the annual Intervarsity Carnival. The A’s beat Rosewater in the mud at Uni Oval on the Saturday and then immediately boarded the bus for the 35-hour journey to Brisbane. Paul Rofe was last to board, just as the bus was about to leave. With him was a guy most of us had never seen before. “This is my mate Forbsey, and he’s now one of the Blacks.” We arrived in Brisbane early on Monday and played ANU that day. Our abode for the week was the stately, historic Bellevue Hotel. Years later it was bulldozed in the middle of the night – Bjelke’s answer to attempts by the National Trust to preserve the iconic building. Sad fate for a place that had, at various times, played host to Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong and The Blacks IV team.
    There was much frivolity but none at a level that would give the peanut farmer any reason to demolish the place. A dust up at the pie-cart went apparently unnoticed. F Bloch showed his expertise in musical knowledge in some sort of quiz game involving a transistor radio, radio jazz guru Arch McCurdy and the Muecke twins – or was it a con. After a mid-week match against Tasmania Uni, we lined up for the final against Melbourne Uni on the Gabba – the Gabba, some 7 years after the Tied Test. Bloody hell. Blochy (as in Blocky, in his pre-Chocka days) orchestrated a thumping, memorable victory, 14-9 (93) to 6-8 (44). The masterstroke came at half time when Fred shut the door of change “shed” and said, “Let the bastards wait. We’re not leaving here until the umps come and get us.” By the time the umpires pounded on the door, the entire team was so pumped up that all players were ready to devour the opposition, eat the football and then do laps of the dog-track. “Rang” Sangster kicked four or five, “Shagbags” Beags received one vote from the umps (he still talks about it) and Fred won the Best and Fairest for the Carnival. Eleven Adelaide Uni players were selected for the Combined Uni’s team to play against Qld the next day – Bondar, Sandland, Goodhart, Blake, Bloch, Hockridge, Sangster, Stirling, Disney, Rofe and O’Malley. Celebrations were such that the Combined Uni team received a hammering. On the way back home on the bus, somewhere near Coonabarabran (Coona Barry Robran), we passed two of the Flinders Uni team sitting forlornly by the side of the road. They had been turfed off their bus for misdemeanours not clear at the time. I wonder if they’ve made it home yet?
    Good on yer, Fred. Go Roosters.

  54. Geeeez.
    Great Guy!
    Coming to AUFC in my late 20’s was quite an experience and everything said in the other posts about Chocka’s incredible ability to bond guys into great Teams, with massive amounts of enjoyment, whether coming last or winning a Flag, is true!
    Great Energy, Great Dedication and Great Humour – they are the three things I remember Chocka most for.
    P.

  55. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Thanks PB ( you added a few years on to Chockas age !) Harry there is a story with in itself re the great mans exam papers,Rulebook enterprises got a few runs.Thanks Blue Collar.Stump I couldn’t go to HYB on my wedding night so I thought I may as well bring HYB to my wedding and Chocka delivered!GPW your comment struck a chord re not loving footy but loving the blacks with Chocka being a huge part of that
    a poignant point.Noughts I was hopeful that you would comment re 68 IV Chocka as always modest about his own career but he loved winning that IV and he was chuffed re the table of 68 IV guys at his gong dinner thanks,Peter.Arson Garson perfect and described Chocka to a t thank you !

  56. Tom Martin says:

    Peering into the past, the twists of fate seem to get slowly ironed out, like the creases in the pockets of my cargo pants. Hindsight goggles make the past so predictable. What was actually pinball, we remember as dominoes, lined up in rows that we lovingly arrange. And when the first one falls . . . well, you know the rest. Living through it at the time was actually more like playing ‘The Addams Family’ in the UniBar. Literally. Metaphorically).
    One day stands out for a pimply, foppish freshman, wistfully loitering around the Barr-Smith lawns in O’ week, wondering when that notorious tribe of libidinous, guitar-playing, folk-singing University-age women would miraculously appear to give him a joint and take his virginity, preferably at the same time. But on this particular day, and in fact for the rest of time, the Torin`Samazons were nowhere to be found. Also missing on this sunny afternoon were the office-bearers of almost all the various other clubs and societies. They had volunteered to put their hand up and go on the roster to be randomly allocated to a slot at the desk, handing out flyers and registration forms for new members, but there were actually none and so by half past two they were on the bus home.
    A notable exception was the ‘Society for Creative Anachronism’. There were no signs of their interest waning in what they love best: politely taking turns to help each other put on their suits of armour so they could get all red and puffy having unconvincing sword fights. Tally Ho!
    And the Blacks’ table. Wish I could remember who was there now, but they were also maintaining a keen interest in a half-full keg of West End – which they earnestly told me had to be drunk that day. And ye gods would there be thunder if ever a drop remained. Suitably refreshed, I found Fred Bloch’s office on North Terrace and registered that afternoon.
    How many young heroes over the years sat opposite Chocka at a desk in his office or Park 10 or Number 1 and felt the first little tug of destiny while he filled in his forms, and now can reflect on what followed with gratitude, and esteem for a great and authentic man.
    With just about everything he did, he conveyed the same, simple message. Be yourself.
    Because we take all kinds at the Blacks. We’re mostly footyheads, obviously, but lots of brainiacs too. Sense of humour essential. A-type personalities are fine. B through Z fine also. Even jazz men can fit in. Fitness fanatics. Feral abaci. Pinko lefties. Film buffs. Collectors. Trivia nuts. All welcome. Management types. Blue collars. We love volunteers. Hard workers. Fastidious administrators. Debaucherous anarchists. Wannabe rock stars. Real rock stars. Husbands. Fathers. Book authors. Or you can be good with numbers. Or telling jokes. Or both. Doesn’t matter. Honestly, you could wear a different t-shirt every bloody day of the year and no-one would care. Just don’t take yourself too seriously.

    At first, I couldn’t work Chocka out at all. There was no shortage of pigeon-holes up in the Commerce Department, back when we didn’t have email. But I couldn’t find one fit for Chocka.

    He seemed a mass of contradictions.

    He was somehow both intellectual and football fanatical. An academic, and an Easy Rider, and seriously mischievous.

    He was gruff and efficient behind his desk at Bob Neil One, impatiently coralling herds of stupefied recruits. Then suddenly he’d collapse into a fit of giggles, his deformed digits wiping tears from his eyes at a joke only he could understand.

    He was ancient and intimidating, best and fairest on the honour board at Prospect Oval. I thought it was sometime before the Great War. But I was certain he was singing Bob Dylan songs to himself while he filled in my registration form.

    He threatened to have an aneurysm when hosting Bowlies in his biker jacket. Beetroot-faced and vulgar by the end of the show, he’d been skolling beers and shouting himself hoarse. Then after the club song he’d quietly slipped away.

    This was all very confusing to a teenage mind that loved to put labels on things. But the static resolved over time and the signal grew clear. You didn’t have to be any particular type of person to belong at the Blacks. You just had to be yourself.

    Chocka Bloch. Just how many heroes felt the first tug of destiny from the other side of his desk.

  57. Complete and Utter / Disgraced Former Premier says:

    That’s a moving, and well deserved, tribute. Well done Book.

    Ahh. The memories of Chocka. Dan S, that’s a ripping yarn from selection. I’m going to steal that line – too good not to.

    I’m old enough to remember Chocka doing the Bowlies after the Kilburn games. It was hair standing up on the back of the neck stuff. And eye wateringly funny. Dimma – that nurse one post the hospital stint was a cracker. Could have sent him back to hospital though?!

    I won’t forget coming to BN#2 for the first time as a fresh faced and naïve 17 year old, and being slightly perturbed by this gruff man who I had to report to to sign in. Apparently a well respected lecturer?! A man of many talents.

    The great man has a heart of gold, loves his Blackers, no doubt helped a few Commerce students get on the right path and did an incredible job at bringing the eclectic members of the World’s Greatest Football Club together.

    Thanks Chocka!

  58. King of Passion says:

    Good stuff book. The Blacks footy club is full of legends and Fred, Malcolm and Bob are three of the biggest. Glad to be involved in a small way with all three, and at the club when they were in their prime. I got to spend a year with Chocka and his t shirts in Acounting 1. Didn’t get a distinction but got the next best thing 69. Not sure I needed Chocka hastling me in the middle of an exam to do the scoreboard for an A1 final. Fantastic bloke Chocka. The stories are endless.

  59. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    TM absolutely outstanding as always.CUDFP one of the great nicknames thank you love your comment.
    A thing which bemuses me in Aust society is how many messages I have received is Chocka seriously ill or worse why do we have to wait until it is too late to tell some one you love and respect them !

  60. Sean O'Dwyer says:

    Great insight to someone who I have never ever heard of or met before, cheers Rulebook! Great article

  61. Enjoyable reading Rulebook. Thanks for sharing.

  62. Mike (Pud) Ellery says:

    Well done Book. Chocka, was, still is and always will be a legend. I still laugh at the funniest nick name Chocka ever came up with (Front Bum Munt).

  63. Dougal Whyte says:

    Good on you book for acknowledging Chockas work
    The Blacks were a special part of Uni life it was the footy and HYB combination no doubt but also the ability of the club to bring all the teams together no matter where you played, this was unique and big thanks to Chocka for this. The weekend was not complete without a Chocka HYB on Saturday.

  64. For mine the mark of a person is the impact they have on your life.
    I can still easily identify the “Chockaisms” that colour not only my view of football but community and personal attitudes. He has had without doubt a significant influence many others and my lives and is someone my life would have been much poorer without. Unquestionably a positive influence. All hail the great man.
    I often wonder if art imitates life. Surely Stephen Spielberg has met our man Chocka as I find the parallels with his character “Yoda” uncanny!

  65. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Thanks Sean and Raf.Pud front bum is definitely in the nick names side.Jerk I firmly believe,Chocka has influenced more young( and not so young) men’s lives in a positive way than any 1 else the warmth and huge respect the great man is held in is glowing in each comment ( Chocka Iis a tad overwhelmed which is fantastic)

  66. Our Don Haslam says:

    Two jugs of beer for this one Book…..courtesy of all of us. A great read. Chocka- read and be proud.

  67. Stephen Parker says:

    Rulebook well done, a wonderful literary tribute to Chocka. I have loved reading all the posts especially TM’s. In the late 80’s the Boz got married. Mr and Mrs Boz were obviously very careful with the invites to the wedding and there was only one table allocated to the AUFC. Hence only a few lucky(?) AUFC members were invited, Dog Muir, Jodi Tucker, Dosa Clapp and myself from memory. We were fortunate that the Boz also invited Fred Bloch and what ensued that evening remains one of the funniest nights I can ever remember. Chocka had us in stitches all night! I still wonder whether the Boz’s in laws have forgiven him!

  68. A fine tribute Book. Like you I feel privileged to have been around during the 80’s with Chocka in his Hold Your Bowlies prime. The Queen’s Head was packed out every Saturday. I once saw my boss from the Newmarket hotel there. I asked him what connection he had with the Blacks. He said none, he’d just heard about this bloke Chocka Bloch and this post-match theatre called Hold Your Bowlies and had to see it for himself. Chocka was enigmatic, charismatic and occasionally hilariously obnoxious. Hold Your Bowlies was compulsory viewing.

    Chocka’s influence on the footy club, countless men and women, and me has been profound. When faced with indecision our default question these days (succinctly expressed by football director Adrian Howard) is, “what would Chocka do?” This seems to clarify everything. Naturally it means that we value enjoyment and development of young men and women over winning at all costs; this is a core Blacks value. But it means much more than this: irreverence over political correctness (thank goodness for this site and Substandard); love and engagement (for the game, each other and the footy club) over money; inclusiveness and self-deprecation over elitism and pride; life over stagnation, decay and death.

    There have been many beautiful Blacks moments, but you can count on one hand those that have left an indelible mark. Like when Seagrim insisted on a bare-chested hug after the B@stards’ famous semi-final victory against Pembrokedown this year. All sweat and hair. A haunting memory seared into my brain. The horror. That kind of thing, except beautiful: Chocka at the Welly circa 1987. We’d had the remake of “Perfect Snatch” with the three glorious Johnson girls. We’d seen Rulebook carried out, reclining, naked from the waist down, in full view of his then girlfriend and her mother (nup, that didn’t last long). And then we had Chocka, seated on a chair atop a table, adorned with sunglasses and black Kiwi shoe polish, playing guitar and singing his latest creation, “What a beautiful man” to the tune of “What a wonderful world” by Louis Armstrong. About, of course, Bob Neil. I experienced one of those rare moments when the senses are instinctively alerted and the tears flow. It was, truly, sublime.

    When Chocka was inducted into the Hall of Fame, naturally as the inaugural inductee, he squirmed throughout the introduction, uncomfortable as his fingerprints all over the Blacks were dusted and presented in evidence. The audience waited with baited breath for the Bloch response, but truthfully it could only ever have been one thing. True to form, Chocka composed himself at the microphone, took a deep breath, shouted “Hold your Bowlies!!” and resumed his seat, to rapturous, sustained, standing applause. Legendary Chocka.

  69. Rory "Pound 4 Pound" Lane says:

    Thanks ‘Book. A great read that brings back a heap of fond memories. I am particularly grateful to Chocka for giving me the nickname “Pound for Pound the Hardest Man in the Amateur League” because over 30 years the irony has faded and some people now actually think it was straight-up!

  70. Classic, Daddsy

  71. Lawry Ben says:

    Great write up Book. Perhaps do one on Bob Neil as well for the outsiders like me

  72. Cheers Harmsy.

  73. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Who does all of Australia rave about
    Who has won our very highest praise
    Is it Barry Robran
    Is it Greg the great white shark
    No it’s a local boy who dobs em round the park
    He’s our,Don Haslam
    Now I ask you is he any good
    He’s our,Don Haslam
    Bobby Neil tips his lid to you ( step aside our Don Bradman) sung every time at HYB when Don made the best players ( which was most weeks) thanks Don hope the US is treating you well

  74. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Skittle Chocka has said to me on more than 1 occasion he went a tad overboard at Bozs wedding every Uni person who was there has told me how good value Chocka was ( not a wedding I had to worry about getting a invite to ) Daddsy fantastic from the bastards huge win against,Pembroke to our core values to me getting stripped naked yes I was delisted shortly afterwards funny that ! Chocka the Louis Armstrong song on his guitar was special to the hall of fame night just special memories.Pound for Pound the toughest player in amateur league no need to change that now! Thanks folks !

  75. And when I was a 10 year old kid in Adelaide Fred would come to our house to give my Dad a lift to work

    And did he knock or ring the door bell ? No

    He stood at our back door and literally yodelled like a Swiss mountaineer !

    ” yoooo lady whoooo ”

    It was like a personal hold your bowlies every day

  76. Ian Haines says:

    Hi all,

    It was in the mid 1970s. I was playing full forward for the Blacks in A1.
    I had been playing OK, so it was surprising when I saw that the full forward for the next game was named as ‘Birdshit”. I did not think I deserved to be dropped so I rang Fred Block.
    The conversation went something like this:

    IH: Why was I dropped?
    FB: You haven’t been dropped
    IH Who is this guy called Birdshit
    FB: That is you
    IH: I’m not happy about that
    FB: Sometimes Hainesy, Birdshit happens

    So I spent 5 years being called Birdshit.

    Then, my nephew, Bryan joined the Blacks. He was interviewed by Fred Block.
    The conversation went something like this:

    FB Name
    BH Bryan Haines
    FB Any relation to Birdshit?
    BH I hope not
    BH Ian Haines?
    BH That’s my uncle
    FB Your are now called Birdshit 2

    So Bryan spent 4 years being called Birdshit 2
    (Note that there was about 20 years between Birdshit 1 and 2, a reflection of Fred’s longevity)

    So all you guys eulogizing Fred Block need to realise that there were some victims too.

    PS; I no longer respond to the name “Birdshit”

    PPS: I consider Fred Block to be one of the most inspirational individuals I have known.
    He may not even realise that many new uni students, intimidated by a new experience, were made aware of a world of fun, irreverence and even a bit of anarchy by his presence. That went with a recognition that there was still a requirement to behave within certain boundaries..
    I know I was a different person after a few years at uni and the Blacks and Fred in particular, contributed to that.

    Well done Rulebook. I endorse every one of the sentiments expressed in your presentation.
    You are a champion Fred.

    Ian Haines

  77. Complete and Utter / Disgraced Former Premier says:

    Ian, you’ll be pleased(?) to know the Birdshit legacy didn’t end with your nephew.

    In the early to mid 2000s there was a Haines that played Blacks who also was bestowed the nickname Birdshit (presumably by Chocka). Not sure what he’s up to now, but I think he had a few years working with the Crows.

    Book, an idea for a future article could be on some of the club supporters and volunteers. Some of the names that come to mind are Fabulous Phil (of St Johns fame), Adelaide’s Greatest Taxi Driver, Lovely Lisa, Jo (can’t remember if she has a nickname?), Roy Grandstand, Joe Nurk, Ange, Dale, Nat the Hat, Bob Miles, Jan and dare I say it, Boz!.

  78. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Ian I was in Chockas office when Bryan walked in to sign up it was bloody funny which Bryan took well in his laconic way,Bryan played a double 1 and a grade and has had a kick and catch for the Grey’s now.
    Ian it is the generations and number of people from all walks of life,Chocka has had such a positive influence on which is truly remarkable.CUDFP yes the next,Birdshit who was a good a grade player also worked at the Crows and then has been with the lions will chase him up the last part re the volunteers it is a good idea but I would need help re Boz isn’t it if you can’t say a nice word about some 1 you don’t say anything ?

  79. Terrific read

  80. Jack Knight says:

    Rulebook a very good article. Chocka-Block is a legend of the Blacks and his tireless efforts behind the scenes are unique qualities.
    We all have fond memories of Chocka hosting hold your bowlies……
    He was also a talented footballer in his era so he could do it all.
    Cheers.

  81. Feral Cat Stu says:

    Well done Book. I fondly remember enjoying the celebrations with Chocka after beating Melbourne in another IV final at Flinders. Great times.

  82. Michael Kenny says:

    I’ve been acting strangely all day – so much so my wife has asked what’s wrong with me. Spent much of it reading emails about Nose Eckert’s funeral and now reading, laughing, crying and reminiscing all at the same time as my senses and memories fill with many a nostalgic moment. Masterful effort Book and sincere thanks to all other posters whose literary efforts do them, and the Blacks, proud.

    What more can be said about Chocka, a uniquely gifted and inspirational human being.

    HYB at the Queen’s Head in the 80’s was, as many have mentioned, a hot ticket and even hotter time. Wonderful memories of the Black Blues Band, the Bob Neil Songbook and more. Can still recall the dying moments of a really close fought game against Rivvies at Uni Oval – lead was changing regularly and tensions were running high. Rivvies bloke standing me only said one thing to me all day, “Where’s the Queen’s Head? I have to get there as quickly as I can after the game to get a good spot!”

  83. Greg (DGM) Moody says:

    Strewth Rulebook. For a fleeting mini-second I thought the worse when I saw your headline with the words “tribute to Chocka Bloch”. My heart rate and breathing resumed normality when I realised that the great man had NOT passe away, but instead I spent the next hour smiling and laughing as I read your fantastic tribute and just as entertaining comments from fellow “Blacks” colleagues. I remember well in the 80’s when there was the mad rush by all players (inc. some from the opposition, as has been mentioned already) to get back to the Queen’s Head asap to join in the fun and frolick of “Hold your Bowlies” with Chocko leading the way as MC. The stories that were told as Chocko went through every team’s results and player antics displayed on the day were priceless! They say no one person is bigger than any club, but Chocka (and Bob Neil), in my humble opinion, dispel that theory!

  84. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Thanks Kate.Jack yes it is forgotten how good a player,Chocka was in his own rite besides being such a amazing administrator.Mick I think a few of us have been in the same boat today I am glad after speaking with Allison Eckert today that she enjoyed the article and the comments have bought back fond memories of the Eckerts times at the blacks.Greg it is a bug bear of mind that in australian society( males in particular) that we don’t tell any 1 we love them until a bloody eulogy we all no Chocka is a super star bugger it tell the world ! Thanks folks

  85. Rob O'Shannassy says:

    Thanks Malcolm for copying me in on your article. A great read and have also enjoyed the anecdotes that followed from those who got to know Chocka first hand. As a Roosters supporter during my youth I saw quite a bit of Fred’s exquisite skills and believe me he was a big loss when he left. I started playing Thirds with North Adelaide in Fred’s last year so he was gone before I moved up into the seconds and league. A pity but our paths crossed very briefly a few years later.

    When I started playing cricket with the Blacks in 1967, the greatest cricket tragic in our Club was of course Geoff Harcourt who was captain of one of our lower grade teams. Our coach at the time was Allen Greer and so there was a huge cross fertilisation between the footy and cricket clubs (continuing on a long standing tradition). Any footballer with any interest in cricket was certainly encouraged to put the creams on for the Blacks during the summer. Names like Edgley, Krievs,,Crossing (enjoyed your post Noughts), Hockridge, Disney, Katsaros, McMurtrie were some of them. Not surprisingly, probably the 1968/69 season, I recall Chocka, no doubt under Prof Harcourt’s “encouragement”, coming out to join the AUCC. I can’t recall how long and how well Fred graced the cricket fields of AU, but obviously his greatest love was the winter game. What might have been if it had been the other way round!

  86. Bec Blossomvictory says:

    Omg, Luv His T-Shirt photo look in the article — Timelessss indeed … Can’t be anymore Au-s-TRA-lian!!! Hence, A Legend Is Convinced!! — Keeeep It Coming Malcolm!!! lol

  87. Bec Blossomvictory says:

    Another Secrect Malcolm, Ur Hero Does look Alike a bit of our New Crows Senior Coach — Don . Pyke. What did ya reckon?! lol

  88. My memories started flooding back with the nicknamesand anecdotes in the comments.

    My first pre-season including a trip to Melbourne as a 16 year old “have you got any greek in you….”; acting as doorman for my room mate who seemed to have organised hourly visits from girlfriends all night.

    Monster Milton trying to get out of my moving car (“too slow”) after some Blacks function. Probably after the function the Thursday before Round 1. Big nights.

    HYB at the Queens Head. The songs! The occasional alternative nights without Chocka doing HYB and thinking how good Chocka was when he did it. Winning 1st and 2nd prize in the raffle courtesy of the tickets given to me by the Adelaide College boys who left early and being roundly abused.

    And my wife always remembers being called to the front of the line in enrollment week cause Chocka always favoured Blacks ladies!

  89. Ham and Eggs says:

    Exceptional work Rulebook, and numerous wonderful stories following. It was a privilege being involved in the World’s Greatest Football Club during the Chocka era.
    I fondly recall the 1989 Intervarsity trip to Sydney (well most of it anyway). Coached by Daddsy, accompanied by other legends such as Chocka, Bob Neil and Rulebook, there were many stories to be told, with Chocka obliging penning and performing ” IV Trip to Sydney” sung to “English Country Garden” as we roll into Adelaide on the bus. And yes, my IV shirt is still buried in Sydney.
    The great man brought young men from all walks of life together, playing footy with your mates who you assumed had another name but you just didn’t know it, often having success but always having fun.
    Here’s to Mickey Barr-Up, Chocka Bolch and The World’s Greatest Footy Club
    Ham and Eggs

  90. Ahhhhhh, Malcolm, you’ve done it again. Mind you, the content is easy to work with. Is it right that one club can have two legends? Lucky this interweb stuff is free, because as Chocka assured anyone within earshot, “I’ll no’ be payin’ for that”MS. I even tried being subs receipt #1one year; even paid an Amateur League bill of – wait for it – $1.40 (on a SAAFL rep trip to play Whyalla, my roommate at the Sundowner had eaten a packet of nuts. $1.40.) but much like the various Birdshits, it stuck. Outstanding man.

  91. Hussain Rammal says:

    Absolutely brilliant!! I worked with Chocka at Adelaide Uni in the School of Commerce. He was the one who hired me, and without a doubt he was the best head of school I have ever worked for. Footy was at the center of every conversation. The footy results were on Chocka’s whiteboard every Monday morning. The best start to Monday was when the Crows, Roosters and Blacks had all won on the weekend. Chocka named those weekend a Mary Poppins: absolutely perfect in every way. Chocka is truly a living legend!!

  92. Vicki Duggan says:

    Uncle Fred, that is what I grew up calling him as he is my mum’s little brother! At all family gatherings he was the only adult that took time out to play with, encourage games and fun with the children, we all looked up to him with love, admiration and respect. I have my mum’s large key that the adults signed at her 21st and Frederick Archibald Bloch signed it as “Ferdinand Aloicious Bloch”, he would’ve been about 16 at the time and already the life of the party. An amazing man that I have the privilege to be related to.

  93. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Thanks Rob certainly a huge cross over of players and a pleasant memory when winter meant footy and summer cricket ( Chocka says he was a lot better at footy) Thanks Bec yes there is a likeness and also a Uni connection in James Pyke former league footballer and state cricketer in his own right and brother of
    Don was Ad Uni FC Physio at one stage and Geez I hope,Don Pyke is as good as Chocka! Good as very entertaing I reckon the last part was a combination of your wife’s looks and the fact she was a blacks lady.IMS I can hear Chocka paying you out now as we all no it was basically a form of acceptance and with
    Chocka the key man every thing had a touch of irreverence.Ham and Eggs IV are some of all of us greatest memories of our time at the AUFC and I remember Chocka grabbing the mike from the bus driver on the way back singing the song were all laughing and clapping and the bus driver says to me I have been driving buses for 30 years and never heard any thing like that how lucky were we ? !

  94. Brilliant Rulebook. I see where u have inherited many of your talents. I remember Chocka as my uni lecturer making maths interesting with great footy stories.

  95. Phil David says:

    Nice one Book…great read…brought me back fond memories of Chockas ‘Hold Your Bowlies’ at the Dover Castle… Truly a legend of the World’s Greatest Football Club..
    Cheers

    Philthy, cubed, Roger, PHD, Fabulous….Phil David..the man with the longest nickname in the Club

  96. Great write up Malcom! Chocka sounds like a great bloke that did a lot of good, won over many fans and an inspiration to many. Need more people like him in the world.

  97. Great work Book.
    I reckon you’ve peaked, it’s all down hill from this one, no more comments from me until you better this one.
    Fantastic tribute to the great man.
    #44

  98. Dan Valdemar Hansen says:

    Book, I’m sure Chocka is hating this as much as I’m loving it. Your best piece by a country mile.

    I remember my first “best on ground” award came after a particularly ordinary on field performance. Chocka must have thought of a new nickname/song on the Thursday, awarded me BOG on Friday, ignored my substandard game on the Saturday before standing on the chair at the Queens Head and bellowing out ” … best on ground and winner of two jugs of beer … (courtesy of the proprietor) … is Danny ‘Valdemeer, Valdemar, Valdemeeeeerer, VALDEMA-HA-HA-HA-HAR’ Hansen.

    I nearly won a lower grade best and fairest that year simply because Chocka liked singing the song.

    The best thing I ever did at University was join the Blacks as a second year student. The worst thing I ever did at University was not join the Blacks as a first year student.

    Well done Book.

  99. Tony 'Lock Up Your Daughters' says:

    Great to read so many great comments by so many great guys about such a great man.

    Like most of you I consider myself immensely fortunate to have been immersed in the rich culture of the Blacks in what was undoubtedly a golden era both on and off the field. As with Dart, having the opportunity to stand in for Chocka and run a few sessions of Hold Your Bowlies will always be a fond memory, as will many other hilarious moments over the years…

    Philthy I think you may be a little bit away from claiming the longest nickname in the club – Egils Inches Latvian Warhead Exocet Missile… Olekalns might have that one covered!

    Here’s a little Chocka story:

    I had already played a season for the Blacks when I turned up for my first lecture of Accounting 1 – five minutes late. Chocka looked up at me, then the clock, did the familiar run of the hand through his hair, then said “Arrr – Accounting 1 lectures begin at 9 o’clock, unless you’re Lock Up Your Daughters, in which case they begin at 9.05, or unless you went to St Peters College in which case they begin when you get here” Accompanied by a chorus of laughter I sat down, to be followed 5 minutes later by another latecomer. “Where’d you go to school?” asked Chocka, to be met with the reply “St Peters”. “No problem I’ll start again!”

    We have all been privileged to have been part of the fabric of this wonderful club. Chocka was the glue that held that fabric together in so many ways. Well done Book.

  100. The Prof ! says:

    Dear Rulebook,

    Many thanks for your wonderful tribute to Chocka, an outstanding piece of affectionate, moving, witty and informative writing. I rang Chocka after I received it and he was obviously delighted, if rather overcome. I even urged him to tell Maida about it.

    All good wishes and many thanks,
    Geoff Harcourt

  101. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Thanks Raj I wish I dad just walked in to a Chocka lecture got a few mentions loved,Rulebook enterprises being used in exams.Danny loved it when you,our don haslam and jerk all made the bps plenty of singing.I am so glad I came out to Uni when really,Weathers was after,Geoff Wilson and I tagged along .
    Lock up your daughter great stuff love the lines about hackney high ( tou missed out touches,Olekalns)
    Thanks Prof how appropriate your comment brings up the ton and Chocka is humbled by all the attention but quietly chuffed I reckn it is so deserved

  102. Shop of Horrors #230 says:

    Great article Book, an accurate portrayal of the great man Chocka block indeed.

    I loved how he used my name in the accounting methods exams (as well as a swag of other blacks legends!). The question went something like: Silverspooner had forgotten to pay footy subs. The manager of the footy club came down hard on the silverspooner demanding $10 interest on subs. Said silverspooner protested his innocence and that his subs had indeed been paid by cheque. 6 months later the manager found the cheque behind the filing cabinet.

    please provide journal entries of the above events.

  103. beautifully said book!!! many of those stories had either passed me by or slipped my mind but he certainly was a man who existed within the DNA of the football club.

    i need to pass on a personal thanks to the great man – chocka gave me my first ever gig! as a young accounting student he saw me share a few jokes on a pre season footy trip to waikerie and decided i mighty be able to offer some welcome relief to the weekly “hold ya bowlies” grind. so for a few years we presented “bowlies” on alternate weeks. first at the dover castle then at the general havelock. it truly was a joy sitting upstairs with him each saturday sharing jokes, rehearsing songs and receiving team sheets from the various sides.

    he created something very special at the greatest football club in the world!

  104. Played Book. Who can forget Chocka’s fronting of the Black’s Blues Band, born of his love of the Blues Brother’s movie? I think that first incarnation only lasted for a season but it was typical of his efforts to keep it fresh and ever-changing. We departed from the script occasionally and I’ll always be grateful that he introduced us to the likes of Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry, who still features on my iPod. I seem to remember shock jock Big Bob Francis being in the audience one night after an A1 game against Princes. He soon regretted it, of course, as Chocka organised persistent chants of “spooners, spooners” every time the big bloke tried to get a word in.
    They were really great times. Thanks Fred.

  105. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Thanks Shop of Horrors very entertaining I can hear,Chocka now.Lehmo ironic that HYB was your initial gig and then safm honcho turning up when you were doing stand up comedy and hey presto picked up and away you went and continue to go from strength to strength well played and thank you and appreciate you have never forgotten your ad uni fc roots thanks mate ! Go Chocka Go the blacks

  106. Ah Rulebook – this is one of the best reads ever…..right from the moment that i rocked up to meet chocka at the department of commerce to offer my mediocre footy services i knew that the man was special. he was all about everyone at the club and made anybody who played for the Blacks feel like a special part of a very big and amazing club. My favourite memory of Chocka Bloch was after a chaotic night at the Havelock after a large D – grade win over Broadview in the glory year that was 1997….twas a hazy night but i remember waking up in the bloch household on chocka’s couch where he sorted me with breakfast and a coffee and even dropped me off home! says it all! ps – great to see all the other past blacks names here, particularly my fellow blackstreet boy dima and my old pal and past colleage Matty ‘the blonderwandan. Mayes.
    Cheers rulebook – i’ll have to tell Susan O’Leary about this one….
    Dan “the mobile” Crane 1994-1998

  107. Well done Rulebook, your best scribblings ever!

  108. charlie brown says:

    Congratulations Rulebook. A fabulous read. Chocka is a great human. He is also one of my heroes. i recall attempting to share my feelings with Chocka via an email years ago. His response was typically self effacing “what a load of self-indulgent crap”.

    Noting that I was a rabid Rooster supporter, Chocka encouraged me to take on the role of Club Secretary. One of my early tasks was to organise a VPs function at the Queens Head. I managed to do that OK. Fred had teed up my other hero, Barrie Robran, to be the guest speaker. The only other task Fred gave me to do was to ask Barrie to sign the VP invitation so that we could add it to the Blacks’ memorabilia. After summoning up the courage to ask, Barrie happily did so. Now able to relax I put the menu in a safe place. I never saw it again. I don’t think that Chocka ever forgave me!

    Although he didn’t let on, privately Chocka would have been more than disappointed that a former AUFC Treasurer didn’t even know which side the debits went on. I reckon he excused the aforementioned treasurer because of his schooling !

    And like many authors before me, I have fond memories of Hold Your Bowlies at the Queens Head in the 1980s. “Cancel that! What a sensational game from….”. And also like many of us I reckon we didn’t quite appreciate at the time how privileged we were to be in the audience witnessing Chocka at his vein busting best, listening to the Blacks Blues Band and trying to avoid buying raffle tickets from your good self. (By the way who had the nick name “nick name redundant”?).

    Chocka – you are one of a kind.

  109. What a fantastic article mate, and the comments have been great too! It’s characters like Chocka that make great, strong clubs that people want to be involved with. Really enjoyed it.

  110. Tony 'Lock Up Your Daughters' says:

    Ah the Blacks Blues Band – who could forget songs like ‘Come on Boris feel the radiation’ and ‘For 24 months they’ve been living in Pudu prison…I can still remember most of the lyrics!

    And Chocka’s work with the Bob Neil songbook was pure gold – my favourite had to be: Yesterday, Bob Neil’s shorts were oh so grey; he could wear them any day; in any match home or away…

  111. A great article and an awesome tribute, sounds like a great man!

  112. Willow Wilson says:

    Definitely some of your best work Rulebook, a great read, with lots of the comments bringing back a load of memories from the early 1990s.
    HYB at the Dover Castle and then the Havelock were not to be missed after the games. Along with a very good eye for the raffle drawing guest, Chocka also had an amazing memory. I played 3 seasons in the lower grades, but bumped into Chocka on North Terrace years after I finished playing and he said g’day and recalled my nick name.
    Great culture in any organisation is generated from the behaviours of the leaders, during the early 1990s Chocka was setting the standards at the Blacks, enjoy a kick and a catch, have a few beers and laughs with your mates, and don’t take yourself too seriously. It was a great place to be.

  113. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Thanks Dan ahh waking up with a hang over at the Chocka abode and having a greasy breakfast well played a great memory and a touch painful memory for a lot of blacks thanks,Sam.Thanks Charlie fantastic memories indeed and a lot tried but not many seceded avoiding the raffle.Barry Robran and Chocka both humble legends.Thanks Lurch and spot on.Locky thank you and I must admit your comment came thru this morning when I needed a giggle and I started singing both songs to myself it was exactly what I needed,again we were privileged ! Thanks Campbell greatly appreciated every 1 keep sharing and commenting ( article closing in on 2,000 hits let’s keep it going !

  114. Steve Fahey says:

    A great read Rulebook, the stuff of local legends, albeit less local now it’s on this site..

  115. Outstanding R book bought back some great memories of the fantastic Chocka and the club both in the article and in all the following comments well played

  116. Daddsy, to be fair the question of ‘what would Chocka do?’ is not fail proof in our current decision making processes at the club. For example, I doubt current Bowlies presenters in this PC world would, when faced with two freshman rookies at the Havelock sitting near the front of the stage, (1) throw a chair at rookie 1 (Mark “Ray” Huppatz) for reasons that still escape me although I’m sure it was fair enough, and (2) forcefully eject rookie 2 (myself) for refusing point blank to skull a beer despite the very good reason that I was on my P plates and driving.

    Huppatz and I then reconvened in the front bar of the Havey to try and make some sense of what the fk had just happened. Me having snuck back in to the pub with Chocka now safely returned to the mike in the beer garden and Huppatz with a paper towel over the gash above his left eye courtesy of said chair. As we listened to the raucous carry on and sing songing out the back we arrived at two conclusions….I would never attempt driving from the pub again and we would not miss another one of these bizarre Hold your Bowlies for at least the next decade. And we should probably stand near the back next time we went. All held true.

    Great reading all the yarns so very well played getting the story started Book. Love your work Chock.

  117. Hindmarsh Bridges says:

    Well done book, a great story of a champion bloke.

    I’ll never forget the projected image of those crooked knuckles during Financial Accounting 1A lectures – smashing out some high quality T accounts.. Oh and putting the first question of the final exam about Hindmarsh Bridges was a personal highlight of my uni life.

    I’ve got a bit in my life that I could attribute to the man they call Chocka: being a Chartered Accountant by trade, and that other small thing that I’ve ended up marrying one of our RDC’s (Kendall).

    On reflection we should have named our first born son Fred!!

  118. Book, you’ve excelled yourself here. It’s a beautiful thing you’ve done. You’re bringing floods of joyful memories back to people, and a chance to express their gratitude. Well done mate. And god bless F. Bloch and the Blacks. And Bob.

  119. David 'Boony O'Byrne says:

    What a tremendous tribute Book, never forget signing up with the Blacks in Chocka’s office and having to be subjected to Olympic standard Tasmanian jokes…I knew I would love this bloke straight away. His passion for the club was just sensational, playing for the Blacks was one of the best decisions of my life, lifelong friends and wonderful memories. It was Chocka that made it so. Having Chocka ask me to host Hold ya Bowlies at the Dover castle and Lion were high points. His personal introduction to the Legend was also something I cherish. I will never forget the berating he gave me for making it a rule to call everyone Keith on the 1992 Intervarsity Carnival in Melbourne on the high tech video recording of the games so he could not record the stats….but he loved the fact that we did it., it was the Intervarsity we discovered the Scum song! A gain a great Tribute to a great man, well done. I would wear the white singlet and the mohair singlet for him any day!!!!

  120. Your finest work Book.

    Chocka Bloch is a true legend – enough said.

  121. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Thanks Steve and Gunna.Bridgey very entertaining that was 1 of Chockas finest HYB ( yes can’t imagine that happening in today’s era)Hindmarsh Bridges didn’t you get the double a degree and marrying a
    RDC a huge and jealous congrats well played.Thanks TM yes I am enjoying the comments a real trip down memory lane.Boony you are 1 of the most loved characters in Ad Uni FC history that IV from every 1 being called,Keith to you leading the Bob Neil Haka was fantastic apart from losing the bloody final sack the coach ! Thanks Stormtrooper of love appreciated and yes well and truly a legend

  122. Superb article Malcolm.

  123. Greg Kavanagh says:

    Great article Rule Book. Good to hear someone answers your calls ?

  124. Excellent article Rulebook! You have captured Chocka beautifully! I registered with the Mighty Blacks around about the same time you did (a bit later) and had very little football ability. I only played one year. I had a massive 3 digit number on my jumper. But I always remember Chocka treating me with respect and friendship. Hold Your Bowlies were not to be missed! Good times!

  125. Ol Mulligan Tyre or Dean Dean the Sex Machine says:

    Great work Malcolm,

    Every man, woman and team was important to Chocka, he upped the ante for all, he signed you up and you stepped up to The Blacks way. I was in awe of HYB the first time, it was anarchic, testosterific, beer fuelled storm of hiliarity and humiliation. And because of that I had to play for the club and just as importantly I wanted to play for The Scum, playing for that team was always an afternoon spent dwelling on what Bob Neil had achieved and getting smashed by lumps from Kilburn before drinking lots of beer at HYB. Just read through some of the old year reports, from 20+ years ago!!! WTF! Recommend everyone have a gander. Chocka Bloch gets a nod in every report from every coach and there is a reason for that.

    Deano

  126. Damian Newberry says:

    Great work Rulebook. As a 18 year old whose previous football reference points was playing football for Sacred Heart fourths and Morphett Vale FC arriving at AUFC in 1987 was a cultural revelation. Playing adult footy with all these great blokes and then drinking West End draught at the Queen’s Head after games was so much fun. The singing of songs, the beaver chants when some young lady made the mistake of going to the toilet during Bowlies, nominated scullers,the hilarity of the raffle draw, legends that could neck a jug, the jokes, singing the club song and more beers with Chockablock at the epicentre of all these antics. Chocka drove the culture of the club and this has been my reference point for the other sporting clubs and organisation that I have been involved in. AUFC remains the high water mark for fun, beer drinking and singing. Having never played high grade footy I always felt at AUFC that number 731 was as valued as player number 1. Great work Chocka and Book!

  127. Maurice Martin says:

    What a great read. Fred was one in his own mould with an incredibly quick wit!
    I’ll always remember the North Adelaide footy trip to Sydney in 1964 upon the good ship Marconi when many of us were on the back top-deck as an audience for Fred strumming his guitar to the tune of High Noon accompanied by Geoff Paull struggling somewhat with the lyrics…Fred had a dual role in crushing empty beer cans offered by his audience with the back of his foot as he played…there will only be one Fred Bloch, always smile when I hear his name…a great pleasure to meet him along “his” way! Cheers and thanks for flicking this on to me. MM

  128. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Thanks Rook.Kav yes I admit there is more than a touch of irony re Chocka always answering my calls.
    Tim,Dean Dean the sex machine and Nude nuts there is similarity in your comments re Chocka treating every one with the same irreverfance no a grade click at the blacks as I have got older and experienced administration wise I am more convinced that the blacks are one of the very few clubs who actually get it
    no player payments and every 1 treated equally in general and we can all thank,Chocka for driving the bus.Tom Martin famously remarked the difference between winning and losing at the blacks is about 5 minutes.Chocka creating the environment where every 1 is proud to say they play for the scum which continues to this day.Nude nuts as you remark your beliefs re sport and life have been heavily influenced by Chocka it is impossible to work out how many people and organisations,Chocka has impacted on as I will continue to say we are all so lucky,Maurie loved your story re the roosters as always,Chocka the life of the party and every 1 having a good time and team and club spirit built around the great man thank you

  129. Great article R book having travelled and played at a few other clubs to say the blacks are a mile in front of any other club is a understatement which we all no is due in no small part to Chocka thank you and thank you to the legend again mainly due to Chocka what a fantastic fc

  130. Good stuff Rulebook, important to get the great history written down.

    Having been a baseballer previously I arrived at the Blacks with few footy skills, no tank and no nickname.

    I finished (prior to playing Greys) with a few skills, no tank, two nicknames and one coveted premiership with FGA. I suspect I owe it to Chocka for ensuring I got a game at all in the early days and was given a chance with FGA towards the end. Forever grateful Chocka (and your support not forgotten either Rulebook).

  131. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Thanks Chook it is a credit to the aufc how often these sentiments are uttered.Thanks Goat rapt that you got your well deserved flag and correct v imo to have things like this in writing

  132. Far Gough says:

    Excellent write up RB. Chocka was an inspirational person who made everyone welcome when they signed on the dotted line for The Blacks. Saturday evenings at The Queens Head after the game was a great way to meet up socially with your fellow Blacks. Chocka drew everyone together and this was evident from the first time I was at Hold your Bowlies. Geoff Harcourt always spoke kindly and admiringly of Chocka, and that is indeed a high accolade. When people saw Chocka at the Uni they would always say hello, it showed how much he meant to all of us.

  133. Good one Ashie!

  134. Steve wood says:

    Great words mal, he obviously meant a lot to you. Stay true to his values and traditions and his memory will always be with you

  135. Agree with most of the comments, Malcolm – definitely your piece de resistance (to date at least!).

    I was awe-struck by Chocka the first time I met him as a fresher in 1984, but also taken by the genuine interest he seemed to show in just another skinny ‘spooner’ (him using the word was the first time I had heard it). I recall him finding me a rego number (227) and explaining that this would also be my playing number – I couldn’t believe it at first! “You can get the Blacks jumper from Hughes and Loveday”, and here are the numbers to sew on!” After a few weeks I realise I’m in one of 9 teams – ffs! Then I see someone actually running around with 731 on their back (Rob Read from memory), and I started thinking that maybe 227 wasn’t so bad after all (although folklore has it that 731 was actually 137 sewn on backwards!).

    In my 4th year, and my first as a graduate, I was horrified that Chocka had re-assigned 227. I was training with Pulteney OS in the pre-season, but changed my mind and went back to the Blacks (maybe he found out?). In any case I thought at least I’d get a lower number than before … no such luck. I can’t recall the new number but it was at least high 200s. By that stage I was a “contract” Scum player, and with the best player in the side running around with 300, I figured Chocka certainly had a marvelous way of letting you know your place in the scheme of things.

    Only a few short years I was coach of “RBJ and The Models”, and for 3 years I had the pleasure of the Thursday night selection routine documented in some wonderful comments above (had never heard the story about Dirty being put back in his box, but I do recall witnessing something vaguely similar if not the same incident).

    I think for me the player nickname tradition is going to be a fantastic legacy to have been imparted by Chocka. Apart from the unfortunate “Dickweed” (which I hear Jerk was responsible for), almost always there was something in the nickname that was ironic, self deprecating, witty, unique, or all of these things. Sometimes the real meaning of the name was only ever known to Chocka himself – and I hope this was the case for mine. I never really liked RBJ, with Chocka’s focus on the BJ bit. Couldn’t work out what he was on about to be honest … but I was never going to ask! Thankfully another nickname took its place a few years later, and to this day (and the penny only recently dropped would you believe) I’ve never been called BJ. Thank God for that Chocka!

    As a football coach I was about as organised as Basil Fawlty on a good day. Yet Chocka never really complained – just compensated. His daughter Robyn was appointed manager, and magically arrived invariably with wife Mayda in tow, Sam Nickless was never too far away, and between them they managed to create an illusion that I was perfectly competent. I certainly learned a lot about the running of the club from this point onward, and I grew to respect and marvel how the heck one would go about managing a club with 8 or 9 sides when I could barely manage 1 with all the help I got.

    Chocka – a true legend and life teacher.

  136. Great work Book. It brought back good memories. I remember rocking up to Park 10 as a skinny (yes I was skinny once) 17 year old and registering with Chocka and getting the obligatory nick name. Since that day I have never regretted being part of the World Greatest Football Club. Chocka doing Bowlies definitely one of the biggest highlights. Getting to spend a season attending Thursday night selection at the Havey was also an eye opener. I don’t think we actually got to pick a side all season. Chocka just told us who we were getting. All we had to do was drink beer.

  137. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Far Gough thank you couldn’t agree more and rapt to get a comment from a current,Indian resident.
    Thanks Luke and Stecve Chocka is still a fantastic mentor for so many people.Model it is yet another reminder of how important,Chocka was recruiting and personally I always enjoyed the ribbing re the 3 digit number( didn’t lose many word battles) and Rattling Rob Read was number 731 supposedly sewn on the wrong way I reckon it was at least 20 years later that it came out that he did it deliberately it was a very effective joke,loved umpires saying yours number 731,thank you

  138. Lou Bailey says:

    Enjoyable read Book, my missus split the boys up at our wedding haha

  139. Great read Book!

    Chocka is a living legend. He has singlehandedly designed a thriving culture and in doing so has become immortal.

  140. Great article Book
    I joined The Blacks, then went home to the country for a year, came back the next year, walked in and Chocka said “are you going to play this year Oscar?” Couldn’t believe he would remember the nick name that he gave me and that like everyone else has stuck through the rest of my life. Great memories and great friends from the my playing days with the Worlds Greatest Football Club.

  141. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Thanks Lou very well put,Bunny and Oscar he was fantastic like that and always treated every body the same no high grade bias from the great man

  142. michael weatherald says:

    Great tribute Malcolm to the greatest Black of all time and the man that inspired many other Blacks to stay with the club after initial induction.

    I remember at the first training session back in 1983, Chocka getting details of new players and his insistence of equality in club when a recruit named St Peters College as his school he told them they really meant Hackney High School and a recruit from Taperoo High being told they meant Taperoo College.

    It has great to read of the many Blacks responding and as I read a name I can relive memories of you all and how you have all contributed in your own way to a great club.

    I have many stories but where both Chocka and my lives were threatened was the first IV of new era in Canberra which without Chocka would never have happened.
    At this event we both approached by some irate managers and players from the Monash University netball team who were unhappy with the performance of two of our Adelaide boys.

    Their story was that these good Adelaide boys had invited and taken two Monash girls to one the upmarket restaurants in Canberra and had a great meal with the best wine. However as the coffee was ordered they both needed to go to bathroom and never came back leaving the girls to pay a very expensive account.

    Do the culprits remember this story as I know both Chocka and told a good story so they then went about hunting boys down.

    On a closing note as I am responsible for Weathers’ Keg, perhaps you could arrange a time next year when past players can come and I can buy a couple of kegs to celebrate past along with Chocka.

  143. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Thanks Weathers yes I do remember the Canberra IV story and am trying to get hold of the guys ( that was funny) Weathers I no that we both rated being acknowledged by Chocka as I of the 5 biggest influences on the great mans administrator career as highly as any thing in our sporting life,it is not easy getting,Chocka away from,Wirrina but I will have a crack

  144. Craig Bankes says:

    Great read Malcolm, well played. Chocka was before my time but what a legend. Loved the story from your wedding!

  145. Great tribute Rulebook and an equally great response from the rest of the Blacks!
    Who would of thought footballers would be so articulate, but as Chocka used to say. “the scum also rises”
    One summer Chocka captained the lowest team in the AU Cricket Club. We were called Chocka’s Chumps and nowhere near as good or as serious as the next higher team (Harcourt’s Heros). True to form, Chocka recruited football players (Craig Ball, Egils, Nose, myself, …????). Chocka was the wicket keeper and captain and a pretty good cricketer in my opinion. We played on the hardwicket at the Waite Oval, just over the road from The Presley room. I used to get a ride with Chocka to away games in the Austin 1800. We’d listed to mix tapes made from the collection in the Presley Room. Chocka said he used to exchange them with a friend he made when he was studying in the USA.
    I know nothing about accounting, but every time I see a green pen I hear Chocka say “Green ink, auditor’s life blood”.
    I still remember one of the times Chocha asked me to do HYB. It was my 21st birthday that day and someone else had the idea to make me skull 21 times. I think that was the evening of the Blacks Ball. I don’t remember much else!
    Speaking of nicknames, how come Chocka never told us his nickname was Chopping Bloch
    http://australianfootball.com/players/player/fred%2Bbloch/17424
    Thanks for the memories guys. And rest in peace Nose
    6% (the shortest nickname?)

  146. The Silver Bullet says:

    Great stuff Book. But behind every great man is a great woman and it took one to also permit Chocka to have the VPs’ BBQ at his place each year. Those memories are both too fresh and grotesque to recount here. An inspiration to a generation like few others.

  147. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Thanks 6 per cent loved learning more about,Chockas cricket career and the HYB sculling does not surprise me in the slightest! Silver Bullet Maida is a remarkable lady and yes the VPs barbys at Netherby do bring back some fantastic memories,Maida fixing up the pipe after some handiwork from Tim Willson, singing to Mrs May,Bob Neil fixing the keg the sing alongs yes buggered how Maida put up with us !
    Seriously,Maida is a fantastic person thank you the,Bloch family

  148. Brilliantly played Book… I believe you’ve reached the pinnacle of your blogging prowess, enough to invoke a salty tear in a middle aged bloke’s eye.

    Never knew he was so instrumental in the “Bob Neil” and “Hold Your Bowlies” institutions.

    Like everyone who met the man, I have a favourite Chocka moment, in fact 2:
    – I joined the Blacks in mid ’95 after some mates thought I was an OK pack mark on the Engineering lawns of a lunch time. An unconfident pimply faced teen, rocked up to Park 10, asked if this was the correct place to be, and started nervously applying my Paul Northeast kicking style in front of 50+ blokes I’d never met before. On a freezing nite where each breath came out like steam, an affable old fella calmly strolled out from the change rooms with jumper on and piping hot coffee in hand, and waltzed directly towards me oblivious to the stack of ill directed lower grades crusty Sherrins that could smash into him. Introduced himself, said “let’s get a photo done”, filled out the rego stuff… and from that moment I knew I was welcome at the Blacks with open arms.

    – The other was hurling a chair half way across the Havelock beer garden at Mark “Ray” Huppatz coz he didn’t “shut the f$&k up” during a Bowlies prezzo, invoking a little bleeding.

    All from a bloke who practically won 2 SANFL B&Fs in a pre AFL era. What a f$&King legend. Nuff Ced. OUT!!

  149. I enjoyed your tribute to Chocka, the thoughts of whom always brings a smile to my face!! Hero status well deserved

  150. When Martin Haese the Lord Mayor of Adelaide joined the footy club Chocka couldn’t believe his luck. The British band Hayzee Fantayzee had just debuted with their hit “shiny shiny” so Chocka dubbed the new player Haese Fantayzee
    And sincerely thanked him for joining the club so he could use that nickname

    Martin Haese was elected Lord Mayor of adelaide in 2014 an honour second to playing full forward for the scum and making the “scum of the century ” team

  151. http://youtu.be/UCtWkFbW0Us

    This is worth looking at in honour of Lord Mayor Haese Fantayzee

  152. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Thanks Jamesey glad you learnt how vital,Chocka was re the legend and HYB and loved your story
    ( I will keep chasing Ray in the UK for his thoughts) thanks,Milky.Plug I had forgotten that song certainly one of Chockas great nick names ( loved your post Plug )

  153. Fantastic tribute to a true legend. Haese Fantayzee dragged me out to the scum & the promise of a pass in Accounting from Chocka was enough to get me to play for the world’s greatest club. As great a bloke as Chocka was even he couldn’t get me a pass in Accounting!

  154. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Thanks AD and from personal experience any ad uni footballer failing accounting you must have struggled !

  155. That’s a Distinction Rulebook – Excellent reading.

  156. Geoff Heard says:

    Excellent article Malcolm. I can’t believe I read every single word –
    including all the comments/replies.
    I have often said that I regard Chocka’s (incredible) “A History of the
    SAAFL 1911-1994” 435 page book as the most single most important
    performance/effort by any person in the history of The League. How he
    sourced such amazing detailed history has always been difficult to
    comprehend.
    From my own long SAAFL link with Chocka, but from a Adel Uni FC viewpoint as
    well obviously, the word Legend is seldom used more appropriately than when
    referring to Fred/Dr Blotch/Chocka Block.
    He comfortably sits at the top of my own individual SAAFL 40 year Hit
    Parade.

  157. Long time listener, first time caller – an outstanding article Book.
    Chocka was always the very first person I’d call following a game during the Bastards inaugural season, and his response – often after prolonged sledging,, “It’s ok, Bitch, lost as well!” always put me at his ease.
    A very, very good man.

  158. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Thanks Kernas greatly appreciated.Geoff having been involved in that book it was amazing how much work went in to it and Chockas ability to actually make a history book fun and interesting reading
    Chocka valued your opinion enormously and with out you realising you had influence not only on the amatuer league but on the worlds greatest fc.Bitch I had the pleasure of being standing next to Chocka on more than 1 of your phone calls they were always entertaing time for you to break the umbilical chord of Hackney high and come home to the blacks! May Bob be with you

  159. Lachlan Waterman says:

    Fond memories of attending ‘Hold your Bowlies’ on Saturday nights when my brother aka ‘Waterbags’ was running around in the Div 1 Res. Unique club. Irresistible atmosphere.

  160. Mahatma Coat says:

    Book,

    Outstanding article. Chocka was, and is, a great man.

    I was looking for somewhere to play footy after finishing school and wound up at the Blacks by virtue of my first Accounting 1A lecture in the early autumn of 1996. Chocka’s lectures were the highlight of the Uni week (I didn’t start going to the Uni Bar until second year); the Blacks A-grade result (usually on the debit side that year as we dominated P1), the Roosters result, a personal welcome for Crows 2-game player Ash Fernee and the Contax score from the State Netball League. I signed up at the very next training.

    My first game was in A5 under the Green A’hole against the Raggedy Anne’s at Bob Neil #2. Being a keen first year I lobbed at the ground not long after the start of the Scum game. Chocka was the lone spectator, “Greg! You’re early and the Scum are short. Put your gear on and get out there!” (Goes to show that nothing has changed as somehow the Blacks are still short in round 1 20 years later.) I still remember the first kick I got for the Blacks. Had it not been for Chocka’s love of the Scum I might not have that privilege.

    About a decade I had the honour of accompanying the One Armed Bandit to selection for the last half of the season. The language was blue, the beers flowed, the odd dart was smoked and Silver Spooner’s got a game no matter what. Chocka’s stand down system ensured everyone got a game and encapsulated what the Blacks is all about – giving everyone a go.

    Some time later I played my 250th game. The day before you rang me to say good luck, but also had Chocka with you to wish me all the best, too. I was very humbled to receive those well wishes.

    I still tell freshers today: 1) how every player had his very own number allocated by Chocka – an amazing feat of administration. I was lucky, or maybe unlucky. 1st XVIII at Westminster was good enough to get me a 2-digit number. I’ve never graced the field for the Blacks with 3 digits on my back; and 2) how new players would be greeted at pre-season with “So. You want to be a Uni poofter, do ya?!”

    The enduring image I have of Chocka is a recent one – drinking Ginger Wine from the bottle at an A-grade game at Bob Neil #1, grasping the bottle with those fingers that were dislocated once too often.

    I’m proud to be a Black today and will never forget that it all started in a Chocka Block accounting lecture.

    Mahatma.

  161. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Thanks Lachlan.Mahatma thank you fantastic post I remember that phone call well you were genually appreciative when I rang but understandably a tad more excited when you heard,Chockas voice next.
    Mahatma thank you for your enormous contribution to the worlds greatest fc coaching our c grade against other sides a grades is a bloody hard gig it is 1 you have performed with distinction and the way you and Belinda have turned each,Saturday in to a family day is brilliant,( Noah is sensational with that water bottle) watching you against the crabs after the long lunch the day before was amusing also.
    Ironically now we have a organised recruiting committee in reality we need,Chocka lecturing again

  162. Dave Williams says:

    Rulebook. Been reading alot about Chocka. . As you know I met you through a good man named Sniff (aka Bob, Bobby) although I never played for the blacks I attended many a presentation, particularly at the wellington. Every now and then I would turn up for a beer and had only met Chocka on a couple of occasions, but it always amazed me the chorus of “Here’s to Micky Bar Up ” would erupt. I never found out why. But even tho I wasnt a black it didn’t matter I still felt part of the club thanks Chocka

  163. Suzanne Bloch says:

    In the wise words of the most devoted father .. “Go and ask your mother”

  164. Book great article and I am loving the comments actually when I was a young naïve country lad up in the big smoke embarking on a low rent economics degree the university thought it was a good idea to give blokes like me a “special tutor” (or somethin’ like that!) whose purpose was to guide the uninitiated through the treacherous shoals of academe. As it turns out young Freddie was that man! However as I was having enough trouble understanding the “normal” tutors and lecturers I gave him a wide berth. I was to encounter him again a few years later as my coach in the A1’s and of course he gave me a bollocking on and off the field both for my limited football ability and lack of interest in the dismal science and his mentoring appointment. I see that Tim Harcourt features prominently in the commentary and as you know Tim’s ol’ man Geoff and Freddie were great mates and often spied running with vigour around campus – Geoff was also a lecturer in economics and on the rare occasions I turned up was a very funny individual and a great supporter of the Blacks. Unfortunately his lecturing ability didn’t result in myself scaling the heights of the corporate world as Tim did (then again substantial IQ difference!). Anyhow if you see the Ol’ boy say g’day and ask him about the true origins of hold your bowlies and how the Queens Head became the den of iniquity that is the stuff of legend – think you’ll find that Aquinas College up the road and some of its more dangerous denizens plus some of its country hangers on had a bit to do with it but I’ll save that for another time. Cheers

  165. Wayne Strempel says:

    Wonderful tribute to a great man, well done book

  166. Rob Rorrison says:

    There are way too many Chocka and Prof Harcourt memories buzzing through my head right now. The lectures cut short because there was a good movie on and Chocka wanted a front row seat, the tales of weekend cricket and football told by both in lectures – in fact their lectures may have been the only ones I actually attended throughout my degree. Chocka along with Geoff captained the Uni “D” grade cricket team and gave great joy to many people in that club as well.
    You knew you would be heartily greeted by Chocka whenever you bumped into him. Recent events led to me recall a walk down North Terrace with Brenton Eckert at the end of a tough day sitting on the uni library wall. Chocka was driving out of the Uni grounds at the same time, no doubt after a tough day running the Uni Football Club, and had the nose of his car pushed part way across the footpath. With no hesitation Brenton stepped up onto the bonnet of the car walked across it and continued on his way without looking back. Everyone else stopped mouths agape waiting for the reaction of the cars driver – Chocka was roaring with laughter of course.

  167. At The Races says:

    Chocka, Hold your Bowlies and the unique nicknames certainly made the Blacks a unique culture and an amazing experience. A lot of people made it all possible but Chocka got it started (I assume) and held it all together. It all served to bring the best out of the young men at the Club – in the long run.
    I played a few games for a few teams before I started going to Hold your Bowlies. It certainly helped to work out who some of my team mates were in the early days.

    This tribute to Chocka is fully deserved.

  168. Ah way too kind Georgo before I played for the scum it was a great honour to be boundary umpire goal umpire and dogs body to you and your team mates

    I was made very welcome by you Rob Rorrison Milky Franklin and some other great blacks players in the footy and cricket club

    And being A1 statistician to Chocka and Weathers must have helped me in economic statistics 2A along with some Lincoln college based Singaporeans who Lee kuan yew sent to adelaide to do economics by mistake instead of Oxford to do nuclear physics

  169. Malcolm Ashwooc says:

    Thanks David appreciated ahh Here’s to Micky Barr up a legendary song.Suzanne short but sweet definitely daughter of ( great line ) Thanks Georgo entertaining and enlightening hopefully more info to come ! Thanks Big Carl.Thanks Rorro entertaining and emotional ( thanks for the follow up email 2 THANK YOU ) thanks At the races and yes I concur and no what you mean.Thanks Plug every 1 appreciated your stats work and general help,Weathers valued you extremely highly thanks folks

  170. Malcolm Ashwooc says:

    I can assure Knackery folk to receive a email from Barry Robran asking for Chockas contact details yesterday was well and truly the highlight of my day a conversation between two legends !

  171. Great tribute to a great man Rulebook. Bringing back memories of Hold ya bowlies at the Queens Head brought a sentimental tear to the eye. As was mentioned earlier, who could ever forget the great line of… Cancel that! What a sensational game from… Wonderful! Not to mention the ‘melodic’ (if somewhat out of tune) playing from ‘Fat Sound’ Hoile on his clapped out Sax as part of the Blacks Blues Band. Clearly the music lessons from Mrs Wheaton (Turkey Gobblers mother) hadn’t paid off.

  172. Further to previous comments on how others managed to find the great AUFC, my discovery followed a somewhat different path than others since my first year Accounting lectures were unfortunately with one of the authors of the text book on the subject (Ron Newman), whose idea of livening up a lecture theatre was to read direct from his text book in his ‘inspirational’ monotonal voice.
    It was through my own ineptitude that I managed to finally stumble upon the Blacks when I had to be transferred from Teachers College, having mistakenly signed up with them in my 3rd year at Uni thinking they were the famous Blacks, seeing as they trained at the old Park 7 (was it?). I clearly was not a fast learner as it took a whole 2 matches with Teachers before I finally realised that wearing a Blue guensey with a penguin(?) motif on the chest somehow belied the name of the club I thought I was playing for! Great memories.

  173. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    Wow Big jim, I sat through plenty of Bob ‘Mogadon’ Newman’s lectures too, and was in a few tutes with you, but I never knew that you’d signed on for the wrong club as well. And to think we went on to share a couple of flags.

    That’s worthy of a retrospective JT Goose award.

  174. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Thanks Big Jim enjoyed your 1st comment but your confession was even better I hope you at least got a
    JT Goose nomination ?

  175. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Apologies Swish my fault just noticed the last part of your post (Great minds-Ed.)

  176. Don’t worry Rulebook, I’m already the recipient of one JT Goose award following my efforts after selection one night when my team manager (Mercedes Mcleod) fooled me by providing me (slowly) with my own phone number one digit at a time when the old spiral dialing phone was all that was available while I was trying a last minute desperate ring around to fill the numbers on the team sheet. When my (former) wife answered the phone while I was expecting Jack Richards to answer, I exclaimed my shock & disbelief at her being at Jack’s place in a most accusatorial tone only to finally realise I had been duped when spotting Mercedes out of the corner of my eye doubled over in laughter.
    Never lived that one down.

  177. Mahatma Coat says:

    Book, thank you for the very kind words. My family’s involvement with Blacks is something we all take great pride in and enjoyment from. You’d left the Gulag by the time I came good and ran amok in junk time in the last quarter. 2 goals, one a contender for GOTY and a hand in a few others. Had nothing to do of course with the quality of our opposition.

  178. Not to be too over dramatic but the Aufc/Aucc saved my life well maybe not my life but my university studies. Was teetering when along came the most inclusive egalitarian sports club ever, driven by chokka and the desire to enjoy footy for its mateship and not ones ability to relay the air conveyance to someone wearing a black guernsey with a white V and the obligatory 3 digit number. I still have those mates, forged almost entirely at hold your bowlies where the advantage of playing ressies was being able to get gold ticket seating at the Queens Head.
    It is a sad day to be attending Noses walk of exuberance but can vaguely remember discussing our own group within a group, namely, The Cartel of Body Parts…led by Nose and including Bones(chokka did change it to pancreas for a short period), shit on the liver.Slippery and donkey were in there own sub group.
    Can someone explain how, where and why wardys morrie materialised in chokkas backyard at a vps function?
    Nick name redundant i think was Vag Margonis and now on reflection should have been in the cartel.

  179. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Big Jim I remember that now well played,Mercedes McLeod and after all only great people win the JTS Goose award ! Mahatma Coat and Spleen I write this in the morning after the Nose Eckert walk and service appropriate to commend a great family man in Mahatma and Spleen great to catch up and totally concur re you saying to me last night how you try to explain the worlds greatest fc to people from other clubs and they just don’t get it.I am so glad last night happened a appropriate send off to 1 of our best
    RIP Brenton Nose Eckert

  180. Well written good nostalgia for me enjoyable reading well done Rulebook

  181. Well written, ‘book. A few thoughts/memories from me:

    I joined the Blacks in 1981 as a skinny 17 year old country kid. I thought going on the pre-season trip to Loxton would be a good way to get to know the people and the club. A couple of key Chocka memories from that trip:
    – Chocka’s contribution to moderate drinking was buying jugs of shandy and foisting them upon the team.
    – I’m pretty sure the club song was written on the bus on the way there or on the way back. Chocka was in fine song writing form, with several that didn’t pass muster and several that shouldn’t have – I suspect there are a couple of former footballers still seeking therapy! One song that was a near miss (for the club song) was:
    “We’re the mighty Blacks, the other teams all fear,
    We like a game of footy but we’d rather have a beer!
    Da-da-da-daa-da!”

    Memories of Chocka coaching: Chocka sitting at the back of the stand, not afraid to engage in repartee with the opposition supporters, and causing the occasional loss of composure (laughter) – either his or the players – in the midst of pre-match or game time breaks. Never a dull moment, but he knew the game as well.

  182. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Thanks Sarge Chocka writing songs and then leading the sing along on numerous footy trips ars a fantastic memory for so many.At a IV in Sydney at the Sydney Uni fc bar,Chocka goes up to buy a butcher the bar person asked,Chocka how much are they he replies 20 c needless to say all of us were on to butchers from then on. ( enjoyed your memories fri night,Sarge )

  183. Piggy Muldoon says:

    Great article Rulebook. I loved the Hold Your Bowlies wedding and the rest brought back memories. Chocka built an amazing culture at the Adelaide Uni Footy Club that I will never forget. He made everybody feel important and a part of the club more so than I have ever experienced anywhere else. Thanks Chocka.

  184. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Superbly put couldn’t agree more,Piggy

  185. Michael Coligan says:

    A wonderful tribute Malcolm to a great club man. I came across his publication, A History of the SAAFL (1911-1994) while researching the history of two Catholic clubs, Christian Brothers Old Collegians (est. 1936) and Rostrevor Old Collegians (est. 1974) at the State Library during the week. The research material I was able to gather about the two clubs was extraordinary with meticulous detail, and must have taken him years to compile.

  186. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Thanks Mike yes it is a amazing book,Chocka was meticulous in his research and was so organised
    we each had very specific duties and Chocka thru amazing networking and again being so organised as,Jeff Heard said the history of the amateur league book is a remarkable contribution to its history

  187. The White Lion says:

    Chocka, I dips me lid.

  188. Malcolm Ashwooc says:

    Thanks The White Lion always good to get some more comments from,China

  189. Screecher075 says:

    The man who is responsible in a large way for me deciding this was the right club for me. Has done so much for the club, and asked for nothing in return. Truly a LEGEND in every sense of the word.
    May Bob Be With Him!!!

  190. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Bloody Chocka ! So Wayno we can blame the great man for the head aches caused by the bellowing coming from the full backs area ! Seriously Wayne the club is bloody lucky you listened to Chocka and joined the worlds greatest football club thank you !

  191. Thanks Rulebook for shining a sptotlight on Chocka, and in my case at least a brief period during the 80s.I loved reading the blog and the comments that followed. Like so many things it is only with years of hindsight that you realise what an amazing institution Fred was instrumental in creating. Good on you for highlighting Chocka but also for helping me remember so many friends and good times. Slatts

  192. Tom 'Smelly' Rosewarne says:

    I remember when Rhys Peters and I held hold your bowlies one Saturday night. Trying to live up to the legend of Choca, Rhys and my self nominated ourselves as the nominated scullers. Fair to say we were rank amateurs compared to the bowlies legend as the proprietors chicken schnitzel ended up on the flower pot next to the stage.

  193. Earl O'Neill says:

    Great stuff, Book, comments too.

  194. Lachlan Waterman says:

    Great character. Fondly recall ‘Hold Your Bowlies’ at Adelaide Uni with Freddy holding court on the microphone. Chocka created a unique environment where every player at the Blacks had a nickname and every team had an equal status in the club.
    My favourite was player no 111 – nickname “bar code.”

  195. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Thanks Slatts glad for bringing back good memories and v much a amazing institution.Smelly not on your,Pat Malone there and nothing compares with the legend thanks,Earl.Lachlan it is just impossible to describe,HYB to any one who has not witnessed it especially,Chocka in his prime many sensational nicknames just being on the nicknames committee and the fun we had is a brilliant personal memory
    ( a year ago today since this article went on the site) thank you every one

  196. Hi Tim,
    great memories. He was my lecturer and tutor [as was Prof Harcourt] when this “plodder” did a part time ecomonics degree in the late 1960’s & early 1970’s when Fred was still playing football for North. As a West Torrens bloke we had several discussions re footy. He was also a top musician as well as being a good bloke – down to earth and always willing to help.

  197. I can say that I watched him play every week as a very young North barracker, so have known or heard about him for most of my life.
    Mick has always had the highest praise for him. Some people just know how to keep on giving.

  198. John Cranwell says:

    I umpired many a game involving the ” blacks ” and was always treated with respect and humour by chocka. He, along with Paul Rofe always seemed happy at my presence at a game. His hard work for his club should never be underestimated!

  199. Nick Haines says:

    As a matter of interest Chocka debuted in the Anzac Day clash of the previous years Grand Finalists in 1961 (North vs Norwood) and made an immediate impact being named Best on Ground. “Fred Bloch, contact lens wearing, former North Adelaide Colt made an impressive debut in League Football as a centreman against Norwood. Playing with a confident efficiency beyond his years Bloch dominated midfield and was a contributing factor to North’s win. His dominance was so marked that his immediate opponent – former St. Kilda player Lester Ross – was shifted before the third quarter ended.”
    The above was written by Harry Kneebone appeared in the Sunday mail

  200. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    I’ve just updated this with a shot of Chocka and other football royalty (Bob Gibson, Don Lindner, Lindsay Head and Fred Bills).

  201. Chris Pilcher says:

    Chocka was my lecturer at Adelaide Uni for accounting. We always knew we would get an early minute when it was training night for the Blacks.

  202. Nick Haines says:

    Chocka was indeed BOG in his debut. According to the Advertiser 3 – F.Bloch 2 – D.Lindner 1- R. Hammond. “The outstanding feature of North’s win was the brilliant debut of its new 20-year-old centreman Fred Bloch. Bloch thrashed new Norwood centreman, former St Kilda player Lester Ross, causing Ross to be shifted to half-forward in the third quarter. Bloch was equally impressive against succeeding opponents, Brian Sawley and John Wiesner, to be best afield”.by Merv Agars 24-4-61

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