Footy Jumper: Elizabeth High School 1975-77


Although the competing schools varied from year to year, the annual High Schools Lightning Carnival was keenly anticipated by the sports-mad students from Salisbury and Elizabeth.

Saturday mornings would see us competing for one of the many tribal clubs in the CDJFA such as Central Juniors, Elizabeth, Salisbury, Salisbury North, Elizabeth North, Eastern Park or Westfield. The school-based carnivals were an opportunity to play alongside your weekend enemies rather than against them.

Getting selected for your year’s team was a tough ask in itself, as there would have been at least a hundred kids in each year that were regular weekend players.

The guernsey above was purloined by myself when I was in Third Year High. This Jaxen Knitwear, size 36 artefact is no longer its original size, but the maroon and gold colours have withstood almost forty years of neglect. I particularly like the contrasting cuffs. I wore it in my last three years of carnivals, despite the fact that it should have been returned to the school after each annual appearance.

The carnivals usually consisted of a round-robin with games of ten (or so) minute halves. No finals, top of the ladder at the end of the four or five games, played at one of the local grounds such as Ridley Road, then home of the Elizabeth Eagles, being awarded bragging rights.

The fiercest rivalry was between the toffs of Elizabeth High (my school) and the soon-to-be-factory-workers-if-they-manage-to-get-through-third-year scruffs from Fremont Boys High (ex Elizabeth Boys Tech).

Fremont dominated during the early years of my high school attendance, but as the attrition rate of Leaving and Matric lads was higher at the brawn dominated Fremont, EHS finally tasted Lightning Carnival success in my final year, 1977, which was played on the vast expanses of Elizabeth Oval, home of the not yet legendary Central District Bulldogs.

It proved an ideal place for a cheeky goal-sneak with an aversion to body contact to finally display some football ability. We cleaned up a couple of feeble combines from Parafield Gardens and Salisbury East, somehow I managed hauls of five and three goals in these shortened versions. In the decider against Fremont, EHS finally came out on top, after four previous years of losses. Across the three matches, we kicked thirty goals all up in an hour of footy, eleven of them from my previously less than lethal left foot. I hadn’t kicked a single goal in four previous years of carnival participation.

Which explains why I’ve kept that jumper, as a reminder of that one day when nothing could go wrong, on the ground that I spent so many Saturdays at as a spectator.

About Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt

Saw my first SANFL game in 1967 - Dogs v Peckers. Have only ever seen the Dogs win 1 final in the flesh (1972 1st Semi) Mediocre forward pocket for the AUFC Blacks (1982-89) Life member - Ormond Netball Club -That's me on the right


  1. Nice one Swish. Left foot sharpshooter at Elizabeth? Shades of Rick Vidovich or Sally Saywell?

  2. Luke Reynolds says

    Love it Swish. Always like seeing the Maroon and Gold colours of my beloved Pomborneit Cricket Club. Looks even better on a footy jumper.

  3. Dr Rocket says

    Same design as Stanhope used to wear in the Goulburn Valley League!

    You used to dairy cockies in the main street wearing their woollen footy jumper with a pair of overalls and gumboots. They nearly all drove Falcon utes.

  4. Nice work Swish. Well played at the Ponderosa. I hadn’t heard of Westfield previously; they must have folded some time ago. Eastern Park was always an interesting affair in senior football. The name sounds gentil, and quiet and evokes a leafy suburb; not quite matching the experience of playing against them!

  5. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Great stuff ,Swish with my favorite memory of that lethal left foot v the tarnished spooners in the parklands when we had lost our previous , 8 or 9 and celebrated that night like it was another blacks flag . I have umpired a few of these lightning carnivals and they can get pretty willing at times they are taken very seriously thanks , Swish

  6. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks all.

    I’ve embellished my disdain for Fremont – it produced its fair share of successful types, in all walks of life, and some pretty fair sportsmen (e.g. J Platten).

    PB – Wilbur Wilson was my footballing role model, although Sally Saywell was a prominent figure in the lives of many kids from the more salubrious Elizabeth Vale.

  7. Kerry Jolly says

    Enjoyable story…. I was given a lace up EHS footy Guernsey by another purloiner.. It’s in our EHS uniform collection.

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