Late 70s Tassie State Teams – Changing Times

I recently obtained a personal copy of A Century of Tasmanian Football 1879-1979, which I wrote briefly about here. It’s a beauty.

There are lots of Tasmanian Team photos included, the most recent of these were taken in 1976 and 1978.

The 76 photo is the archetypal footy team shot of the era, with each row conforming to a particular stance (although ex-Central District/East Perth star Phil Haughan subtly broke ranks with his left-over-right arm folding technique). Did Michael Roach need a note from his parents to attend this shoot? And what colour were these shorts?


Just two years later and not only had the famous Tassie map been shunted over to the left breast, but any adherence to the uniformity of past photographic posterity was no more. Soon-to-be- Centrals pinup boy Geoff Gillies seemed to want no part of this random assemblage of bodies and Huddo is doing his best to blend in with the scenery. It was as if the Seekers had been usurped by Cold Chisel. (And what do you suggest that Barry Lawrence was whispering to Peter Chisnall?)

There was much interest when I tweeted these shots out late last week, with several Taswegians (am I allowed to use that term?) making reference to players who “could’ve made it easily on the mainland”.

So if you’ve got a story or a question about any of these blokes, let us know below below.

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. Is that G Linton middle row or Dennis Lillie?

  2. Love these old photos, Swish. If we could go back to the time and place this was taken we’d smell Rice-a-Riso and Winnie Reds and could hear Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons.

  3. Played basketball against Michael Roach in a Baptist Church Youth Carnival in either 1975 or 1976, probably 1976. It was rumoured he had signed with Richmond, goodness knows what they thought of basketball, but he was a good player there too. Same hairdo…

  4. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks Smithy, Mickey and Bucko.

    Here’s a selection of my twitter responses

    “What a side! Is that the Cowmeadow who played 3 games for sth melb in ’75?”

    “Some serious players here who never made a name for themselves on the ‘Mainland’ Maynard, Lethborg, Linton stood out for me”

    “I was lucky enough to play with and be coached by “Grouter” Lethborg. Good enough to play VFL for sure.”

    “John Emin, Paul Sproule, Peter Daniel. The Bombers were well represented.”

    “Some of them could play.”

    “That’s Hedley Thompson, New Norfolk champion. From all reports, an unbelievable set of hands.”

    ” You can’t half tell that’s a Waite hey. Jarrad = dead ringer for the old fella.”

    “But H for Hedley. Very reliable performer for a long time. Captained (and coached I think) New Norfolk.”

    “Van Dieman’s Land Bushrangers ‘Most Wanted’ list, surely?”

    “Is that the over 35’s team?”

    “Anyone who isn’t cross eyed or bandy legged could make the Tasmanian state team Geoff” (a quick response from the Coodabeens, that one)

    “Phil Haughan!”

  5. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Nice Swish. Lived in Tassie during that period and remember Sandy Bay kept knocking off Glenorchy (my team ) in Grand Finals.
    Dr. J.Biro looks like a cool cat. How fresh-faced does Michael Roach look before he became Disco?

  6. Rod Radford says

    Interesting article that brought back a lot of memories. Thanks. What about a photo of 1977 Tasmanian schoolboys under 16 team that won the Australian title that year, beating all the other states and territories, playing 7 games in 9 days. The team had 6boys selected in the All Australian team.

  7. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Biro might have been the only doctor ever to have neat handwriting Phil.

    Hey Rod, I’d love to find a photo of that team, but the best I can do is this:

  8. Mark Revell says

    Yes, Garry Cowmeadow, played for Penguin.

  9. Peter Warrington says

    Huddo in his long sleeves, about to have the crazy year in 79. I keep forgetting he came back for Glenorchy when 35 and kicked 30 in 3 games. freak!

    Rainbird possibly father of the cricketer?

    A captain coach to rival Jezza

    I’ve got the map of tassie in the middle strip. just need to lose a bit of autumn “condition”..

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