Rick Davies in Yorke Valley FL Premiership Glory



By Peter Argent


Their ‘managers’ wouldn’t even let them play today, but 30 years ago, Sturt champion and a man who would go on to receive All –Australia captaincy honour a couple of years later,  E.R ‘Rick’ Davies was an important member in the 1977 premiership for Port Victoria.

Sandwiched between the exhilaration of the Double Blues magnificent victory of 1976, where Davies dominated the game with a magical virtuoso performance, and the agonising defeat by one point against Norwood in 1978, Davies came home and played with his mates.

The ‘Jumbo Prince’, as he was affectionately known, was named to sit on the bench for a couple of games during the season, and then played in both the preliminary final and the Grand Final. 

“We finished the minor round in third position and won the preliminary final against Wallaroo by 19 goals,” his team mate and current Central Yorke Cougars president, Greg Twelftree said.

“Then we went on to beat Kadina in the Grand Final.

“Davies was superb in both games and naturally won ‘best on ground’ honours for his performances in the Grand Final.

“He was at the height of his powers at this stage of his career.

“We had a pretty good side, with five good Aboriginal players including the very talented Cyril ‘Biggsy’ Kartinyeri in this team.”

The Port Victoria premiership team of ’77 was captained by Greg Schulz, the uncle of current Richmond listed player, Jay and coached by a former Mail medallist Peter Glacken. Phillip Davies was vice captain of the flag winning combination.

“It was big,” the gregarious big man said, via phone from Perth.

“Along with the 1974 and 1976 premierships, this is a flag I will always cherish.

“Dad (Evan) sat me on the bench a couple of times during the year, and I wasn’t even there.

“I still remember, vividly, running out onto the ground on Grand Final day and also being pelted by stones.

“There were a few Davies boys in the side, from memory my brother David, with Wayne, John, Phillip and myself, along with the Schulz lads.

“God that was 30 years ago now.”

Perhaps the best player ever to come from the ‘leg, Davies would go on to played more than 300 SANFL games, was runner up to Russell Ebert for the ’76 Magarey Medal and also win the Double Blues best and fairest on no less than seven occasions and naturally was a key member in their ‘team of the century’.

He also captained his state, played a season with Hawthorn in the VFL in 1981 and went on to coach South Adelaide after the demise of Don Scott in 1985, for three seasons. Among a huge list of accolades, Davies kicked a then record 151 goals in the 1983 season and followed up with another century the next year. 

  At the completion of the 1977 season, the management of the Yorke Valley Football League changed the rules, ensuring a player from the SANFL couldn’t come back and be involved in his local competition.

After the halcyon days of the 1970s, where Port Victoria won three flags, by the mid 1980s the club had disbanded.  


  1. Peter Schumacher says

    Didn’t Ron Kneebone play for Port Victoria?

  2. Rick Davies was one of the strongest high marks of all time. Being a Kadina boy, I can’t say that their tactic was in the spirit of the game. But rules are rules, so I guess Port Vic just exploited a loophole by bringing Rick home for 2 finals.
    I was pleased to read that Port Vic had 5 indigenous players in their premiership team. My memory from the early 70’s was that the A Grade was white farmers and the B Grade was indigenous from Point Pearce mission north of the town. We used to joke that the B Grade was the better side in those days.
    The famous reverse situation was Hawthorn 1961 premiership ruckman and ex Sturt SANFL player – Malcolm Hill. He had the Berri Hotel in the Upper Murray and played all season in that comp. Jack Oatey brought Hill back from the country for the finals series and won premierships in 66, 68 and 69. In total Hill played 22 VFL games and 40 SANFL games – and won 4 premierships. A 1 in 20 game ratio of GF wins!!!

  3. Mrs Fish says

    was Rick Davies a Kadina boy? I thought he was a Uarania, (Maitland) Yorke Peninsula farm boy.

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