SANFL 1966 Grand Final – Sturt v Port Adelaide: First of Five



Although I didn’t see my first SANFL match until 1967, I have vague memories of this match, so I just had to get my hands on this.


Cartoonist Dan Russell’s portrait of the 1966 Magarey Medallist, Norwood’s Ron Kneebone, made for a colourful Grand Final Football Budget cover. Although the 29 year old powerful and dashing defender from Port Victoria preferred “Bones”, the reason that he was widely known as “Tank” is evident here. Kneebone spent Magarey Medal night at the Royal Adelaide Show with teammate Bill Wedding, despite being one of the favourites. Earlier Magarey winners such as Geof Motley and Gary Window obtained endorsements for the likes of Glen Ewin jams and Radio Rentals, but Kneebone was rewarded with the sponsorship of King Gee overalls (according to John Wood’s SA Greats – History of the Magarey Medal). (See the Redlegs Museum site for more on Ron’s story) 



Was “Just past O.G. Hotel” an official G.P.O. address?


Sturt and Port were repeating their 1965 premiership battle. Port were perennial flag contenders, but Sturt hadn’t made a Grand Final since 1941 when it went down narrowly that year.


The playing and coaching records of Jack Oatey and Fos Williams, as outlined here, were phenomenal. Oatey was to add another seven Sturt flags (including this one) before his retirement in 1982. Williams never added to his nine (note, not ten, as stated here) Magpie flags, but Port only missed finals once during his time in charge, which finished in 1973. His last five seasons were spent at West Adelaide, where he coached his sons Mark and Anthony.



How different would Melbourne’s Friday lunch scene have been if Percy Jones had ended up at Alberton? Sid Simeon must have gone ape that day – he was actually in the crowd when he assaulted umpire Lees, having played the season out in the Seconds after his one and only League appearance in Round One. He returned to WA soon thereafter.


Incentive schemes and the extending of pre-season to include January were early signs of Footy becoming more than a pastime at the higher levels.


Maughan Thiem were sponsors of the WWT Eagles in recent years.



Small business advertising was the Budget’s bread and butter, with decimal currency still waiting for 100% acceptance. A Blue and White Cafe still trades in O’Connell Street, across the road from this one.


North’s Thirds featured a handful of future League players such as Von Bertouch, May, Ford, Sachse, B. Speck, Burns (x2), and Plummer (who was a butcher) but for South, only the late Craig Cock takes the eye.



I may have even gone to this Mallala meeting, I certainly remember going there once or twice.


Robert Day’s grandson Will Day has just been drafted to Hawthorn, where the elder Day played in 1971-72 (including the ’71 flag).


More professionalism creeps in. Ian Brewer topped the VFL goalkicking with Collingwood  in 1958, had a fruitless season with the Saints then was a big part of Claremont’s first flag. With 96 goals in his first season at Norwood, he proved his worth with 76 more in 1966. Brewer decided to ply his profession elsewhere as captain/coach of Wangaratta Rovers from 1967-69.  He returned to the Redlegs for the 1970 season for three more games.


Dean Ottens (and his brother, who’s even bigger) returned to the green green grass of home early in 1966, but choofed back to the Big Smoke in 1968 and established himself as one of the League’s best rucks at Unley in 1969.



The Symons & Symons kiddies playground was probably a better alternative to the hot cars in hotel carparks that many youngsters had to endure on weekends in the 60s (or maybe that was just me).


Eighty years of Harding’s Crumpets. Wait until they invent egg rings!!!


The par-3 at North Adelaide was a school holiday must.


Norwood thrashed Port in the Seconds. Having a fledgling Tassie Medallist in their side would have helped. Veteran Gerry Harrison (a future Channel 7 commentator), Biscuits Menz, Nifty Nev Harris and a pair of lesser Woodcocks were too much for Port’s Ken Tierney, Peter Mead (future Grand Final umpire), Wayne Broadbridge and Reg Beaufoy. (Was that Peter Brien from the Alberton Hotel?). Norwood thrashed Port 12.28 to 3.7



Neil Hawke provided plenty of headlines, there were injuries galore, regular “needle games”, records broken and the genesis of Football Park.


Feres Trabilsie’s sponsorship attempts at Richmond were all froth and bubble.


Lees Hotels had all postcodes covered, before postcodes were invented.


There was a larger article in an earlier Budget that covered Kneebone’s Magarey Medal win in more depth. Bob Simunsen was a gun for the Peckers, while Trevor Hughes was a robust feature of Westies’ teams for a decade, future coach and prominent sports store proprietor.



The recent results between these two teams had been very close. A thriller was predicted.


Jeff Potter was yet another fine player from the sixties. Very fine indeed when you consider his four Port B&Fs and 23 State games.


Snagging the express to Dry Creek was better than winning Pick-A-Box for us dwellers of the north.



Night cricket, ten-pin bowling and squash. 


Swimming, water skiing and squash.


And the Wayville Trots.



The page for the the Grand Final teams sneaks up on the unwary reader.


The ‘Tiser and Smiths took the prime advertorial possies.


Both sides named squads here, but the original owner of this Budget gave no clues as to the final twenties that took the field. For Sturt, Dizzy Raymond, Schoff, Roads, Thomas and Green were the omissions. Beaufoy and Mead missed out for the Magpies.


I think the tallies above the teams represent the number of frees that KG Cunningham dispensed to either side.


Emmy Jones goalkicking late in the game looked a lot like the Oval’s picket fence.



I’m not sure if I’m more impressed by Bob Hammond’s last quarter in the Prelim or the Hotel Enfield’s Thursday night entertainment.



The Co-op is now part of the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.


Bob Philp’s anklets – bring ’em back. Along with inverted ‘v’ inserts in footy shorts.



Centrals’ final round pasting of Woodville was the highlight of the season, but it wasn’t enough to get them higher than the Peckers on the ladder.



Each Seconds side used an average of 57.5 players in 1966. It’s hard to fathom how Glenelg used 75 different players in 20 matches.



The Druids baseballer has taken up a left-handed batting stance but is holding the bat as a right-hander would. I hope he had chiropractic included in his extras cover.


The 1965 Grand Final attendance was a record, a record that lasted until 1976’s meeting of the same two clubs.




There was no mention of the term “rookies” in this summary of 1966’s first year players. Fred Phillis started as a CHB but was more useful in front of the sticks in the ensuing seasons.


Who remembers Single Wicket Cricket?



This is what happens when invading Victorians sneak apricots into SA rather than depositing them in the bin at the border.


Kerls turned the Bays around quick smart when he got involved.



Suspense was the order of the day thanks to the innovative approach used in displaying the effluxion of each quarter.


Westies were sharp enough to book Good Orchestra for their Cabaret. Torrens probably had first dibs on Been Ordinary For Two Decades Orchestra.


Tokyo Egawa Dance Revue came to Australia in February 1966. A highlight was performing with Johnnie Ray in Sydney at the Chevron Hotel’s famed Silver Spade room. The National Archives of Australia Consignment AP1208/1 has further information, so I may have to apply for a research grant to complete this article properly.


The Washup



This summary of the match, from the 1971 Grand Final Budget, reminds us of Sturt’s late season use of former Hawthorn premiership ruckman Malcolm Hill, a ploy that also bore fruit (probably oranges and apricots) in 1968 and 1969. It was surprising to note that the scores were very close until the mid part of the third term. Sturt then overwhelmed Port, in a portent of the remaining years of the decade.


Sturt commemorated this historic season here, with a glorious team photo and a link to the day’s footage, which features some skilful application of Oatey’s coaching.



Three cheers for Ron Kneebone (courtesy The News – from SA Greats (Woods))


They don’t make them like Ron Kneebone any more, do they?


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


Do you really enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.

Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE
One off financial contribution – CLICK HERE
Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE



The Tigers Almanac 2019 is out soon.
Order copies HERE.

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. Dave Brown says

    That’s a beautiful cover, Swish (and, yes, no mystery why he was called Tank). The neatness of the 16.16 to 8.8 scoreline always appealed to me. Less enamoured by the original owner of the Budget thinking that 12.28 is 94. Also, 12.28? Graham Molloy’s son, Glenn, who played in the 1997 Redlegs premiership was a Hope Valley boy so we’ll take that connection. Also a fan that most of the pubs still make a point of telling you the name of the publican/s. This feature of early pub advertising certainly makes tracing family history easier (prefer the other side of the bar from my ancestors).

  2. Superb Swish it has emerged from face book that Graham Adams ( Norwood history committee ) purchased a copy of this particular budget for Ron last year who incredibly had never seen the portrait.
    The reserves game was the main game wasn’t it ? Sent thru the thirds team sheets to Jace Bode ( son in law of Terry Von Bertouch )

  3. Just love the adverts in these old publications, Swish.

    The Tokyo Egawa Dance Revue? The mind boggles.

  4. Daryl Adair says

    Wonderful memories! Sturt were the powerhouse team of the 60s and Jack Oatey a legendary coach. Great to see mention of Ron Kneebone of Norwood (my team). “The Tank” was a crowd favourite for his attack on the ball, but also his fairness in the contest. His size was used fairly to advantage.

  5. Jack Oatey’s use of attacking handball virtually finished the Fos Williams’ style of getting the ball and kicking it always towards Port’s end (or out of bounds). Getting more than half a dozen handballs per game never appeared in the Magpies’ game plan. Results were then & more premierships to Oatey and none to Williams. It took John Cahill in the seventies to modernise Port’s playing style.

    The “Tank” was a true legend at Norwood along with his good mate Kingsley Arthur “Big Bill” Wedding.

  6. Gold, gold, gold. Thanks Swish. We are in Yorketown by then and I reckon I only saw the B&W replay of this game on Saturday night. But at least we could drop into the Minlaton Hotel and forewarn them of my impending triumph in the 1970 Senior Colts GF (alongside Port legend Tony Giles……………).
    Later that decade I was briefly a member at Tea Tree Gully Golf Club where former Mt Osmond pro Duncan Pearce had taken over the pro shop. He was also a part time trotting trainer and his lessons and tips set me up for life (unfortunately).
    Hardings also scarred me for life as I was coincidentally consuming Golden crumpets and crunchy peanut butter with my coffee this morning reading your piece.
    Can you shed any light on the naming of Maughan Thiem? Odd name for a car dealer. Maughan Church was the Methodist HQ in Franklin Street but they don’t sound like used car salesmen? Always made me think of Somerset Maugham – a similarly odd conjunction.
    Reg Beaufoy is a name that lingers. Left footed immobile CHF from memory. Had thighs like Jeff Potter’s which were modelled on river redgums. By 1966 he was too slow to catch Sturt rovers Dunn & Rigney. (The demise of the rover was the beginning of the end for Aussie Rules).
    I think that’s Fisho in the Druids Friendly Society ad.
    My Torrens were a creditable 5th and towelled up 4th place Roosters in the last round (but as we finished 4 games behind them they may have had the cue in the rack).
    The “Tokyo” Egawa dancers look a bit Philipino bar girlish to my eye. Will ask George Christensen to run an expert eye over the pix and report back to Peter Dutton on their temporary visa status.
    The excitement of the day was the Umpires number going up on the scoreboard a half hour before the bounce. Pretty fair list of whistle blowers and I’d take any of them flying solo rather than the gaggle of maggots we get today. (Other than DLP State Secretary and lead wowser Mark Posa – pop always wanted to go home early if his number came up as umpiring Torrens games).
    The Adelaide nags of the era always throw up some class. Steel Helmet was a flying machine that unfortunately went up against Vain when it went to Melbourne. Kiltrice won a Goodwood Handicap in ’64 – the premier SA sprint. Gatum Gatum won the ’63 Melbourne Cup trained by Grahame Heagney who also trained Tobin Bronze the greatest WFA horse of the 60’s.
    The needy and the greedy explains why these former greats are still going around against plodders years later. What else do you do with an elderly gelding? I’ll find out shortly if the Avenging Eagle sees me researching old race form.

  7. Peter, you’re bring up the name of Mark Posa brings back memories to me. Us Norwood supporters also thought poorly of him. I well remember a game against South Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval. From memory South won (just) mainly because of some very dubious decisions or lack there of. Immediately after the match “Gentleman John” Wynne removed one of his boots and chased after Posa brandishing it at him. Ah memories.

  8. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks for all of your enthusiastic responses.

    Just a few years before Teaser’s Newmarket, Dave.

    Imagine if Ron never saw it, ‘Book. Dan Russell did quite a few others around that time, such as Bob Simunsen and Paul Bagshaw, but they weren’t as “cartoony”

    I think it also wiggled Smokie.

    His fairness was invariably mentioned when he was being written about Daryl.

    You probably saw more of him than anyone else in these pages Fisho.

    Ahh PB. Your breakfast sounds exactly like mine until recently. I didn’t give the nags my usual deep perusal, but I’m annoyed that I overlooked Gatum Gatum. I can do without the reminders about being neutered though.

  9. Thanks Swish. I flicked the article onto my dad, who sent me this response (he played at Norf with Graham Farrell and Bob Gilmore etc):

    “Thanks for these articles. Many memories flood in after reading Graham’s story .

    He was one of those sports people who was good at any sport he chose to play . The other great thing about Graham he was never any different regardless of his ability .

    Interesting history of how he got to play football and I remember him and i discussing this very point a few days before he died . It was the Francous father who saw Graham kicking a footy at the Blackfriars school oval and talked him into coming to train with the North Colts .

    I am sure Bob Gilborne will be interested in the history as it was all around the same time . I will send it across to him and he can move it around to some of the old North boys .

    You may not know that Graham and I represented North at the state colts on two occasions and he was voted BOG and I was number two . I remember that he won a kit bag and I won a thermos . On one other occasion I won a set of coloured aluminium cups but I cant remember what Graham won .”

  10. What a time capsule, thanks for guiding us through it Swish. My favourite things here are the cartoon mascots, those are top drawer, and Murex (A’Asia) generously shelling out for the headline HELP CRIPPLED CHILDREN! And Fitch the Rubber Man. Ok, too many favourites to list. The Druids slugger – maybe he’s following through a big homer?

  11. Peter_B I was curious enough about the Maughan Thiem name to chase it up. Exhaustive /ing info here about the early days of SA motoring. Pun unintended.

  12. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Rabs, had no idea about your Dad’s time up the road.

    Chris, they didn’t have as much female foot traffic when they were called Fitch The Rubbers Man. And thanks for the MT research.

  13. I want a return of single wicket cricket.

    Imagine Richard Hadlee, Botham, Imran Khan and kapil dev and Malcolm Marshall playing a single wicket tournament for say half a million.

  14. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks Phil. Can anyone explain the difference between single and double wicket cricket apart from the obvious?

    Norwood also held a Double Wicket comp in 1968. Mouth-watering details are here (probably not for half a million though).

  15. Vague memory that in single wicket cricket you bowled and batted alone (with a runner). Double wicket was teams of 2 and if one got out the other continued to bat – returning to the other end after 1’s; 3’s and end of overs to face up. Dismissed batter became just a runner. (Not that I’d rely on my memory from Norwood in 1968 but that is how I think it worked. Can anyone help with where I’ve left my glasses?)

  16. It is a different era in 1966. The called the reserves the second eighteen and some of the phone numbers only had five digits!
    Thanks for this article Swish.
    Are you collecting these to pass them onto the State Library?

Leave a Comment