SANFL 1970 Grand Final – Sturt v Glenelg: A Fistful Of Flags





Firstly my thanks to Phil Daly who sent this Budget my way, accompanied by a lovingly maintained Sturt 1970 team poster which took pride of place on his bedroom wall for many years. His grandfather, father and older brother all attended the game.





The 1970 Grand Final Budget featured Sturt skipper Bob Shearman on the Double Blues themed (and undated) front cover. Action photos from the 1969 Grand Final, also between these Sturt and Glenelg, complete this simple layout.


Sturt were way in front of the competition for most of the 1970 season, undefeated until losing their last three minor round games to Port, Glenelg and West Adelaide. This allowed Port to take the minor premiership with only two losses (to Sturt and Norwood) and a last round draw with the Redlegs.


North Adelaide were on the rise under new coach Mike Patterson, taking third spot with Rooster Barrie Robran winning his second Magarey Medal. Neil Kerley’s Tigers did not fare as well as they had in 1969 during the minor round. They were fortunate to take fourth spot narrowly, needing Port to not lose against Norwood in the final round.


Finals time was a different matter. Glenelg held off North Adelaide in the first semi-final and Sturt easily accounted for Port the next week.


Despite kicking inaccurately, Glenelg knocked the Magpies out in the preliminary final, continuing the dismal Port Septembers of recent years. The 1970 decider would either see Sturt notch its fifth successive flag or be Glenelg’s first since 1934.






Stop for a Stanley






Sturt’s stability under Jack Oatey is evident. The recent loss of players such as Clarkson was covered by Wild and Ottens and the centre line of Clarke, Shearman and Hicks had endured through all of Sturt’s four consecutive flags in the 1960s.


How nimble are mountain goats Peter Marker?






Smokes made you richer and more attractive apparently, although I don’t remember John-Claude Killy in the Chamrousse giant slalom having a dart lodged in the corner of his mouth, nor Jack Brabham at Silverstone.








These economically written pars contain a wealth of detail although some exposition about Peter Endersbee’s hair length anguish would be welcome.







Former Adelaide Uni Blacks dual flag players Sandland and Hockridge were welcome additions to the Glenelg ranks.






Afternoon paper The News had a highly regarded roster of footy scribes and Noel Teasdale. Every suburban school student paid a visit to the Coke factory on Port Road, Thebarton at some point in their schooling.






Graham Reed was one of the best known of the Bulldog breed, playing 104 games for the Centrals senior side before moving to Sturt in 1978. Bill Cochrane played for SA against the Big V in 1974 and also captained the club. John ‘Spog’ Wyley was the Thirds comp’s top goalkicker (and I saw his 100th goal at Elizabeth Oval a few weeks before). Radish Prior was the older brother of Wayne ‘Fang’ Prior and Mark Prior, the latter a fixture across half-back at Elizabeth in the 1980s. Tom Zorich is well known in SA business circles.


Port’s Brian ‘Bucky’ Cunningham and Chris Natt had lengthy league careers, with Cunningham becoming club CEO. Ray Hayes was a feared enforcer for Port then West Adelaide. Jeff Ebert, brother of Russell, ventured to Queensland after making one senior appearance for the Magpies, winning the QAFL’s Grogan Medal in 1974. Tony Hobby was an assistant coach and long-time board member at Port after his brief league career.


The Bulldogs were victors.






Jack Oatey would add three more flags to his mammoth career haul.


Kerls was of course no slouch, coaching his and Glenelg’s next premiership in 1973, another premiership at West in 1983 and eventually collecting more SANFL clubs than Kel Nagle.


Five blow-in coaches were at the helm, but only Patterson achieved the ultimate result, taking out the next two SANFL flags and the 1972 Champions of Australia. Jones stopped Oatey’s run when Centrals made the finals in 1971, while Weideman and Birt had coached against each other in the 1969 finals. Teasdale was available for commentary duties each September.






The Bank of Adelaide’s associated finance arm brought its parent undone and ANZ subsumed the 3A bank in 1979. History would repeat with the State Bank in the early ’90s in even direr straits.






Jack Brabham was still one of Australian sport’s big names in 1970, but his exploits seem to have faded in the years since.






Norwood always seemed to do well in the dew-kickers. Rod Seekamp (’75) and Ian Stasinowski (’78) would become senior premiership players. John Menz who was the 1970 Seconds Magarey Medalist (tying with Port’s John Baruzzi), played over 100 games at both league and reserves level. John Nash was a solid first-class cricketer for SA across ten years.


Many of the Rooster twosters would play in a senior flag or two imminently, namely Terry von Bertouch, Kevin Barr, Barry Hearl, John Plummer, Rodney Robran, Mike Patterson, David Marsh and Dennis Sachse. Rob O’Shannassy also represented SA at first-class level in the summer game.


The winners were Norwood 14.10 to North’s 8.14.


No-one liked Gibbs Pies, but Adelaide Oval insisted on foisting them upon us.






The Wills Champion Kick was a big deal and was shown on Channel Seven’s World of Sport during the season. Mick Daly put in a huge effort to knock off Bob Shearman in the early rounds.


Colin Tully from Collingwood won the National title in 1970. Bob Shearman took out the 1971 National Competition.






Channel Nine’s wall-to-wall coverage was eagerly consumed by most footy fans, but this feeble collection of pars could have done with a bit more work.






The four-time reigning premiers left out John Kalleske, Trevor Clarke, Neil Goldsworthy, John Hill, Dennis Elliott and Gordon Whittaker. Mike Nunan and Peter Yeo were Sturt’s reserves.


Jim Rawson and Bob Anesbury were on the Bays’ bench. Omitted from the published list were Ted Osborn, Wayne Fitzgerald, Michael Fitzgerald, John Goldfinch, Robert Whittaker, Dennis Eblen, Colin Mason, Bill Ward, Rick Morgan and Neil Worthley.






AV Jennings is still going, but Head Office is no longer on the corner of Springvale and Wellington Roads Mulgrave, just west of VFL Park.






1965 was Port’s last flag until 1977. Doc Clarkson looked ungainly but was very effective and was yet another (triple) Blacks premiership player who went on to League ranks.






The Roosters were still thereabouts after the 1960 premiership, but more good times were just around the corner. By 1970, Bob Hammond was the only player still going around for North, although 1960 Magarey Medalist Barrie Barbary was at Woodvile, playing his final season. Rover Barry Potts kicked half of North’s majors, got the BOG nod (albeit spelt incorrectly) but is not mentioned in the write up.






West Adelaide was not in good shape in the lower grades and remained this way for over a decade.


I don’t think that quote attributed to the former ‘Pecker Barry Ion was a euphemism.






Nothing remarkable about the races at the Park, unless you include Bogan Cloud carrying 11st 11lb to a fifteen length win in the Steeple at the juicy odds of evens.


Murray Ducker, footy’s favourite pharmacist, oversaw his second Grand Final; he hung up the Acme Thunderer with six Grand Finals.






Peter Marker was a future State captain, premiership captain and formed a very much loved commentary team with Ian Day once he retired from the sport.






Forget your Hills Hoist, your penicillin, your wireless technology, your stump jump-ploughs or your frog cakes, the Iced Beer Pack/Litter Bag was the height of South Australian ingenuity.






Names to make a Croweater swoon with delight.






I still love getting the train to the footy.


Plastic Commonwealth Bank elephant badges adorned in club colours are hard to come by these days.






If they gave out retrospective Jack Oatey Medals, would the 1955 one have been given to Fos Williams?






The good old ABC. I only learned in recent years that Noel Bailey came from Victoria.


Was Black Aurora like the Black Fruit Pastille?






This article omitted Jack Tredrea and (most likely) Dinnie Reedman from the list of 200 Club members, although this was subsequently remedied in Tredrea’s case in future years.






Barrie Robran, football’s milkman of human brilliance, didn’t need to be explicitly named here. Who knows what the ‘new Milk Diet’ included?


The ‘self-assemble concrete mixer’ – the machine you’ve waited for(?)






Footy was really just a front for Big Tobacco, wasn’t it?


Good riddance mate.






Channel 10 had the crucial 9:00am Saturday morning footy timeslot all sewn up. What with kids sport and grocery shopping, I’d be surprised if anyone switched it on, unless there was an urgent need to get the latest on ‘league policy’.






It would have been a better idea to include the grounds and attendances here.






This NHSA/Druids ad ran for years.






From the top, left to right: Neil Kerley, Peter Darley, Murray Weideman, Mike Patterson, Alan Crabb, Fos Williams, Doug Thomas, Geoff Kingston, Geof Motley, Gordon Schwartz



The Match

Heavy overnight rain persisted throughout the day and umbrellas were a necessity for those not ensconced in the George Giffen, Mostyn Evan, Edwin Smith or John Crewell Stands. Too bad for those who waited outside the ground overnight, hoping for a good seat on the fence. If you were a follower of the Double Blues, you would have seen the culmination of Sturt’s fistful of flags.


Sturt’s website includes this report lauding the club’s superb run of premierships.


Match Report
FIVE IN A ROW – The day before the match was beautiful and sunny, but at 4.00am thick black clouds moved in over Adelaide Oval and rain began to bucket down and it never stopped. Glenelg handled the wet and boggy conditions better than the Blues in the first quarter and led by 14 points at the first break. Sturt came back in the second quarter kicking 3.2 to the Tigers 1.2 with Malcolm Greenslade kicking all 3 of the Blues goals and at half time the lead was reduced to 2 points.


At half time Jack Oatey made a number of positional changes and the Blues then gained control of the match in the third quarter, kicking 4.4 to 1.2 and in front by 18 points at the last change. Considering the wet conditions it looked very much like it would be five in a row for the Double Blues, but Glenelg fought out the last quarter, but just couldn’t reduce the margin and with Sturt scoring 4.3 to the Tigers 4 straight goals the Blues ground out a 21 point win.


Better players were big game performer Paul Bagshaw who was best on ground, full forward Malcolm Greenslade with 6 goals, rover Roger Rigney, Peter Endersbee in the forward pocket and on the ball along with back pocket Brenton Adcock.


The ABC telecast is worth a viewing.






The Glenelg history site has a comprehensive store of Tiger tales including this record of the 1970 season and the Grand Final in particular.


Articles covering Sturt’s 1966-1969 flags are available below.



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

SANFL 1967 Grand Final – Sturt v Port Adelaide: Back To Back Blues

1968 SANFL Grand Final – Sturt v Port Adelaide: Triple Threats

1969 SANFL Grand Final – Sturt v Glenelg: A Greenslide





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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. Chris WILSON says

    Thanks for another classic from my teen years! I remember standing in front of the temporary stand getting saturated!

  2. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    I think you had plenty of wet mates that year Chris. The SANFL gave past Magarey Medallists free reserved seats that year, but unfortunately they were out in the open in front of the Members.

    These came from Facebook

    Graeme Adams
    My memories of the 1970 GF was the weather. The day before was a beautiful day, so a mate and I decided to sleep overnight. All we had were our school uniforms and a couple of flimsy mattresses my mate’s dad dropped off. It was going well until about 2am I saw some heavy cloud gathering over the Cresswell stand, by 4am the heavens opened up and never stopped. My mother and sister joined us later on, we were soaked. When my mate’s dad came to pick up the mattresses, my mate went home with him. My sister’s boyfriend was playing for Central in the U19s, and she went home at the end of that game. Mum and I stuck around to watch Norwood win the Reserves and that was it for me. Had I stuck it out for the League I doubt I’d be here to tell the story. I was frozen. As we were leaving, I remember a group of guys dressed only in shorts with a carton of long neck beers that had been destroyed by rain. They were cheering as each person decided to leave. I wonder how many of the official attendance actually saw the game.

    Derek Grove
    My mate and I stuck it out on the mound that day.
    After half time, we started sinking into the mud, so gathered up a few solid metal beer cans – as they were back then – and belted them into the mud as a platform. Worked a treat!
    Greenslade kicked 6 in the bog that day and Tilbrook kicked 2 / 60metre torp goals with a wet, heavy ball….the second one in the final quarter sealed the game for the mighty blues.

  3. Thanks Swish. I reckon Paul Bagshaw was my first footballing hero. His poise was utterly compelling. I remember encountering M. Greenslade as he sought and received the attention of all 800 kids in the Unley High gym when I was there as a student teacher. He scared me too!

    How good is the ad for a cement mixer?

  4. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Mickey – I must rustle up Baggy’s ad for King Gee overalls. I reckon he’d know the correct end of a cement mixer.

  5. Mark Duffett says

    Trust British Paints? Hell, no.

  6. Thanks Swish and Phil for the loving reproduction and preservation of a wonderful era. I could go on for pages (as has been noted) about the memories of times, people and places (well beyond footy) that it provokes.
    My immediate reaction when I think of Sturt in the Jack Oatey era is the “beautiful game”, in much the same way as Dutch football of the same era. Paul Bagshaw as a working man’s Johann Cruyff. Peter Endersbee (footy’s first long haired ‘hippie’?) kicking amazing check side goals from the forward pocket boundaries (bananas are for monkeys and Victorians).
    The handball, run and flow of Sturt was the prelude to Barassi’s “handball” mantra in the second half of the 1970 VFL GF that destroyed Collingwood. Victoria always had the muscle and money – SA the creative artists (we know how that always ends in tears).
    Went back through my finals history – went 63 (age 8) to see Torrens go out in narrow straight sets in Second Semi & PF. Tears – no GF. First was South’s bottom to top over Port in 64, then to Sturt narrow loss in 65 before we moved to the country. Went to 72 North and the epic Glenelg steal in 73 (in my top 10 games seen). Went to the first Footy Park GF in 74 when Sturt beat the Bays – my last. Seen 3 AFL in the flesh – 83 as a neutral (shit game Hawks flogged Dons). 05 shittier – Eagles narrow loss – not brave enough to go back for 06. 2018 – hooray – quit while I’m ahead.
    Loved the personalised touch of your Bobby Gibson and Kel Nagle references – appreciated.
    Odd names I remember – Dennis Eblen omitted from the final Glenelg side was a ruckman from Loxton – would have played a lot against Malcolm Hill at Berri. He must have been disappointed not to get Jack’s phone call in 1970.

  7. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Correct weight Mark D.

    Thanks PB – whenever I write these, I ask “What would PB like to see?”

  8. James Woodroffe says

    G’day Swish,
    this was a great read. I’m currently in the process of working on a project that will either be a YouTube channel or a podcast on the history and legacy of the state leagues before the advent of the AFL.
    Would you mind if I used some of the photos and the information from your piece whilst I continue to research this project?
    James Woodroffe.

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