SANFL 70s Pen Pix: Sturt v Glenelg 1974

This Budget, from the first Grand Final at Footy Park, was special to me as it was also my first Grand Final. So special that I went through it and coloured in many of the action shots, including the cover. At 14, you’d think I’d have better things to do with my hands.



There is nothing more Sturty than a pair of Rossiters’ Blue Star boots, as modelled by the late Ken Whelan, who topped the League with 108 goals that year. Whelan’s unsuccessful grab at the Ross Faulkner was made easier by Copper Colbey’s failure to address the pill’s location, but tougher by the spoiling efforts of Greg Croser.


From memory, I think the complete text of the banner that ran for about half the circumference of West Lakes read “TREMENDOUS TEAM of TALENTED TENACIOUS TITANIC TERRIFIC TEARAWAY TIGERS“. Sturt’s equivalent may have read “C’MON BLUES”.


The 1974 Player Pen Pix were again prominent.

Here’s Sturt’s (or The Sturts’s’s as many old-timers would have said)


My pre-occupation with occupations leaves no stereotype untouched. The Double Blue-bloods from Oxford Terrace were replete with reminders of their place in Adelaide’s establishment. Men on the land such as Paul “Mr Magic” Bagshaw, Tony Burgan (Pastoralist, no less), Trevor Sims and Urania’s very own E.R. Davies would tend to their crops and herds during the week, choofing up to the big smoke later on. Brenton Adcock tended to leave the Saturday arvo’ inspections to the others, I gather.


They were a learned lot too, with teachers Malcolm Greenslade (who was left out of the final 20), Brenton Miels, Bob Oatey (having left Norwood to play under his father), Mick Nunan and Ken Whelan all wearing the Volleys and whistle combination favoured by high school PE instructors during the week. Students Robbert Klomp and Bruce Winter added to the brains trust.


But the gems lie elsewhere employment-wise. Michael “Flash” Graham wouldn’t have had any trouble with late night fare dodgers and Tony Lloyd almost certainly had a Jimmy Webb 8-track cartridge in the cabin of his ETSA cherry picker (no truth in the rumour that he kept Greg Wild supplied with wire strippers either).


As for Nelson and Casey, expect to hear more of them in a future episode.


However, the prize for the occupation least likely to bob up too many other times in this series goes to Port Macdonnell’s Brendon Howard. Yep, you read it correctly, “Fisherman”.


What about the lairs from the previous season’s flag winners?


Bob “Trigger” Tregenza looked and played like a Meat Processor. But the good folk of Jetty Road could forever forgive the offal smell of his work duds thanks to his epic performance in the ruck in the ’73 Grand Final.


You can just imagine the clobber of many of the Tiges’ vast collection of SA Government clerks. Belted walk shorts, long woollen socks teamed with desert boots and last Christmas’s figure hugging body shirt plus brown paisley tie would have been their default summer setting. Winter might have seen a selection of cardigans, v-necks or v-neck cardigans taken out of the napthalene. (The above dress code may not have applied to “Super” Carey.)


Engineer Tardif and architect Fred Phillis were the token professionals and were seen to be discussing the structural and aesthetic benefits of their reinforced concrete surroundings at the 3/4 time huddle. They both agreed that Footy Park would outlive their grandkids as the SANFL’s venue of choice.


Adelaide’s best dressed (and best spoken) footballer Peter Marker was in high lawyerly demand, mainly commercial stuff, because SA wasn’t exactly a hot-bed of crime back then, was it? It was no coincidence that his locker nail on the wall at Brighton Road was in between Car Salesmen Butch Phillis and Studley Cornes and Constables Osborn and Colbey. A young Paul Weston wondered what his future might hold once his voice broke.


And what’s that I see? More Sports Store salesmen in Hodgeman and Croser. I think I’m seeing a pattern emerging here. Stay tuned.




Sturt won the GF 9.16 to 8.7 despite failing to register a major in the second and third quarters.

Their quota of sporting educators gave them the fitness edge in the last quarter, kicking away against a tired tepid Tigers team of predominantly pen pushers – a fartlek flag indeed.


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. Peter Schumacher says

    Good stuff,

    What gets me, living here in Vic, is that the only footy history that you see relates to old VFL clubs and this includes in particular the FOXTEL coverage where the deeds and history of other state clubs is rarely, if at all, discussed, Why not give some credit where it is due to the footy cultures of the other states. I would love to see old SANFL and WAFL stars interviewed in the same way that VFL stars are.

  2. Note Geoff Lauder got transferred to Wogga for employment the swishcheck passed it

  3. Another great read thanks Swish. Yes I was there too as a neutral supporter. I think I would have still been thinking about what could have been for North that year had B.C. Robran not injured his knee. But back to the pen pics. I don’t recall Peter Marker ever playing as a ruckman or Brenton Miels being 6 foot 6! And poor John Murphy apparently didn’t warrant a job. I know that’s crap cos he used to do a great job of fixing my tyres in his business on Unley Road.

  4. Dave Brown says

    Sure I’ve said it before but 11 or so years later Peter Millard was my school team cricket coach. He seemed taller than 5’9″ and I wouldn’t have described him as slightly built. If you haven’t gone down Main North Road Medindie lately it may interest you to know that Graham Cornes Cars has now become Zooper! Cars Adelaide. It’s only 40 years later…

  5. 14yo Swish and 19yo PB inhabiting the same concrete terraces on the same day. What are the chances? Were you at Globe Derby trots also after the final siren with Crio and I. He would have been grieving his Bay’s loss, but I am sure I would have contributed to his education via his dad’s bag. Small world. Back at the tennis. Impressive lineups. Running the eye down I sensed that Sturt had the edge in experience with a lot of players from the Jack Oatey pentapeat(?) of the late 60’s. Bays under Kerls were the glamour team of the era but some of the fringe players don’t live in my memory as much as the Sturt players (I guess I was over 18 by then so half a dozen Southwark green monster longnecks regularly was already destroying the brain cells).
    Why did sports store entrepreneurs always come in pairs? Rowe and Jarman. Hughes and Loveday. N and C? Did they need someone to mind the till or hold their hand when they went to the bathroom?
    Thanks for the (unreliable) memories Swish. Just like my Hudson/Jezza trick I always put in something to see if the boys are still awake at the back of the class.

  6. Dr Goatboat says

    No Rothman reps…..they were a great employer for a while….maybe phased out by 70s….

  7. Good to see a linesman and an E&WS employee. Web-masters and baristas are a little way off yet in this series. Great to read “key man in the Diamond!”

    Thanks Swish.

  8. Great work Swish. Forced me to dust off my copy of the budget. Inside the back cover you will find a reasonable 7 race card at Cheltenham. A couple of good subsequent broodmares in the first. South Breeze produced a very good mare called Montrose Lass while Romantic Gem threw a VRC Lightning Stakes winner in Demus. Reckon Bottled Sunshine might have won the Derby Trial while Haymaker went on to win the VRC Derby that year.
    I see why you were there. To see Centrals go around in Under 19s GF.

  9. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks fellow appreciators of yesteryear.

    Peter – I’m over here too, just have to make your own fun I guess. You won’t see many old VFL replays on SA local tv screens either.

    Nank – Well spotted. Don’t you hate it when they call Wogga Wogga Wogga?

    Charlie – Murph’s tyre place was an institution, although I preferred Rocca Bros

    Dave – Millard was no dullard then? Keep your eyes peeled for the motor traders edition of this series.

    PB – Likewise re sports stores

    Dr G – I’d say Rothmans were still actively involved in “employing” sportpersons around that time.

    Mickey – I watched much of the last quarter yesterday, diamonds weren’t forever.

    Budge – I love looking at the old race fields and surprise myself with how many I remember (esp if they were ridden by R Cox). One of my first bets was $2 on Goggles in the last at Victoria Park.

  10. Robert Klomp – a 182 cm centre half forward.
    Graham Cornes – 190 cm ruckman.

    It was a different game.

  11. Nelson and Casey Sportstore. They made their money selling used tennis balls that come over the fence onto the footy field from the Sturt Tennis Club at the Edmund Ave End.
    In 1974 Sturts practise would start with them running a lap and then kick for goal for 1/2 an hour. I would fetch the balls that went into the tennis courts and kick them back. The balls were old and waterlogged and half way between an old leather basketball and a football. The practise would end with everyone having to kick a checkside for goal.
    The school teachers would always be there first, particularly Greenslade who taught at Unley High. Tony Burgan always wore his all-australian guernsey at practise!
    Rob Barton was self employed hey? Perhaps he was the first of the true professional players.

  12. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Smokie – Cornes was more your old time Ruck Rover aka Follower

    Smithy – That is possibly the most Sturty comment in Almanac history

  13. Some stars from 73 premiership running around in the reserves including Rex (Noddy) Voigt and Peter Anderson.

  14. I like that they give both metric and imperial measurements.

  15. Marcus Smith says

    Brenton Miels 6ft 6in??

  16. Rulebook says

    Swish v sad how many Sturt players in particular are no longer with us,Greg Wild,Brendon Howard,Brenton Miels and Ken Whelan ( sent thru to Bruce Winter and Graham Cornes as well as putting on SANFl face book pages )

  17. I remember that match well at Footy Park when I was just a 14 year old. My first Sturt premiership seen in person!
    I also remember that Peter Marker lived literally just across the road from me on Grove Street, Unley Park. I really wanted to think of something to do on the Friday that would put him off his game the following day but was too young and timid to come up with anything! Perhaps it was just the negative ‘vibe’ that he picked up on that did the trick but whatever was the reason, I don’t recall him having a particularly impactful match.
    Ahhh…. the memories.

  18. charlie brown says

    I suspect that you don’t have North Adelaide pen pics from that era Swish (!!) but I’m pretty sure John Plummer’s occupation was “butcher”. The only league footballer with that occupation? And why was he not unblocking drains?

  19. Sorry, very late to this one, but seeing the names Fred Phillis, Craig Marriot and Graham Cornes in the one list causes me to ask the trivia question: apart from footy, what (or should that be whom) is the common link between these players?

    Also, apropos the token professional, wasn’t Peter Marker a solicitor (maybe not qualified at that time?)

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