The Old Footy Record: What do you know about this match?

Almanac regular Pam Sherpa has sent in these interesting images of an old footy record given to her father.


We are seeking help from our reading public for any information about this particular game which at the time would  have been a very big event for the town of Rochester.


From the record it is obvious  this match was something very special indeed, especially when you consider the names of some of the footballers listed. There are some very famous and prominent VFL footballers of the time playing in this match, with many of them at the early stages of their illustrious careers. Just look at those names: John Coleman, Bill Hutchinson, Ted Whitten, and Jack Collins to name a few, all great stars.


As can be seen by the date of the record, the match was played at the end of the VFL season after the finals of that year. One would suggest it was a real feather in the cap of the organisers to obtain players of such calibre as they did, again indicates, the special nature and perhaps importance of the game.



I wonder how much the chemist paid for the advertising rights on the front page?



The Hastings team includes Essendon players, assumedly  organised by ex-Hastings player, and fellow Essendon teammate John Coleman.




The Rochester team includes Footscray VFL players, and George Goninon from Geelong.



And, of course, don’t forget the Ladies stall for those treats!


The following article appeared in  The Herald on the 13th September 1952, pg19 

Hastings Football Club, led by champion goal-kicker John Coleman will play Rochester at Rochester on October 4 in aid of the local hospital. In the Hastings side will be Essendon players Hutchison, McDonald, Bigelow and Syme. Rochester will be led by former Footscray captain Harry Hickey and will field five Footscray players. 

(Many thanks to Swish Schwerdt for the above information)


Read the second part of this story HERE


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  1. Shane John Backx says

    I wonder what the scores and goalkickers etc were. They must be in a paper at the State Library surely

  2. Ross Treverton says

    Hi Pam. Never heard of this match before but it sounds like a beauty! The man to speak to is Vic Jeremiah who has been the historian for the Hastings FC for as long as anyone can remember. He is a fountain of knowledge on all things HFC and l’m sure he would be happy to assist. Just contact the club and they will give you his details. Cheers. Ross

  3. Pamela Sherpa says

    Thanks Ross, and Shane. I’d certainly like to find out more about this match.

  4. A wonderful find Pam.
    I notice that George Goninon is listed in the “Locals” and recorded as winner of the goal kicking the year before in 1941. This is correct excepting that in more modern times John Colemam is listed as winner of The John Coleman Medal for goal kicking in the 1951 season. The “Coleman” goal kicking does not include the finals. George Goninon kicked the most goals in the season including the finals in which he kicked 11 gaols in the semi final against Collingwood. George missed the first three games of this season and so played the same number of games as Coleman. So he kicked more gaols that year than Coleman in an equal number of games played for the year. George Goninon is the first VFL Full Forward to kick the drop punt as his major kick for goal followed second by the Great Peter McKenna.

    Stab Punt Jim

    Stab punt jim

  5. Peter Clark says

    Reflecting on the Rochester v Hastings game in 1952, provides a nostalgic view of country football in that era. Imagine a game played at the end of the 2019 season at Rochester in support of the local hospital and football clubs, with players of the ilk – Dangerfield, Riewoldt, Cripps, Moore etc – taking part side-by-side with the best locals players. Unfortunately football is too regimented and AFL-centric these days for such a possibility to occur. Old footy records certainly make interesting reading and are valuable sources of footy history. I have one from the Bendigo League v Ovens and Murray League played at Echuca in 1953 to celebrate the coronation of the Queen. Several of the local Rochester boys, who played in the Hastings game, appeared in the Bendigo League team that day (D. McGillivray, Simmie, Zegelin, O’Brien).

  6. Pamela Sherpa says

    Hi Peter, there certainly was a connection between country and city football clubs and players back then.
    I have old records of the Bendigo League from 1951 and 52 . The social events and off field activities are well mentioned, giving an insight into life at the time.

  7. Dr Rocket says

    Wonderful stuff.

    Presumably #1 for Rochy was then Echuca captain-coach Jim “‘Racehorse” Clark.
    Would have been good to see him wearing red & black!
    It was great to have him come and coach Rochester in the first year back in the GVL in 1973.
    He knew his way around the ground – “Moving guernsey gets its!” was his cry at training.

    Arguably no bigger name ever in the game than John Coleman.
    How gracious and community-minded he was to play.
    He was, of course, from Hastings.

  8. Francis De La Haye says

    My Father Les De La Haye played in this game. i have a copy of the Hastings team photo from this game.

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