The old South Purrumbete ground

Almanackers Luke Reynolds and Andrew Fithall take us back to the old South Purrumbete footy ground, in south-west Victoria. Long grass, abandoned changerooms, an impromptu trotting track. And memories of the Panthers’ 1973 premiership. Pop in and visit if you wish, via Scoreboard Pressure:


About Vin Maskell

Founder and editor of Stereo Stories, a partner site of The Footy Almanac. Likes a gentle kick of the footy on a Sunday morning, when his back's not playing up. Been known to take a more than keen interest in scoreboards - the older the better.


  1. Skip of Skipton says

    Are you getting fair dinkum now with the scoreboard archaeology?

    I have lived in the south-west of Victoria for the last 31 years and I have never heard of South Purrumbete. And golf at Beeac? This is some sort of hoax!

  2. Luke Reynolds says

    While never a great facility, very sad to see it in it’s current state.

    Skip, the Beeac course has gone from sand scrapes to synthetic to the newly installed grass greens. Not the best course in Summer, do yourself a favour and check it out in winter.

    Well done to Vin and Andrew for their work on this. I just submitted a few photos. Very many former South Purrumbete people have enjoyed this.

  3. Neil Anderson says

    Great to hear stories about places ‘just down the road’ from my place Luke.
    My wife ( your ex-teacher ) often talks about the Purrumbete Homestead and its history rather than the South Purrumbete footy ground for some reason. I guess some people have different interests.
    You may not have mentioned it out of modesty but I see you are lining up with Pomborneit to take on the mighty Mortlake Cats in the cricket grand-final after a partial wash-out last Saturday. So best of luck with that one.

  4. I always get a little melancholic passing a footy/cricket oval that’s gone to seed. It’s the ghost of a community that was once thriving. Sad to see it happen to South Purrambete. On grounds out your way, Luke, I passed through Colac a month or so back and noted this incredible oval a few K’s down the road from Pomborneit. It was in the middle of nowhere, with an eye catching amount of sponsors signage on its fences and had beautiful manicured turf. It was no less than a field of dreams! I thought. this can’t be little Pomborneit’s ground can it? But is it?

  5. Luke Reynolds says

    Thanks Neil. The game is very evenly poised going into tomorrow. The Purrumbete Homestead is a beautiful place with a very interesting history, just not footy or cricket history sadly!

    T-Bone that is indeed the Pomborneit Recreation Reserve you drove past. We’re very proud of it. If there’s a game on next time you go past, make sure you call in!

  6. Wow Luke. You must feel like Kevin Costner every time you walk out on it. You Pomborneit folk can be very proud of it. It’s a stunning ground and per capita, you’ve got the Adelaide oval and Chesterfield in Derbyshire beat for a picturesque setting … but that’s per capita of course! Will certainly call in if I pass when a game’s on next time (and often drive to Grampians or Warnambool, so that’s a big chance.)

  7. Glen Potter says

    Super work with your research on South Purrumbete. Very impressive.
    Reading Neil’s comment on this thread, I had to some homework. My investigative skills (trawling through My Cricket), reveal a sorry tale for Pomberneit CC – commiserations.

  8. Luke Reynolds says

    Thanks Glen. Very hard to take losing the GF. Not long home from the ‘commiserations’.

  9. Colin Ritchie says

    Drove past the South Purrumbete footy ground every day during the school year on my way to my job as a teacher at Cobden Primary School for ten years. I always gave a sideways glance as I went past the ground remembering watching my dad play there for the Imps against SP in the early 60’s. Dad was around 40 then and at the end of his career and it was one of the very few games I saw him play, I remember him taking a mark and kicking a long torpedo for a goal up the hill!

  10. Neil Anderson says

    Went past the Pomborneit ground last Thursday on my way to Colac Luke. Also thought of you when I saw the sign to Kolalah and Purrembete near the Stoneyford turnoff I think.
    It’s amazing how many other people now look out for your stomping- ground after your stories in the Almanac.
    There was a picture in the Mortlake Dispatch the other day of the Mortlake cricket team lining up for season 2015 looking very confident, so they might be the team for you to beat again.

  11. Malcolm Rulebook Ashwood says

    Thanks Vin and Luke while it is sad to watch a oval and it’s history gradually erode away thank you for grabbing a piece of the clubs history . How ironic that there was a award for most unselfish player and the winner wishing to disqualify himself for being captain geez more than a few current players could learn about leadership and setting the example from , Jack !

  12. Peter Fuller says

    I note that the unselfish C. Fithall had (at least) two score assists – in modern parlance – mentioned in the account of the 1973 GF. I’m sure that characteristic runs in the family, Andrew.

  13. Luke Reynolds says

    Colin, would have been a decent kick up the hill! I reckon much of the traffic that goes past nowdays wouldn’t know it as a football ground.

    Neil, call in to the cricket club next time you go past. If there’s anyone there chances are it will include me. Mortlake CC have every right to look confident, once again the team to beat. We’ve lost a couple of good players so the rest of us will need to lift to challenge again.

    Malcolm & Peter- J.McCowan & C.Fithall obviously very fine men. Malcolm it’s nice to be able to record a bit of club’s history here, having folded in 1999 there’s very little online.

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