Wool Team: Nominations from Western Australia

The South Australian squad got a nice kickalong at Burra.

The Western Australian squad can be enhanced I am sure.

Here’s the nominations we have so far:


Mark Bairstow

Johnny and Norm Dennis

Ross Ditchburn

John Ditchburn

Billy Duckworth (and brothers)

Scott Edwards

Buddy Franklin’s Dad

Nathan Fyfe

Daniel Chick

Darren Glass

The Goodings boys

The Krakouers – Jim, Phil, Billy, Eric, Andrew

Justin Longmuir

The Materas

Stephen Michael

Alan Mycock

Vern Orr

Gary Pope

Ron Quartermaine

Stretch Sandilands

Billy Walker

Neil Williams

Nicky Winmar

Clinton Wolf



About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and footyalmanac.com.au. He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears (appeared?) on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three school-age kids - Theo, Anna, Evie. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst four. His ambition was to lunch for Australia but it clashed with his other ambition - to shoot his age.


  1. What about Graham Farmer and Jeff Farmer. Not to mention Barry Cable and Keith Miller. Perchance Keith Doncon. The problem with naming WA wheat and wool district footballers is that you eastern seaboarders have a very blinkered view of footy. If it’s not in Victoria it doesn’t exist. So sad, too bad.

  2. Hi Stuart.

    The Almanac wants as much input as possible as we can get on the W.A Wool team. John even says ‘the WA squad can be enhanced, I’m sure’. No one here claims to be an expert on all things WA footy. Eastern seaboard has nothing to do with it.

    We’ll consider Polly, Jeff, K Miller and Keith Doncon nominated then?

  3. Sean Gorman says

    I have no reference that Polly Farmer spent anytime in the country let alone a sheering team, The Wiz lived in Tambellup and had a great deal of relos who did (association?). Keith Doncon was a cocky from Wickepin so fair cop as for Keith no idea.

    Cabes was an apprentice butcher, does that qualify? Would not have thought so.

  4. Paul Roberts says

    The Heywood brothers, three of them, were the pioneers. They joined Claremont and South Fremantle a year or so after Pastor Doug joined VFL. They may have come from Gnowangerup in the Great Southern, not sure. They were champion players of the Depression years.

    Ted Kilmurray was a brilliant long-term player for East Perth. I think he played for WA and scored huge votes in The Sandover Medal. Don’t think he won one, but he may have. He was Polly Farmer’s best mate at Sister Kate’s Home, a stolen generation institution. Not sure where Ted was born.

    Derek and Dale Kickett were brought up in Tammin, a tiny town in the wheatbelt, east of Northam. Each was a superb player and neither could be left out of this team: they ought to be among the first chosen. Polly and TI (Stephen Michael) would be first chosen, in my opinion but the Kicketts ought to be up there. Keith Doncon is largely forgotten but I think he should be in it, too. He was a terrific, tough rover and if he didn’t beat them at footy he’d thrash them at bowls.

    Syd Jackson was born in the goldfields

  5. Pottering says

    Barry Cable from Narrogin should be Captain.

  6. I earned my first pay cheque from gathering up scraps of wool in the skin shed on the outskirts of Kalgoorlie-Boulder on the Everett Bros Butchers land. Filled a wool bag and it was sold at auction for $50.

    I reckon that makes me more qualified than many of the names put forward here. And I would have been a champion footballer if I hadn’t been so dedicated to work.

    John Todd was a butcher… put him in with Cabes.

    Keith Doncon was a gem. Probable has a sheep-wheat property.

    Paul, those ground-breaking brothers were the Haywards. Might have come from Katanning but could be Gnowangerup.

  7. I have no idea if these guy fit the ‘wool’ team definition but they do hail from country WA and were great players in their era:

    Lindsay Richards, late 20s, East Freo (from Boulder)
    Keith Hough, late 20s, Claremont (from Bunbury)
    Jim Sewell, late 70s, East Freo (from Geraldton)
    Brian Sarre, 60s, Subi (from Albany)

    and even Tom Outridge, even though he’s from Ballarat, he made his name in the WAFL

  8. Lin “Blue” Richards was a friend of my uncle Keith “Muscles” Everett. Keith was a butcher. Thus Lin, a Sandover Medal winner (1931), who also played for South Melbourne (three losing GFs), is qualified.

    I think we need to tighten eligibility… for the WA wool squad.
    1. Lived in , or visited, the country.
    2. Was, or knew, a butcher.
    Open for debate…
    3. Wore a wool jumper.
    Other possibilities…
    4. Shearer
    5. Wool classer or roustabout or whatever Sean Gorman used to do.
    6. Sheep farmer.
    7. Jenny Kee

  9. Tim Cusack says

    Keith Miller, Billy Walker, Frank Copemans, Brian Currie

  10. You cannot go past Billy Walker
    He won 4 Sandover medals and beat Cable three years in a row by one vote
    No wonder Cable went to a weaker competition
    Worked on his family sheep and wheat farm at Narembeen and traveled to train at Swan Districts, a lazy 3 hours each way to start his WAFL career
    Mind you ,he was born in New Zealand

  11. sean gorman says

    Aahem Les – I used to do a little as possible…..Jenny Kee V good. I will raise you a peter russell clark…..

  12. Ron Boucher deserves a guernsey too. From North Albany where his family still run sheep, he played for Swan Districts. At 192cm and 102 kg, he was a big reason for Swans success in the late 70s/early 80s. Clashed with Graham Moss quite successfully
    A friend once saw him restrain a horse being uncontrolled by four people by slipping his arm around its neck

  13. Neil Belford says

    What about

    Harry Taylor
    Paul Hazelby
    Jamie Cripps
    Daniel Chick
    Josh Kennedy
    Andrew Lockyer
    Patrick Ryder
    Chris Mainwaring
    Edith Cowan
    Randolph Stow
    Jaeger O’Meara

  14. You’re captain Neil. You studied harder than Buckenara that’s why he only became a footballer.

    Alec Epis used to work in my dad’s butcher shop… he’s IN.

    And Paul Hasleby once had a dog called Chops cos he (Paul, not the the dog*) loved lamb chops. And his family hardware shop in Northampton is famous and probably sold stuff to shearers and sheep farmers and sheep. IN

    I’ve got a photo of Stephen O’Reilly sitting on a wool bale and he came from Esperance. IN

    * Chops probably did like lamb chops but not as much as Paul.

  15. Sean Gorman says

    Neil D. Chick would not know one end of a hogget from another. I say Haselby out and Chops in – I am assuming Les he is a red cloud kelpie? Might need a yard dog to get those red eyes into the catching pen. Sheepo*

    *This is the general request of said shearer whose supply of wooly clients has diminished. A manly ‘Sheepo’ will see the presser (the laziest and best paid in the shed) to avail himself to the cajole said red eye into the catching pen by any means possible. My technique was to whistle and gesticulate but failing that swearing at them worked. Except for the ewes. Very hard to persuade at the best of times.

  16. Don Jackson. Played for Subiaco FC in the 1950s. A well known country footballer in the South West and renowned Studmaster. Currently 83 and still taking every opportunity to “play with wool”.
    Neil Jackson. Played for West Perth FC 1988 1989. Collie FC Fairest & Best. Successful WA stud master until sale of the stud in 2009. Currently a large commercial wool grower. State squad member in 1988, and numerous state country squads.
    The Sunny Valley brand of wool is one of the most successful wool exhibits over the history of the Perth Royal Show, In particular with respect to winning Supreme Fleece.

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