Thursday, 23 May 2013

Half a Century Ago with the VSF Year Book

Not sure what Sgt.Pepper was doing fifty years ago today, but if he was in Melbourne he may have been flicking through the 1963 VSF Year Book if he was looking for a game to play. The cover can be seen on the background image of the blog, and now I will run you through the contents.

 The Official Year Book of the VSF in 1963 was a pocket sized affair, measuring 10.5 centimetres by 13.5 centimetres. A pale blue cardboard cover featured an emblem of ye olde soccer ball with a crown on top supported by a lion on the left and a kangaroo on the right.
The inside cover was an advertisement for Ampol Services Stations, sponsors of the NIGHT SOCCER CUP. The cover was repeated again on page 3, and I note the cost of the publication was 2/6. Two sixths of what you may ask, but I believe it to be two shillings and six pence whatever they are.

Blank pages flanked an index page, before page 5 began a two page President's Message from Australian Soccer Federation President W.G.Walkley, C.B.E. He paid tribute to the late Victorian Chairman, Dr Harry Seamonds and reflected on the growth of soccer in Victoria, also commending the President Mr Harry Dockerty ('a remarkable man') and the incoming Chairman, Theo Marmaras. He praised the acquisition of Soccer House and developing Olympic Park as the centre of the code. In his second page he expressed hope for a settlement in the dispute with F.I.F.A.

Next came the names and addresses of the Executive Members of the VSF (Mamaras lived in Elsternwick) and those of the Secretaries of the respective State Federations. More names and addresses followed, those of the State League Council, Metropolitan Members, Junior Delegate and State and Metropolitan League Management Committees. Then came the same information on all the Club Secretaries.

Reminders to Clubs: All matches must commence no later than 2.45 p.m. Referees must be paid prior to commencement of match. Blah blah blah from S.BEATON, Secretary-Manager, V.S.F.

Then came the Club Directories. The State League featured Croatia (Situation of Ground:- Maribyrnong Tracy's Speedway), George Cross (Heidelberg), Hakoah (Hakoah-South Melb.Hellas, oval No.17 Albert Park, Lake Road, near Night Golf), J.U.S.T. ("Schintler Reserve", New Footscray Road, West Melbourne), Juventus (Elsternwick Park, Elsternwick), U.S.C. Lions (Montgomery Park, Essendon), Melbourne-Hungaria (Elsternwick Park) Maribyrnong-Polonia (Maribyrnong Speedway), Alemania-Richmond ("Schintler Reserve", New Footscray Road, West Melbourne, just before new overpass bridge), Slavia-Port Melbourne (S.S.Anderson Oval, Murphy reserve, Williamstown Rd, Port Melbourne), South Melbourne-Hellas (Middle Park Oval 18) and Ringwood-Wilhelmina (Jubilee Park, Ringwood. Rielly Street, off Wantirna Road.) I could have thrown a few (sic)'s in there, but it would have gotten confusing.

In the other leagues, Alexander (now Heidelberg United) were at Yarra Bend, behind Fairfield Hospital. Sunshine City were at Gardens Reserve, Anderson Road, Sunshine. Austria were still in Elwood pre-move to Keilor. Dandenong City played at the Dandenong Showgrounds. Oakleigh were at Davis Reserve, Wallace Street, Huntingdale. Sandringham City were, as they are still, at R.J.Stillitoe Reserve, Hampton. My old favourites, Flinders Naval Depot, were playing at Crib Point. Moorabbin City were at Victory Park on Paterson Road. Hercules, the current Northcote City, were at Princess Park Oval 6, which may be sic as well, as it is probably Princes Park.

Then followed the fixtures for 1963 for the State League, First Division North, First Division South, Second Division North, Second Division South and the Second Division Reserves (not all North and South Second Division clubs fielded two teams, so there was a single combined league).

This was followed by results grids for all senior and reserves leagues from 1962, then the results list of the Federation Cup, an ad for Dunklings the Jewellers and then an honours list of the 1962 Champions above the results of the Interstate Championships, won by N.S.W. from Queensland and South Australia with Victoria fourth and last.

The Dockerty Cup ended with two round robin groups of four seeing the top two teams meet in semi-finals before a Final of George Cross 3 Hakoah 0. The group stage ladders of the 1963 Ampol Cup were featured, alongside all the results leading to the Final of Polonia 1 S.M.Hellas 0 (after extra time).

Soccer News was on sale at all grounds for 1/- whatever that thingy meant. One shilling and no pence at all I suppose.

There were results from the 1962 Australia Cup (won by N.S.W. club Yugal) before the list of former Champions and Winners of the Ampol Night Soccer, First Division (1928 being the year of the mighty Naval Depot!), State League Champions, State League Cup, Argus Best and Fairest Medal, Dockerty Cup, Harry Armstrong (Reserves) Cup. Next up the scores of all previous Victoria v N.S.W., Victoria v South Australia and Victoria v Queensland clashes. Finally came the 17 Laws of Soccer.

The inside back cover was an ad for The Sporting Globe, and it's COMPLETE COVERAGE OF SOCCER, here and abroad. Saturday editions featured full cover of all senior local games, and the Wednesday edition contained lists of overseas results and pools dividends. The back cover was and advertisement for the Rebel Sport of the day, London Stores, which also sponsored the "Spotlight On Soccer" segment on radio 3KZ at 7.15 of a Friday evening.

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