Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Sporting Life's All-Australians

The following piece owes a great deal to George Cotsanis, who is behind the brilliant My World Is Round Facebook page. It began when he went through the memorabilia collection of Moreland legend Eric Heath and discovered a trophy for "All-Australian Selection" in 1952. An accompanying letter revealed the monthly sporting magazine Sporting Life selected a team. He then embarked on a  search of the Sporting Life archives at the MCC Library and uncovered the full set of All-Australian squads for all the football codes between 1947 and 1955.

You will note some years merely had the player's state mentioned, some years would also feature their club. I've since researched all the current clubs of the selected players, as well as expanding on the custom of the time of simply using an initial and surname by uncovering all the christian names of the squads.

The selector shows a heavy bias towards New South Wales. In the inaugural 1947 squad the only interstate player is Queensland's Bob Lawrie, who played for Leichhardt-Annandale in the NSW competition that year. He would be selected a further four times upon his return to Queensland. There also seems to be a bias against the great Reg Date, selected just twice.

The full list is:

1947

Norman Conquest (North Shore/NSW), Joe Marston (Leichhardt-Annandale/NSW), Cec Drummond (Metters/NSW), Dave Coote (Adamstown/NSW), Bob Lawrie (Leichhardt-Annandale/QLD), Kevin O'Neill (Cessnock/NSW), Charlie Stewart (Lysaghts/NSW), Jim Cunningham (Wollongong-Bulli/NSW), Reg Date (Canterbury-Bankstown/NSW), Ron Hughes (Metters/NSW), Ray Marshall (Granville/NSW)

1948

Ken Hough (Drummoyne/NSW), Joe Marston (Leichhardt-Annandale/NSW), Cec Drummond (Metters/NSW), Bob Bignall (Corrimal/NSW), Dave Coote (Adamstown/NSW), Robert Murray (Canterbury-Bankstown/NSW), Ernie Kemp (Lake Macquarie/NSW), Allan Johns (Adamstown/NSW), Frank Parsons (Leichhardt-Annandale/NSW), Ron Hughes (Canterbury-Bankstown/NSW), Wally Cansick (Thistle/QLD).

1949

Jim Jenkins (Woonona/NSW), Joe Marston (Leichhardt-Annandale/NSW), Cec Drummond (Drummoyne/NSW), Bob Lawrie (Bundamba Rovers/QLD), Bill Wilson (Leichhardt-Annandale/NSW), Bob Bignall (Corrimal/NSW), George Sanders (Granville/NSW), Allan Johns (Adamstown/NSW), Gordon Nunn (St Helens/QLD), Jock McMahon (Leichhardt-Annandale/NSW), Alec Barr (Brighton/VIC).

1950

Norman Conquest (Metters-Canterbury/NSW), Kevin O'Neill (Cessnock/NSW), Cec Drummond (Drummoyne/NSW), Bob Lawrie (Bundamba Rovers/QLD), Tom Jack (Brighton/VIC), Bob Young (Granville/NSW), Eric Hulme (Granville/NSW), Allan Johns (Adamstown/NSW), Gordon Nunn (St Helens/QLD), Frank Parsons (Leichhardt-Annandale/NSW), Harry Robertson (Leichhardt-Annandale/NSW).

1951

Ron Lord (Auburn/NSW), Doug Wendt (Adamstown/NSW), Kevin O'Neill (Cessnock/NSW), Bob Bignall (Corrimal/NSW), Norm Rowlands (Granville/NSW), Bob Lawrie (Bundamba Rovers/QLD), Jock McMahon (Leichhardt-Annandale/NSW), Eric Hulme (Granville/NSW), Sammy North (Mayfield United/NSW), Frank Parsons (Leichhardt-Annandale/NSW), Harry Robertson (Leichhardt-Annandale/NSW).

1952

Bill Mahoney (Adamstown/NSW), Eric Heath (Moreland/VIC), Frento Mouchka (Hakoah/VIC), Bob Bignall (Corrimal/NSW), Kevin O'Neill (Cessnock/NSW), Angus Drennan (Sunshine United/VIC), Charlie Stewart (Woonona/NSW), Reg Date (Wallsend/NSW), Gordon Nunn (Corinthians/QLD), Jock Cummings (Port Adelaide/SA), Malcolm Wild (Corinthians/QLD).

1953

Bill Henderson (Granville/NSW), Cliff Almond (Cessnock/NSW), Doug Wendt (Auburn/NSW), Bob Lawrie (Bulimba/QLD), Pat Clarke (Hakoah/VIC), Kevin O'Neill (Cessnock/NSW), Charlie Stewart (Woonona/NSW), Jack Lennard (Mayfield United/NSW), Alan Garside (Granville/NSW), Malcolm Wild (Corinthians/QLD), Harry Robertson (Leichhardt-Annandale/NSW).

1954

Bill Henderson (Granville/NSW), Jack Mather (Adelaide Juventus/SA), Kevin O'Neill (Cessnock/NSW), Ron Adair (Maccabeans/WA), Tom Jack (Hakoah/VIC), Bob Young (Corrimal/NSW), Charlie Stewart (Woonona/NSW), Harry Rice (Hakoah/VIC), Ken Learmonth (Corrimal/NSW), Malcolm Wild (Eastern Suburbs/QLD), Harry Robertson (Leichhardt-Annandale/NSW).

1955

Bill Henderson (Granville/NSW), Cliff Almond (Cessnock/NSW), Bill Wilson (Leichhardt-Annandale/NSW), Eric Duff (Balgownie/NSW), Joe Marston (Leichhardt-Annandale/NSW), Cliff Sander (St Helens/QLD), Frank Laughran (Moreland/VIC), Syd Thomas (Hakoah/VIC), Don Hodgson (Victoria Colts/VIC), Jock McMahon (Leichhardt-Annandale/NSW), Ray Neal (Canterbury/NSW).


Most All-Australian Selections:

6: Kevin O'Neill

5: Bob Lawrie

4: Cec Drummond, Harry Robertson, Joe Marston, Charlie Stewart, Bob Bignall, 

3: Allan Johns, Frank Parsons, Gordon Nunn, Jock McMahon, Malcolm Wild, Bill Henderson

Most Selections by Club:

17: Leichhardt-Annandale

10: Granville

8: Cessnock

7: Adamstown

6: Corrimal

5: Hakaoh (Melbourne)

Selections by State:

72: New South Wales

13: Queensland

11: Victoria

2: South Australia

1: Western Australia


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