Season Summary: 1901
Arthur 'Knobbo' Knox transferred to Williamstown from Port Melbourne in 1901
Williamstown president since 1894, James Hall, succeeded Theodore Fink as VFA president in 1901 but continued to also preside over the Villagers' affairs in the two years he headed up the Association. He was the first of four Williamstown officials to attain the VFA's highest office, with the others being John James (JJ) Liston (1929-44), John Grieve (1989-92) and Tony Hannebery (1993-94). Hall was also mayor of Williamstown in 1902-03, Commodore of the Hobson Bay Yacht Club and president of the Williamstown Bowling Club in 1903-04 and 1911-12. He passed away suddenly at the age of 68 in July 1930 whilst touring Central Australia. Veteran Walter Warren resumed the captaincy in 1901 for the fifth and final time after Dick Houston moved on and the Villagers finished fourth with seven wins, eight losses and a draw from 16 matches, in a disappointing follow-up to the successes of the previous season. George McWilliams, who had played with 'Town since 1897 after coming from Geelong College, went off to the Boer War as a volunteer with the Fifth Victorian Contingent early in the year. New players included Horrie Dick, who would become the Club's very first coach in 1906, 'Ginger' McNeilage from West Melbourne, Billy Davies from Yea, who would go on to play 65 games with Essendon in the VFL from 1906-09, and Vic Manderson who would play for 6 seasons and become a life member.
After losing the opening two games to Prahran and Footscray, the team then won seven and drew one of its next nine matches, including the season's biggest victory by 55 points over Essendon Town at Williamstown in round 6. There was also a 34-point win against Footscray at Pt Gellibrand in round 12 and a 28-point victory over Prahran the week before. 'Town also defeated eventual premier, Port Melbourne, at North Port Oval in round 5 by 2 goals, one of their three losses for the season, and managed a draw at North Melbourne in round 8, a team which finished one rung but 4 games above Williamstown on the final ladder. The Villagers then lost the remaining five matches, including defeats by Port Melbourne, Richmond and North Melbourne, who all finished above Williamstown on the final ladder. Of the 16 matches played during the season, seven were won, eight lost and one drawn.
Second-year player, Edward Staniland, won the Club goalkicking with a total of 25, including 5 against Essendon Town at Williamstown in the 55-point victory. A total of 84 goals and 117 behinds were scored by 'Town and 80 goals and 115 behinds by their opponents. President, James Hall, awarded trophies at the annual meeting in respect of the 1901 season held at the Mechanics Institute in Electra Street on March 26, 1902, to J. Kennedy, Billy Davis and Billy Sprintall for the best attendance at training.
JJ Liston became Williamstown's delegate to the VFA in this year, and also became Mayor of the city later in the year.
Frank 'Jinner' Worroll played 57 games and kicked 23 goals for Williamstown from 1896-1900 and returned to play in the Villagers' first premiership side in 1907. He also had a stint at South Melbourne from 1901-03, playing 31 games and booting 12 goals.
The front cover of the annual report for season 1901, the oldest in the Club's collection
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