Season Summary: 1930
The Age, February 18, 1930.
Williamstown Advertiser, February 22, 1930.
Tom Byrne was recruited by Carlton from Ararat in 1929, playing 4 games before transferring to Williamstown mid-season in 1930 where he played 39 games and kicked 33 goals from 1930-33. He represented the VFA in a match against the VFL at Princes Park in June, 1932, which the League won by just 8 points. Byrne crossed to Fitzroy in 1934 but did not play a senior match and finished the season with Prahran. He was then recruited by Hawthorn, where he went on to play 61 games and kick 70 goals from 1935-39. He passed away in November 1984 at the age of 76.
Rex Byrne, brother of Tom Byrne, also joined Williamstown in 1930 from Mildura, where he had been posted as a constable in the police force, and played 8 games and kicked 8 goals in his only season with 'Town. He returned to Northcote in 1931, for whom he had played in 1928 and 1929 before going to Mildura, before retiring in 1932 to concentrate on his studies with the police force. Byrne made a comeback in late 1933 with Northcote and played at centre half-forward in the premiership win over Coburg that season. He played two games with Fitzroy in 1934 before returning to Northcote and playing as a ruck-rover in the premiership victory over Coburg that year. Byrne went to Ballarat in 1935 and passed away at Mt Richmond, Victoria, on May 23, 1971 at the age of 64.
1930 proved a much better year, with the team returning to the final four and the new grandstand opening, replacing the old pavilion which had served for over forty years. The old building was divided into two sections in June 1931, one of which was placed at Spotswood and the other at Newport. The centre portion of the old pavilion was used to provide seating at the Williamstown ground. The new grandstand had its official opening by the Mayor, Cr. G. Paine, on April 5 followed by an athletic carnival on the ground witnessed by 5,000 spectators and a dance in the evening in the Town Hall. The final cost of the stand and other works was 10,000 pounds.
Jim Shanahan joined Williamstown in 1930 from Fitzroy after playing 27 games and kicking 3 goals with the 'Roys in 1928-29. He had played previously with Carlton in 1927 (2 games 1 goal) and Collingwood 1924-26 (42 games 0 goals), including the 1925 and 1926 losing grand finals. He had been appointed captain-coach of Camberwell in 1929 but resigned after 5 games and went back to Fitzroy. Shanahan was appointed captain-coach of Williamstown in 1931 but had to resign before the season started due to his employer, the Police Commissioner, prohibiting paid outside employment. He played a total of 28 games and kicked 5 goals with 'Town in 1930-31 before transferring to Portland with the police force in 1932 and became honorary captain-coach of the local team in 1932-33. Shanahan passed away on September 8, 1985, aged 84 at West Sunshine.
Despite this the Public Health Department served notice on the Council as early as January regarding the lack of public conveniences at the cricket ground, with the threat that the Department is unlikely to allow the ground to be used without such provision. The Williamstown Advertiser on 28 June reported that the Council had received a letter from the Public Health Department requiring the Council to provide 'sanitary conveniences' at the ground within one month otherwise the new pavilion would be closed to the public. This situation escalated in August when a notice 'prohibiting the further use of the cricket ground until proper sanitary services have been installed' was served on the Council by the Public Health Commission due to numerous complaints about the conditions at the ground, which the Commission considered 'primitive and totally inadequate for the large crowds visiting the ground during the football season' and that 'no attempt has been made by the Council to make suitable sanitary arrangements.' The game against Brighton scheduled for the cricket ground on Saturday August 2 was under threat but, as The Argus reported, 'seven men were employed all day yesterday (Friday) by the Council converting a number of stone buildings on the ground into conveniences. An officer of the Health Commission will inspect the work, and if he regards it as satisfactory he will issue a permit to play on the ground. Officers of the Commission said yesterday that the order to close the ground would not be rescinded until they were satisfied with the conveniences which the Council proposed to erect. If the conveniences were not satisfactory the order would stand. The Commission had no power to prevent the use of the ground, but if it were used the Council would be prosecuted'. The Town Clerk, Fred Ogden, responded by claiming that 'the ground is the property of the Crown, and the Board of Land and Works has drawn up regulations concerning its management which provide that the ground shall be open to the public from sunrise to sunset, and the provision applies whether the ground is sewered or not.' Notwithstanding this dispute, no attempt was made by the Health Commission to prevent the game against Brighton being played. However, the following Tuesday the Health Department again contacted the Council and declared 'that the temporary installation of sanitary arrangements at the cricket ground did not comply with the requirements, and that the order for the closure, temporarily lifted last Saturday, still remains in force.' The Williamstown Advertiser reported on August 16 that eventually 'the Minister of Health has agreed that if temporary conveniences were installed at the cricket ground forthwith and complete sewering undertaken at the earliest opportunity, the ground might remain open. The temporary arrangement will be put into effect at once, so that the ground will be available today.' This is in respect of the round 17 game against Preston, scheduled to be played at Williamstown on August 16.
Sporting Globe, April 8 1936 - Roy McKay left for Footscray in 1930 and went on to play to play 101 games up until the end of 1935 when he became captain-coach of Brunswick. He played 50 games for Williamstown from 1927-29 after being recruited from Collingwood Juniors and was runner-up in the Recorder Cup in 1927. He was captain-coach of Brunswick in the 1939 grand final against Williamstown at the MCG.
The previous year's captain-coach, George Beasley, departed for Oakleigh and Jack O'Brien, the leading goalscorer of 1929, was appointed to replace him with Arthur 'Porky' Sykes vice-captain. 1921 premiership full-forward, Jim McAuliffe, departed for Sandringham as captain-coach. Gordon Helwig was one of the unsuccessful applicants for the job. Former Fitzroy, Carlton and Collingwood player, Jim Shanahan, transferred to Williamstown in this season after being captain-coach at Camberwell in 1929 for 5 games before returning to Fitzroy.
Other new players were H. Dorgan from Williamstown CYMS, K. McKenzie from Williamstown Juniors, Jacky Lock and Frank Melville from North Melbourne, Percy Streeter from Newport, Billy Blake from North Melbourne Juniors, Cairo Dixon from the Peninsula Association, Buchanan from Richmond Seconds and Roy Dellar from Spotswood, who had played in Williamstown's Seconds runner-up team in 1929. George Woodman from Footscray joined during the year, as did Tom Byrne from Carlton and his brother Rex Byrne from Mildura and a left-foot place kick of some repute, Jack Barnes, after 41 games and 71 goals with South Melbourne from 1925-29. Barnes was born and lived in Williamstown and was also a fine cricketer and played one game for Victoria against Tasmania at the MCG in 1929-30, scoring 51. He later had two sons, Ken and Ted, who both played senior football with Williamstown, the former becoming captain in 1971 and playing in a premiership in 1969 after a stint at South Melbourne from 1964-67. Former player of 1926, Jack Barnett, returned after stints at Ulverstone (TAS.), Richmond Seconds and Prahran.
Arthur 'Porky' Sykes was made vice-captain in 1930 and went on to win three consecutive best and fairest awards in 1930, 1931 & 1932.
Williamstown met Yarraville in the opening round for the third year in succession and the Villians were victorious by 8 points. The situation worsened when the Villagers went down to eventual premiers, Oakleigh, the following week and found themselves at the foot of the ladder. The first victory of the season came in round 3 at Williamstown with a 37-point triumph over Brunswick, brought about by a 6.3 to 1.7 final term. Another win followed at Elsternwick Park over Brighton, 12.19.91 to 9.15.69, with Ted Cahill kicking 6 goals and being named best player. There was a third consecutive victory over lowly Camberwell in round 5 by 48 points at Williamstown, 17.20.122 to 10.14.74, with Norm McDonald and Jack O'Brien both kicking 5 goals and McDonald being named best player. The Villagers were now in fourth position on the table. The team went down by 6 goals at Preston in round 6 after failing to use the strong breeze to their advantage in the third quarter. Williamstown then downed Sandringham at Pt Gellibrand by 49 points after trailing by 9 at three-quarter time before adding 9.4 to NIL in the last quarter. Jack O'Brien kicked 5 goals and he and brother, Wally, were named as best players. A narrow 1-goal win at Toorak Park was followed by a 2-goal loss at Williamstown to Northcote in round 9. The game was lost in the first quarter when the Villagers kicked 2.10 to 2.1 and finished with 7.20 to the 'Cotes 11.9. Coach and leading goalkicker, Jack O'Brien, did not play in this game.
Former Williamstown player, Allan Geddes, was appointed captain of Richmond for a second time in 1930 after earlier leading the Tigers in 1927-28. Geddes, recruited from North Melbourne Juniors, played 51 games and kicked 7 goals for 'Town from 1922-24, including the 1924 losing grand final.
Four successive comfortable victories followed, at Coburg, at Williamstown over Port Melbourne (Jack O'Brien 7 goals and best player), at Yarraville and at Williamstown over eventual premier Oakleigh by 22 points. The win over Port, which headed the ladder while 'Town was sixth, ended a run of 10 consecutive victories by the Borough over the Villagers. This run of success saw 'Town in second place on the ladder before two losses on the trot at Brunswick and at Williamstown to Brighton. This was the game that was under threat due to the situation with the lack of public toilets at the ground, as detailed above. The Penguins kicked two goals in the final minute of the game to secure a 13-point victory. The home-and-away rounds were completed with four consecutive wins over Camberwell, Preston by 50 points (Jack Barnes 8 goals, Con Sheehan best), Sandringham and Yarraville followed by a 2-goal loss at Williamstown to Oakleigh in the last match, when the Villagers were again without captain-coach O'Brien and first-year player, Cairo Dixon, was reported for kicking Oakleigh's George Rudolph.
The team booted their highest-ever score of 21.19.145 in the game at Sandringham in round 18, although they only won by 27 points after the Zebras got to within one point during the last quarter. Newcomer, Rex Byrne, kicked 5 of the goals while Arthur 'Porky' Sykes was best player. In the game at Yarraville in round 19, The Argus reported that 'in few matches this season has such wild excitement been seen as in the last quarter of this match, when, with only points separating the teams, the game developed into a fierce, tense struggle. Women danced and screamed, and men shouted until they were almost speechless. When Yarraville was leading by 10 points, about two minutes before the bell, the umpire awarded a free kick, which resulted in a goal to Williamstown. Within a minute Williamstown obtained another goal and won by two points.'
Sporting Globe, August 20, 1930
Despite the hardships of the Great Depression, the team finished third with 13 wins from the 20 games played and met Oakleigh, the minor premiers, in the knockout second semi-final at North Melbourne before a crowd of 12,000. In perfect conditions, the Oaks had first use of the breeze and led at the first change, 4.1 to 1.5. The Villagers added only two goals with the wind but managed to take the lead by a point during the term but the Oaks responded quickly and the margin was 7 points by half-time, 5.5 to 3.10. Williamstown had much the better of the play in the third quarter but made repeated mistakes when within scoring distance and still trailed at the last change, 8.7 to 5.14. In the final stanza, Oakleigh proved too strong, adding 3.3 to 1.1 to run out 25 point winners, 11.10.76 to 6.15.51, their first victory in an Association semi-final. There were all single goalkickers for the 'Towners while best player was wingman, Wally O'Brien. Other good players were defenders, Tom Byrne, Jim Shanahan and Gordon Helwig, forwards Jack Barnes and Ted Cahill and follower, Joe Flynn. Williamstown's captain-coach of 1929, George Beasley, was one of Oakleigh's better players in this game. It would be nine years before the Club would again reach the finals.
Jack Barnes, father of Ken & Ted Barnes, came to Williamstown from South Melbourne in 1930 and played 67 games and kicked 79 goals up until he suddenly resigned during the 1934 season. He was captain for part of the 1931 & 1932 seasons and vice-captain for part of the 1931, 1932 and 1934 seasons. He transferred to Williamstown District, which was in the VFA sub-districts competition, as captain-coach after his resignation and won the league best & fairest award despite playing just six games.
At the annual meeting in respect of the 1930 season held at the Town Hall in December, trophies were presented to captain-coach, Jack O'Brien, who led the goalkicking again with a total of 50, which made him fourth on the VFA list. Equal second was 'Sandy' Sinclair and Norm McDonald with 34, Ted Cahill 26, Jack Barnes 20, Billy Blake 19, Con Sheehan 14 and Tom Byrne 12. The first of three consecutive best and fairest awards went to vice-captain, Arthur 'Porky' Sykes, a feat that wouldn't be equalled until Ray Smith took out three consecutive best and fairests in 1959/60/61 and not bettered until Kim Kershaw took out four in a row in 1983-86. Ted Cahill was runner-up, most improved player was Joe Flynn, most consistent was Gordon Helwig, most unselfish was Gerry Britt while the best player in the final was awarded to Wally O'Brien. Sykes was voted the best half-back in the Association by the Sporting Globe in this season and was also the runner-up in the Recorder Cup, finishing one vote in front of Doug Nicholls of Northcote.
A new Club aggregate of 1816 points, made up of 256 goals and 280 behinds, was recorded in this season while the opponent's tally of 230 goals and 246 behinds (1626 points) also set a new record against the Club. The team exceeded the century mark on six occassions which was also a Club record and the score at Sandringham in round 18 of 21.19.145 beat the previous best score by the Villagers. The Zebra's 17.16.118 became the Association's highest losing score.
An extract from Larry Floyd's book on the history of the VFA and Williamstown - the goalscorers of 1930
The Club lost a number of former players and administrators during the year, including:
- 1905 captain and the Club's first captain-coach in 1906, Horrie Dick, who played 96 games and kicked 42 goals for the Villagers from 1901-06, passed away on January 20 aged 52;
- First ruck in Williamstown's 1907 premiership team, Mat Outen, passed away on January 27 at a private hospital in Glenhuntly at the age of 47. Outen played 54 games and kicked 8 goals from 1905-09 and 1914. He also played 27 games and kicked 7 goals with St Kilda in 1910 & 1911. Outen's two brothers, Wyn and Jack, also played for Williamstown and Wyn was a teammate in the 1907 premiership victory while Mat and Jack played one game together against Northcote in 1909. A younger brother, Percy, played 5 games in 1928. His nephew, Alby Outen jnr, played in the Williamstown premiership teams of 1955 & 1956 and another nephew, Reg, was emergency in the 1939 premiership side;
- Syd Barker, who played three games with Williamstown in 1908 before embarking on an illustrious career with North Melbourne in the VFA and Essendon in the VFL, was another former player to pass away on March 23, aged only 42;
- President of the Club from 1894-1902, James Hall, passed away suddenly at the age of 68 on July 11, 1930, at Hermannsburg Mission whilst touring Central Australia. He had twice been Mayor in 1902-03 while on the Council from 1899-1905, and was also VFA president in 1901-02.
The Williamstown team of 1930 - Jack Barnes is pictured in the second-back row, third from the left, while vice-captain, Arthur 'Porky' Sykes, is fourth from the left in the second-front row, next to captain-coach, Jack O'Brien (holding the ball). Gordon Helwig is second from the right in the second-front row and on the end of that row is Tom Byrne.
The Advocate, December 11 1930 - Football club president, John James Liston, resigned from the Williamstown Council after more than three decades of service and seven terms as mayor.
Horace Moir 'Horrie' Dick, pictured here on a 1906 Sniders & Abrahams trading card, played 96 games and kicked 42 goals for Williamstown from 1901-06 and was captain in 1905 before becoming the Club's first-ever coach in 1906. He then transferred briefly to Essendon in 1907 where he played one senior game before crossing to Footscray in the VFA. He received life membership of the Williamstown Football Club in 1910. He passed away on January 20, 1930, at Noble Park, aged just 52 after a long illness.
The Argus, January 21, 1930
Dandenong Journal, January 23, 1930
Mathew Outen, pictured in 1908.
The Argus, January 28, 1930 - First ruck in Williamstown's 1907 premiership team, Mat Outen, passed away on January 27 at a private hospital in Glenhuntly at the age of 47. Outen played 54 games and kicked 8 goals from 1905-09 and 1914. He also played 27 games and kicked 7 goals with St Kilda in 1910 & 1911. Outen's two brothers, Wyn and Jack, also played for Williamstown and Wyn was a teammate in the 1907 premiership victory while Mat and Jack played one game together against Northcote in 1909. A younger brother, Percy, played 5 games in 1928. His nephew, Alby Outen jnr, played in the Williamstown premiership teams of 1955 & 1956 and another nephew, Reg, was emergency in the 1939 premiership side.
Williamstown Chronicle, February 1, 1930.
Williamstown Chronicle, February 8, 1930.
James Hall, president of the Club from 1894-1902, was also Mayor of Williamstown in 1902-03. He passed away suddenly at the age of 68 on July 11, 1930, at Hermannsburg Mission whilst touring Central Australia.
Williamstown Chronicle, July 19, 1930
Syd Barker, who played three games with Williamstown in 1908 before embarking on an illustrious career with North Melbourne in the VFA and Essendon in the VFL, was another former player to pass away on March 23, aged only 42.
Have a look to see how the VFL side wentRead more ...