Club 1864 Newsletter - October 2017


2017 Financial Members:


Thanks to the 101, past players and officials who became financial members of our footy club in 2017.



With the often-changing landscape in Victorian football it is imperative that Willy can claim to be one of the strongest Clubs in the land.


Our on-field performance, that is finishing in the top-4 and giving the team every chance to claim the flag, and our off-field performance, having a strong and secure membership base, go hand in hand.




2017 Functions:


1. Our season-opening Social Event, “Barefoot Bowls” at the Williamstown Bowling Club really showed how capable some of our past players have become in the old and ancient game as they too have become older and more ancient. Great to see the Hodges brothers Wayne (Shoe) and Ross (Slipper) along with Jesse James and Chops Rickman displaying form both on and off the rink.

2. This season Club 1864 held three luncheons, March (Steampacket Hotel), June (Railway Hotel) and September (again at the Steampacket). These lunches, hosted by 4-time Club Champion and Hall of Fame inductee, Kim Kershaw and a cameo by Ian “Chops” Rickman, proved to be an enjoyable event with good numbers of past players or officials attending.

3. The seasons focus on the era of the 1960’s was a wonderful concept culminating in the selection and announcement of the Williamstown Football Club’s “Team of the Decade-1960’s”. The key ruckman of that team, Ken Barnes, is our feature in this final Newsletter for 2017.


Next year we turn our attention to celebrating the decade of the 1970’s.




The following article by Geoff Van Wyngaarden is part of his series on Williamstown Sporting identities. We thank Geoff for this contribution.   


Williamstown Football Club has been connected with many local families, but the Barnes family connection has seen multiple generations being involved.

Ken is the son of legendary local sportsman Jack Barnes who played cricket for Victoria and both football and cricket for Williamstown.

The family connection is extensive with Ken’s two uncles, Tom and Harry Hill, cousins Johnny Hill and Chris Hill also playing at the club as well as uncle Bobby Hyde being a trainer.

Later on still Ken’s son Jamie played Under 19’s and reserves football at Williamstown whilst grandson James currently plays in the Under 11’s at Williamstown Juniors  - a very proud family connection to Williamstown Football Club.


Ken Barnes 

Team of the Decade – 1960’s Ruckman


Ken attended the Williamstown State School and then Williamstown High School and didn’t play football but took up baseball instead. There were no junior football clubs in the area at this time and so Ken played baseball with the North Williamstown Baseball Club in the winter months. When this baseball club folded at the end of 1958, Ken joined the Williamstown 3rds Under 19 team as a 17-year-old playing 3 games in his first season.

The following year in 1960, with Wally Ward the coach, Ken hurt his back in the first game and missed the rest of the season. Back at the club in 1961, the skinny Ken coming in at 12 stone 7 lbs and 6 foot 4 inches made the senior list. Under coach Neville O’Connor in the reserves, Ken played 12 games and was promoted to the seniors under the legendary Gerry Callahan for the last 6 games. Ironically in the last game of the year against Box Hill, Ken actually played against his brother Ted.

Ken describes Gerry Callahan as an excellent speaker who was held in awe by all the players.

Ken recalls;

“At this point in time there was no interchange at all, just 17th and 18th men. There was no interchange, when they came on they stayed on for the duration of the game. As well as that if you didn’t come onto the ground then you didn’t get paid.”

“If the trainers brought out a “grey blanket” then you didn’t have to be told what the message was and you could be taken off on any portion of the ground! Too many times it seemed to be in front of opposition supporters. “

“In one incident my friend Jimmy O’Toole tossed the grey blanket at Gerry Callahan.”

In season 1962 Ken came second in the Best and Fairest Award and at the end of the season was invited to train with South Melbourne. At this stage in his career Ken had played 12 senior games and 20 reserves games at Williamstown. However, at the start of the 1963 season Williamstown refused to clear him to South Melbourne. Ken then started the season playing 2 practice games at South Melbourne, went back to Williamstown where he played the first 3 games for the seniors and then got dropped back to the reserves. He eventually got his clearance to South Melbourne by the June 30th deadline.

At South Melbourne, Ken played a total of 15 senior games and 2 night games. Ken returned to Williamstown by the June 30th deadline in 1967 playing the last 10 senior games for the Seagulls.

Season 1968 saw the arrival of South Melbourne champion Max Papley as the new senior coach of the Williamstown Football Club.

“Max came over at his peak and brought a breath of fresh air, he was that bloody good. He was a very good coach, a great tactician and told us how to play better football.  We were all just good friends- all together. Max brought in the attitude that we should never lose at Williamstown because it was our home ground.”

“In one memorable incident Max hated Preston so much that he told reserves player John “Cashews” Allard to make the visitors change rooms as uncomfortable as possible. So just before Preston arrived their rooms were totally hosed out, ceiling and all walls making it as cold as possible on an already cold day."

Williamstown lost the 2nd Division Grand Final in 1968 by 2 goals against Geelong West at the Toorak Park ground.

“We made up for it the following year in 1969 with a great premiership victory over Sunshine. We destroyed Box Hill in the semi final then Coburg in the Preliminary Final. On the night of the premiership victory we all went back to the Williamstown Town Hall, then back to the ground where we drank for 2 nights.”

Celebrations continued afterwards at various local hotels as publicans of the time Harry Hayward and Ron Marett both followed the club. Local bookmaker, Tommy “The Governor” Stewart also gave great support to the club.

“The footy trip to Tasmania in 1969 was memorable indeed!”

Ken lists his best players in his first stint at Williamstown as Ray Smith, Daryl Ward, Jimmy O’Toole, Bob Carmichael, Lindsay Murphy, Graeme Clough and Bob Murrie.

In his 2nd stint at the club he rates Max Papley, Tommy Russell, Terry O’Mara, Bob Smith, Bob Lane, Andy Camilleri, Ian Johnson, Bob Percy, Dallas Patterson, Kevin Jackman and Micky Mulligan.

His favourite trainers were Bob Major the Head Trainer, Bob “The Mangler” Cairncross and Jacky “Tookar” Orr. Sunday mornings down the ground were enjoyable with a good bath followed by the traditional “Pleasant Sunday Morning”.

Ken played great football in 1st Division in 1970 when the club did the impossible by making successive Grand Finals. Unfortunately, Ken did his knee in the Preliminary Final victory over Waverley and missed the Grand Final loss to Prahran.  Ken was captain of the club in 1971 after Max Papley had retired and later retired from the club himself at the end of the 1972 season. 

Ken played a total of 96 senior games for the Seagulls kicking a total of 56 goals, even though his coaches wouldn’t allow him into the forward line. He wore glasses in civilian life but played wearing contact lenses which makes his efforts even more memorable.

Ken highly rates being nominated in the best 100 players of the club in 100 years as very special. The team of the 1960’s decade night was very special to him and he is very proud to be named.

After his playing career finished Ken coached the Williamstown Thirds Under 19 team in 1974. He was also the playing premiership coach of Spotswood in 1972. Later on he coached Altona City in 1984 and 1985 making one Grand Final before returning to Spotswood as non-playing coach for the 1990 premiership and a runners-up in 1991. Later on Ken returned to football coaching as the ruck coach at the Western Jets TAC Cup side for 5 years.


Ken continues a fit and healthy lifestyle and is a regular swimmer at the Mason Street pool in Altona North and is often at Willy and Spotty games.



Latest News

Club 1864 Newsletter - April 2020

Take a look at the April 2020 edition of the Club 1864 newsletter.

Read more ...

Club 1864 Newsletter - March 2020

Take a look at the February 2020 edition of the Club 1864 newsletter.

Read more ...

Club 1864 Newsletter - February 2020

Take a look at the February 2020 edition of the Club 1864 newsletter.

Read more ...

Club 1864 Newsletter - September 2019

Take a look at the August 2019 edition of the Club 1864 newsletter.

Read more ...

Club 1864 Newsletter - August 2019

Take a look at the August 2019 edition of the Club 1864 newsletter.

Read more ...

Latest Videos