The Williamstown Football Club entered the 1960's as arguably the most dominant team the VFA had ever seen coming off an era which saw them win five premierships in six years. However, the club was at the crossroads with aging stars mixed with new recruits and young talent to take the club forward into a new era of success.
The early years of the 1960's saw Williamstown make the finals in the first three years, coming close to ultimate glory in 1961 when they were defeated in the Grand Final by Yarraville by ten goals. 1961 also saw the VFA make a radical decision to split the competition into two divisions in an attempt to even out the competition. Williamstown joined the top division with most of the other larger and dominant teams of the era.
1963 saw the club unable to make the finals for the first time in ten years. Undeterred by the previous year's performance, the Seagulls conjured an emphatic turnaround the season following that saw the club into another grand final against Port Melbourne, only to fall short of their 11th premiership flag.
After missed opportunities early in the decade to achieve success, the club then entered a period of concern after disappointing seasons in 1965-66 saw the Seagulls become a shadow of its former self. 1967 saw Williamstown record its worst season in history at the time, 'winning' the wooden spoon and subsequently falling back to second division for 1968.
Looking to bounce back, the side came tantalisingly close to returning to division one, only to go down to Geelong West in the grand final of 1968 by two goals. Although not totally dismayed by the previous year, the club was finally able to achieve the ultimate success from its fourth try of the decade, defeating Sunshine by 20 points in the 1969 Grand Final and thus promoted back into Division One at the beginning of the 1970's. The first's premiership was capped off with premiership wins for both the seconds and thirds.
In May 2017, at an event held at the Club's Seaview Function Centre, a Team of the Decade from the 1960's was announced. The team selected can be seen below. A report on the night can be viewed at this link: http://www.williamstownfc.com.au/news/10-latest-news/705-1960-s-team-of-the-decade-announced
Season by Season Summaries
|Year||President||Coach||Captain||Best & Fairest||Leading Goalkicker|
|1960||Arthur Johnson||Gerry Callahan||Ray Smith||Ray Smith||Tom Pelly (42)|
|1961||Arthur Johnson||Gerry Callahan||Ray Smith||Ray Smith||Keith James (48)|
|1962||Arthur Johnson||Gerry Callahan||Daryl Ward||John Cope||Keith James (40)|
|1963||Arthur Johnson||Gerry Callahan||Daryl Ward||Leo Maloney||Keith James (42)|
|1964||Arthur Johnson||Gerry Callahan||Daryl Ward||Bobby Turner||Keith James (41)|
|1965||Arthur Johnson||Gerry Callahan||Daryl Ward||Tom Russell||Jim Jenkinson (29)|
|1966||Ron Marrett||Gerry Callahan||Daryl Ward||Jeff Trotman||George Savige (32)|
|1967||Ron Marrett||Gerry Callahan||Bob Ware||Ian Nankervis||Eddie Szyszka (54)|
|1968||Ron Marrett||Max Papley||Max Papley||Ian Johnston||Eddie Szyszka (61)|
|1969||Arthur Johnson||Max Papley||Max Papley||Ken Barnes||Dallas Patterson (58)|
|Best 1st Year|
|1960||Alby Linton||Doug Kellett||Alby Linton||Allan Harris||N/A||N/A||Graham Clough & Alan McAsey|
|1961||Neville O'Connor||Neville O'Connor||Wally Ward||Ray Bamford||N/A||N/A||Greg Taube & Bobby Turner|
|1962||Neville O'Connor||Ken Barnes||Wally Ward||Haydn McAuliffe||N/A||N/A||Ray Bamford & Ray Johns|
|1963||Neville O'Connor||Ron Leonard||Wally Ward||Kevin Dooley||N/A||N/A||George Savige|
|1964||Neville O'Connor||Ray Bamford||Wally Ward||Cyril Harris||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|1965||Jocka Mellis||Jocka Mellis||John McConville||Cyril Harris||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|1966||Jocka Mellis||Arthur Lee||John McConville||John Whittington||N/A||N/A||Barry Dodd|
|1967||Jocka Mellis||Bob Smith||John McConville||Peter Sonsie||N/A||N/A||Eddie Szyszka|
|1968||Ron Leonard||John Raffle||Des Hosking||Gary Craddock||Bernie Johns||Michael Halemba||Andy Camilleri|
|1969||Jocka Mellis||David Utber||Des Hosking||Phillip Humphries||?||Tommy Welsh||Robert Percy|
Best & Fairest
Best & Fairest
|1960||Stan Whear||Maurie Power||Bob Jones||Daryl Ward||Bob Jones||Bob Jones|
|1961||Stan Whear||Maurie Power||Jack Evans||Daryl Ward||Ray Smith||Ray Smith|
|1962||Stan Whear||Maurie Power||Graham Clough||Don Carmichael||Alan McAsey||Graham Clough|
|1963||Stan Whear||Maurie Power||Daryl Ward||Greg Taube||Leo Maloney||Leo Maloney|
|1964||Stan Whear||Bob Major||Jim Jenkinson||Denis Railton||Jim Jenkinson||Jim Jenkinson|
|1965||Alec Bell||Alf Leaman||Jim Jenkinson||Daryl Ward||Tom Russell & Charlie Evans||N/A|
|1966||Alec Bell||Alf Leaman||Charlie Evans||Bob Ware||Bob Ware||N/A|
|1967||Alec Bell||Alf Leaman||John Murrie||Owen Madigan||Ian Nankervis||N/A|
|1968||Alec Bell||Alf Leaman||Max Papley||Bob Smith||Ian Nankervis||N/A|
|1969||Alec Bell||Alf Leaman||Paul Hayward||Robert Percy||Robert Percy||N/A|
Competition Award Winners
1961 A.G. (Alec) Gillon Medal, VFA Thirds Best & Fairest - Ray Bamford
1968 J. (Jack) Field Medallist, Division Two Best & Fairest - Ian Nankervis
1968 Division Two Leading Goal Kicker - Eddie Szyszka (61)
1968 Division Two Reserves Best & Fairest - Ron Leonard
Williamstown Thirds, Premiers 1969
For more stories on the 1960's from some of the Club identities of the era please click on the following link to one of Bruce Davis' productions
The 1960's Team of the Decade was announced at a function in May 2017, with Max Papley being elevated to Legend status in the Club's Hall of Fame, joining the late Ron Todd, Ray Smith, Gerry Callahan, Barry Round & Ian Rickman.