1970's

 

The 1970's saw the Williamstown Football Club return to the top flight of the VFA after its grand final success in Division Two in the previous year. With high hopes of retaining their place in the league for the following season, no one would have believed how it eventually panned out. Williamstown became the first club to come from the second division and compete in the following years Division One grand final where they unfortunately fell to Prahran. The following year the club was dealt a major blow as Max Papley called time on his playing career due to a recurring injury, although he would still continue on as coach. Without Papley's presence on-field the club was left languishing down the bottom of the table

 

The following year was turned on its head with Papley returning to the field from retirement, as the Seagulls soared up the ladder only to eventually fall in the preliminary final. The following two seasons (1973 & 1974) saw the club battle away in Division One under new leadership finishing mid-table and never looking in contention for finals. A severe blow was dealt in 1975 as once again Williamstown were sent down to Division Two after a disappointing season that resulted in just four wins.

 

In an attempt to look at the relegation in a positive light, the club looked towards the season as one for the club to regroup and regain confidence by being a force in Division Two. Such was the case that the club came into the finals in a respectable third place but severe underdogs to take out the cup. Through prevailing in some tough, grueling and tightly contested first two finals, the last day of the year was one to remember as Williamstown triumphed over Mordialloc by 57 points.

 

A disappointing contrast occurred as the club re-entered the top flight of VFA football with the rise coming as quick as the fall, with fans only able to celebrate two wins for the whole year and would therefore be following their team around in Division Two the next year. 1978 & 1979 followed, with the club finishing a disappointing 9th and 4th in the two seasons respectively.

 

In July 2018, at an event held at the Club's Seaview Function Centre, a Team of the Decade from the 1970's was announced. The team and the individual records of the members 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/1145-1970-s-team-of-the-decade-announced 

 

 

Season by Season Summaries

1970      1971       1972       1973       1974       1975       1976       1977       1978       1979

 

 

     Year           President           Coach           Captain           Best & Fairest            Leading Goalkicker     
     1970      Arthur Johnson           Max Papley           Max Papley          Kevin Jackman       Dallas Patterson (72) 
     1971      Arthur Johnson           Max Papley           Ken Barnes        Brian Harvey       Bob Svoronich (54)
     1972      Arthur Johnson           Max Papley           Max Papley           Les Stillman       Mick Mulligan (75)
     1973      Norman Bernard           Barry Gill           Barry Gill           Les Stillman       Les Stillman (37)
     1974      Bill Dey           Barry Gill           Barry Gill           John Fanning       Glenn Townsend (48)
     1975      Tony Arceri           Ted Whitten     

Les Stillman/Bill Thompson   

     Michael Kelly       Robert Fox (40)
     1976      Rex Swann      Mal Allen           Mal Allen           Bob Percy       Michael Brown (67)
     1977      Des Luckhurst      Mal Allen           Mal Allen    Frank Pocervina            Brian Lowe (45)
     1978      Sid Wookey      John Fanning      John Fanning      Laurie Taylor       Greg Boxall (32)
     1979      Sid Wookey      Merv Hobbs      Mark Cross      Neil Courtot       Paul John (59)

 

 

     Year       Reserves B&F        Thirds B&F      Fourths B&F

Best Clubman

     Secretary         Treasurer 
     1970      Garry Fitch        Phil Humphries      Jim Hynes         Rex Swann       Alec Bell
     1971 John James/Graham Salter      Ron Gordon     Graham Dean  J. James       Rex Swann       Alec Bell
     1972   Tad Joniec         Keith Robson Neil Kerss        John Grieve Bob Cairncross 
     1973   Robert Scott       Rodney Walker       John Dean       John Grieve     Bob Cairncross 
     1974 Richard Radziminski      Gary O'Donovan      Eddie Messina       Les Dooley  Bob Cairncross
     1975   Peter Gardiner         Neville Kerss      Graham Dean  Ron Page          Bill Pride       Leo Schultz
     1976   Bruce Wookey    Laurie Taylor  N/A            Bill Pride   George Smith   
     1977   Tony McVeigh    Craig Eldridge       N/A            Bill Pride   George Smith   
     1978   Johnny Coyne   Kelvin Lavelle  N/A  Damien Martin 'Junior' Jackson    Rob Harding
     1979     Jeff Dean    Phil Chapman  N/A   'Junior' Jackson    Rob Harding

  

 Competition Award Winners 

1970 Western Suburbs League Under 16's (Fourth's) Best & Fairest - Jim Hynes

1972 Western Suburbs League Under 16's (Fourth's) Best & Fairest - Glenn Hancock

1976 Division Two Best & Fairest - J. Field Medal - Colin Boyd

1978 VFA Thirds Competition goalkicking award - Sol Alexander Trophy - Phil Chapman (129)

1979 VFA Thirds Competition Best & Fairest - F. Gomez Medal - Phil Chapman

1979 VFA Thirds Competition goalkicking award - Sol Alexander Trophy - Phil Chapman (132)

 

Photos

1976 Premiership team

Back row: Peter Kerr, Brian Lowe, Michael Brown, John Fanning, Greg Boxall, Peter Gardner, Rocky Burgess

Centre row: Mick Mahoney, Mal Allen (captain-coach), Robert Percy, Colin Boyd

Front row: Frank Briner, Greg Harley, Mark Cross, Frank Pocervina, Greg Tweedly

Absent: Peter Mildenhall, Bruce Alexander

Action from the Grand Final at Toorak Park

1976 Premiership team

Back row: Peter Kerr, Brian Lowe, Michael Brown, John Fanning, Greg Boxall, Peter Gardner, Rocky Burgess

Centre row: Mick Mahoney, Mal Allen (captain-coach), Robert Percy, Colin Boyd

Front row: Frank Briner, Greg Harley, Mark Cross, Frank Pocervina, Greg Tweedly

Absent: Peter Mildenhall, Bruce Alexander

 

For more stories on the 1970's from some of the Club identities of the era please click on the following link to one of Bruce Davis' productions

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho-hy2BV_Oo

 

For more stories on bookmakers involved at Williamstown in the 1970's from some of the Club identities of the era please click on the following link to one of Bruce Davis' productions

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtO08Tv0f_M

 

 BACKS

Brian Harvey - 1969-1972 

Games: 59 Goals: 1

1971 Best & Fairest

1970 Best & Fairest runner-up

Ron Fenton - 1971-1975

Games: 77 Goals: 37

Alan Kennedy - 1976-1982

Games: 82 Goals: 11

Colin Boyd - 1975-1976

Games: 37 Goals: 3

1976 Premiership Player

1976 Field Medallist, Second Division B&F

1975 Best & Fairest runner-up

1976 Best & Fairest runner-up

Bill Thompson - 1972-1975

Games: 70 Goals: 4

1972 Best & Fairest runner-up

Peter Kerr - 1974-1980

Games: 111 Goals: 36

1976 Premiership Player

1974 Best & Fairest runner-up

1976 Best & Fairest third place 

1979 Best & Fairest third place 

 

MIDFIELDERS

John Fanning - 1970-1980

Games: 132 Goals: 94

1976 Premiership Player

1974 Best & Fairest

Kevin Jackman - 1969-1975

Games 87: Goals 153

1970 Best & Fairest

Robert Percy - 1969-1977

Games: 135 Goals: 67

1976 Premiership Player

1976 Best & Fairest

Greg Tweedly - 1974-1982

Games: 105 Goals: 99

1976 Premiership Player

 

FORWARDS

Les Stillman - 1971-1975

Games: 69 Goals: 113

1972 & 1973 Best & Fairest

1971 Best & Fairest third place

1974 Best & Fairest third place 

1973 Leading Goalkicker (37) 

Robert Lane - 1967-1975

Games: 84 Goals: 46

Robert Svorinich - 1971-1973 

Games: 35 Goals: 100

1971 Best & Fairest runner-up

1971 Leading Goalkicker (54)

Ron Page - 1968-1976

Games: 78 Goals: 34

Greg Boxall - 1971-1978

Games: 88 Goals: 170

1976 Premiership Player

1978 Leading Goalkicker (32)

Mark Cross - 1975-1979

Games: 74 Goals: 125

1976 Premiership Player

1979 Best & Fairest runner-up

 

RESERVES & COACH

Laurie Taylor - 1977-1989

Games: 127 Goals: 83

1978 Best & Fairest

John Whittington - 1967-1973

Games: 61 Goals: 3

Max Papley (Coach) 1968-1972

Games: 54 Goals: 108   

Back row: Greg Boxall, Robert Svorinich, John Fanning, Greg Tweedly, Les Stillman

 
Front row: Alan Kennedy, Kevin Jackman, Brian Harvey, Max Papley, John Whittington, Peter Kerr