Season Summary: 1964

In big news around the VFA, reigning premier Moorabbin were suspended from the league for twelve months for alleged disloyalty for the part they played in the St. Kilda Football Club's takeover of Moorabbin Oval. The Moorabbin Council was excited about the prospect of VFL football coming to the district and Club officials mistakenly believed that the St Kilda name would be changed to Moorabbin. Subsequently, the Club disbanded as a result when it was excluded from the Association due to not having suitable ground arrangements, only for the name to return to the VFA in 1983 as a different entity. A ceremony was held on a Saturday night in July 1964 when, under lights, the 1963 pennant was unfurled in the presence of some officials and a few supporters before being rolled up, most probably forever. 

With wooden-spooner, Northcote, being relegated, the two vacancies in First Division was taken up by Preston and Waverley, the respective premier and runner-up in Second Division the previous season. This left the lower division with only eight teams, although Werribee and Frankston both made overtures about joining the VFA. Williamstown was granted Council permission for eight of its nine home games to be played on a Sunday, although the Seagulls opted to play only four Sunday fixtures.

There was much joy in 1964, with the Williamstown Football Club officially celebrating its 100th year, although there is evidence that the Club was in existence as early as 1860. President, Arthur Johnson, intimated that he would stay on for the centenary year celebrations but would retire after that was completed, having been in the role for seven seasons. Gerry Callahan continued on as non-playing coach with Daryl Ward again captaining the side and Leo Maloney his vice-captain. Recruits to the Club included a fine ruckman from Footscray in Bob Ware, a nephew of the Bulldogs' 1941 Brownlow Medallist, Norm Ware. It also acquired Dennis Railton after 35 games with North Melbourne and rovers Jim Jenkinson from Melbourne and Max Graham, also from Footscray. Gary Fitch, son of 1939 premiership centreman George Fitch, made his senior debut after being awarded the most serviceable player trophy in the Seconds in 1963, while Fred Rees (South Melbourne) and Roger Summers (Newtown-Chilwell) were others to play senior football in 1964.  

Dual premiership player, George Mazouris, went coaching at Shepparton after 89 games and 126 goals, while 1962 best and fairest winner, John Cope (74 games), 1959 premiership player, Bob 'Boner' Jones (53 games) and half-back flanker in the 1961 grand final team, Les Finch (43 games), all went elsewhere. 

After a very disappointing 1963 campaign, Williamstown bounced back with a vengeance, with victories in the first three games over Yarraville, Brunswick (by 3 points) and Waverley taking them to the top of the ladder before two losses, including a defeat by just four points at home at the hands of Sandringham. Ten consecutive wins followed, including a nine goal victory at Yarraville (Jim Jenkinson 6 goals, Bobby Turner 5), where the Seagulls kicked 11.4 in the first quarter, by 6 goals at home against Brunswick (Keith James 5 goals), by 33 points away at Waverley (Keith James 6 goals) and by the same margin at home against Oakleigh (Don Carmichael 6 goals). Dandenong was also defeated for the first time in round 13 at Pt Gellibrand. The run of wins ended at the hands of bottom team Preston in round 16, surprisingly going down 23.11.149 to 12.9.81, which ended a run of 11 wins over the Bullants. The team sat on top of the ladder after round 12 and finished the season there with a 14-4 Win/Loss record, followed by Port Melbourne, Sandringham and Coburg. 

After being defeated by Port in the final home and away game by 17 points, the two teams met again at North Port Oval in the second semi-final and Port triumphed by 52 points, 20.6.126 to 9.20.74, before a crowd of 8,000. The game was virtually lost in the first quarter by the Seagulls' wayward kicking at goal, registering 4.13 to one goal straight by the first change. At half time Port had taken a four point lead 8.3 to 5.17, which was extended to 16 points at three quarter time before the onslaught in the last term which carried the Borough to its first grand final in seven years. Railton, McAsey, Jenkinson, Maloney and Carmichael were best for 'Town. 

With the advantage of the double chance, Williamstown then took on Coburg in the preliminary final in front of 10,000 spectators and ran out winners 12.15.87 to 10.13.73, with Don Carmichael booting five goals and ruck-rover Jimmy O'Toole best player.  In 'Town's 15th grand final appearance, and seventh in 11 years (eight counting the 1958 replay) before a crowd of 26,000 on Port's home ground, the Borough began with great pace and by quarter time had skipped out to a seven goal lead. The Seagulls trailed by six goals at half time and by 35 points at the last change and were no match for Port Melbourne who inflicted their third consecutive win over the Seagulls for the year, 14.17.101 to 10.5.65, with Don Carmichael and Bob Ware both kicking three goals. Full-back Tom Russell did well to hold Port spearhead Brian Jeffrey to one goal only, Dennis Railton held the opposition's captain-coach Laurie Mithen until he was switched to centre half-forward in the last quarter in a bid to lift the Seagulls attack and ruckman Ware battled hard all day. The Seagulls' run of four grand final victories over Port had come to an end. 

Williamstown's 1964 Grand Final team was:

B.     Daryl Ward (c.)          Tom Russell           Leo Maloney (v.c.)

HB.  Brian Spence       Dennis Railton       Ron Leonard

C.                                            George Savige

HF.  Gary Fitch             Merv Williams        Barry Beamish

F.     Alan McAsey        Don Carmichael     Graham Clough

Foll. Bob Ware             Jim O'Toole

Rov. Jim Jenkinson

Res. Lindsay Murphy  Jocka Mellis

Coach: Gerry Callahan


Bobby Turner was awarded the Andy Taylor Memorial Trophy for Club best and fairest despite playing just 14 games, from first-year players, Jim Jenkinson, who finished fourth in the JJ Liston Trophy, and Dennis Railton. Keith James again was the leading goalkicker for the year with a total of 41, two more than Jenkinson. The team kicked a total of 250 goals and 293 behinds (1793) while the opposition scored 238 goals and 242 behinds (1670). Apart from James and Jenkinson, other players to kick ten or more goals during the season were Bobby Turner (33), Merv Williams (21), Alan McAsey and Graham Clough (19), Don Carmichael (16), Leo Maloney (12) and Lindsay Murphy and Max Graham (10). Tommy Russell and George Savige were the only players to appear in all 21 matches during the season. Jim Jenkinson won the Advertiser and Chronicle best player awards. Neither Bobby Turner or Keith James played in the Grand Final, and VFA representative player, John Murrie, also missed with a broken leg.

Ron Bamford took out the Reserves best and fairest, while Cyril 'Spike' Harris won the Thirds best and fairest award. The Seconds, once again under captain-coach, Neville O'Connor, finished fourth, while the Thirds, under coach Wally Ward, who also acted as president of the Thirds, failed to make the finals. John Grieve was secretary of the Thirds in this season and Ray Elder was treasurer.

Captain Daryl Ward played his 150th senior match for Williamstown in the round 12 victory at Waverley, while Leo Maloney posted his 100th appearance in royal blue and gold in the same match.

Gerry Callahan once again coached the VFA representative team that defeated Tasmania at Launceston by 27 points in June, a side that included Williamstown players Daryl Ward and John Murrie. An 18yo Peter Hudson kicked three goals for Tasmania.  

Former triple premiership coach at Williamstown in 1954/55/56, Wally Carter, coached Brunswick in this season, after finishing up with North Melbourne.  

Vice-president from 1960-63 and committeeman from 1955-57, Tom Phillips, and committeeman from 1956-63, Bill Mackie, along with 1959 premiership player Bob 'Boner' Jones (53 games and 36 goals from 1958-63) and long-serving ladies committee member, Jean Hately, were all awarded life memberships at the annual general meeting held in respect of the 1963 season earlier in the year. Phillips continued on as a vice-president until the end of the 1973 season, while Mackie remained on the general committee until the end of 1967 and then became a vice-president from 1970-75. Jones joined the committee in 1961 when he was out of the game for a year after suffering a broken leg in the 1960 finals and remained until the end of 1970 and later became a trainer from 1972-75 and from 1980 until at least 1988. He was also the team runner at one stage. Jean Hately was still on the ladies committee until at least 1976.

Acting vice-captain in Williamstown's first premiership side in 1907, Wyn Outen, passed away on 10 November aged 84. Outen captained the side in 1908 and 1909 and played a total of 99 games and kicked 19 goals from 1899-1901 and 1907-09. He had three brothers who also played for the Villagers, Mat, Jack and Percy, and was the uncle of Alby Outen jnr who played in Williamstown's 1955/56 premiership teams. His son, Reg, was emergency in 'Town's 1939 premiership side. Outen also played 54 games for St Kilda from 1903-05. Former teammate, Percy Pilkington, who played 26 games from 1906-08 also passed on during 1964 as did former captain and coach of the late 1920's and early 1930's, Gordon Helwig, on 24 May aged 63. Helwig played 60 games and kicked 50 goals from 1929-32. Another former coach of 1923, Charlie Laxton, who came to Williamstown after 147 games with Collingwood, also passed away on 11 January, aged 73. Another former player who passed on was Gordon Salvas, father of 1949 premiership player Lou Salvas, who played 7 games in 1910.

Steve Maloney (general committeeman from 1935 and 1947-59 and also match committee member), Claude Tomkins (committeeman 1928, vice-president 1929-33 and Seconds president 1945-1950) and Ern Pinckney (committeeman from 1938-41 and 1945-46), also passed on during the year. Maloney and Tomkins were both life members and Tomkins was also a life member of the Seconds.

Another life member in Horrie 'Chook' Hocking, vice-president in 1935 and 1938-40, also passed on in 1964. He was a small sports goods dealer who operated out of the Victoria Inn building in Douglas Parade and convinced the Club that there was no need for the sash on the back of the Williamstown jumper as it made re-numbering easier during the tough times of the 1930's depression when the Club couldn't afford a full set of jumpers. When a player was unavailable due to injury or suspension, Hocking would take off the number of the unavailable player and replace it with the number of the replacement player. Thus the current guernsey style of a yellow number on a plain blue back was born. He had previously played football for Brighton and North Melbourne in the early 1920's and played for Brighton at Williamstown in 1921. He was also a fine wicketkeeper for North Melbourne and South Melbourne in District cricket and later Williamstown. 

Towards the end of the year, North Melbourne and Coburg Council entered into negotiations about bringing VFL football to Coburg City Oval and it was announced that the Council would borrow 100,000 pounds to update facilities at the ground and offer North a 40-year lease. 

Williamstown Chronicle, July 23, 1964

 Williamstown Chronicle, July 23, 1964

                                                                                                          Williamstown Chronicle, July 23, 1964

                                                                                           Williamstown Chronicle, July 23, 1964

                                                                                                                  Williamstown Chronicle, July 23, 1964

                                                                                                Williamstown Chronicle, July 23, 1964

                                                                                                    Williamstown Chronicle, July 23, 1964

                                                                         Williamstown Chronicle, July 23, 1964

                                                       Williamstown Chronicle, July 23, 1964

Seconds player, Warren Collinder, about to mark the ball in the round 11 clash at Brunswick


Stan Whear stood down as secretary at the end of 1964 after a record 13 years in the role.


Leo Maloney, pictured here in The Sun of September 25, 1961, retired at the end of the 1964 season after 107 games and 115 goals for Williamstown from 1959 and was vice-captain in his final season. Maloney played in 'Town's 1959 premiership win over Coburg as well as the losing grand finals of 1961 and 1964. He won the Club best and fairest in 1963 and was runner-up in his first season in 1959 and was named in a back pocket in Williamstown's 1960's Team of the Decade. 

Gordon Helwig, captain-coach of Williamstown for part of 1931 and captain for part of 1932, passed away on May 24, 1964, aged 63. He was captain of Williamstown in 1932 up until he injured his knee when representing the VFA in a charity game against the VFL at Carlton on the Queen's Birthday which the Association lost by just 8 points, 15.17.107 to 14.15.99, and never playing for 'Town again. Helwig had been recruited from Fitzroy in 1929 after playing 51 games and kicking 28 goals for the 'Roys from 1925-28. He had played previously with Northcote from 1920-25. He was captain-coach of the Villagers for a short time in 1931 after the original appointee, Jim Shanahan, was unable to continue due to his employer, the Police Department, prohibiting paid outside employment. Helwig, an Air Force employee, was similarly prevented from continuing in the role and was replaced by Jim Toohey in June of that year. Helwig played a total of 60 games and kicked 50 goals for Williamstown from 1929-32 and won the most consistent player award in 1930.

Wyn Outen, pictured here on a 1907 Sniders & Abrahams trading card, passed away on 10 November aged 84. He was acting vice-captain in Williamstown's first premiership side in 1907 and captained the side in 1908 and 1909 and played a total of 99 games and kicked 19 goals from 1899-1901 and 1907-09. He had three brothers who also played for the Villagers, Mat, Jack and Percy, and was the uncle of Alby Outen jnr who played in Williamstown's 1955/56 premiership teams. His son, Reg, was emergency in 'Town's 1939 premiership side. Outen also played 54 games for St Kilda from 1903-05 and the first half of 1907 after spending 1906 in WA. 

Former captain-coach of 1923, Charlie Laxton, who came to Williamstown after 148 games with Collingwood from 1912-21, also passed away on 11 January, aged 73. Laxton played in Collingwood's premiership teams of 1917 and 1919 and the runner-up sides of 1915 and 1918, and represented Victoria in 1919 and 1920. 

An extract from Larry Floyd's book on the history of the VFA and Williamstown - the games played and goalscorers of 1964. The second column in the games played and goals scored records is the player's cumulative total.





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