Season Summary: 1970

The club began the decade back in the top flight of VFA football after a dominant 1969 campaign which saw them rise as Division Two premiers. Fans and the club alike were looking forward to a prolific season which would see Williamstown rise as one of the strongest clubs in the country again. Arthur Johnson was once again elected president, with Jack Carter as senior vice-president.

After success in the previous season, Williamstown's list remained much the same with a few handy inclusions such as full-back Alan Byers from North Adelaide and 19yo, 6'5" ruckman John Fanning, who crossed over from Essendon in June, but captain/coach Max Papley was of the opinion that it was the players believing in themselves which was the overriding factor in his team's ability to turn the Club around. With tremendous support from assistant coach, Norm Alvin, ruckman Ken Barnes as vice-captain and experienced full-back Tom Russell as deputy vice-captain the club put in another fantastic season which got off to a promising start with a 5-goal victory at Oakleigh in round 1 (Dallas Patterson 5 goals). Blessed with good weather, a healthy crowd including VFA officials, members of Parliament, the Mayor (Cr. Ron Dawes), councillors and the local band, the stage was set for a great opening home game of the season. The three victorious teams from the previous year did a lap of honour and then lined up whilst the three pennants were unfurled. A 12-goal win over Geelong West ensued (Papley 8 goals, Patterson 5) to cap off a great day for the Club. 

Williamstown went on to win the opening five games, including a six-goal victory over eventual premier Prahran, to head the ladder until round 6. Losses to Dandenong by 6 goals and to Port Melbourne by 11 goals broke the run and precipitated a mid-season slump that saw the Seagulls slide down to sixth spot on the ladder after losing by 3 goals at Geelong West in round 11. They lost only one more home-and-away game, at Toorak Park in round 14 by 45 points, to finish in second place on the ladder with 13 wins out of their 18 games. Big wins were recorded in round 2 against Geelong West by 73 points (Papley 8 goals), against Oakleigh in round 10 by 58 points (Dallas Patterson 6 goals), against Waverley in round 13 by 41 points (Patterson 10 goals), and against Sandringham in round 18 also by 41 points (Jackman and Papley 5 goals each). All these victories were at Pt Gellibrand. 

Finals football returned to St Kilda, and the second semi-final was played against Prahran before a crowd of 10,000 and the 'Town went down narrowly 10.15.75 to 9.15.69 (Kevin Jackman 3 goals, best players Ian Johnson, Dallas Patterson, Ron Page, Jackman, Brian Harvey, David Stark, John Fanning and Max Papley). The preliminary final at the same venue resulted in a big win against Waverley, 22.22.154 to 7.9.51 (Patterson 10 goals, Jackman more than 30 kicks), after trailing by two goals at quarter time, which set up a rematch against Prahran in the Grand Final. The Two Blues under captain-coach Kevin Rose were too good on the day and won 17.18.120 to Williamstown's 10.10.70. Apart from a good first quarter, the Seagulls were never in the game and were down by 76 points at three-quarter time after the Two Blues added 7.8 to one behind in the third quarter. With an unbeatable lead, Prahran relaxed and allowed Williamstown to reduce the final margin to 50 points by kicking 5.5 to 1.3 in the last quarter. The crowd at the Junction Oval was 22,000.

Williamstown's 1970 Grand Final side was:

B.     Ian Johnson          Alan Byers             Terry O'Mara

HB.  Graham Hemley    Ron Page                Brian Harvey

C.                                             Robert Percy

HF.  Robert Smith          Bob Lane                David Stark

F.     John Van Liempd  Dallas Patterson     Paul Hayward

Foll. John Fanning        Max Papley

Rov. Kevin Jackman

Res. Les Meyers           Lindsay Edgerton

Coach: Max Papley

In the short history of the VFA's divisional system, Williamstown became the first club to be promoted from the second division and then, in the following season, compete in the division one grand final. Under Max Papley over the three seasons since 1968 the Seagulls had recorded 51 victories from 62 matches at the incredible average of more than 82%, or four wins from every five games played. Kevin Jackman, whose fine season included finishing runner-up to Yarraville's Fred Cook in the Liston Trophy, won the Club's best and fairest award from Brian Harvey and Alan Byers. Dallas Patterson kicked 72 goals to finish second on the VFA list, just behind Dandenong's Jim 'Frosty' Miller who scored 80 majors for the year. 

Long-serving Reserves captain-coach Jocka Mellis retired after the completion of the season, where the team finished third after the home-and-away rounds before winning the first semi and then losing to Preston in the preliminary. Gary Fitch won the seconds best and fairest award from T. Flint and F. Kellow. 

The thirds, under the coaching of former Spotswood and Carlton player, Harry Dern, failed to make the final four. Trevor Claughton was captain while Phil Humphries won the best and fairest in that grade for the second year in succession. 

The under 16 team under first-year coach John Raffles finished runners-up to Altona in their competition. Jim Hynes took out the Fourth's (under 16's) best and fairest for the Club and also the Western Suburbs League award.

The Club medical officer, Dr. Leonard Joel completed 40 years of service in 1970 since commencing in that role in 1931 and the legendary Kelly Brent became head trainer while Bob Major was absent overseas. The Gulls supporter group was established in 1970 with a total of 36 members, and its initial office bearers being Arthur Kilpatrick (president), Ron Callander (secretary) and Fred Holdsworth (treasurer).  

Long-serving (17 years) President of the Ladies Committee and life member, Mrs Elsie Flett, grandmother of Les Twentyman, passed away during the year, as did 1907 premiership player, Bert Reitman, 1921 premiership team member, Hugh Munro, former committeeman, Bill 'Sussie' Conroy, and former president of 1938, Ernest W. Jackson. 

Life memberships were awarded to Bill Dooley, Bert Hodge and Des Hosking at the 1970 annual general meeting held earlier in the year.

1970 President Arthur Johnson. Born in July 1891, he was President of the Club from 1958-1965 and again from 1969-1972. He also served as a Vice-President in 1956 and 1957 and again in 1966, before becoming Senior Vice-President in 1967 and 1968. He was also Secretary of the Club in 1922 and 1923. He passed away in 1986 at the age of 94.

The visit to Williamstown by the then-Governor was in 1954, not 1956, and Jack Carter was a Vice-President. Harold Hosking was President in 1954.

Williamstown played at Oakleigh in the first game back in Division One, with the Seagulls winning 19.15.129 to 14.14.98

The three premiership flags from 1969 unfurled at the opening home game of 1970 v. Geelong West on April 26

                         Captain-coach, Max Papley, addresses the players before the game against Geelong West in round 2 

              Ron Page and Bobby Smith close in on a Geelong West opponent in pursuit of the ball 

                             Fullback Tom Russell punches the ball away against Geelong West

Ron Page stands over a Geelong West opponent in the season-opener at Williamstown, 1970

                                                   Players untangle themselves from a skirmish in the Round 2 encounter at Williamstown 

Dallas Patterson kicked 5 goals in the big win over Geelong West in round 2 at Williamstown 

Williamstown won the round 5 fixture at Pt Gellibrand against eventual premier, Prahran, 15.16.106 to 10.11.71

Future captain-coach, John Fanning, made his debut at Sandringham in the round 9 defeat 

Round 9, 1970, Williamstown lost to Sandringham, 15.13.103 to 13.10.88, the 3rd defeat for the season

Round 13, 1970, Williamstown 22.10.142 defeated Waverley 13.23.101, with Dallas Patterson kicking 10 goals 

Advertisement leading up to the round 15 clash between 3rd-placed Dandenong & 4th-placed Williamstown

Photos from the round 15 clash at Williamstown, which the Seagulls won by 5 points, 13.11.89 to 12.12.84

                            Defender Graham Hemley at Port Melbourne in the round 16 clash, behind him is full back Alan Byers. 

Photos from the round 16 clash at Port Melbourne, which Williamstown won 13.17.95 to 11.16.82 


                                             Dallas Patterson in pursuit of Kevin Rose 1970 GF

Williamstown ruckman, John Van Liempd, punches the ball away during the 1970 grand final v. Prahran

                                             Western Suburbs Advertiser, September 23, 1970

Williamstown defender, Brian Harvey (#11) reaches for a mark while Prahran captain-coach, Kevin Rose, crashes in 

                                                  Western Suburbs Advertiser, September 23, 1970

19yo Williamstown centre half-back, Ron Page, collides with Prahran's Maurie Bartlett (#4) in the grand final

                                              Western Suburbs Advertiser, September 23, 1970

                                                               Weekender, September 25, 1970

                                                                     Weekender, September 25, 1970

                                                           Weekender, September 25, 1970

                                                                                           Weekender, September 25, 1970

                                                                                              Weekender, September 25, 1970

                                                                                                  Weekender, September 25, 1970

                                                                     Weekender, September 25, 1970

                                                                 Weekender, September 25, 1970

                                                          Weekender, September 25, 1970

                                                                Weekender, September 25, 1970

VFA Team-of-the-Year, featuring Kevin Jackman (second rover), Brian Harvey (17th man) & Max Papley (coach)

                                                                     Weekender, September 25, 1970

















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