BFL 60 Years Ago


Subject: From the BFL-sixty years ago. With thanks to Pamela Sherpa and the Almanac website

Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2012


From the Bendigo Football League Records in 1952:

A reflection on how much things have, or haven’t changed in 60 years


Season start

 April 26  1952, Editorial- B.F.L football made an auspicious start for 1952-the total revenue of 534 pounds set a new high for the opening round; the weather was kind after threatening wet conditions earlier in the week. Club officials had more pre-season difficulties than usual. The season commenced earlier than in past years and the late Easter meant that there were interruptions in training schedules and difficulties in securing grounds for practice as many ovals were being used for tennis, cricket and athletic carnivals.



 April26, HAWK TALK- George Ennor is spelling for a few days after a strenuous season’s footrunning.


Mind games

 May 10, 1952, ECHUCA EXCERPTS- On Thursday night Dick McGillivray was hypnotised by the Amazing Kingsley and the magician’s instructions were “You will play a good game on Saturday” And so it happened, his ruck work and marking being of the same standard as the previous week. If we get to the finals we will have the hypnotist back to do the whole team. Incidentally the Kingsley Show didn’t attract a big crowd although it was for the provident fund, but all voted it great entertainment, especially when he pinned the big ruckman to the ground.


Fan fever

May 10, 1952, SQUARE SCRIPT-At  the request of our coach, I would like to ask supporters not to invade the field at three -quarter time. They mean well, but their presence confuses the players and does not give the coach a chance to have his final word with the players which is so essential at that juncture. Your enthusiasm is appreciated, but you’ll understand what the coach means. It’s his job and don’t hinder him in his duties. Another matter, the right kind of barracking is good for the players’ morale, but, remember!-Don’t be too caustic if everything is not going well. All teams have their off days as do individual players. So if you cannot give encouraging banter, better to refrain from saying anything at all. Nothing tends to lower a team’s morale more than adverse criticism by those supposed supporters from the other side of the fence. The team is giving you its best, so be sportsmen, and even in the face of adversity, cheer them on and give them some heart to greater efforts. Thank you supporters!



Off field fun

 May 3, ROCHESTER RIPPLES- Although we got very few rabbits, the drive on Sunday was enjoyed by all, and if ‘Spud’  Murphy paid more attention to the “bunnies” instead of the “bonnies” in the Holden car, we would have got a few more. We want to see more players and officials at these drives. We will be leaving the Fire Station next Sunday morning morning at 10 a.m so everyone roll up, bring your lunch, a good days fun guaranteed.

Our full forward and his cobber in the new Hudson had a narrow escape the other morning (about 3 a.m.) when an irate father, in night attire, came forth with pick held high over head. Better stick to that lass at Corowa Bob.



Record-August 2, SOUTH SCATTERS-Out thanks and appreciation go to the Kyneton officials for a most enjoyable cup of tea and pie during the half time interval. It was certainly most enjoyable.



 July 12- A succession of incidents in the last quarter which enlivened a previously drab football match at Echuca on Saturday resulted in four players -three Rochester and one Echuca- being reported by Filed Umpire McKenzie. D Sinclair (Rochester) was reported on a charge of having struck J. Preston (Echuca) and Preston is charged with having retaliated and with having kicked D. Sinclair. J. Stanlake (Rochester) is reported on a charge of having struck L. McKindlay (Echuca) and A. Murphy (Rochester) is reported on a charge of having used abusive language towards the umpire in the third term and with having kicked T.Gilmore (Echuca)in the last term.

During the incidents a goal umpire who has rushed towards the players called on a policeman to remove a Rochester trainer who had encroached on the playing field.

 The tribunal

July19-Because of a flaw in the Bendigo Football league rules six charges laid against Rochester and Echuca players arising from incidents at last Saturday week’s match were quashed by the tribunal last Friday night. Mr J Brady, who represented J. Preston of Echuca, on charges of kicking and retaliating pointed out that the umpire’s card was invalid because it had not been handed to the League secretary within 12 hours of the end of the game. The Tribunal upheld this view and said it had no alternative but to drop all charges as they were laid by the same field umpire.


Social Sundays

July 12, SANDHURST SKITS- Hardest “match” of the season was on Sunday. A big push of city slickers hailed as the ‘Batman’s Hill Bashers’ invaded the Golden City and clashed swords with the Curran Killers out White Hills ground. Although a few of the cuff and collar boys from Downtown had had the odd kick with the Melbourne league the country clan showed them that they knew all about “footbrawl” too, and the match ended in a draw. At great personal risk, South’s skipper Alan McDonald consented to umpire. He was disappointed in the game because he was not afforded the umpire’s time honoured privilege of being hurled into a horse trough- mainly because there wasn’t one handy. Expert football watchers said they had never seen fitter players come onto a football ground- particularly those who could walk without the aid of a stick. Talent scouts hounded the players at every break with possible sums. It is possible some of the most brilliant will soon be seen selling programmes at Melbourne games awaiting their big chance.


 Half Time Entertainment

June 14 ‘MAINE MATTER-The half time interval of the senior match at the “Camp” was enlivened by the appearance of the Yarraville Mouth Organ Band, which marched around the arena playing very stirring and entertaining music. Such a large combination of mouth organs was an eye opener to many football patrons, who did not appreciate that music of such quality could be extracted from an instrument of such humble nature.



June 14-The special train today from Echuca marks the first official special train chartered by the league since its recent decision to institute trains wherever possible.

It is hoped that in future weeks trains will run from other towns taking one senior team and a second18 from an adjoining centre. Patrons will appreciate the new innovation as it will mean reduced fares to games.



Head office


The Bendigo League is seeking a new system of control of football in Victoria and has twice made approaches to the Victorian Football league on this question. The results to date have been complete public misrepresentations of the League’s proposals and a personal attack on the secretary, Mr Hains, who had written the letters under instruction from B.F.L.

The Bendigo League’s stand is clear. it does not seek a new country football organisation  to replace the Country Football League. it wants a Board of Control to administer football in this State, representative of the major football elements in the State. It wants football control to be free of the selfish club interests, which now dictate policy in the name of the State, and which are retarding the progress of the game in Victoria.

It expects the V.F.L as a responsible body to deal with the proposition advanced on its merits, without reference to irrelevant issues which might include disagreements between the secretary of the V.C.F.L Mr McBrien, and the District Councillor Mr Hains on matters entirely outside the scope of the B.F.L proposition of a Board of Control.

Despite its undoubted strength country football has no voice in the direction of Victorian football policy:that rests upon the arbitrary decisions of delegates of 12 V.F.L clubs

The B.F.L advances its proposal in no spirit of antagonism to the V.F.L but with the object of devising a system of administration which will advance the game not only in Melbourne but in the entire state



Pamela Sherpa