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50 Year Anniversary of U15 Runners-Up

Barwon Heads Ocean Grove Football Club - 1968

50 Year Anniversary of U15 Runners-Up

As we start thinking about the Past Players and Administrators Day on June 9th, we thought now would be a good time to share a fantastic overview of the 1968 Barwon Heads Ocean Grove Football Club U15 Team – Runners-Up that year.

Thanks to Simon Taylor for pulling this together and sending it through.

BACK ROW:

Max Sutcliffe: Stalwart of BHOG Football Club. At the time of this photo, would have been in his mid-30s. During this particular year, Max made a comeback with the Reserves for a few games. Spectators marvelled at the long looping left foot drop kicks he would land into the centre of the ground when kicking out from full back. Max was a 100+ games player for BHOG. He worked as a tanker driver delivering oil to homes for heating. Max was married to Dot who taught at Barwon Heads Primary School for 30+ years. He was also great mates with Stewie Hyland with whom he was known to have a drink or two, or three, or…………………

Peter Antonio: Son of Bill (Local Butcher & Club President 1970s). Peter was a half-back flanker in this team. A solid player and a long kicking left footer. Peter was laid back and laconic.

Sammy Longo: Sammy lived outside of the town, near where today’s 13th Beach Golf Course is situated. His family were farmers of some sort. Sammy was tough and a straight-ahead player. In recent years, Sammy has been a successful businessman with properties scattered throughout Geelong. Was last known to be living somewhere around Western Beach/Drumcondra in Geelong.

David Hobbs: Son of Len, who was a local tradie (plumber). A relatively quiet and reserved young boy who whilst not naturally gifted, gave his all as a player. At one point in his early 20s, David worked at the Barwon Heads Golf Club as a casual barman. Lived in Golf Links Road.

Michael Hanley: A lanky and lumbering ruckman who provided lots of opportunities for his onballers. Lived in Golf Links Road, near to David Hobbs and to the Primary School.

? Brown: A skinny half forward, known for his frequent attempts to take ‘Jezzas’ and his somewhat ‘colourful’ language.

Peter Lindsay (Assistant Coach): Peter was first rover for BHOGFC during the late 60s and early 70s. He was a Club B&F winner and BFL B&F winner in the 1970s. Peter was a right footer who was hard at the ball and always at the bottom of packs. He was a member of all Premiership teams 1972, 73 & 74 and was best friends with Johnny Gray (Pecky – nicknamed after John Peck, Hawthorn Premiership Captain). Peter was an Ocean Grove boy and had followed his father’s (Alwyn) footsteps as a player for BHOG. Alwyn was Club President in the late 60s, succeeded in this role by Bill Antonio.

2ND BACK ROW:

Gordon Watson: Gordon had an outstanding career at Barwon Heads, playing all his junior years with the club and later being a member of the senior premiership teams of 72, 73 & 74. Gordon was an onballer and half forward. He was naturally gifted and could read the play brilliantly – putting himself ahead of his opposition. He kicked many goals for the club during his career. Gordon would always have a smoke before the game and at quarter time breaks. He roamed the town as a youngster in bare feet, all year round. Gordon has spent most of his adult life living in the town and working as a fencing contractor.

Steven Morrison: Steven was the boy most others wanted to be. He was good looking, a flashy and talented half-forward and a hot local surfer. As a junior, Steven achieved much success as a half forward, but didn’t play much or any senior football for the club. He trained at Geelong Teachers College and spent many years working in remote communities in the Northern Territory.

Geoff Ainsworth: Vice-Captain of the team and a strong CHB. Geoff was one of the B&F winners during this 1968 season. Geoff and his older brother David, were the sons of a local house painter. They lived in Ramsgate St, which at the time was a grass laneway between Golf Links Rd and Henley St. Both boys went on to play senior football for the club, but caused great local dissent when they left the club to play for Leopold in the 1970s.

Johnny (Pecky) Gray: Despite being well under 6 foot, Pecky carried the mantle of senior ruck for a decade or more. Pecky had a fantastic leap and was able to jump higher than most other ruckman in the competition, ensuring perfect delivery to his rovers. He was an extremely courageous player and once played half a quarter only in his jock strap, whilst the team steward (Cyril Watson) searched for a replacement pair of shorts for him. In the late 70s, he became Club President and recruited Howard Smith (ex-Geelong West VFA, Premiership Full back) to the club as Senior Coach. Pecky was a wonderful coach and mentor to this group of Under 15 footballers. After losing the 1968 Grand Final to St Augustine’s (orphanage) at Windsor Park (North Shore) by only the barest of margins on a cold blustery Saturday morning, in his post-match address to his players, Pecky displayed raw emotion at this defeat, expressed with a tear in his eye.

Peter Clarence: Team Captain. Peter was undoubtedly the best footballer in this team. He just seemed to find the football wherever he was. Peter was an onball player and had a penetrating left foot. After his junior football years, Peter disappeared and would seem not to have played any senior football for the club. He left the town in his late teens and went to work in the mines of WA. It is unknown whether he returned to the club or town in later years. Peter lived in Geelong Road, opposite to where the Bowling Club is now situated. He had three younger sisters – Christine, Susan and ? Someone once sent a ‘love letter’ to Christine, addressed to ‘Dear Christ’!

 Richard Jennings: Richard was the younger brother of Mick Jennings who had a distinguished senior career with the club as well as being the local ‘night-man’! Richard and his younger brother Andy, both attended St Joseph’s College in their High School years. Richard was a dour, neat and solid back line player, not giving an inch of freedom to his opposition player. Richard was also a responsible leader within the team and greatly respected by all. Richard and Andy lived in Ozone Rd, opposite to the ‘Little Jetty’.

Peter Goddard: Peter was the eldest boy in a family of 6 children – 5 boys and 1 girl. Peter was a tough back-line player, and what he lacked in natural talent, he made up for in courage and effort. Peter also, was a highly respected member of this team. Peter’s father Norm, was a club B&F winner in the early 60s (or late 50s) and had a distinguished career with the club. Norm Goddard spent many years mentoring young fellows in the town in their football and cricket, and he was always with his station wagon outside Bartlett’s newsagency of a Saturday morning ready to take a troop of junior cricketers or footballers to their games. The Goddard’s lived on the corner of Margate St and Ozone Rd.

SEATED:

Neville Creece: Neville was the epitome of toughness. In 1968, he was awarded the Most Determined Player. Neville was a perfect exponent of the torpedo pass. Executing what now has become a skill of the past, Neville would not kick long barrels down the ground, but penetrating, low raking barrel passes to his teammates down field. Neville played in the Centre and was pivotal to the team’s success in 1968. Neville was one of a number of Creece’s who were all well-known and had a long history around the town. For many years, Neville ran a successful concreting business. In the 1970’s as a teenager, Neville, Tommy Donnolly and Peter Clarence left together, to work in the mines of WA. The Creece’s lived in Ozone Rd, opposite the Goddard’s.

Lenny Newman: Lenny was a very talented youngster. The son of a local baker, Lenny attended school and worked for his father in the bakery business. He would get up of a morning well before sunrise and bake bread, before going off to school. Lenny was a bit of a vagabond and like Gordon Watson, would smoke between quarters of football. The Newman bakery was where the Local real-estate agency of Bellarine Property now stands. Lenny disappeared from the town sometime during the 1970s.

Jamie Donnolly: Jamie was a likeable rogue of a kid. He didn’t have a lot of football talent, but gave his all as a wingman in the team. Jamie and Tommy Donnolly lived around the corner from the Creece’s in Margate St.

Raymond Gogoll. Ray was unique in that he played in spectacles. He was full forward for the team and played a bit like his idol at the time in Doug Wade. Ray was strong and provided a great avenue to goal for the team. Ray was son of local butcher Harry. Harry and wife Glady, would later own the local milk bar and green grocery, opposite where now is Tonic Surf Shop.  Raymond’s elder sister Carleen, was engaged to coach Johnny Gray at the time. In the 1970s, the Gogoll’s built a new home next to the Clarence’s in Geelong Rd.

Tommy Donnolly: A tough ‘no-frills’ and no-nonsense type of player. Tommy was always scrapping away at the bottom of packs and getting the ball out to running players in the team.

Andy Jennings: Sometimes untidy, but always giving 100%+. Andy didn’t seem to know what it meant to slow-down. He would always go at full speed and if you were in his way, you became a victim of one of his bumps. Unlike his more responsible elder brother, Andy was cheeky and mischievous.

Raymond Creece: Of the Creece clan and younger brother to Neville. Whilst being a younger member of this team, Raymond was still very talented and a strong contributor to the team’s success. He was a good right foot kick and a neat forward line player. Raymond, Lenny Newman and Andy Jennings, together could/would often push boundaries and get themselves into a bit of mischief.

Peter Davis: Son of Peter Davis (Snr), came to BHOG with his father who had a long association with the club. Peter (Snr), Alwyn Lindsay and Vern Fry were all long standing committee members during the 1960s and 70s and all hailed from Ocean Grove. Peter (Jnr) was a very good footballer and he had a distinguished junior and senior career with the club. In his junior years, Peter was a club B&F winner.

FRONT ROW:

Greg Wilson: Greg was only 9 or 10 at the time of this photograph. He was very talented and a great kick of the football. Greg played many junior and senior games with the club. Greg has remained a resident of the town and for many years has continued to support the club. Greg and his sister Janet and elder brothers Ken and ? lived with their parents George and Jeanie, at the corner of Golf Links rd and Ozone Rd.

Greg Davis: Younger brother of Peter (Jnr), Greg went on to have a long association with the club. At the time of this photograph, Greg did not play a huge number of games for the team and was more of a team mascot.

David Hyland: Son of local identity Stewart who had a distinguished career with the club, David was a gifted sportsman. David spent many years as a footballer and cricketer in the town. In later years, David supported Newtown Football Club where his son Lewis has gone on to be successful. Sadly, prematurely, David died of a heart attack about 10 years ago after coming home from hospital seemingly recovered from an earlier attack. David was the older brother of Russell ‘Nipper’ Hyland who also is a local identity and heavily involved with the Barwon Heads Cricket Club.

Steven Sutcliffe: Son of Max and Dot and good mates of Hylo (David Hyland). Steven was a talented cricketer and footballer. After his junior years, Steven played senior football at Grovedale and 1st X1 cricket for Newtown and South Barwon. Steven became a Secondary School Teacher and at one stage was Deputy Principal at Oberon Secondary School. Steven was avid in his interest of sport as a child. He would spend hours glued to the TV recording statistics and in the case of cricket, complete the test score sheet as provided in the ABC cricket book(s) of the time.

Simon Taylor: Simon was the recipient of Best First Year Player in this 1968 team. He went on to play for Geelong Under 19s in 1973 and in 1974, returned to the club and played in the winning senior Premiership team that defeated Ocean Grove at Torquay. Injuries curtailed some of Simon’s football career, but he did go on to win a car when playing for St Peter’s in the GFL and he had a few seasons in the VFA at Geelong West. He returned to the club in the mid-1980s, only to tear his knee ligaments in his first game against Queenscliff.

 

This is a brief recollection of things now 50 years old. Whilst I am confident most is accurate, some finer details might be askew. I apologise for this. Growing up in Barwon Heads in and around the Football Club during the 1960s and 70s, was a wonderful place to be. The club was full of terrific people in a time when things were so different from now. I am grateful and indebted to all these boys pictured, to the older men in their 20s, 30s and 40s who mentored us youngsters and were role models for us, and to the Barwon Heads Ocean Grove Football Club (Now BHFC), for enabling us/me to have such a wonderful childhood.

Simon Taylor 25/4/18