Friday 22nd November 2019

What’s Your Footy Team? #ltw3. 366/270.

What’s Your Footy Team? #ltw3. 366/270.

My favourite footy team is one from Rugby League and it no longer exists as a First Grade Football Club nor team.

It is Wests. It was called the Western Suburbs Magpies and I was a fan. It was a Sydney based team.

Yet, at 12 I wondered why I selected this team at all. I had lived in Wollongong until I was 10. My family were fans of Rugby League, especially my aunt. She followed this team and I was devoted to her! A player from her home town, namely Peter Dimond played for Wests and I think this might have had something to do with her love of the game and the team. Peter went on to play at international level for Australia. He was a rep from the Dapto Canaries (still going strong!) who became known to the country selectors (this is waaaaay before State of Origin) and then was asked to join the Western Suburbs Magpies.

I also liked the colours. Can you guess? Black and White!!



Once we had moved to Sydney and lived in Manly-Warringah territory I stuck to my team of Wests. The rest of the family did not and they were/are avid Manly fans and supporters. I admit I went to high school in the same suburb as the famous Brookvale Oval but no-one could convince me to change my allegiance.

So, a HUGE memory of Wests, for me as a young high school student was to attend the Grand Final in 1963 with my parents, young brother and another family. It was a famous day it turned out as it was when the muddied captains of each of the teams that day were caught on camera (short, Arthur Summons from Wests and tall, Norm Proven from St George) embracing after a wet and torrid game. This photo became the inspiration for the trophy that teams in the National Rugby League (NRL) play for at the Grand Final each year.

And I was there and saw it all. In the rain, no stands for us, and it was amazing. I cannot believe I was there when I look back on it and I am sure I was wearing my Wests Scarf. At least I can imagine I would have!

What an occasion.

Go Wests! Go the Mighty Magpies!


On the 24th August 1963, in the days of poor ground drainage, theSt George Dragons and the Western Suburbs Magpies met on a muddy Sydney Cricket Ground pitch to battle it out. It was the grand final and the Rugby League premiership was up for grabs.

The 1963 grand final still rates as one of the most talked about matches in the history of the game. For many, it epitomised the spirit of Rugby League when photographer John O’Gready captured rival captains Norm Provan and the much smaller Arthur Summons in a brief muddy embrace at fulltime. Entitled ‘The Gladiators’, the photograph won many international awards and set the standard as an enduring symbol of Rugby League mateship.



Credit: NRL.

Credit: NRL

So, I really do not have a team I follow any more but there are some I always maintain an interest in as far as Rugby League goes to be able to have conversations with my hub and dad and to know what I am reading about. I have not been to a First Grade Rugby League game since the 1970s as TV viewing makes it a lot easier now.

Next Sunday is the NRL Grand Final and these two teams, Melbourne Storm and Cronulla Sharks  will be playing. I will be going for the Sydney-based team, The Sharks. But my heart really isn’t in this GF. I would have preferred to have been going for The Canberra Raiders!!

So, what’s your footy team?

Maybe you do not have one at all and wonder what IS that footy thing all about?

May be grand finals in the various codes go well!


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I link up over at Alicia’s place for Open Slather and at Kell’s for Mummy Mondays.

Happy School Holidays too everyone!



  1. I’m not blogging for the next two weeks but just I just swung by to say good topic! And I’m a Bomber!

  2. Hi Lydia, thanks for dropping by! I am guessing a Bomber is an AFL team (can you tell I am from NSW!!)…Essendon I think…Cheers, and happy hols. Denyse

  3. Given that I’m a Shire girl, I’m going for the Sharks. Even though I’m not big on footy. The atmosphere here is infectious but deep down I know Storm will win.

  4. I started off as an Eels supporter but kind of lost interest in league as I got older and moved over to soccer instead. So I guess my team is the Western Sydney Wanderers since they count as football in Europe 😉
    Meanwhile, I adore your reason for barracking for Wests Denyse. It’s kind of the ultimate compliment to your aunt.

    • We went for the Eels too ‘back in the Peter Sterling/Brett Kenny days’ but now the place seems tainted somewhat by the salary cap and more. Western Sydney Wanderers have really cemented their place in people’s hearts in WS and I know of many who are followers. My aunt was very special to me and my bro and then our kids. She died too young, was a single lady who devoted herself to our family. We miss her presence a lot.

  5. I grew up in Victoria, so AFL was the game of choice. My parents weren’t followers at all, but my grandad was an Essendon supporter, and so was I. When I first moved to Brisbane, I actually became a Brisbane Lions supporter after seeing a live game, it’s so different to watching on TV!

    • Ah yes, live footy is the best I agree! I think that is why I can still recall the game from 1963 with great clarity. My dad went to work in Melbourne in the 1950s and his work mates said “he had to follow a team” if he was going to work with them. I can’t remember which one he went for though!

  6. I’m one of those people who doesn’t have a fave football team. I once did, but things have changed.

    I’ve not written a new post for this topic Denyse, as I no longer follow sport, so I’m sharing the post re the WHY!

    • I look forward to reading it Deb. Life This Week topics have been picked for their topicality and by dates and I knew that this one might be of interest to few but why not! Next week you can get into the Daylight Saving one if you choose because Qld doesn’t do it!!

  7. I’m afraid I have absolutely no idea about football. The hubster doesn’t follow it either!

  8. Wow. What an amazing experience for you in 1963!

    Sport doesn’t interest me, but my family members are passionate. I’ve shared an old post about my memories of visiting Leichhardt Oval as a child.

    Everyone seems to feel the same about NRL nowadays, their heart’s not in it and the glory days are over. It’s a shame.

    My parents, Mick and the boys are more into the soccer now and follow the Western Sydney Wanderers.

    • Another commenter also mentioned the Western Sydney Wanderers and I think that’s a great connection for Western Sydney don’t you? Leichhardt oval – home of the mighty Tigers! I look forward to reading your post. Yes, I was fortunate to have that experience in 1963.

  9. I go for the Adelaide Crows,but I’m not really that into football. My son plays soccer, so I’m getting more into that, but mainly just watching him play!

    • I think that having a team gives a sense of connection for us even if its a conversation in a staff room as it was for me. I was part of a school tipping competition which I enjoyed. Good to hear your son is playing soccer but sometimes the early starts can be COLD ones!!

  10. I’ve never had a sports team of any kind! The closest I get is watching the team equestrian three day eventing – and since that’s not really a broadcast sport, I get to watch it only once every four years at the Olympics.

  11. Being South Australian, I know very little about rugby of any variety so football means AFL to me. I followed my local team, the Laura Wirrabara Peckers growing up, then the Crows when they entered the league in 1991. After moving to Melbourne, I became heavily into the game and switched allegiance to Carlton, went regularly including the heartstopping 1999 Preliminary Final vs Essendon (one of the greatest games ever), administrated a fan site and participated in club activities. Then I moved back to Adelaide, got a different kind of life and take very little interest in the game at all these days.

    • Well you certainly have had quite a history of involvement in many ways with AFL Beth! Interesting though how when life changes, so do our interests. But you have many memories to share I am sure. We are a nation of different sports’ allegiances aren’t we?

  12. I’m still having a lot of time out, so no link up for me. No favourite footy team either. I vowed to take more interest in rugby league as one of my wedding vows but apart from accidentally booking our honeymoon at the same resort where hubby’s favourite footy team were staying, I honestly haven’t embraced this vow as much as hubby embraced cook, cleaning and slaving after me.

    Will try and link up next week for my birthday.

    • Gosh that is taking involvement in rugby league a bit far (not meaning to of course!) staying at the same hotel.. My goodness, I wonder if they behaved. I understand no linking up and more than glad to you came over to read and comment. Almost your birthday! Hope you do what YOU choose to do for it!!

  13. My husband is a big Geelong Cats supporter – and so was not very happy this weekend when they were knocked out.

  14. And I am a fan of the other part of your team Denyse. I was raised in Balmain so I just had to follow the Tigers.
    When the merger happened, my son, also a Tiger fan was living in Campbelltown, so he accepted the new team fairly easily, unlike his mother.

    • It never seemed right for me but it was inevitable wasn’t it when two working class teams needed to merge. Taking them to Campbelltown for more fans and involvement was part of the change. Sorry, never liked Tigers much either Pam…but we can still be friends..

  15. What a great memory in 1963! I’m in Victoria, so I follow AFL. Two days ago, my team (The Western Bulldogs) became the first team to make it to the Grand Final from 7th position on the ladder. We’ve been injury prone all year, and somehow we’ve ended up here with the youngest team in the league and lots of belief. We’ve only ever won one premiership, and that was in 1954. The only other Grand Final we’ve ever been in was in 1961. This is utterly momentous for die hard Bulldogs followers who’ve hung on for so long and been so loyal!

    • You know Linda, I had not realised just how special this was for the Western Bulldogs until I saw long time twitter friend PurpleCath’s absolute joy at this too. Congrats to the mighty Bulldogs and even though I am from NSW, I think my heart will be going for your team!

      • Yes, it is very special to the long term supporters. I even had tears the other night when they won the prelim. Just such a fairytale! I can understand why PurpleCath was feeling joyous! We can use all the extra support as I think we’ll really be up against it. We don’t mind being underdogs though!

  16. I have no real interest in footie! You would think since I grew up
    On the outskirts of Parramatta in the 80’s that I would be a supporter, but no it just passed me by!

    • Ah, just goes to show everyone is different! We did follow Parra in the 1980s & 1990s as we lived in the north west suburbs. They were better days for Rugby League then!

  17. My footy teams are Cowboys, Broncos and Melbourne Storm. I like them mainly because they have players from North Queensland in their teams. Also the game between Broncos and Cowboys was the most respectful game I’ve played in a long time.

    • I loved watching the Grand Final last year and the enthusiasm and cohesion of the Cowboys. It was magical! I am guessing you will be going for the Storm this coming weekend.

  18. inthegoodbooksblog says:

    I am a Collingwood supporter. Every weekend as a child, I would go along to the Collingwood footy matches with my family. I haven’t been to a game in a while though!

    • It is a very big thing for families isn’t it? I don’t see the keen dedication in NSW for the Rugby League nearly as much as I do from the supporters of AFL in Victoria.

  19. Rugby League is all gobbledegook to me. Definite AFL fans here. I was a Collingwood fan (black and white) for years. Going for the South Aussie black and whites now, Port Power.
    Being at grand final day would be amazing! Awesome that you were there that day 🙂
    I didn’t get around to linking up yesterday. Linking up an old one again today x

    • Thanks so much for sharing your story and your comment. It certainly does depend on where we grew up to see what football codes we follow (if we do!). A grand final is special. Haven’t been to one since. But my bro and niece who are avid Manly supporters go to them whether their team is playing or not. Thanks for linking up. D x

  20. I am very thankful that at least the Cowboys beat the Broncos. I will be going for Storm in the GF because I like Cameron Smith. Also I like it when other states beat NSW. Sorry. Don’t hate me. How amazing you were there for the embrace that inspired the trophy. One of my other friends from Cronulla was connected to it somehow too. I think one of the guys was her uncle or something.

  21. I can still be friends with you despite the above comment LOL…and I too was so glad about the Cowboys!! Last year’s GF was amazing!!

  22. Hello, we’re a Sea Eagles family but will go for the Sharks in this GF, well, hubby and two boys with. I never watched sport as a kid or had a team, but one husband and three sons later…..

  23. Sorry I missed your link up this week Denyse. I’ve just popped by to link up and it’s closed. I’ve been so busy with the kid’s and school holidays. Anyway, just wanted to say GO THE SHARKIES!!! I’ve been a fan since I was about 12 yo. I used to watch the Saturday afternoon game with my Dad. There were no Broncos in that day so we followed the Brisbane comp but also a Sydney team. When the Broncos formed, I wasn’t changing teams. It’s like I’ve been nearly waiting a lifetime for them to win a Grand Final. Please, please let it be this weekend. LOL The best team on the day will win. lol Have a good one Denyse.

    Anne xx

    • That’s a great story Anne! I close the link on Thursdays as it give me a chance to make sure I’ve read everyone’s blog and commented. Hope you come by on other occasions. I hope you get your win!!