Sunday 19th January 2020

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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