Premierships in Reflection

Saturday’s Richmond v Geelong grand final we reflect on the 1970 Prahran and 1990 State Bank premierships.

Prahran Football Club

Prahran entered 1970 grand final day a hot favourite against Williamstown who was attempting history by becoming the first VFA club to win the First Division premiership after winning the Second Division flag.

After a tight first quarter the Two Blues dominated all over the field. A third quarter of 7-8 to one point saw the Two Blues with an unassailable 76 point lead at three quarter-time.

In the last quarter former Collingwood player and captain-coach Kevin Rose famously ran past full-forward John Knox and said ‘we’ve got it in the bag’. It would have been tactless to say so but Rose could have said the same 10 weeks earlier such was Prahran’s dominance, the Two Blues cruised home to a 50 point win 17-18 (120) to 10-10 (70).

Rose and rover Ross Parker dominated while former Collingwood player Errol Hutchesson was credited with 12 marks. Melbourne 1964 premiership players Bryan Keneally and Ken Emselle were other stars.

In a stellar year for the club Prahran also won the club championship, the best combined efforts of the seniors, reserves and Under 19s.

The premiership was to be the first of a club record hat-trick of premierships for centre half-back Dick Culpin.

1970 grand final, Sunday September 20, at Junction Oval, crowd 26,000.

Prahran 3-5 9-7 16-11 17-18 (120). 

Williamstown 3-1 5-4 5-5 10-10 (70).

Goals. Bartlett, Knox 4, Dowsing 3, Marinko 2, Kenneally, Emselle, Karanicolas, Parker.

The 1970 premiership team was:

B: Vin Crowe, Ken Raeburn, John Tuckwell

HB: Wilf Dickeson, Dick Culpin, Bryan Kenneally

C: Ken Emselle

HF: Rob Dowsing, Maurice Bartlett, Errol Hutchesson

F: Tom Marinko, John Knox, Arthur Karanicolas

Foll: Vic Ruth, Kevin Rose. Rov: Ross Parker,

Res: Tony Fahey,  John Caffyn.


State Bank 1990

The last training night before a grand final normally means a euphoric atmosphere but that turned into a calamity for the 1990 State Bank team.

In the final drill of the night players were running in opposite directions - for captain Neil Wallmeyer and teammate Mick Durham it was a potential nightmare.

A clash of heads sent panic through the ranks, Wallmeyer sustained a huge gash to the back of the head and Durham, also he never admitted it at the time, was probably concussed.

“There was blood everywhere, it probably looked worse than it was,” Wallmeyer recalled,

“Gerry Rolf’s took me to hospital, I think he had seven or eight stitches, (but) there wasn’t a hope in hell I was missing,” he said.

The seed to the State Bank 1990 premiership was sown seven days earlier when players and the match committee watch the preliminary final, a brutal game Whitefriars won by one point.

Cam Houston from Whitefriars was the difference, a gun. At half-time captain coach Craig Jackson told  Graeme Andrews, State Bank’s best player ‘he’s yours next week.’

Expecting a tag the Whitefriars  coach sent Houston to start the game at half back, so Andrews followed him. Houston went kick chasing Andrews kicked three goals on him and opened a three goals lead by quarter-time. The winning margin was 21 points so that move proved the difference.

Houston went back on ball and became their best player but the damage had been done.

Jackson recalled one period of angst when centre half-back
Neil Short was reported in the second quarter and spent 15 minutes in the sin bin so State Bank had to defend with 17 players. (Short was later cleared by the tribunal).

Ron Gneil, our present general manager Neil Wallmeyer who played every minute of every game for the season,  and Anthony Jackson were among the best players.

“When I look back everyone in that team has been a high achiever in life, good citizens , which tells you the character of the group,” Jackson said.

State Bank 16.14  (110)

Whitefriars 12.17  (89)


The premiership team was:

B.  Darren (Tempy) Templeton   Stuart (Clokey) Cloke   Murray (Muzza) Guy

HB.  Tony (Mahery) Maher   Neil (Shorty) Short   Kevin (Dervo) Dervan

C.  John (Beanbag) Beare    Ron (Ronny) Gniel   Neil (Bubba) Wallmeyer

HF. Anthony (Jacko) Jackson   Ian (Beery) Beer   Andrew (Marzy) Maher

F.  Kevin (Harry) Matherson   David (Jerka) Jenkins  Joe (Joey) Ranganui

R. Shane (Benno) Bennett    Graeme (Stringa) Andrews  Rob (Robbie) Meharry

I. Craig (Slug) Jackson   Mick (Rubberman) Durham 


Please note the club plans to celebrate the 2 milestone premierships at functions in 2021 COVID restrictions permitting.

Consoldences to life member, past president and 1990 premiership player Kev Matherson on the passing last week of his mother Ollie Matherson, aged 93. Grandmother of life member and former captain Jack Matherson and past player Tom Matherson.


Jack Morgans Club Premiership - Please support us!

Jack Morgans was the President of the Club in the 1970 Premiership Year and a major contributor to the Club’s success.

Jack’s Annual Lunch could not be run this year and it is an important fund raiser for the Club. 

Like many in our community, our Club is struggling with the significant impact of COVID-19.

Although there has been no season, the Club has continued to incur costs, ie pro-rata competition affiliation fees, medical supplies, cleaning/sanitiser supplies, trainers, etc.

Looking forward, it is highly likely we will need to manage social distancing, hygiene and cleaning compliance requirements which will bring new/additional costs to cover.

We need your support now more than ever. We are calling on those who can, to help us get through this significant and challenging period (sincerest thanks to those who have already renewed their membership for 2020-21 – your support is greatly appreciated).

Your Jack Morgans Club $200 membership will go a long way to supporting the PFC to survive this period of uncertainty and be ready to field teams in 2021. 

To become or renew your 2020/21 Jack Morgans Club membership, please transfer your $200 to the following account (please include your name):

Account Name : Prahran Football Club

Bank : Bendigo Bank

BSB No. 633-000

Account No: 139537104