Highlights 1946-1989

A potted history of the major happenings in the game in Western Australia spanning the end of World War II to the late 1980s.

1976 Western Australia State team

1946

Women’s football takes its first tentative step with an exhibition game between two country teams – Rosabrook Ladies and Margaret Ladies – at a carnival in Margaret River in mid-August.

1948

1949 Western Australia State squad

Western Australia wins its’ first interstate tournament by defeating Tasmania 6-2 in the final of the Southern States Carnival in Adelaide. Alan Beale, later to become a founding member of the Hall of Fame Committee, is the State’s top scorer with six goals.

1953

The Western Australia Soccer Football Association plays the ‘game of the round’ at Bayswater Oval, an enclosed ground leased from the local council.

1953

Azzurri’s Edmundo Faletti tops the league’s goal scorer charts after netting 25 times during the season. Six of those came in a 9-0 thrashing of Spearwood Rovers.

1953

An undefeated Azzurri make a clean sweep of the major trophies on offer, topping the First Division and victorious in both the Charity Cup and Challenge Cup & Shield. Making the achievement all the more remarkable is that the club was founded only four years earlier.

1954

Wisla SC becomes Collie Association league champions for the first of fourteen consecutive seasons.

1955

Ron Adair

Defender Ron Adair becomes the first West Australian to captain Australia when he leads the national team out to play Rapid Vienna in Adelaide. Unfortunately, the visiting Austrian side win 8-2.

1956

North Perth captain Con Purser is named in Australia’s squad for the Olympic Games in Melbourne. Purser caught the eye of national selectors while representing Western Australia in a mid-year friendly with Australia at Bayswater Oval.

1959

John McInroy

East Fremantle Tricolore’s John McInroy scores nine times in the 12-2 win over Perth City.

1960

The inaugural D’Orsogna Cup is won by Azzurri, who trounce rivals East Fremantle Tricolore 7-3 in the final. The trophy continues until 1995 with Spearwood Dalmatinac the last winners.

1960

The first local game to be televised live takes place on Saturday 23rd April between Swan Valley and Windmills at Bayswater Oval. The ABC showed just part of the game, but on Monday 6th June they televise live the entire Ascot Cup tie between North Perth-Osborne and Olympic.

1960

Instigated mostly by Julius Re,  the breakaway Western Australian Soccer Federation is formed on Monday 11th July. A new semi-professional league kicks off a few days later consisting of eight clubs: Athena, Azzurri, Cracovia, East Fremantle Tricolore, Olympic, South Perth, Swan Athletic and Windmills.

1961

Swan Athletic claim the new pre-season Night Series trophy by defeating Windmills 5-2.

1961

The Charity Cup is contested for the last time with the winners being Swan Valley, who defeat Spearwood Rovers 5-2 in the final.

1961

John McInroy is the first recipient of a Top Goalscorer honour with 27 goals. The East Fremantle Tricolore player wins the award six times in nine seasons, putting away a staggering 240 goals.

1962

The West Australian Soccer Referees Association comes about through an amalgamation of the referee bodies of the Western Australian Soccer Federation and the Western Australia Soccer Football Association.

1963

The Western Australian Soccer Federation becomes the games controlling body following the cessation of the Western Australia Soccer Football Association, whose roots went back to 1896.

1964

John McInroy nets 48 times as East Fremantle Tricolore are crowned First Division champions by way of superior goal difference over North Perth.

1964

Theo Paap

Dutch-born Theo Paap wins the first of a record five Gold Medals as Western Australia’s best player. The classy defender, who captains Morley Windmills for 10 years, collects the league’s highest individual accolade again in 1965, 1967, 1968 and 1970.

1965

Roy Simpson captain’s an Australia XI which goes down 2-0 to Torpedo Moscow at the WACA Ground on Tuesday 23 February.

1966

Western Australia comes close to causing a boilover against Italian giants AS Roma at Perry Lakes. The visitors eventually triumphed 4-2 after their hosts led 2-1 with 20 minutes remaining.

1966

The first penalty shoot-out in Western Australia has Azzurri defeat Slavia Port Melbourne 4-3 in the quarter-finals of the Australia Cup. Slavia miss two of their five spot kicks where Rod Reid, Neil Morson, Nino Segon and Gil Nobbs convert consecutively.

1966

Paul Sobek, Wally Musial, Henry Lukoszek and Zyggie Pieda

Cracovia make history in winning the First Division crown, becoming the first team to do so the season after gaining promotion. Former Polish international Paul Sobek gets the title-clinching goal in a final round 1-0 win over Azzurri.

1967

Manchester United thump Western Australia 7-0 in front of a record 21,000 crowd at the WACA Ground. George Best scores a hat-trick, Brian Kidd a double with the remainder shared by Bobby Charlton and Denis Law. Referee Roy Stedman sensationally issues Law his marching orders for dissent.

1967

Western Australia makes its first overseas venture to play in the Merdeka Cup tournament in Malaysia. They are the first Australian representative side to take part in an Asian event. The State team wins two of six games to finish ninth.

1968

Organised Sunday football commences with the establishment of the Westralian Soccer Amateur League. The season commences with four teams but the league expands quickly to an eight-team competition.

1970

One of the games greatest ever goalkeepers, Russian legend Lev Yashin, is a member of the touring Moscow Dynamo side that beats Western Australia 5-0 at Claremont Showgrounds.

1971

Van Oosten

John Van Oosten scores all four goals in Azzurri’s 4-1 defeat of Swan Athletic which clinches the league title with four fixtures still remaining. An amazing pic of Van Oosten leaping high – Aussie Rules style – over his opponents appears on the back page of ‘the West Australian’ newspaper.

1972

The inaugural season of the Western Australian Girls Soccer Association kicks off. Swan Athletic win the league without defeat and five points clear of Azzurri.

1973

Barry Harwood becomes Western Australia’s third FIFA accredited referee after Ted ‘Bude’ Budziszewski (1968) and Roy Stedman (1970).

1975

The Perth Friendly Soccer Association kicks off with Belmont Cloverdale becoming inaugural league champions. The body is later renamed the Perth Amateur and Social Soccer Association.

1975

The State team claims one of its most famous victories, beating Scottish giants Rangers 2-1 at Perry Lakes Stadium on Sunday 22nd June. Goals from George McMillan and Ray Ilott send the crowd of 9,000 home jubilant.

1975

An undefeated Western Australia wins the National Women’s Championships in Brisbane.

1975

Ernie Hannigan and David Jones

Kwinana United defender David Jones becomes the first Australian-born player to win the Gold Medal as Western Australia’s best player. Former Coventry City midfielder Ernie Hannigan finishes second.

1975

The first ‘A’ international to be played in Perth pits Australia against the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The game at Perry Lakes Stadium on Sunday 16th November finishes in a scoreless draw.

1975

1975 Western Australia State squad

Western Australia wins the Marah Halim Cup in Indonesia, beating South Korea 2-0 in the final with goals from Ernie Hannigan and Nick MacCallum.

1976

It’s back-to-back Marah Halim Cup successes as the State team again defeat South Korea in the final. The 2-0 victory is achieved through goals from George McMillan and Nick MacCallum.

1977

The Western Australia women’s team takes part in a ground-breaking tour of Malaysia and Singapore, becoming the first Australian female representative side to venture into Asia.

1978

Anna Senjuschenko

Teenager Anna Senjuschenko is named in a World XI after some brilliant performances for Australia a the World Women’s Invitational Tournament in Taiwan. The Australian squad features seven West Australians in Sandra Brentnall, Julie Clayton, Barbara Kozak, Sharon Loveless, Judy Pettitt, Senjuschenko and Teresa Varadi.

1978

Gary Marocchi wears the captains armband for Australia in the mid-year friendly series with Greece.

1979

17-year old Sandra Brentnall becomes Australia’s first goalscorer in an ‘A’ international match when on Saturday 6 October she bags the opener in the 2-2 draw with New Zealand in the Trans Tasman Cup.

1980

At the age of 41, Manchester United legend Bobby Charlton makes three guest appearances for Azzurri, scoring twice, in the pre-season Night Series.

1980

Sandra Brentnall

Sandra Brentnall creates further history on Saturday 24 May by scoring the first hat-trick for Australia at international level in the 3-2 win over New Zealand in Christchurch.

1981

England’s World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore gains two outings with Inglewood Kiev and one for Rockingham United.

1981

A star-studdded Azzurri go unbeaten to win the league title with a record of 16 wins and two draws – and get a $10,000 bonus from Red Rooster for not losing a game. In a memorable year, the club also win the Night Series and D’Orsogna Cup under coach Gordon Ferguson.

1982

Alan Ball, a member of England’s 1996 World Cup winning squad, plays three games for Floreat Athena.

1983

George Best turns out for Osborne Park Galeb in the mid-year battle with Melville Alemannia. With a crowd of 2,000 watching, the Northern Ireland international scores in the opening minute of the relegation clash.

1983

Goals from Steve McCaffrey and Ronnie Campbell give the State team a 2-1 win over the Australian national team at Inglewood Reserve.

1985

Brothers Craig and Gareth Naven along with Scott Racey gain selection in Australia’s squad for the Under-16 World Cup in China.

1985

West Ham United legend Trevor Brooking plays seven games for Second Division club Kelmscott Roos.

1985

West Perth Macedonia make it a hat-trick of league titles when they pip Spearwood Dalmatinac by way of superior goal difference.

1987

The Western Australian Amateur and Social Soccer Association is formed through a merger of the Amateur Soccer Association of Western Australia and Perth Amateur and Social Soccer Association.

Next : Highlights 1990-Onwards