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Memorable State Team Moments…

THE 12-month period between April, 1975 and April, 1976, is arguably the most successful spell enjoyed by the WA State team at representative level since the sport adopted semi-professionalism in 1960. Here’s why…

PIC ONE: WA became the first Australian team to win a tournament in Asia when they triumphed in the prestigious Marah Halim Cup in the Indonesian province of North Sumatra in 1975. They played eight games all up, beginning with a 4-1 win over Surabaya, followed by a 2-1 victory over Thailand and then a 2-1 loss to East Java. They got back on track with a 4-2 win over Japan, a 2-1 victory over Persija Jakarta, a 2-0 success over PSMS Medan and a 3-1 triumph when they tackled Thailand again in the semi-finals. Ernie Hannigan and Nick MacCallum got the goals in the 2-0 final win over South Korea. The squad was: Tony Witschge, Sauro Iozzelli, Denis Barstow, David Jones, Steve Stacey (captain), Bob Taylor, Gary Marocchi, Aldo Trinca, Stephen Sceats, Ernie Hannigan, Dave Brooks, Nick MacCallum, Ken Morton, David O’Callaghan, Bert Kirkpatrick, Steve Pateman. Alan Vest was the coach.

PIC TWO: Ray Ilott celebrates after beating Glasgow Rangers goalkeeper Stewart Kennedy to set up a stunning 2-1 victory over the giants of Scottish football at Perry Lakes Stadium in June, 1975. Derek Johnstone had given the Gers the lead early on before Ilott equalised in 76 minutes. George McMillan got the winner in 82 minutes for WA, who spurned the chance of an even greater triumph when Frank Bibby missed a penalty. A few weeks before this momentous occasion WA had drawn 1-1 with Middlesbrough and lost 2-1 to Manchester United (a missed penalty cost them a draw). The squad: Tony Witschge, David Jones, Denis Barstow, Steve Stacey (capt), Bob Taylor, Sauro Iozzelli, Gary Marocchi, Dave Brooks, Stephen Sceats, John O’Connell, David O’Callaghan, Ray Ilott, Frank Bibby, George McMillan, Ken Morton, Aldo Trinca, Bert Kirkpatrick, John Davidson, Saverio Madaschi.

PIC THREE: A prized trio show off a prized collection of silverware after winning the Marah Halim Cup again in 1976. Nick MacCallum was the tournament’s top scorer with seven goals (he also bagged seven in 1975), Alan Vest was again the wily coach, and George McMillan was on the mark with a precious strike in front of 50,000 in the final (another 2-0 win over South Korea). MacCallum was the other scorer. All up, Nick got 18 goals at State level. McMillan, like the other Mac an expatriate Scot, got nine State goals in a short spell in WA before he went east to join Preston. The WA squad in 1976 was: Saverio Madaschi, Tony Witschge, Sauro Iozzelli, Denis Barstow (capt), David Jones, Peter Johnston, Hugh Miller, Ray Ilott, Gary Marocchi, Stephen Sceats, Gardon McCulloch, John O’Connell, Tony Trinca, George McMillan, Nick MacCallum, John Davies, David O’Callaghan.

PIC FOUR: Some of the WA squad that won the Marah Halim Cup in 1975 and 1976 had a reunion, organised by the Football Hall of Fame WA, at Dorrien Gardens in 2006. Ernie Hannigan (far left) was pictured this time, having been mysteriously omitted from the 1975 team line-up. Denis Barstow (1976 captain) is holding the trophy. Next to him is David O’Callaghan, who came from his home in Adelaide specially for the get-together.

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