BOB Beale, the son of original Hall of Fame committee member the late Alan Beale, has gone a long way to helping to preserve the history of the game in Western Australia.
He has donated a considerable amount of his father’s memorabilia to the Football Hall of Fame WA.
“Dad was very proud of his association with the Hall of Fame – and of his efforts to chronicle the history of the game in general,” said Bob.
“So, I think it is appropriate that I should make this donation and, hopefully, it will go on show one day when the Hall of Fame achieves its aim of establishing a football museum.”
Bob handed over some historic photos, football boots that are nearly 70 years old and many old programmes and yearbooks that are valuable in the history of WA football to Hall of Fame committee chairman Louis Prospero JP.
“We are very grateful to Bob for this gesture,” said Prospero. “These are items that were obviously treasured by Alan, who was a very significant figure in the history of the game in WA.”
The Beale family have been closely linked with football in the Cockburn/Spearwood area for over 80 years.
Bob’s grandfather, William Alan Beale, emigrated to Australia from the West Ham area of London in 1923, two years after Alan was born. He became president of Spearwood Rovers and Alan joined the club at 13, beginning a family playing association that was continued by Bob and his younger brother Brian and several cousins.
Rovers later became Cockburn City and Bob, who was a strong centre half, won the club’s fairest and best award in 1966. Brian was also a useful player, and also a very good cricketer.
But neither reached the dizzy heights of their father’s achievements.
Alan played over 500 games as boy and man for Spearwood/Cockburn and reckoned he scored about 600 goals, over 200 of them in the First Divsion.
He was appointed club captain in 1940, a position he proudly held for the rest of his long career. He led the club to victory in the 1941 Challenge Cup and the Charity Cup in 1950.
In his 13-year State League career he filled a top three spot on the goalscoring charts in each season.
He was also a prolific goal-getter for the State team, bagging six goals as WA won the Inter-State Carnival in Adelaide in 1948, the first Australian trophy to be snared by a team from the West.
When his playing days were over, Alan spent about 20 years coaching at the Spearwood/Cockburn club. He was also at various times patron, president and secretary of the club.
It was fitting that when Cockburn moved from a field that is now home to the Cockburn Bowling Club to new premises in 1974 the Cockburn Council should opt to call it Beale Park, in honour of the area’s most dedicated football enthusiast.
Alan made a further valuable contribution to the history of the game in the area – and football in general – when he interviewed several notable former players and personalities (Ron Adair, John McInroy, Ted Gray, Paul Sobek, Tom D’Orsogna, Gary Marocchi, Robbie Zabica and Lou Ricci amongst many others) and left the video records to the Cockburn City Library. He also filmed the State’s 100th year of football celebrations at Langley Park when over 1,000 kids took part in various games.
He was also a key member of the first Hall of Fame WA Committee, his knowledge helping to identify the best players who were inducted in the initial ceremony in 1996. Fittingly, Alan was one of those who joined an elite group of former players to be hailed in the Hall of Champions.
In 1998 he entered another Hall of Fame, this time the one established by Cockburn Council to honour its prominent citizens. He was also twice named Cockburn Citizen of the Year.
Alan died in 2001 at the age of 79, but the honours have continued to flow. The best player of the Charity Cup in 2011 received the Alan Beale Medal. It was presented by his son Brian, who, sadly, died in January 2015 at the age of 68.
PIC ONE: Bob Beale (left) makes a presentation to Louis Prospero. PIC TWO: Alan Beale in the 1948 State team that won the Inter-State Carnival in Adelaide. PIC THREE: Alan Beale is presented with a Cockburn Hall of Fame certificate by Cockburn mayor John Grljusich in 1998.