Tom Carruthers

Tom donates a piece of WA football history

FORMER WA State team star Tom Carruthers has made a valuable donation to the Football Hall of Fame WA – the State team shirt he wore 50 years ago in the international challenge game against English giants Manchester City in front of 12,000 spectators at Perry Lakes Stadium in May, 1970.
Tom, who was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame in 2016, was happy to answer the request from the Committee of the Football Hall of Fame WA for memorabilia that could one day be put on display to reflect the 120 year-plus history of the game in Western Australia. It is hoped to establish a Football Museum in the not-too-distant future.
“I am delighted to make a contribution to a hoped-for Football Museum, which will be a wonderful testimony to the great history of football in Western Australia,” said Tom.

“We were allowed to keep our shirts after the Manchester City game, which was a terrific contest. I would have worn it for the photograph, but you know how things shrink these days!!!
“I have also attached a couple of shots from the match day programme and one from the report on the game.
“As well, I’ve attached a photo of the WA under-19 team that played in Adelaide in 1964. Interestingly, 10 of the 16 went on to play at State senior level.
“I don’t know the officials’ names on the left and right of the back line. Hall of Fame readers might like to spend their Coronavirus time identifying the players.
“Here’s what I know: Coach Frank Schapper, Peter Giorgi, Eric Edmonds, Tony Mann, Ric Cattermole, Lou Ivanoff, Peter Skinner, Ate Nelemans, John Van Oosten, Richard Kuzimski, Tom Carruthers, Len Dundo, Wally Fry (team manager), Peter Rogan, Henry Marchant, Alan Pendleton, Alan Lind, George Rzespeki.”
Scottish-born Tom caught the eye when he played at full-back for WA in the under-19s carnival in South Australia – and he went on to play 18 senior games for WA. In 1970 he had a busy time, facing Hertha 03 Zehlendorf, Inter Bratislava, Australia, Manchester City, and in the Anniversary Cup in Jakarta against Indonesia, Bogor State, Hong Kong. Also FC Zurich, Burma, South Vietnam, India, Malaysia, Taiwan (twice), and Singapore.
The game against Manchester City ended in a 1-1 draw, with Bobby Hynd getting WA’s goal, thanks to a great pass from Alf DeBono. Bobby Owen scored for City, who were managed by Joe Mercer at the time. Doug Stewart was the WA coach.
Mercer later praised the goalkeeping of Owen Nuttridge. “He can claim most of the credit for holding us to a draw – he had the sort of performance that every keeper dreams about,” said the City boss.
It was the English team’s only draw in their seven match tour of Australia. They beat South Australia 4-0, NSW 2-1 and 4-0, Queensland 3-0, Victoria 3-0 and Newcastle 4-1. 
The WA starting eleven against City was: Owen Nuttridge, Tom Carruthers, Alan Cooney, Hugh Miller, Eric Edmonds, Gary Mateljan, Alf Debono, Peter Holt, David O’Callaghan, Bobby Hynd, John Van Oosten.
The Committee of the Football Hall of Fame WA, which became a not-for-profit incorporated organisation towards the end of 2019, will soon launch a new body which, it is hoped, will attract funding from government and private organisations.
“We are setting up this entity to assist in establishing a Football Museum for the code in this State,” said Hall of Fame Committee chairman Louis Prospero.

Prospero said that several individuals and significant organisations have already indicated their desire to help finance the setting up of a Football Museum – and it’s hoped that such a project can become reality in the not too distant future.
Meanwhile, the Committee of the Football Hall of Fame WA, with hard-working secretary Penelope TannerHoath as the driving force, recently obtained a storage facility that is designed to meet the needs of storing and cataloguing donated memorabilia.
Apart from Tom Carruther’s contribution, the Hall of Fame has also received historical items from Katina Dudley, the daughter of the late Peter Dimopoulos, who was instrumental in the establishment of women’s football in WA.
Football West has also passed on many items of great significance to the Hall of Fame Committee. They are currently being catalogued.
If you would like to donate items deemed of historical interest, please contact Penelope at

PIC ONE: Tom Carruthers with his 1970 WA shirt. PIC TWO: Tom (centre) surrounding by fellow inductees at the 2016 ceremony. PIC THREE: WA’s under-19 team in 1964. PICS FOUR, FIVE, SIX: WA v City programme notes and match report.  

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