IT IS 50 YEARS since the WA State team achieved its biggest overseas victory over an international opponent – a stunning 8-1 triumph over the Singapore national team in Singapore on August 17, 1970.
The West Australians were returning from Malaysia after taking part in the prestigious Merdeka Cup and stopped off in Singapore for a one-off international challenge.
Their Merdeka effort hadn’t gone to plan, winning only two of six games, and the players were determined to demonstrate that they were better than their low-key performances in Malaysia.
WA certainly shook off the Merdeka demons with a blast that left Singapore wondering what had hit them.
Star striker Len Dundo helped himself to a hat-trick, while Bobby Hynd weighed in with two goals. The other goals came from Peter Holt, Archie Van Dongen and Alf Debono.
The hat-trick effort capped off a sensational year for Dundo, who, all up, bagged 10 goals from 10 representative games in 1970.
Len, who excelled as a deadly striker at club level with the likes of Swan Athletic, Inglewood Kiev and Kingsway Olympic, went on to be the State League’s top scorer in 1972, 73 and 74 – and again in 1976, 77, 78 and 1980.
When Dundo was the leading marksman in 1972 he scored 34 goals, including four hat-tricks and a four-goal haul in one game. He became the first player to win sponsor Ken George of Yamaha’s $3-a-goal award as the top scorer.
His 34 tally was well ahead of second-placed Hynd, who got 23 goals.
Hynd had been the State League’s leading marksman in 1970, with 33 goals for East Fremantle Tricolore, and again the joint top striker (shared with Dundo) with 19 goals in 1973.
The WA squad that faced Singapore was: Owen Nuttridge, Tommy Carruthers, Alan Pendleton, Hugh Miller, Eric Edmonds, Peter Holt, Brian Newell, Graham Oughton (capt), Len Dundo, Bobby Hynd, David O’Callaghan, Paul Leber, Bruno Marocchi, Alf Debono, Richard Kuzimski, Archie Van Dongen.
FOOTNOTE: The biggest success achieved by a WA State team on home soil was in October, 1975 when, following the sensational victory over Glasgow Rangers at Perry Lakes Stadium a few months earlier, the representative side travelled to Albany to fulfil a commitment to show off their skills outside the metropolitan region.
They didn’t disappoint, hammering an Albany Combined X1 17-0 at the North Road ground.
Nick MacCallum and Ken Morton each got four goals, while Ray Ilott registered a hat-trick. Johnny Davidson got two, while even goalkeeper Tony Witschge got in on the act, converting a penalty. The other three strikes were own goals. On the flip side, WA’s biggest home losses were a 14-1 crash to Hadjuk Split (Jack Smethhurst got the WA goal) in 1949, and also a 14-1 loss to Everton (Mike Ireson the lone scorer) in 1964.
PIC ONE: Len Dundo praised in Yearbook after 34 goals in 1972. PIC TWO: Len at a Football Hall of Fame function in 2016. PIC THREE: Bobby Hynd in action for Tricolore.