1973 Premiership Reunion Lunch
- Thursday, 23 May 2013
Join us on June 15th vs Swan Districts to help celebrate the reunion of the 1973 Premiership team. It has been 40 years since that memorable day when the 49 year premiership drought was broken.
Who could forget the Lions backline of Davenport, Williams, Shepheard, Crouch, Blair and Paterson that completely blanketed the West Perth forward division. Keith Watt four goals, and Mick Malone three goals, Dennis Blair winning the Simpson Medal and Neil Randall's flowing locks.
This is an opportunity not to miss and you have the chance to join the team for lunch to celebrate, reminisce and tell stories how the game was won. The lunch is hosted by 6PR’s Steve Mills. This package includes the special lunch and entry into the game. Click here to book your spot at the reunion.
Virtually every key figure from the 1973 Premiership team is returning for the day with the Melbourne contingency of Ross Smith, Mike Fitzpatrick and Gary Crouch have already committed.
This is a big day on the Subi’s calendar for 2013 so make sure you don’t miss out. Space is limited so book your spot now.
About the 1973 Season
Subiaco defeated West Perth 10.12 (72) d 6. 4 (40) to win first premiership in 49 years.
Subiaco pulled off a recruiting coup when they appointed Victorian and St. Kilda rover, Ross Smith as Captain Coach for the 1973 season. Smith had Captained Victoria in the 1972 Carnival series and was interested in gaining coaching experience. Punters believed that Subiaco had backed a winner and the Club was installed as second favourite at Tattersalls Club to win the premiership. Apart from Ross Smith the Club had three young emerging super stars in Peter Featherby, Mike Fitzpatrick and Keith Watt.
The goal to goal line of Colin Williams, Ian Cunningham, Peter Featherby, Ron Bayens, and Austin Robertson was second to none. Brian Sierakowski was the leagues’ number one enforcer, and there was an abundance of talent on every line. Unfortunately the Club had lost the services of George Young, who had transferred to St. Kilda.
The Clubs early premiership hopes were severely dented when the team won only two of their first five games. The team was struggling to come to terms with Smith’s game plan. The game plan was built around a solid defence, which kept mistakes to a minimum and the following brigade moving quickly into defence to stop opposition forward thrusts. After its poor start the team won fourteen of its next sixteen qualifying matches, and finished on top of the ladder. The game plan was being carried out to perfection, and the Club had unearthed two new stars in Fred Davenport, and Neil Randall who had had great seasons.
The only black cloud on the horizon was that they had been beaten by West Perth in all three qualifying matches. East Perth convincingly defeated East Fremantle in the first semi final and Subiaco lost the second semi-final by three goals against their hoodoo side, West Perth. Over the years because of their lack of premiership success the Club was expected to fail, and critics had a field day labeling the Club as losers. The bookmakers had the team at 7 to 1 to win the premiership, double the odds on offer at the beginning of the season. The team beat East Perth by ten points in the preliminary final with Keith Watt, Peter Featherby and Neil Randall starring. The Cinderella team had made the Grand Final, and the amount of hysteriagenerated by supporters was incredible club legend Tom Outridge passed away the day before the Grand Final. Roving legend Johnny Leonard attended the match and although he had coached West Perth to two premierships he declared he was a Subiaco man and was barracking for them. Unfortunately two regular members of the team Ian Cunningham, and Stephen Heal were injured and unable to play in the Grand Final. The game was played in windy conditions and the endeavour of both sides could not be faulted. At half time the score was West Perth 4 – 2 Subiaco 3 – 7 The Subiaco defence led by Denis Blair had been magnificent. In the second half Subiaco maintained tremendous pressure, and West Perth cracked, the final score was Subiaco 10 – 12 to West Perth 6 – 4 In the second half Ross Smith, Keith Watt, Mike Fitzpatrick and Peter Burton took control on the ball and the back line was superb. Smith’s game plan had worked to perfection. West Perth’s final score of 6 – 4 was the lowest score in a Grand Final since 1934. The backline of Davenport, Williams, Shepheard, Crouch, Blair and Paterson had completely blanketed the West Perth forward division. Keith Watt four goals, and Mick Malone three goals, did the bulk of the scoring. Denis Blair was a worthy winner of the Simpson Medal.
The 49-year drought was broken and strong men cried unashamedly after the game.