1953 was an inexplicably poor year. Wests went from Premiers in 1952 to Wooden Spooners in 1953. After winning the first two rounds (including a brilliant 44-28 victory over South Sydney at the SCG) they only won three out of the next sixteen and one out of the last eleven. They had significant loss of personnel in Ernie Church (to Balmain), Ron Smith and Don Stait (to Newtown), Keith Cullen to Young during the season, and Gerry Lowe and Don Schofield. Injuries also played a significant role and lots of Juniors such as Brian Ogle, Keith Lennard and Dale Puren were forced to make debuts. Peter McLean, the Coach, also pulled the boots back on in a desperate move. The flow-on effect meant that the lower grades also had very poor seasons. Only Kevin Hansen played all 18 matches.

This did not, however, account for the downward spiral after the first two games and President Jack Neill hinted at the issue in the Annual Report; “The season under review brought with it many difficulties, some of which created ill-feeling and despondency amongst the players and, in turn, upset the harmony and sentiment of the club.” They were down in personnel but there was obvious dissention in the playing group. Both Jack Neill and Lou Moses expressed optimism that the problem would be solved and 1954 would be a much better year. The criticism of the Administration was to continue, however.

Club stalwarts, Bill Spooner, Jack Snare and Don Peel were made Life Members.

Western Suburbs President’s Cup /Inter District Squads

Western Suburbs:
B W Ashton, B E Owen, T J Hunt, B N Burnett, N B Oake, R C Phyllis, W C Carson, B F Gibson, W H Owens, R J Fitzsimons, P A Wooden, T J Shiner, R G Byrnes, L E Midson, R Loudon, D M Carpenter, K Fountain


Keith Holman in his Kangaroo Jersey



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