Western Suburbs DRLFC First Grade 1961 – Runners Up
Back: W Martin, J Hayes, K O’Shea, M Patch, N Kelly, D Parish
Sitting: K Holman, A Summons, W Carson, N Charlton (Captain ), P Dimond, W Brown, D Barsley
Front: B White (Ball Boy)

1961 overall was Western Suburbs’ best ever season. They were runners-up in First Grade, Premiers in Reserve (first time in 25 years) and Third Grade, made the finals in the President’s Cup and Jersey Flegg competitions and were the Club Champions for the second year running.

Key injuries in the Final win 7-5 over Balmain, particularly to Don Parish, meant their best team couldn’t go onto the ground in the Grand Final where they lost 22-0 to a top-class St George team. At the start of the season, they had lost Doug Jones, Ian Moir, Dick Poole (forced to retire due to continuing injury problems), Darcy Russell and Bede Goff to Balmain. However, their replacements Noel “Ned” Kelly from Queensland, Kevin Smyth from Balmain and Don Parish, were to usher in a golden era for Wests. Add in debuts from a young John “Chow” Hayes and Fred Norden, a rampaging Jim Cody in Third Grade, and the future looked bright. “Chow” had a meteoric rise, being selected for NSW after only a handful of games. Particular mention was made of Garry Russell in the Annual Report who played 85 games straight over a 5-year period – an ironman of the club.

Harry Wells’ knee injury, sustained in representative games, kept him out of club football for a good part of the season. It had an effect come finals time.

Keith Holman was credited with his 200th game and Bill Carson his 100th, both achieved on the same day, the last game of the premiership rounds. Arthur Summons and Don Parish represented both NSW and Australia while John Hayes, Harry Wells and Nev Charlton represented NSW.

In a significant development, night matches were started at Lidcombe Oval, while the passing of Bill “Wacka” Lucas was felt strongly by all concerned at the club.


Western Suburbs DRLFC Reserve Grade 1961 – Premiers
Back: D Hall, J Ryan M Patch, B Kowald, D Wilson, G Russell
Sitting: E Foster, J Dawson, D Malone, R Buttenshaw (Captain), R McGuiness, N Dhu, N Trevena
Ball Boy: B White


Western Suburbs DRLFC 3rd Grade 1961 – Premiers
Back: Terry Gallagher, Jim Cody, George Downie, Brian Kowald, Ian Russell, Barry Ferney,
Front: Robert McGuiness, Norm Dhu, Carl Ross, J W “Bill” Martin (Captain), Ron Wilson, Don O’Sullivan, John Rochester
Ball Boy: Barry White


Western Suburbs DRLFC Jersey Flegg 1961 – Finalists
Back: H Burns (Selector), P Panagiris (Ass Secretary), R Shepherd (Selector), V Kelly (Selector)
Middle: W Leet (Treasurer), D Pittard, D Taylor, M Alchin, R Yott, J Armstrong, R Bond, G Walsh, W Thurston, S J Addison (Secretary)
Front: S Walsh, D Speer (Vice Captain), J Tagg (President), B Beer (Captain), R McFarlane (Coach), J Kearns, N Stone
Seated: G Bond (Ball Boy), K Blundell, M Reardon (Ball Boy)
Absent: E Byrnes (Selector), P Rowley, T McDonald, P Kilkeary (Ambulance Officer)




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