Longford Football Club to celebrate 1957 state premiership

THE Longford Football Club will celebrate arguably its greatest ever achievement next month.

REUNION: Longford president David Blair with 1957 state premiership players Don Brooks, Len Pitt and Jack Barnes holding a team photo. Picture: Paul Schwamm

REUNION: Longford president David Blair with 1957 state premiership players Don Brooks, Len Pitt and Jack Barnes holding a team photo. Picture: Paul Schwamm

It has been 60 years since the mighty Tigers conquered Tasmania – defeating North Hobart 14.16 (100) to 12.7 (79) in the 1957 state grand final.

The triumph came during Carlton champion Fred ‘Mulga’ Davies’ tenure as captain-coach.

Davies had Longford running on full cylinders – yielding NTFA flags in 1955, 1957 and 1958 – the most successful era in the Northern Midlands club’s 149-year history.

The side also came awfully close in 1956, getting through the home and away season unscathed only to exit the finals series in straight sets.

However, they rebounded the following season with full force.

They lost just three games in 1957 with a huge number of fans regularly passing through the turnstiles to witness the show.

Longford took down Launceston 11.11 (77) to 6.7 (43) in the NTFA grand final, before travelling to Ulverstone for the state preliminary knockout.

They overran the Robins by 38 points and then turned their attention to John Leedham’s North Hobart.

More than 12,220 people attended the state grand final in a year in which Longford midfielder John Fitzallen won the club and association best and fairest awards.

Longford president David Blair said the anniversary would be marked with a reunion at the clubrooms on Saturday, May 6, when the Tigers challenge Scottsdale.

A minute’s silence for the deceased Davis, Peter Jago, Gus O’Brien, Ivo Brown, Ron Butterworth, Tom Barwick and Murray Cox will be observed with lunch and folklore to be shared around thereafter.

“As you can imagine it is difficult to be in touch with family members of deceased players, but we are hoping a few of them can come along and celebrate with us,” Blair said.

“It will be a great chance for the current playing group to connect with a significant part of the club’s history.”

For more information contact Blair on 0407 501 293, Matthew Sytsma on 0428 586 030 or Dennis Dwyer on 0434 367 872.

GREATS OF 1957 

Fred Davies (captain-coach), Jack Barnes (vc), Don Brooks, Len Pitt, Bob Pitt, Clarrie Goninon, Don Goninon, Ted Bricknell, Ivan Hayes, Jack Jones, Bob Allen, John Fitzallen, John Maher, Bob Hay, Peter Jago, Gus O’Brien, Ivo Brown, Ron Butterworth, Tom Barwick, Murray Cox.

REUNION FACTS

  • WHAT: Longford 1957 State premiership reunion.
  • WHEN: Saturday, May 6.
  • WHERE: Longford Football Club.