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Bill Dunstan - My Redan Story


September 2016



Did you play football as a child and what are some of your earliest memories?


I attended Pleasant Street Primary School and my father ran a bike shop at 1213 Sturt Street which are both in Redan Territory. Many people to this day remember the Penny Farthing bike on the roof of the shop.


After leaving school at the age of 14, I started work at Osborne's Foundry Creswick Road. Unfortunately I had a serious accident at work getting my legs caught up in a machine. I spent 33 weeks on hospital and was told that I may never walk again. Not great news for a young man but with the help of some metal rods in my legs and some good medical care I eventually recovered.


At what age did you become involved with Redan and what was it that attracted you to the club?


I think it was 1942 when I was asked to be a trainer at Redan. There was a first aid course to be completed but much of the training was learnt on the job.


I can remember watching Redan’s first premiership win in 1946.


Where did the name Tacker Dunstan come from?


My father was a shoe repair man so that’s where the name originated.


Who were some of the great players you have seen over the years at Redan?


There were many great players at Redan but some that stand out would include Bill Ebery, Keith Rawle, Graham Wiley, Graeme Gellie and Isaac Smith. One of the most tenacious players I have seen at Redan in recent years would be Jake Bridges.


What are your favourite memories about the Redan Football Club?


I think the undefeated premiership team of 1952 and the resurgence of the club in 2002 after some very hard times.


What was it about the 1952 side that lead them to go through the season undefeated?


The team obviously was loaded with talent but also the club had a very good committee at the time. Good administration makes good teams.


What involvement did your father have in the building of the Hall at the Western Oval?


My father had the original plans drawn up with the Hall taking a numbers of years to complete. It was opened by the Mayor of Ballarat Councillor Alex Mills in 1964.


What was the origin of the Dunstan Cup played for many years between Redan and Ballarat?


I think it was in 1960 when I put up the Cup in honour of my father who always said Ballarat was his second favourite team. At the time I thought that the Dunstan Cup should not go on for ever so after 50 years in 2010 I suggested it be put to rest.


What administrative roles did you play with the club?


I was appointed club secretary in 1960 and then president in 1961. I said at the time of appointment that I was only prepared to serve in each role for one year.


How did your involvement with the Footscray Football Club begin and what are some of your memories from this time?


I was approached by a couple of committee men from Footscray in 1965 who suggested that I apply for the role of Club secretary. After a number of interviews I was offered the role which lasted for six years finishing in 1971. I enjoyed my years at Footscray and made some wonderful friends during my time there.


One of the most difficult tasks I had to carry out as secretary was to tell Ted Whitten that his days were over at Footscray.


The committee had decided that he should finish at the end of 1970 although they did give him the option of playing on the following year to play the five games to become the club’s games played record holder. He would have to step down as captain and would only be played in 1971 if fit and holding his form.


I understand that you have a close relationship to the Darcy family.


David Darcy played with Footscray in the 1960s and over the years we have enjoyed a close friendship with all of his family. His son Luke calls and says hello when he is in Ballarat. Apart from being a great footballer he is a wonderful person.


Tell us about some of your other Sporting Achievements.


I was given the honour of being Redan’s number one ticket holder for a few years. In 2004 I was made a life member at Redan which I regard as a great honour.


My interest in Yachting saw me hold the position of Commodore of the Ballarat Yacht Club at one stage. I was also a foundation member of the Ballarat Sportsman’s Club which began in 1960. I still hold an honorary membership.


You were the publican at the Bunch of Grapes Hotel.


After running the Wool Exchange Hotel in Geelong for two years I then purchased the Bunch of Grapes in 1974 and ran for a further 2-3 years. It remained the home of the Redan team for many years.


Tell us about your role with Noel Kelly the Horse Trainer.


I was Racing Manager for Noel for 12 years prior to my retirement in 1995.



2007 following Grand Final

2016 Sponors Day with Ted Neville

1952 Premiers and Champions

1958 Basketball team


Top             Cal Howlett*, Bill Burge

Next row    Graeme Gibb,  Fred Carpenter, Michael Lynch*

Next            Don Robinson*, Greg Herdman*,  Bob Carpenter*,  Bill Dunn

                    Alan Henderson, Neil Wood*,  Rob Stewart*,  Eric Tonks*

Next            Stan Jacobi*,  Jack Nuttall*,  Cotch Halliday*, Val Stewart*

                    Eddie Skilbeck*,  Barry CheatleyBill Dunstan*

Front           Ian Burt*,  Ken Campbell*,  Graeme Weightman*,  Robert Hovey*,  Jim Wilson

*Passed away

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