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Graeme Lee - My Redan Story


July 2016


These are memories of a 12 year old.


I remember the crowd at the oval and the excitement around the club and in the rooms prior to the match starting and how packed the change room was after the game and the jubilation that Redan had won and were Premiers and Champions (1952).


I may be wrong on this but I seem to remember that the following year the only match Redan lost was the Grand Final, I can't remember to who.


I can't remember any stand out players from the game or who the best players were but can remember that it was overall team effort. From memory Len Templar played well (he later coached Ballarat) Jack Papworth, Dinny Murphy, Max Spittle, Les Borrack all put in great efforts, Keith Rawle and Bill Ebery led by example.


Score: Redan 17.9.111 d Ballarat 13.9.87

Best: Keith Rawle, Dinny Murphy, Len Templar, Bill Ebery, Max Spittle, Frank Murphy.

Goals: Robert Splatt 4, Keith Rawle 3, Max Lyle 2, Len Templar 2, Dinny Murphy 2, Alan Fyffe 2, Les Borrack, Jack Papworth.


Another player from that side Max Lyle is still alive and lives in the Rosebank Retirement Village in Sebastopol and I believe has just had his 92nd birthday recently.


Bill Ebery was a terrific bloke always ready to talk to us kids, a great clubman and as my mum said was a real gentleman. I can remember his long kicking for goal from near the centre and his strong marking ability as well as his ruck work.


When Keith Rawle arrived the club was in the doldrums but with his arrival there was a lot of anticipation that success wasn't far away. I can't remember any of his addresses to the players but can remember how quiet the room was during his addresses and as I said earlier he led by example.


One of my memories from those years, Dad being property steward was that I got to travel on the Team Bus (Reserves) to the away matches at Geelong West and Maryborough.


Back then the players travelled by bus to the out of town matches and the club would also run a couple of buses for the supporters. It sounds funny now but the bus to Geelong would always stop at the Elaine Hotel for sandwiches and drinks to break the journey.


Another thing I remember from those years were sitting in the grandstands at both the City and Eastern Ovals always in the same seats. It seemed to be an unwritten rule that you always sat in the same seats with the same people around you. "Our" seats at the City Oval was front row right above the door the players ran out of.


The Ladies Committee ran Euchre Tournaments these were quite serious at times especially if a player did the wrong thing and Dances with a supper afterwards at St Georges Hall.


They also ran Balls, a Belle of the Ball and a Belle of Belles Ball at the Town Hall. Plus there was always a raffle on the go at these functions. They also had a drink bar (soft drinks only) at these functions. All the ladies involved were very hard workers for the Club.


My Father was property steward for five years and at the start of each season each player was issued with a new jumper and a pair of socks. 


I can remember sitting in the kitchen at home with 40 plus pairs of socks hand sewing little numbers on each sock to match the jumper number of the player and, after the socks were washed and dried after each match, sitting down and matching up pairs of socks (two socks would have the same number so that they could be paired together).


The washing of the jumpers and socks often started on the Saturday night especially if they were very muddy. All washing was done by hand and the water heated in a wood fired copper three or four times.


Mum and Dad were proud of the fact that the jumpers were always folded and the socks were matched and rolled ready for the next game.


Fred and Bob Carpenter, Ken Delaland, John Brayshaw, and Bruce Holloway were some of the players from around where I lived that played senior football. We had many kick to kick games on the road wearing out many footballs or we would go across to Trekardo Park for a kick. This was before soccer took over the park.


With regards Bob Stewart he was a bit older than me and he was playing Under 18 when I was in the Under 16s, but I remember him as a tall gangling player winning most ruck contests, he was also a good mark of the ball. A good bloke off the field


My top players over the years would be Bill Ebery, Keith Rawle, Les Borrack, Jack Papworth, Dinny Murphy, Max Spittle (who played on the wing and was one of the fastest players I can remember) and "Bomber" Wells with Fred Carpenter, Bill McKenzie, Ken Delaland in later years. Ken's brother Graeme was a good player but he played for Ballarat.


I haven't followed the club that closely over the years apart from checking the paper each week to see how they went but this may change in the future depending on how long my grandson plays for (Ziggy Lee plays under 12s).


My son Sean played juniors and reserves football with Redan playing with the likes of Ashley Snowdon, Ashley Quale Darren Gunnser, Jason Flowers and Brett Ray.


He also played with Daylesford, Buninyong and Grovedale in Geelong before finishing up playing for the Halls Creek Hawks up in the Kimberly which was an experience doing a round trip of Approx 680kms nearly every Saturday.


He has also had an article published in The West Australian on his experience up there. He writes for the Roar online sports Magazine on both football and cycling.


My Under 16 coach was Les McKay who lived in Ripon Street just down from the Western Oval. As I was a very mediocre or average player, my main role in junior football was as a "bench warmer" and would get a run in the last quarter if we were well in front. This was the reason I "retired" during my first year in the Under 18.


Les always said to me to 'keep your eyes on the ball, stay in front of your opponent and if on the backline don't let him get away on his own and never kick across the goals'. My favourite position was the wing as I had a little bit of pace. But I didn't get to play there often. 


Unfortunately I can't remember apart from Les Waller any of the other presidents Dad may have served under. As a matter of interest Austin Spears the club's treasurer in 1952 had a bike shop on the corner of Sturt and Ascot streets Ballarat.


Five time Dalton-Bayly Medal winner and 1952 Premiership player Bill Ebery 

Mrs Tillitson is on the left, Mrs Ritchie in the Middle & Emily Lee on the right.

In the middle (the blonde lady) is Mrs Brady, the lady on the extreme right is Mrs Maloney and next to her Mrs Parry. In the front row, in the middle is my mother Emily Lee, the lady on the extreme right is Mrs Wilson and next to her is Mrs Cassells. I am unsure of the remaining ladies.

A photo of the "weekly wash" that appeared in the Courier, unfortunately the quality of the photo is poor.

My father Harold Lee (middle row) was property steward for the club for a number of years.

From left Mrs Ritchie, my Mother Emily Lee and Mrs Patterson. My mother being President and the other ladies possibly being Treasurer and Secretary.

Les McKay

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