Ken Fyffe - My Redan Story
What was it like growing up in Dimboola and what were some of your earliest footy memories and highlights?
I grew up on a wheat/ sheep property. I played football at a senior level in the Warracknabeal District League when I was fourteen. I had big burly farmers as my protectors, so never got injured.
Who or what was it that attracted you to play with Redan?
I was a boarder at Ballarat College and was invited to play with Redan. My older brothers had played for the club.
You played just a handful of games with the club in the U/18’s in 1955. Tell us about that side and some of the players who went on to succeed at Senior level with Redan or elsewhere.
Barry Cheatley was the only player I remember.
What can you recall of your season with the club?
I played just enough games to be eligible to play for Redan in the Grand Final. I was busy studying for Year Twelve at Ballarat College and training with our College football team.
What impressed you most about the Redan Football Club back in those days?
It was a very good club.
Tell us about how you come to play with North Melbourne in 1958?
North Melbourne officials came to Ballarat College to watch me play in 1956
I trained one night at Arden Street and was offered some money to sign with the Roos.
You played 37 games from 1958-1961 including every game and two finals in your first season under Wally Carter. What are your memories of that season and the finals win over Fitzroy and Preliminary Final loss to Collingwood?
We had a great year beating Fitzroy. Playing on the MCG in front of a huge crowd was exciting. I was fortunate to win the trophy for the Best first year player.
Tell us about playing under Wally Carter as coach and some of the captains you played under during your time with the club.
Wally was a past player and a passionate coach.
John Brady and Allen Aylett were excellent captains.
What position did you play most of your football and which was your best match at VFL level?
I played on the half back flank and back pocket. Played a few games as a Rover and kicked three goals.
Who were the best five players you played with or against during your time in the VFL?
Allen Aylett, Noel Teasdale, Ron Barassi, Bob Skilton, John Dugdale.
Which club did North Melbourne have a its greatest rivalry with in those days and which was the ground you most disliked playing at?
Collingwood at Collingwood.
You played alongside Barry Cheatley at both Redan and North Melbourne. Tell us about his playing career and also his time with North Melbourne marketing department in the 1970s?
Barry was a very good, strong full back.
He did an amazing job raising the money which helped the club win two premierships.
What can you tell us about Garry English who you played alongside with and who would later go on to coach Redan?
He played on the other half back flank. He was a good club man.
How would you describe the ‘Shinboner’ spirit?
Strong, dedicated, loyal team players. A fine example was Glen Archer.
In our conversation you mentioned match payments were 7 pounds 10 in those days and players could earn more money in the bush. How common was it to lose players in their prime to country sides in those days?
It happened, but was not a common procedure until the players were near the end of their VFL career.
Were you fortunate to play with your brothers Keith and Redan 1952 Premiership Player Alan at some point during your career and tell us about their time in football?
No they were much older.
Tell us about your time as Captain Coach at Upwey Tacoma in the Mountain League following your VFL days?
I played for four years and won the Frank Harris Best and Fairest in 1963.
Did you have an involvement in football following your playing days?
No, I have played golf and squash. I now play tennis twice a week. Lawn bowls and regular gym sessions. My main sporting passion is snow skiing. At 78, I must be one of the oldest skiers on the slopes.
What advice do you have for the boys and girls starting their football and netball careers at Redan?
Be enthusiastic, train hard and be a good sport.
Redan Team of the Century Full Back Barry Cheatley
Flag from Prelim final. 1958
Ken & Rosalie Fyffe
Ken Fyffe, North Melb coach Wally Carter, Ken Dean
Ken Fyffe 1958 wearing woollen long sleeve jumper and lace up boots !!
Ken Fyffe and Grandson Tom at Mt Buller July 2016
Still skiing aged 78