SAAFL History – 1936


Team Gms W L Pts
West Adelaide United 18 18 0 36
St. Peters O.C. 18 14 4 28
Semaphore Central 18 14 4 28
Underdale 18 12 6 24
University 18 10 8 20
Kenilworth 18 9 9 18
Exeter 18 6 12 12
Prince Alfred O.C. 18 5 13 10
Henley & Grange 18 2 16 4
Goodwood 18 0 18 0

The A2 competition also had 10 teams playing 18 minor round matches, although Scotch withdrew after round 10. The grade was dominated by newcomer Walkerville, whose only loss was to Alberton Church United in round 4 by a point, scoring 10.9 to 11.4.

Team Gms W L D Pts
Walkerville 18 17 1 0 34
Eastwood 18 13 5 0 26
Alberton Church United 18 13 5 0 26
Kings O.C. 18 11 6 1 23
Teachers College 18 11 7 0 22
Christian Brothers OC 18 7 10 1 15
Pulteney O.S. 18 6 12 0 12
Holdens 18 5 13 0 10
Y.M.C.A. 18 5 13 0 10
Scotch O.C. 10 1 17 0 2

1936 was the silver jubilee of the Amateur League and a significant year for amateur football not only in South Australia but for all Australia, when representative amateur teams from five states met in Adelaide to compete in the first ever Australian football carnival. A significant feature of the domestic competition was the increase in the number of clubs which allowed a minor round of eighteen matches. And a change in administration occurred with Dr. Doug McKay taking over as Chairman of the Amateur League.

The health of the Amateur League was confirmed in 1936 with the entry of five new clubs plus the re-entry of Y.M.C.A. after a year’s absence. The five new clubs were Christian Brothers Old Collegians, Holdens Motor Body Builders, Kings Old Collegians, Pulteney Old Scholars and Walkerville. Adelaide High Old Scholars and Kensington did not seek reaffiliation as both clubs disbanded.

The six new clubs also consolidated the breadth of backgrounds which was a feature of the Amateur League since its inception. Of the six, three were old scholars clubs. Pulteney Old Scholars played at the School oval in the South Parklands, Kings Old Collegians played at the School’s Haslam Oval on Norwood Parade, and Christian Brothers Old Collegians played at Rostrevor College. The district Club Walkerville, formerly of the North Adelaide District Football Association, played on Walkerville Oval in Smith Street Walkerville, and the employees of the industrial firm Holdens Motor Body Builders reformed a team to share the church group Y.M.C.A.’s ground in the North Parklands.

At Executive level, Dr. D. G. McKay replaced J. H. Maitland as Chairman of the Amateur League. Dr. McKay was a former captain of the Adelaide University football and cricket teams and a Sheffield Shield cricketer.

The Tribunal was reformed. Whereas formerly it had comprised one independent person and two others who in most cases had an official connection with the club, it was now comprised of three independent persons. For 1936 the Tribunal comprised Dr.G.M. Hone, and Messrs. E. Millhouse and S.H. Lewis.

The A1 and A2 competitions were divided into 10 clubs each, so for the first time a minor round of eighteen matches was required to allow each club to play its opponents twice each. After round 8, however, Goodwood withdrew from A1 and disbanded completely, while Scotch withdrew from the A2 division after round 10.

In A1 three teams were promoted from A2, namely P.A.O.C., Semaphore Central and West Adelaide United. Kensington had disbanded and this gave a 10-team competition with 18 minor round matches, although Goodwood withdrew after round 8. After five rounds West Adelaide United and St. Peters OC were undefeated and met in round 6 at St. Peters College where the former team won by a point. From then on it was all West Adelaide as it went through the minor round undefeated, while Adelaide University failed to make the finals for the first time since the Amateur League began.

West Adelaide United defeated Semaphore Central 12.14 to 10.11 and Underdale defeated an injury-ridden St. Peters O.C. 16.15 to 12.11 in the Semi Finals. West Adelaide then completed an undefeated season by beating Underdale in the Final at Thebarton Oval under umpire F. Davis 11.19 to 10.8. West Adelaide led all day and enjoyed a margin of 6 goals in the last quarter until a late burst by Underdale resulted in them kicking 3.1 to nothing. West Adelaide United ruckman and state player Jim Bellhousedominated in both finals matches.

Walkerville and Eastwood easily won their semi finals 17.13 to 10.5 and 25.15 to 15.10 respectively, with Eastwood’s Howard Colquhoun kicking 18 goals, then Walkerville won the Final at Prospect Oval by 13.9 to 10.6, with coach Bill Knuckey dominating at centre half back.


Former Sturt player Len Reeves of Kenilworth won the Hone Medal, while Ivan Hooper of Pulteney O.S. scored a record 59 umpires’ votes to win the A2 Chambers Medal. The A1 leading goalkicker was Bill Hann (St. Peters O.C.) with 116 goals, which was the third time he had led the A1 goalkickers having previously done so twice while playing for University.

In A2 Sid Maley of Walkerville created a new Amateur League record by kicking 155 goals, a record which still stands at the time of writing. Howard Colquhoun of Eastwood also performed well with 89 goals in 8 games.


A big occasion in amateur football was the inaugural All-Australian Amateur Football Carnival, held under the auspices of the A.A.F.C. The honour of hosting the carnival went to South Australia which was celebrating the 25th year of the S.A.A.F.L. and a due reward to Secretary Hugh Millard who had been a driving force in establishing interstate football for the amateurs. The venue for the carnival was Adelaide Oval, and it was held from August 18th to August 22nd. South Australian officials set a budget of £500 to cover expenses and to subsidise a team from Western Australia, and the S.A. umpires agreed to reduce their fees for the 1936 season from £1/5/- to £1/2/6 to help fund the carnival.

Five states were represented. South Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria were members of the A.A.F.C., the Western Australia Amateur Football League was invited to send a team, as was the New South Wales National Football League, the senior league in N.S.W. South Australia held a trial at St. Peters College on the King’s Birthday holiday (June 29), selected a squad in late July, and trained Monday and Wednesday evenings under coach M.W. Evans.

The players and officials were greeted at a civic reception by the Lord Mayor (Mr. Cain) at the Adelaide Town Hall on the morning of the first match on Tuesday August 18.

Dances were held during the week hosted by various clubs from the S.A.A.F.L.. Kenilworth hosted a dance for the Tasmanians, Underdale for the Western Australians, St. Peters O.C. for the Victorians, and Semaphore Central for the New South Welshmen. Visits to industrial firms were also on the agenda with trips to General Motors Holden and to the Walkerville Brewery.

The South Australian list of 25 players for the carnival, managed by H.V. Millard, was as follows:

  • Adcock, Clarrie Kings O.C.
  • Anders, Ralph University
  • Baird, Len West Adelaide United
  • Bellhouse, Jim West Adelaide United
  • Bridgland, Lionel St. Peters O.C.
  • Brown, K.W. ‘Jockey’ West Adelaide United
  • Christopher, Jack West Adelaide United
  • Elix, Bob University
  • Forrestall, FL Underdale
  • Friedrichs, Noel Teachers College
  • Hayward, Anthony St. Peters O.C.
  • Hill, Jack vice captain West Adelaide United
  • Hooper, Ivan Pulteney O.S.
  • Johnson, Jack Exeter
  • Juttner, Lance Henley & Grange
  • Keane, Ron West Adelaide United
  • Keville, Skippy Underdale
  • Knight, Ron Semaphore Central
  • Leak, Bill Eastwood
  • Lee, Bob captain St. Peters O.C.
  • Masters, Bunny University
  • McFarlane, John University
  • McKnight, Malcolm Kings O.C.
  • Reeves, Len Kenilworth
  • Stephens, John Prince Alfred O.C.

The central umpires for the carnival were A.N. Barlow (Vic.), F. G. H. Davis (S.A.), S. H. Oehme (S.A.), and R. A. Vardon (S.A.).

The President of the Australian Amateur Football Council Major W.T. Conder donated a cup for the winner of the carnival. Admission was set at seven pence to all parts of the ground, except for the finals on the Saturday when it cost a shilling and twopence to enter the reserved area.

The programme provided for matches over 5 consecutive days at Adelaide Oval. Tasmania could only stay until the Friday of the Carnival because the northern final of the Conder Shield was being played in Launceston the next day. Accordingly, a “losers’ final” was scheduled for the early match on the Saturday. This would be between the losers of the S.A./N.S.W. match played on Tuesday, and of the Vic./W.A. match played on Wednesday. The winners of these 2 matches would meet in the final match for the Conder Cup on Saturday afternoon.

S.A. had the advantage in strong rucks and a dominant defence. Elix was moved to the centre when Hayward retired injured shortly after the start, and he provided lots of drive, while Christopher was outstanding at half-back.

Tuesday August 18, 1936

Team 1Q 2Q 3Q Final
S.A. 8.4 10.6 16.11 25.11 (161)
N.S.W. 2.3 6.9 10.9 14.13 (97)
  • Goalkickers: Keane 8, Lee 7, Brown 4, Juttner 4, Bellhouse, Friedrichs
  • Best Players: Elix, Christopher, Lee, Brown, Friedrichs, Bellhouse
Team 1Q 2Q 3Q Final
Victoria 6.1 13.2 21.17 27.15 (177)
Tasmania 1.1 1.1 4.1 6.3 (39)

Wednesday August 19, 1936

Team 1Q 2Q 3Q Final
Victoria 2.3 6.5 9.9 11.13 (79)
W.A. 0.1 1.3 1.5 3.8 (26)

Thursday August 20, 1936

Team 1Q 2Q 3Q Final
N.S.W. 8.3 12.6 16.8 18.24 (132)
Tasmania 1.3 5.6 9.16 12.17 (89)

Friday August 21, 1936

Team 1Q 2Q 3Q Final
Tasmania 6.3 8.4 10.8 14.14 (98)
W.A. 4.6 7.11 9.15 10.19 (79)

Saturday August 22, 1936

The final was played under Victorian umpire A.N. Barlow and S.A. had the advantage of an extra day’s rest and only one prior match. However, S.A. was unlucky to lose brilliant centreman Elix in the first quarter, and then half-back McFarlane, who had been dominating, could not resume after half time. During the third quarter key defenders Christopher and Johnson were also receiving attention from the trainers and the Vics kicked seven goals to two. Down five goals at the beginning of the last quarter the depleted S.A. team rallied and nearly pulled off a stirring victory.

Team 1Q 2Q 3Q Final
Victoria 3.0 9.1 16.5 18.7 (115)
S.A. 4.2 8.9 10.11 16.14 (110)
  • Goalkickers: Keane 5, Lee 5, Friedrichs 3, Brown 2, Stephens.
  • Best Players: Lee, Keane, Friedrichs, McFarlane, Brown
Team 1Q 2Q 3Q Final
N.S.W. 4.3 7.8 10.13 17.16 (118)
W.A. 3.3 5.4 7.6 8.10 (58)

Thus the first A.A.F.C. carnival was won by the powerful Victorian team, but S.A. could consider itself a little unlucky not to have been the victor in its Jubilee year. However, the foundation had been laid for triennial carnivals which would rotate between Adelaide, Launceston or Hobart, Perth, and Melbourne. However, the practice of selecting an All-Australian team would not commence until the A.N.F.C. carnival in 1950.

Thanks To Our Major Sponsors