Historic Rivalry adds another chapter
Spanning over 145 years, Williamstown and Port Melbourne have the longest running rivalry in Australian Rules Football. However the Round 1 VFL clash between the ‘Seagulls’ and the ‘Borough’ at Downer Oval on Saturday 6th April will be an historic occasion for several more reasons.
Kicking off at 7.15pm, the Round 1 game will be the first ever VFL night game played at Williamstown, with brand new light towers and 300Lux lights recently installed at Downer Oval for state level competition. This game will also be the first time we will play our arch rivals for the Johnson-Callahan Cup, a trophy named in honour of club legends Frank Johnson and Gerry Callahan.
Gerry ‘The Monster’ Callahan was recruited to the Williamstown Football Club in 1951 and over the next 17 years established himself as one of the greatest players, coaches and personalities ever to wear the Blue and Gold. Gerry Callahan’s career highlights at Williamstown include:
• Played 171 games and kicked 75 goals between 1951 and 1959
• 5 time Premiership Captain – 1954, 1955, 1956, 1958 and 1959
• 2 time Premiership Coach 1958 and 1959
• Captained Club for 6 years 1954 – 1959
• Coached Club for 10 years 1958 – 1967
• 2 time Best and Fairest 1951 and 1957
• Represented and Coached VFA in Interstate Football
• Selected at Centre Half Back and named Captain of the Williamstown Team of the Century
Frank Johnson had a remarkable career at Port Melbourne
• Played 165 games and kicked 52 goals between 1950 and 1957
• 5 time Best and Fairest winner – 1951, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956
• Liston Trophy Winner – 1952
• Captained/Coach – 1956, 1957
• All Australian – 1953, 1956 (Captain)
• Captain of the Port Melbourne Team of the Century
• Life Member of the VFL/VFA
• AFL Hall of Fame Member
Respective coaches Andrew Collins and Gary Ayres were on hand for the announcement, as the former Hawthorn Premiership teammates from the 1980’s will go to battle in the coaches box for the sixth straight season, with the ledger sitting at 5-4 in favour of Collins.
Collins says this just adds further significance to the rivalry. “We’ve got two of the oldest sporting clubs in Australia and now to honour these two legends of the respective clubs adds that bit more to the rivalry.”
Ayres echoed Collins. “For us to have a showcase game Round 1 against our traditional rivals is a great thing for us stand alone clubs. This is a great thing for the VFL with two of the most successful clubs battling it out twice a year for the Johnson-Callahan Cup.”
We are expecting a huge crowd and we are encouraging all our Seagull supporters to buy your memberships in advance of the game, so as to avoid the queues and not miss a minute of the action.
There will be a VIP Member's entry lane operating on the night to cater for all our members. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP: https://bit.ly/2T2NtMS.
This is one historic game you don’t want to miss! .