1950's

The most successful decade in the Club’s history opened with the controversial appointment of playing captain-coach Adrian Dullard, who replaced the 1949 premiership coach Gordon Ogden, leading to Team of the Century half-back flanker Colin Wilcox immediately leaving the Club. Champion goalkicker Ron Todd had also retired after the previous year’s grand final success, so the team was severely weakened and lost the opening match at home to Brunswick after the unfurling of the flag. Fortunes improved for the team despite the loss of quality players and a bad run with injuries, to finish the season in third place with 13 wins from 19 games, but went down to Brighton in the first-semi final by 38 points to finish the season. The Seconds lost the grand final by a solitary goal in a low-scoring game.

1951 saw the recruitment of future VFL star Bill Gunn along with Club legends Gerry Callahan and Ray Smith but the team had a poor season and finished in seventh position with ten wins, nine losses and a draw, despite a 20-point defeat of eventual premiers, Prahran, in the last home-and-away round.  The Seconds made the finals but were eliminated in the first semi, and the Thirds commenced playing in this season, usually appearing as a curtain-raiser to the senior game in place of baseball.

1952 saw the appointment of South Melbourne champion Bill Williams as playing coach, with Adrian Dullard remaining on to play. Bill Gunn crossed to the Swans, while future champions Harry Simpson, Max Munday and Johnny Martin made their debuts. A particularly wet winter made things difficult and the side not only ended out of the top four for the second successive season but was pushed down to tenth position with just eight wins from 20 games, the worse result since 1938. The only highlight of the season was the 103 goals kicked by star full-forward Johnny Walker, including 16 in the last game of the season against Box Hill. The Seconds finished sixth while the Thirds narrowly missed the finals, with Peter Barnes taking out the competition best & fairest award.

1953 saw the recruitment of several players who would go on to become Club greats, including Alby Linton ands Len Kent. The team finished in second place at the end of the home-and-away rounds, but went down to Port in the second-semi by 10 points and to the Gordon Ogden-coached Yarraville in the preliminary by four points. Johnny Walker finished the year stranded on 99 goals. The Seconds made the final four but were bundled out in the first-semi, while the Thirds finished in fifth position.

The appointment of Wally Carter in 1954 to replace Billy Williams would prove the catalyst to a remarkable period in Williamstown’s history, with five premierships being won over the ensuing six seasons. John Ramsay and Reg Fisher bolstered the playing list and Gerry Callahan became captain. 16 victories and only four defeats over the 20 game home-and-away series saw the team finish in second position, before going down to Port by two goals on a wet day in the second-semi. This match was the final appearance of Johnny Walker after 127 games.  A comfortable win in the preliminary final against Northcote saw the Seagulls meet Port in the grand final. Led by big-man Harry Simpson, Williamstown were victorious by five goals in front of a crowd of 30,000. The Seconds finished runners-up earlier in the day, while the Thirds finished sixth.

Future Team of the Century back-pocket Eric Beitzel joined the Seagulls in 1955, and sixteen wins from the twenty home-and-away rounds saw the team finish in third position. A 15-point victory in the first-semi against Moorabbin saw the Seagulls take on Preston in the preliminary, which ‘Town were lucky to win by nine points. The grand final against Port looked grim with the old rivals leading by more than seven goals early in the second quarter, which had been reduced to 31 just before three-quarter time. A late goal and several more in the last saw Williamstown hit the front at the 17-minute mark, and they hung on to win by 9 points, with Linton kicking six goals. The Seconds went one better than the previous season and took the flag, while the Thirds headed the ladder but lost the grand final to neighbouring Yarraville.

1956 produced a third successive senior flag, the undefeated Reserves second premiership in a row, Johnny Martin’s Liston Trophy win and Brian Stafford being judged the best player in the Thirds competition. The Seniors lost the second-semi to Port by 14 points before overcoming Box Hill in the preliminary final to again face old foes Port Melbourne in the grand final. With scores level at the 19 minute-mark of the last quarter, the Seagulls added four late goals with the breeze to run out comfortable winners. This meant that Port finished runners-up for the sixth time in seven seasons.

The Senior team was undefeated during the home-and-away rounds of season 1957, which featured night football for the first time. 22 consecutive victories since the 1956 second-semi came to an end at the hands of Moorabbin by two points in the second-semi, followed by a 12-goal defeat by Port in the preliminary to end the season and also the coaching career of Wally Carter after 76 wins, just 15 losses and three premierships. The Seconds were similarly bundled out of the finals in straight sets whilst the Thirds finished seventh.

Gerry Callahan took over as captain-coach for the 1958 season and the team headed the list at the conclusion of the home-and-away fixtures. They again went down to Moorabbin in the second-semi before overcoming Port in the preliminary, denying Port the chance of playing in its ninth consecutive grand final. The following week culminated in the one and only draw in VFA history against Moorabbin before Williamstown triumphed by 32 points in the following week’s replay, bringing the ninth premiership to Pt Gellibrand. The Seconds finished seventh while the Thirds won their first flag under the coaching of 1949 premiership winger Bill Sheahan.

Four-time premiership player and Liston Medallist John Martin departed the Club after 133 games before the 1959 season, which saw the re-introduction of sixteen-a-side football. Seventeen wins saw the side finish on top of the ladder, and a 22-point second-semi win over Sandringham saw them advance to the grand final where they met Coburg which was in its first play-off since 1928. Although trailing by two goals at the last change, Williamstown stormed home with nine last quarter goals to comfortably take the title again, its fifth flag in six years. This was Club legend Gerry Callahan’s last game for the Seagulls, although he would continue coaching until 1967. John Ramsay and Len Kent also retired. The Thirds made the finals but were knocked out in the preliminary final, and Graham Clough took out the Competition best and fairest award. 

 

Season by Season Summaries

Season Summary: 1950       Season Summary: 1951       Season Summary: 1952     Season Summary: 1953       Season Summary: 1954     Season Summary: 1955     Season Summary: 1956       Season Summary: 1957     Season Summary: 1958     Season Summary: 1959

 

 

     Year     

     President     

     Coach     

     Captain     

     Best & Fairest     

      Leading Goalkicker     

     1950

Harold Hosking

Adrian Dullard

Adrian Dullard

Jack Danckert

Johnny Walker (71)

     1951

Harold Hosking

Adrian Dullard

Adrian Dullard

Gerry Callahan/Gordon Williams

Johnny Walker (83)

     1952

Harold Hosking

Billy Williams

Billy Williams

Don Rogers

Johnny Walker (103)

     1953

Harold Hosking

Billy Williams

Billy Williams

Harry Simpson

Johnny Walker (99)

     1954

Harold Hosking

Wally Carter

Gerry Callahan

Harry Simpson

Alby Linton (46)

     1955

Jack Carter

Wally Carter

Gerry Callahan

Alby Linton

Alby Linton (84)

     1956

Jack Carter

Wally Carter

Gerry Callahan

Johnny Martin

Alby Linton (59)

     1957

Jack Carter

Wally Carter

Gerry Callahan

Gerry Callahan

Alan McPherson (60)

     1958

Arthur Johnson

Gerry Callahan

Gerry Callahan

Johnny Martin

Roy Cullinan (63)

     1959

Arthur Johnson

Gerry Callahan

Gerry Callahan

Ray Smith

Roy Cullinan (60)

 

     Year    

Best & Fairest

Runner-Up

Advertiser

Award

Chronicle

Award

     1950

John Molyneux

Alf Sampson

John Molyneux

     1951

Syd Wookey

John Molyneux

John Molyneux

     1952

Johnny Walker

Johnny Walker

Noel Allanson

     1953

Gordon Williams

Billy Williams

Billy Williams

     1954

Alby Linton

Harry Simpson

Harry Simpson

     1955

Johnny Martin

Alby Linton

Alby Linton/ Johnny Martin

     1956

Len Kent

Johnny Martin

Johnny Martin

     1957

Len Kent

Len Kent

Len Kent

     1958

Eric Beitzel

Johnny Martin

Johnny Martin

     1959

Leo Maloney

Ray Smith

Ray Smith

 

     Year     

     Secretary     

     Treasurer     

Reserves

Captain/Coach

  Reserves

B&F  

Thirds

Coach

Thirds

B&F

     1950

George Abberton

Jim McConville

Joe Lyons

Leo Tweedley

N/A

N/A

     1951

George Abberton

Jim McConville

Joe Lyons

Jack Heslop

Ken Bravo

J. Carter

     1952

Stan Whear

Jim McConville

Bert McTaggart

Charlie McLaren

Ken Bravo

Fred Grubb

     1953

Stan Whear

Jim McConville

Lou Barker

Lou Barker

Jack Vinall

Keith Stevenson

     1954

Stan Whear

Jim McConville

Lou Barker

Charlie McLaren

Murray McRae

Keith Cameron

     1955

Stan Whear

Jim McConville

Lou Barker

Lou Barker

Murray McRae

Brian Stafford

     1956

Stan Whear

Jim McConville

Lou Barker

Lou Barker

Murray McRae

Harry Wragg

     1957

Stan Whear

Jim McConville

Lou Barker

John McTaggart

Murray McRae

Doug Kellett

     1958

Stan Whear

Bob Major

Norm Garlick

Neville O’Connor

Bill Sheahan

Doug Kellett

     1959

Stan Whear

Maurice Power

?

A.Woods

Bill Sheahan

Graham Clough

 

     Year     

Most

Consistent

Most

Improved

Best

1st Year

Best

Utility

Most

Serviceable

Most

Effective

     1950

Alf Sampson

Norm Bernard

Syd Wookey

Gordon Williams

Ken May

?

     1951

Alf Sampson

Cliff Poole

Bill Gunn

?

John Molyneux

Keith Abberton

     1952

Adrian Dullard

Ray Smith

Max Munday

Gordon Williams

Harry Simpson

Noel Allanson

     1953

Max Munday

Johnny Martin

Frank Sims

Len Kent

Reg Harley

Alby Linton

     1954

Johnny Martin

Jack Curran

Ian McLeod

Reg Fisher

Ray Smith

Max Munday

     1955

 

 

 

 

 

 

     1956

 

 

 

 

 

 

     1957

 

 

 

 

 

 

     1958

 

 

 

 

 

 

     1959

 

 

Robert Jones

 

Bob Jones

 

 

 

 

Competition Award Winners

Firsts

1950 Competition Leading Goalkicker – Johnny Walker (71)

1952 Competition Leading Goalkicker – Johnny Walker (103)

1953 Competition Leading Goalkicker – Johnny Walker (99)

1954 Runner-Up in JJ Liston Trophy – Harry Simpson

1955 Competition Leading Goalkicker – Alby Linton (84)

1955 Third in JJ Liston Trophy – Alby Linton

1956 JJ Liston Trophy winner – Johnny Martin

 

Seconds

1950 Competition runner-up – coach Joe Lyons

1954 Competition Best & Fairest – Charlie McLaren

1955 Competition Best & Fairest – Lou Barker

1955 Competition Best Full Back – Dick Roberts

1955 Competition Premiers – coach Lou Barker

1956 Competition Premiers – coach Lou Barker

 

Thirds

1952 Competition Best & Fairest – Peter Barnes

1954 Competition Leading Goalkicker – Laurie Davies (59)

1956 Competition Best & Fairest – Brian Stafford

1957 Alex Gillon Medal, Competition Best & Fairest – Doug Kellett 

1958 Competition Premiers – coach Bill Sheahan

 1959 Competition Best & Fairest – Graham Clough