Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Wilhelmina vs Hellas, Round 1, 1962

I recently found these two photos in the National Library of Australia's photo archive. As hinted at in the title of this post, they're of the round 1, 1962 Victorian State League fixture between the Dutch backed Wilhelmina (now known as Ringwood City) and our very own South Melbourne Hellas, which coincided with the opening of Wilhemina's Jubilee Park. The NLA's description reads as follows.
Unidentified Wilhelmina and Hellas players
contest the ball at Jubilee Park's opening.

Badsmen…marching girls..cheers..They were all part of the scene when Wilhelmina Soccer Club officially opened its new stadium in picturesque Jubilee Park, Ringwood, on the outskirts of Melbourne, in brilliant sunshine on March 31. The stadium, which took two years to plan and build, has been called a dream ground for players and spectators alike. Wilhelmina and South Melbourne-Hellas players vie for supremacy on Wilhelmina's new ground. South Melbourne-Hellas fought every inch of the way-and Greek supporters danced for joy when Hellas opened the scoring.

Like Ringwood City itself, which is now languishing in the bottom rungs of the Victorian soccer hierarchy after a disastrous fall from grace, Jubilee Park itself has apparently also seen better days. By repute, once one of the best soccer grounds in Melbourne has deteriorated to the point where the much loved grandstand is now closed off to the public for safety reasons. My father, a carpet installer, recalls installing carpet in the social club in circa 1978, and marveling at the set up that Ringwood City had, in particular in comparison to many of the Greek clubs.

As to the result of this match, despite South opening the scoring through George Papadopoulos, goals to Jan Bons and Leo Beerendonk saw Wilhelmina secure the win by a score of two goals to one. South would win the return fixture in round 13 by the same scoreline, and go on to win the 1962 Victorian State League title - its first in that competition - by two points from Juventus and Wilhelmina, remembering of course that a win back then got you two points instead of today's three.

An unidentified Hellas player beats his Wilhelmina opponent to the ball.
Wilhelmina had won three consecutive promotions in the 1950s, and snared their one and only State League title in 1959 after having won the Dockerty Cup the previous year against Juventus in a replay. They remained competitive for many years, until eventually falling by the wayside along with other outer eastern suburbs clubs such as Croydon and Mooroolbark. Their last season in the Victorian top flight was in 1990.


  1. Great crowd judging from the pictures. What a fall from grace for Ringwood, from State champs to languishing in the bottom league on the Victorian football pyramid.

  2. According to Ozfootball, crowd was about 3,500. Lucky to be able to get that for an entire VPL round these days.

    Tried looking for a match report of the game online, but google's newspaper archive is patchy in that area, which will require a trip to the state library.

    I hate microfilm and its relatives, but it appears I'll have to make my peace with them sooner or later.

  3. Slim pickings with a match report. The following Monday's The Age wrap was headlined by the Juventus win over Melbourne. All Alex Barr wrote about your game was "Wilhelmina came from behind to win its game against Hellas at Ringwood. With time running out Beerendonk flashed down the wing to score the winner".


    It's on Page 9.

  4. Hello to the Ringwood City people who have recently posted a link to this article on their site



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