Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Social club artefact Wednesday - Phillips NSL flag

Like its Soccer Australia counterpart which we presented a few weeks (months?) ago, this would have been flown during NSL match days. Unlike that flag though, this one assuredly dates back to the late 1970s, which makes it all the more remarkable that it has actually managed to survive our various 'dissolution of the monasteries' phases. I can't emphasise enough how thrilled I was when I found this in some back room box or other.

The Dutch electronic giant Philips was of course the NSL's inaugural major sponsor, and the highlights show which was on Channel 10 at the time was suitably called Philips Top Soccer. In his mostly excellent autobiography By The Balls, Les Murray, who was both a commentator and host for the show, details the show's brief history (including how he went from László Ürge to Les Murray because of it). It's well worth picking up a copy of that book.

Of course, once Philips Top Soccer got canned and the NSL disappeared off the airways until SBS picked it up (fun fact - SBS' first game was the infamous 1980 NSL 'grand final' which Heidelberg tries to claim counts as a national title - it wasn't), Philips weren't getting the brand promotion they were paying for, and decided to end their association with the NSL.


  1. The phantom grand final. Lol

  2. Much like some South people within the club ( and 'traditionalists' in general) like to claim the 1993 minor premiership as a TRUE title.

    Its a ridiculous notion that, because you do not like the rules, you make up your own!

    I believe that thinking indirectly led to our most embarrasing moment in my time as a supporter. The 7-Nil thumping at the hands of Marconi in the semi final!

    Savvas Tzionis

  3. Can someone explain why the 1980 Grand Final wasn't considered a real one? This comes up a bit online but I have no idea why....

    - Manny

    1. For a few seasons in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the NSL would have a top four finals series, but they were never considered as anything more than a gimmick at the end of the season - the real champion was the team that finished first past the post.

      Over the years, the only people who have ever considered those final series to mean anything - including the 1987 finals series, which was tacked on to the end of that season at the last moment - have been Heidelberg and the odd member of SBS. Heidelberg thus gets to claim a national title, and St George gets gifted a second national title. Neither claim is considered legitimate by most soccer historians in Australia.


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