Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Ethnic past artefact - 1985 Knox City All Nations Cup Greek team book

Scroll down to the bottom of the article for the download link to the full document.

This is the front cover to the book. The back cover is the other
half of this photo, which I can't be bothered adding to this piece.
I shared this a few weeks ago on Twitter and a couple of forums, to a staggeringly muted response. These things happen, but I still would have liked a few more people to care not for my sake, but for my brother who doesn't even like soccer, but who scanned the whole thing and made it into a PDF as a favour to me (my tech skills are crap, and my Linux machine and scanner don't talk to each other).

Former Socceroo and 1960s South Melbourne Hellas player Ted Smith gave this book to me during an FFV history committee meeting. It's a 49 page book all about the Greek team that would play in the Knox City Soccer Club's world cup tournament, which is better known as the All Nations Cup.

Some twenty years after the Laidlaw Cup - a similar tournament which seemed reasonably popular for awhile until the early 1960s - the All Nations Cup saw local players play for teams allocated to their national/ethnic heritage. It's interesting to read in this book the different perspective of multicultural influence on Australian soccer by the chief organiser Tony Kennedy, which considered the different teams playing alongside each other as a strength, and not a weakness. The problems with this approach however are evident a little further down in his piece - that the VSF's attempt to take over and run the competition ran into trouble when they starting including nations that were at that time unrecognised.

Despite all the Greek language material in the book, the player profiles are all in English, and there are plenty of South players, former South players, and would be South players in the squad. There are so many that I can't fit all their names into the label facility on the blog because it only allows 200 characters to be used. Damn over long Greek names. There are also photos of South coaches Manny Poulakakis and John Margaritis, and even a couple of early era red V wearing South Melbourne Hellas photos.

A photo of an early 1960s South Melbourne Hellas team, as found in the book.
The Greek caption reads: The great 'Hellas' of the 1960s.
There are a heap of sponsors as well, and you have to wade through a fair portion of the book to get to the actual content. Still, these things are just as important for showing demographic changes in the Greek community in Melbourne, as it applied to employment, social interests, and even where the main commercial centres were at the time. The Lonsdale Street stereotype for example is nowhere to be found, but neither is the present Oakleigh dominance. It's majority inner city and inner northern suburbs.

Rather than having me upload each of the 49 pages individually, I recommend that you head to this link to get access to the entire document, which you can download to your own device.


  1. One of the older heads from Soccer Forum says that this Greek team beat Chile 4-1 in the final of this tournament.

  2. Was Stavros Video that drive thru video library on High St Northcote? Crazy business model that lasted much longer than logic would suggest.

  3. Good stuff, takes you back. The opening paragraph of P.Diamataris writeup about half way thru is a crackup


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