Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Donald Sutherland artefact Wednesday - 1954 South Melbourne United reserves

I was going to post this some time ago, but I wanted to get a few things checked out first. MFootball writer Donald Sutherland put this up on Twitter towards the start of the year. It's a photo of the 1954 South Melbourne United reserves team which, if nothing else, shows that youth development at South Melbourne was working a bit better back then. Donald's grandfather (also known as Donald Sutherland) is in this photo (see caption for more details).

1954 South Melbourne United reserves team, from left to right:
Back row: ???, ???, ???, ???, ???
Middle row: Des Hamilton, ???, ???, ???, Graeme James, ???, Peter Hathaway
Front row: ???, ???, ???, Macka(?), Donald Sutherland, ???,  ???.

Former South player Ted Smith was able to fill in some of the player details. Peter Hathaway went on to play for South Melbourne United's senior team, as did Graeme James. According to Smith, both these players also played in the Laidlaw Cup (the local mock world cup tournament of the time) representing Australia. Des Hamilton was of course one of the two founding vice-presidents of South Melbourne Hellas (the other was Floros Dimitriadis of Yarra Park), and reportedly was still coming to South games in the 1990s.

(as an aside, I believe the original South Melbourne Supporters Group may have even named an award after him, for the fans' player of the year. Maybe we should bring that back...)

While the official in the top row, second from left remains nameless, he has been equated by former South Melbourne United junior Graeme Hocking as being the same person as the man in the middle of the back row in the team photo in this entry, and I reckon it's a pretty certain thing. Of course, any help people can offer in filling in the gaps would greatly appreciated.


  1. The increasingly apparent non Hellenic origins of South Melbourne are a surprise to me. And I daresay to other supporters as well.

    The fact that one of the old guard was still going to matches in 1990's is astounding.

    Pity there are no more links to this aspect of our past.

    Savvas Tzionis

    1. It's easy to overstate the importance of the non-Hellenic aspect of South Melbourne Hellas, seeing as the Greeks did ditch most of that history (and admittedly most of the pre-Hellas Greek history as well) - but it's always nice to have another piece of the very complex pre-1959 puzzle on display.

      The Hellenic, Melbourne Olympic, Yarra Park and South Melbourne United elements are some of my favourite articles to put up. At one point I had the plan of using the malleable date function on Blogger to post up retrospective posts on the actual date they were printed in the papers, but unfortunately Blogger doesn't let you backdate posts with pre-1970 dates.

    2. Oh, and Apollo Athletic, of course.


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