Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Plates! - Social club (and friends) artefact Wednesday

South Melbourne Hellas' commemorative plate, currently in storage while
we await the building of the social club. Photo: Paul Mavroudis.
Here's one that should have been posted a lot earlier. A Philips Soccer League commemorative china plate from the earliest years of the National Soccer League, with the contemporary logos of the then participating clubs. Quite a few of these plates seem to have survived the decades since they were released circa 1977/78 - at least that appears to be my impression based upon the 'Australian soccer before the A-League' Facebook group and the soccer public's general familiarity with these plates. Made by Coalport Fine Bone China or some such - a company which according to Wikipedia was absorbed into the Wedgewood group even before these plates were made - these plates are pleasing to look at, and are a real snapshot of the pluralist enterprise that was the National Soccer League at the time. The first photo shown here is of the plate belonging to our very own South Melbourne Hellas, and which once had pride of place (or something akin to that) in one of the glass cabinets which made up our museum space in the old social club.

Photo of a commemorative plate sent to us by 'Lakeside Spy'.
The photo of the second plate shown here was sent to South of the Border by a mysterious correspondent known only as 'Lakeside Spy'. Lakeside Spy's plate is also in its original box, and includes a sticker on its surface with 'A VICKHOAD 705' on it, which I'm not sure of the meaning of. While the plates come from a limited release of 750 - and are numbered as such - I would guess, having not seen the South Melbourne one in the flesh for some years now, that such a number would be on the bottom of the plate. Both photos shown here, as well photos I've seen from other people who have these in their collection, all seem to be in good condition, with the plate in the original box.

The third photo here is from the aforementioned 2015 auction.
Less common as far as I can tell is for the attendant paperwork to be included in such photos - certainly, I don't recall those elements as being part of the South Melbourne set. While I believe they hold considerable value from an Australian soccer perspective, it's harder for a non-specialist like me to place a monetary value on them Antiques Roadshow style. An auction last year which valued two of these plates and some attendant materials at just $40 only managed to raise $30. Yet on a Gumtree advertisement someone is or was attempting to sell two of these plates for $350.


  1. That platter, so ethnic.

  2. I donated that plate to SMFC in 2008.
    I managed to purchase 2 on eBay and gave one to the club. I have the other safely tucked away at home. Haven't looked inside the box in years and can't tell you if there is any documentation inside. I'll check later tonight.


  3. With the merging of the stats, it is possible that we are seeing a change of heart towards the old NSL from the authorities and if this attitude snowballs, these plates could be worth heaps down the track.

    But I doubt it...

    Maybe try breaking them in such a way where the Footscray Just is chipped off, some Croat might appreciate it and pay $50 for it. Otherwise, just piff 'em in the bin and save the storage space.


A few notes on comments.

We've had a lot of fun over the years with my freewheeling comments policy, but all good things must come to an end. Therefore I will no longer be approving comments that contain personal abuse of any sort.

Still, if your post doesn't get approved straight away, it's probably because I haven't seen it yet.

As usual, publication of a comment does not mean endorsement of its content.