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Reference_ 1956 Olympic Demonstration Sport - Aussie Rules Match

Matches



Introduction

Very few sports appeared as demonstration sports at the Olympic Games. The 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games were required to include two demonstration sports, one foreign sport and one native sport, men's baseball and men's Australian Rules Football were chosen.

Background

The Australian Rules match was played at the M.C.G. on Friday 7-Dec-1956, at around 4:10 pm, after the bronze medal soccer match where Bulgaria defeated India 3-0. This was the second last day of the games and the next day the M.C.G. hosted the Olympic games closing ceremony where for the first time the participants entered the stadium together rather than under their separate national flags

The Olympic running track and flag were still on the MCG field reducing the space available. The weather was fine, with a maximum temperature of 23.9C (BOM figures), but summer meant that the grund was dry.

The match it was out of season and did not include the local stars, the interest in the games was limited, especially when the Olympic games were producing many big news stories. On the track Shirley Strickland and Betty Cuthbert won gold and in the pool Murray Rose and Dawn Fraser did the same. And after the recent Soviet repression in Hungary and Soviet tanks still in the streets of Budapest, a violent water polo game between the two counties became a big event. The Water polo game dominated the front page of the Argus newspaper on the Friday of the football match.


Result

The opening quarter gave the VAFA un unexpected 31 point lead which they were able to defend through the rest of the game.

TeamQ1Q2Q3Final
 VAFA   6.1 (37)    9.4 (58)    11.8 (74)    12.9 (81)  
VFL & VFA   1.0 (6)    6.0 (36)    6.2 (38)    8.7 (55
Difference31223626



Teams

The amateur ethos of the Olympics of the time meant that professional footballers (those earning money from the game) were not included in the teams.

Geoff Hibbins led the VAFA team. Hibbins played 33 games for St Kilda 1952-54 and was at the time the Collegians captain. Later Hibbins was one of the first to be added to the VAFA honour roll as a legend of the amateur competition.

The Amateur (VAFA) players played together in interstate competitions and the selected Amateur squad was similar to the VAFA's recent interstate squad.

Denis Cordner captained the combined VFL/VFA team. Cordner had played for University Blacks in the 1940s and played VFL football for the Melbourne Football Club. He retired from VFL football in 1956, before the Olympic games had started.

Lindsay Gaze, Australian Basketball player, coach and father of Andrew Gaze was an emergency and did not play.

Bruce Andrew, the VFL/VFA coach is an AFL Hall of Fame member. Ex-Collingwood premiership player and Administrator, as well as ANFC Field Director, then ANFC Secretary 1950-76.


Combined VFL & VFA
White shorts. white socks. Guernsey: White, with emerald green trim, and large Olympic rings
B:Ray Gabelich
Collingwood
Vic Naismith
Richmond
Brian Walsh
St Kilda
HB:Jack Sassella
Coburg
John Westacott
Footscray
Brian Collopy
Melbourne
C:Laurie Dwyer
North Melbourne
Barry Gaze
Prahran
Brendan Edwards
Hawthorn
H/ForwardsKen Turner
Collingwood
Neil McNeill
South Melbourne
Brian Gray
Collingwood
F:Frank Dunin
Richmond
Dave Plunkett
Box Hill
Des Tobin
North Melbourne
Foll:Denis Cordner (c)
Melbourne
Keith Woolnough (v-c)
Northcote
Ray Allsop
Richmond
ReservesK.C. Marshall
Sandringham
T.J. Hussey
Northcote
CoachBruce Andrew
ANFC Secretary


Emergencies|Brian Turner
Collingwood|Lindsay Gaze
Prahran|K. Anderson
Oakleigh

VAFA Olympic Team 1956 - Source:VAFA Website (Used with Permission)
VAFA Olympic Team 1956 - Source:VAFA Website (Used with Permission)


Olympic Jumper - Display M.C.G.2016 - Photo MRiley
Olympic Jumper - Display M.C.G.2016 - Photo MRiley
Olympic Jumper - Display 2017 Richmond F.C. Museum - Photo MRiley
Olympic Jumper - Display 2017 Richmond F.C. Museum - Photo MRiley





VAFA
Black shorts. Socks emerald green with white tops. Guernsey: Emerald green with white trim, and large Olympic rings
B:R. Collins
M.H.S.O.B.
L.J. Wakeling
Old Paradians
Geoff Hibbins (c)
Collegians (Ex-StKilda)
HB:L.E. Williams
Ivanhoe Amateurs
A.G. Capes
University Blacks
P. Rochow
Coburg Amateurs
C:C.W. Empey
Commonwealth Bank
L. Merrick
Coburg Amateurs
W.B. Thomas
Old Melburnians
HF:Murray Mitchell (v-c)
Old Melburnians
J.N. Hannan
Old Melburnians
G.J. Gill
University Blacks
F:R.F. Pettigrove
Coburg Amateurs
Duncan Anderson
Old Melburnians
Dick Fenton-Smith
Ormond
Foll:P.K. Harkness
Old Scotch Collegians
J.R. Hayes
University Blues
M. Keogh
University Blues
ReservesL. Grant
Powerhouse
R.W. Tindale
Old Scotch Collegians
CoachJ.W. Kelly
EmergenciesD. Douglas
State Savings Bank
J. Byrne
Ormond
P. Craw
Old Scotch Collegians



Photos

VPRO VPRS10742 C2534 - Photographer Unknown
VPRO VPRS10742 C2534 - Photographer Unknown
VPRO VPRS10742 C2535 - Photographer Unknown
VPRO VPRS10742 C2535 - Photographer Unknown
National Library of Australia nla.pic-vn4278496-s308-v - Photographer Unknown
National Library of Australia nla.pic-vn4278496-s308-v - Photographer Unknown
VPRO VPRS10742 C2533 - Photographer Unknown
VPRO VPRS10742 C2533 - Photographer Unknown
Ray Gabelich - WikiCommons - Photographer Unknown
Ray Gabelich - WikiCommons - Photographer Unknown


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_football_at_the_1956_Summer_Olympics

Teams list and suggestion that the VAFA might win
BE READY FOR A SHOCK IN OLYMPIC FOOTY. (1956, December 7). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 14. Retrieved January 22, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71770129

Post Match review
Yes, they saw OUR football. (1956, December 8). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 13. Retrieved January 22, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71770257







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