THE GOLDEN YEARS (1963 – 2019)
1963 began the golden years of the Club when the Club won its ﬁrst “A” grade premiership, 22-14, against arch rival Malvern. . The game was played at Orrong Park, which was a neutral ground in the vicinity of Malvern. The crowd was estimated to be 800-1,000, with the final score being 22-14, with Peter Hogg recalling “I got 4 goals for the game and named best and fairest, Alan Chiron was awarded 2 votes and Eddie Toomey awarded one vote, having thrown 8 goals”.
Then followed premierships in 1965,1967-71, 1973,1975-80, 1982-83,1985-86, 1990-92,1998-2001,2003, 2008-11, 2012 & 2015-17 & 2019. A total of 34 premierships, 15 runners-up and only missed the grand final on 8 occasions from 1963-2019.
During this time two coaches: Frank Hogarth 1967-71 and Alec Inglis 1975-80 hold the impressive records of ﬁve and six consecutive premierships respectively. Malvern still holds the record for total premierships won in A grade, but our Club, from these golden years, holds the record for 105 consecutive wins in A grade from 1967-1972. During that period handful of players played in most of those games, including Eddie Toomey (97), Alan Chiron (93), John O’Keefe (92), Michael Orr (89), Rod Cordell (88), Ron Twomey (87), Alan Rolley (84), Gus Garnsworthy (79) & Robert Flaherty (74), and a further 56 players, with 36 playing under 10 games at that time, including John Butkiewicz who at that time had only played 2 games before the record winning streak was stopped, but destined to play many more.
The record for most games played in “A” grade, based on games from 1960-2019 is Peter Morley with 352, just behind is John Butkiewicz with 351, Alan Rolley with 340 and Carl Radford, Cliff Jennings and Rod Cordell with over 300.
The highest goal scorer in A grade over the same period is Alan Rolley with 1608, Brian Smith with 1,398, and Eddie Toomey with1,181(Although Eddie didn’t play for Williamstown after 1972). Midfielders who could certainly throw goals included Rod Cordell (915) and John Butkiewicz (829).