A Brief History of the Vets
The Wembley Veterans’ Football Team started in 1984 when it became apparent that the Swanbourne Veterans’ Football Club was having difficulty in fielding a team. The then president of Superules WA, Bruce Arlow, contacted Alan Cockram and asked if Wembley, a strong Amateur Club, were interested in fielding a Superules side. The first team was formed in 1985 and was an extension of the Premier Magpies Past Players Association formed in 1984 with all players being ex Wembley Amateurs. Graham Matcham was the convenor/organiser/coach of the first team, which operated on a fairly casual basis that year, highlighted by the many enjoyable bus trips with the wives and girlfriends to the away games (particularly Bunbury). Things became a little more serious in 1986 and Alan Cockram officially assumed the role of coach in that year. An influx of players from the Graylands Football Club boosted numbers in 1987 and later led to ex Wanneroo Sunday League player Dennis Williams joining the ranks. Dennis later took over the coaching duties from former West Perth league player Russell Aitken.
The Superules team initially came under the umbrella of the Wembley Amateur Football Club but later operated under the Wembley Athletics Club as a separate entity. However funds were hard to raise in the early days and when Carlton & United Breweries came on board to sponsor Superules, the club had the bright idea of using this platform to raise a lot of funds. CUB was prepared to donate thirty cents to each club for every Special Tab off each carton that was collected. Bobby Tanner had a mate at the tip who collected all the tabs off cartons going through the tip and the Vets’ Bus returning from away games was seen to be stopping at every rubbish bin on the journey, not for the usual stops required by the drinking males, but to collect tabs from cartons. This netted the club a tidy profit and set the club up financially.
On the field the club has met with varying success, usually in accordance with the number of players on the list for any particular year. We have had links with school teachers and the Federal Police to bring on board many a fine recruit. There have also been a number of players walk in off the street or come along in response to ads in the local papers or from the board at Henderson Park. Some of these have been, shall we say “special” in attributes other than football, keeping many players amused, out late and in trouble at home. I am sure we can all recall many stories of those who, at times seemed to be a few kangaroos short in the paddock.
These days we are attracting many players by word of mouth, mates etc and are enjoying probably our most successful period on and off the field, but it is due to the participation of each and every player past and present, that makes the Wembley Veterans’ Football Club what it is today.
Read about two of our great players who are still with us in spirit: