This weekend Port Hedland Rovers celebrate 50 years of footy in Port Hedland with a match against Swans at the Colin Matheson Oval on Friday night, and a Gala Dinner on Saturday night.
Former coaches and players of Rovers will travel to Port Hedland for the weekend’s events and stay at The Esplanade Hotel, the original home of Rovers.
Congratulations Rovers on 50 years of football in Port Hedland.
Rovers were originally formed at the historic Port Hedland Esplanade Hotel in the early sixties when Port Hedland was a sleepy little export town with around 1,500 residents.
In January 1962, a new postal officer arrived in town arrived with his new bride Cecily. It was none other than Colin Peter Matheson. He was fanatical football follower and umpire from Perth. His favourite team was West Perth Falcons and collected football records from every game. Within a few months Colin organised football games between two rival pubs, The Esplanade and the Pier Hotel. Colin also managed to entice the local Catholic priest Father Middleton to play a game or two in return for some help at St Cecilia’s church.
In 1967, Colin formed the Port Hedland Football Association between three clubs:
1. Rovers (The Esplanade Hotel)
2. Towns (The Pier Hotel)
3. Finucane Island
It was pretty tough playing football in Port Hedland. Colin marked out the oval and goal square with white paint on the flood plain just near Anderson Street. There was no lawn or ground cover. The other oval was at Finucane Island. Its playing surface was not much better.
Before a game the competing teams would do an “emu march” across the ground picking up rocks and sticks, anything which might cause a deeper injury than just gravel rash!
Click here to read on… Rovers 50 years