Port Hedland Panthers 1967-1994

Pier Panthers were founded in 1967 by founding member Pat Love the first coach.  Pier Panthers and Towns (Rovers) were the two teams representing the Port Hedland Football Association from 1967 to 1968.

The team, originally called Pier Panthers, were based at the Pier Hotel with Eric Pratt the manager.  Panthers won the first two real premiership in the De Grey Football Association which commenced in 1969.

Barry Milner was the Captain Coach of Panthers at the toss of the first premiership in Port Hedland – Pier Panthers v Rovers.

1969 DGFA Grandfinal Neville Dobson Rovers, Barry Milner Panthers

First ever Premiers of the De Grey Football Association 1969 won by seven goals against Rovers Football Club:

1969 DGFA Grandfinal Pier Panthers

1969 DGFA Inaugural Premiers - Panthers FC

First DGFA Medal winner, Panthers‘ ruckman Fred Murphy:


Article written by Colin Matheson, Hedland Times 1969

Rovers, who started favourites for the first premiership flag in the De Grey Football Association failed when they could not keep pace with the determined Panthers in the last half of the game on Sunday.

At half-time the teams were level with 4.4 each, but Panthers ran away in the third quarter to take a commanding lead.

Rovers and Panthers dominated the association competition and except for one game, lost only to each other during the season.

Both teams finished with the same number of premiership points in the qualifying rounds.  Rovers had the better percentage.

Panthers won two our of the three clashes with Rovers during the year but were easily beaten by Rovers in the second semi-final.

Panthers big ruckman Fred Murphy was the best on ground in the grand final and won the De Grey Football Association medal.

The medal was donated by Mr Eric Pratt for the fairest and best in the game.  Murphy polled six of a possible 12 votes.

Murphy took control of the ruck early in the game and was not beaten.  His towering marks around the ground were a highlight of the game.

1969 DGFA Grandfinal Medal Fred Murphy, article written by Colin Matheson

Some personalities of Panthers include:

Pat Love, Eric Pratt, Barry Milner 1969 Captain, Fred Murphy 1969 Eric Pratt Medal winner, Ivan Aunins, Joe Sadowski, Mick Holtman, Ducko Brahim, Taffy Welsh, Bobby Kelly, Glad Cassidy, Councillor brothers, TO BE UPDATED (September 2018)

1972 Mick Holtman Panthers v Goldsworthy
1972 Mick Holman No 4 for Panthers v Goldsworthy at Goldsworthy


Freddy Murphy and Mick Holtman of Panthers going for a mark

1982 DGWPFL Premiers - Panthers

The last team to win the premiership before the name change was Panthers 1982
Panthers were the last team to win the premiership before the league changed its name to North Pilbara Football League in 1983.

One thought on “Port Hedland Panthers 1967-1994”

  1. Catching up on some past football playing times. Still have the medal from the inter league carnival. Loved it when Patty always referred to the Panthers (full of teachers) as April premiers coz soon as holidays occurred in May & August (in the old days) there was no-one in town left to play. He was really teed off the year I stayed and we won a game… loved Patty. Funny that my own son was named Patrick … but sorry he become a top level hockey player. That would have been a real insult and worth more than a beer for Patty Love to accept.
    Taffy Welsh

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: