Since February 1978, the Club has shown a great deal of character, improving their final position on the ladder from 6th to 3rd in 1980.
Panthers social club was very active with many functions, and small and large projects that ended up with more interest being shown in the club on the football ground.
Panthers main target was that of acquiring an experienced, successful coach for the club. It was realised with ex-Goldsworthy coach Harry Newman was engaged for the season.
At Harry’s opening address during the Membership Night in April 1980 many will agree that it was his methodical and controlled approach to moulding together the most individually talented collection of footballers in the League that enabled Panthers to be potential Premiers. Unfortunate circumstances throughout the season were to deny Panthers that goal.
This newsletter has a funny account of the “Game of the Season – Women v Men”.
Here’s some of it to whet your appetite…
“It was an action packed day at the sports ground last Sunday, but the highlight of it all was the big football match between Bunneys “bouncing boobs” and Mooses “merry men”.
To even things up the men played with one arm strapped up, and a set of rules that favoured the women slightly. Matter of fact, a close examination of the rules showed that there was no way possible a man could get a free kick, something many of umpire Kevin Elphicks critics didn’t realise.
The men were listening to their pre game pep talk when they heard a roar from the crowd. They looked around to see the goal umpire madly waving two flags, and realised the girls had started without them. The girls were kicking with the wind, and they continued to kick that way for the rest of the game. It was no coincidence that the goals up that end with 14 yards wide instead of the customary seven, and it seemed as though the goal umpire was on a promise. If the ball went through the goal or behind posts, or even out of bounds, he would pick up both flags excitedly, signalling another goal to the women.
At the other end of the ground the goal umpire would not pay the men a goal, no matter how they scored it. They were attacking often but it was obvious they weren’t going to be able to score the points needed to catch the women.
Gabby the Greek (later nicknamed Grabby Gabby by the girls) was starring for the men, but the women made an astute move by shifting Chris Mundy on to him. This fiery redhead began taking spectacular marks in defence, and became a dominating player. Another good defender was Shiela Smith, who was almost impassable at fullback.
Rovers reject Peta Glass was doing a good job in the centre, but she didn’t have much to beat in Peter Fletcher, who had a can of beer in his free hand. The men had a winner on the wing in Thursday Islander Jardine, who was a last minute replacement in the side for Dirty Dick Saveka, the club’s black power men.
There were many reportable incidents, and it was no wonder violence is creeping into our game when umpires fail to bring these cases before the tribunal. On glaring incident was the felling of Moose, 6’2″ and 16 stone, by Ronnie Davies 4’2″ and 6 stone. This was a disgusting incident, and to make it even worse she kneed him as he went to get up again. Almost as bad was Stan Watkins, 6’2″ and 16 stone, laid out Fay Stanley 4’2″ and 6 stone. Faye has a black eye as evidence.
The game finished up with the women in front, but most of them agreed that the next time they play, they hope to finish with the men on top.
Our roving report asked a few people around the ground their thoughts after the game, and here are a few comments:
LUCY SADOWSKI: I’ve never seen Joe sweating so much. If he does this week he’ll be down to his playing weight in 4 years.
PAT JONES: I think I’ve got tinea from Moose’s socks.
BARRY JONES: I wouldn’t like to be in his shoes.
JULIE DUDEK: I’ve got blisters from wearing Ted’s desert boots.
TED DUDEK: I wouldn’t like to the in her shoes.
SANDRA SHEPHERD: I feel sexy after that, where’s Peter?
BOB HARWOOD: I wish I was in his shoes.
J.K.W: Half of them blokes played just as well with one hand as they do with two.
MEN’S COACH: The women all had pigtails. The men should have had donkey’s tails the way they played.
WOMEN’S COACH: We had too much up top.”
The original newsletter dated 11 August 1972 is here: