History isn't about dates and places. It's about
the people who fill the spaces between them.
We've been very fortunate to have had
many dedicated and passionate players
and administrators in the last 74 years.
They're known as Life Members - and
without them, simply, our Club wouldn't
exist now. We can't thank you enough...
OUR LIFE MEMBERS
1 Cliff Wemm* 1956
2 Alan Wemm* 1956
3 Ron Wulff 1958
4 Dennis Carrick* 1962
5 Fred Dans* 1966
6 Bernie Ogden* 1966
7 Bob Humphrey* 1967
8 Leo Ellefsen* 1967
9 Keith London* 1969
10 John Nichols 1970
11 Ron O’Grady* 1972
12 Vern Baker* 1973
13 John Nykyforak 1976
14 Stephen Smeath 1976
15 Bob Schneider* 1980
16 Eddie Watling 1986
17 Barry Richards 1986
18 Remo Ogden 1991
19 Wayne Chapman 1991
20 Brian Jacobs* 1992
21 Peter Gasson 1993
22 Paul G Jones 1993
23 Alan Watling 1995
24 Peter Curley 1995
25 Steve Gasson 1995
26 Jezz Matthews 1996
27 Les Wylie 1996
28 John Henderson 1996
29 Ron Dastoor* 1997
30 Trevor McInnes 1999
31 Kevin Anderson 2000
32 David Fitzgerald 2001
33 Darryl Fullgrabe 2001
34 Darrell Woods 2001
35 Gordon Gilbert 2003
36 Grant Connett 2004
37 Dave Farrell 2005
38 Norm Ridden 2005
39 Brad Ogden 2006
40 Trevor Harding 2007
41 Luke Matthews 2007
42 Dom Ferrau 2008
43 Darryn Williams 2008
44 Peter Harries 2008
45 Dave Cohen 2008
46 John Frossos 2009
47 Tim Bielby 2010
48 Ted Ridden 2011
49 Rob Henry 2012
50 Dave Proudmore 2014
51 Matt Chappell 2014
52 Brendon DeGois 2015
53 Brett Jones 2015
54 Gavin Smith 2015
55 Tim Kirkwood 2016
56 Bruce Hartley* 2016
57 Scott Bielby 2017
58 Rob Pachta 2017
59 Mike O'Dea 2018
60 Paul K Jones 2019
61 Mick Evans 2019
62 Matt Saxon 2019
63 Mass Sodano 2020
64 Raj Ismalage 2020
65 James Coad 2020
*Life members playing their second innings.
GAMES - 533
WICKETS - 888
RUNS - 12,821
CATCHES - 533
LEO ELLEFSEN CLUB CHAMPION AWARD
Leo Ellefsen has and always will be our Clubs spiritual leader. Leederville born and
bred, Leo was as tough as nails and expected nothing less from any player who represented the Club - irrespective of their level of ability.
Awarded to our best player each season, "The Leo" is the highest individual honour
a player can aspire to win. And 1 player has dominated like no other - winning the prestigious trophy on no less than 9 occasions. Alan Watling... enough said!
And of course to John Nykyforak who has amassed 8,848 runs, snared a lazy 624
wickets and snaffled 415 catches with the gloves and bare hands alike. John has
more Leo points than any other player in our history and will never be passed!
We doff our collective caps and raise a glass to Leederville's three favourite sons.
The formation & early years of the Leederville Cricket Club by Cliff Wemm
FROM LITTLE THINGS, BIG THINGS GROW
Over the years I have been requested by many past and current members to give a detailed
version of the origins of the Leederville Cricket Club. The following data, I believe to the best
of my knowledge, is an accurate and authentic assessment of the Clubs early history.
In an endeavour to enlighten members, one must visualise the scenario in 1945/46.
Leederville was a beautiful and laidback suburb, not likened to the trendsetter of today. Lilac
and flame trees lined the verges, trams cruised along Oxford Street on the way to
Mt Hawthorn and Osborne Park. The horse and cart reigned supreme as the major mode of transport. Few people could afford the luxury of a motor vehicle.
The Second World War was over, servicemen returned home to rebuild their lives. Coupon rationing was still evident, money and employment scarce, but people remained positive. A
night out with the family at the local theatre gardens or a Saturday afternoon at the football
made life worthwhile.
A vast area of Leederville was natural bush land, dense swamps and numerous market
gardens which covered many hundreds of acres. Lake Monger in winter overflowed its
banks to within a few metres of the existing Leederville tennis courts. Bourke Street West
was usually under water as was the area where the current club rooms are situated today.
It's interesting to note the Club’s original home ground was named Greenie Square, a
clearing in the swamp, on Seabrook and Britannia Rds, Leederville - just 400 metres east of
the current club rooms. It was a vastly different lifestyle to today - with none of the
distractions of modern times, youths ventured into the streets and parks to participate in
their favourite pastime. Street marbles I recall was a popular event and required a certain
amount of skill. Gone but certainly not forgotten. Kicking a football or a game of cricket was
a common sight around Leederville.
Into this category a group of youths aged around 14 years banded together to play a
contested or social game of football or cricket against neighbouring streets. The matches
were usually played on a Sunday afternoon, after we had carried out all of our chores
around the home.
When somebody produced a football an abundance of youths would merge into a 2 acre paddock adjacent to my parents’ home for a friendly kick-to-kick afternoon. When a football wasn’t available we used one of my father’s long army socks. The sock was filled with paper
or rags and with both ends knotted we would play a game. It was surprising how far the
sock could be kicked.
The paddock was also used on a regular basis for our cricket matches. The area was level,
made up of sand and weeds with vast areas of prickles and double gees. This made fielding difficult as most could not afford footwear.
It is interesting to note that the paddock, or vacant block on the corner of Bourke and
Oxford Streets, is today the local police station and our family home a used car yard. At one
time the paddock was fenced and stabled trotting horses. On occasions, when the numbers
were down, we would venture into our favourite Bruce Street. Using a light pole as a wicket,
the bat a cut down picket to shape and a tennis ball scrounged from the local tennis courts
to spare the neighbours’ windows. One neighbour refused to return the balls when they
landed on his front lawn, but we always had a few on hand.
Another venue we liked to use at various times when given permission, was the run down
tennis court in Galwey Street, Leederville. The disused court, with its 6 metre high cyclone
fence made it ideal for fielding purposes, but the many pot holes in the gravel surface was
not satisfactory for serious cricket. It was apparent we required a full length regulation wicket.
In the course of my employment delivering telegrams for the Leederville Post Office, I located
an abandoned reserve in the midst of swamp land North of Lake Monger. A closer inspection revealed it had a full length cricket wicket which we had been seeking to obtain. Although the wicket was only a metre wide with no run up, we regarded it as usable for practice matches.
The size of the ground had been greatly reduced, especially on the lake side of the wicket
where nature was slowly but surely reclaiming its land. A tennis ball was used during practice games as a hard ball often meant a lofted stroke resulted in a lost ball and the game cancelled.
My father approached the Perth City Council on our behalf and was told that it would not be feasible to maintain the reserve on an on-going basis based on financial reasons. The reserve
was named Greenie Square according to local Council records and we all considered it to
be our home ground and used it tentatively until a permanent ground became available.
At the completion of a Sunday fun game, we returned to my parents’ home as was the usual procedure for a cup of tea and boiled potatoes with dripping or lard to discuss the day’s event.
The Leederville Cricket Club was formed in early 1946 following a discussion after a weekend contest at my parents’ home in Oxford Street, Leederville. Those present were my father,
Arthur Cox and myself. The discussion centred around the possibility of nominating a team
to participate in a competitive local league.
With the dearth of junior grade competitions being available due to the scarcity of grounds
with adequate playing wickets, we were obliged to persue entry into the strong Temperence League Association. There were two grades - an U/15 competition called the Cobbers League,
and a senior grade Under Eighteen.
A meeting was arranged between the members totalling 10, to discuss the proposal. It was
voted unanimously to proceed. An election was held, the result being my father, William
Wemm, elected president (the Club’s first), Arthur Cox secretary/treasurer and myself
captain. The club’s colours were blue and gold, and the title of the Club, “Leederville”.
Loftus Park, a small reserve at the rear of Leederville Oval was the venue for our first match.
It is interesting to note that the norfolk pines that centre the median strip was the boundary
of the park and Loftus Street was the east lane only.
As the club’s inaugural season was still a few months hence, we submitted our nomination application with the requested fee of one pound borrowed from my parents’ pension income
and eagerly awaited confirmation relating to our acceptance.
During the waiting period my father, browsing through a city auction sale, purchased a canvas
bag with limited cricket equipment for the sum of three pounds (he was not a popular man in
our household for a time). The contents consisted of six stumps, no bails and one very heavy,
much used bat, keeper and batting gloves and a used ball. It was a case of first in, best dressed.
It was a start which we fully appreciated. It was obvious we needed to address the issue.
A meeting was arranged to discuss the finances needed to purchase additional cricket material.
It was discussed, and agreed, to run a weekly raffle.
As food, clothing, tobacco and cigarettes were still covered by ration coupons until 1954, I
spoke to my dad who offered a donation of cigarettes to commence the raffle. The venture
went on sale at 3 tickets for a shilling from a book of 100 tickets which gained us a very tidy
profit to enable us to purchase much needed equipment. A match fee of one shilling was suggested and agreed by all players.
The Inaugural Match in 1946
The Leederville Cricket Club’s inaugural match was played at Loftus Park in October 1946.
Loftus Park, a small uneven plot of ground, mainly sand and a noticeable slope towards Loftus
Street. The ground is at the rear of Leederville Oval and was one of the rare reserves that boasted a cricket wicket, if that was what you would call it. With the pitch, approximately a
metre wide, accurate bowling was essential, no run ups, just sand and pot holes to the crease.
The match was played against North Perth (later to become Woodville). We were unable to
fill a full side with only nine players available. We were defeated easily by an innings. To our credit we regrouped, with a door knock to many potential school mates saving the day. We finished our first season in fourth position.
With only the most limited cricket material to play with - namely one heavy cricket bat which
had to be dropped when scoring a run - making life rather difficult, a weekly raffle as well as several players entering into the work force and buying their own equipment helped the
team out a great deal.
I purchased an autographed bat by the great Sir Donald Bradman from Boans Ltd in the city
for the sum of 30 shillings - it’s value today... I wonder? A new cricket ball costing 5 shillings
was donated when required.
Only one year later Loftus Park would be declared unsuitable for competition games with Hamilton Square in West Perth becoming our home ground until Lake Monger Oval became available. Hamilton Square was located between what is now City Motors Holden on
Aberdeen Street and City West on Roe Street - where the Mitchell Freeway currently runs.
Entering into Temperance Cricket (1948/49)
As the majority of our members had approached the age limit and would become ineligible
to participate in the Under 15s Cobbers League competition, we decided to take the initiative
and gamble our young side against the might of the senior standard of the U/18 Temperance League.
The members waited in anticipation for confirmation on the outcome of our application.
Secretary Arthur Cox who was employed in the city and our regular source of contact with
the Temperance League informed the Club with a positive reply that our nomination had
been accepted with several issues that required addressing.
A meeting was convened to discuss the disappointing aspect of being denied the right to
use our requested club name of Leederville. The explanation given was 2 other clubs shared
the identity of Leederville, one being Leederville and the other West Leederville Wembley
and a third club was not feasible. In hindsight, perhaps we should have adopted the name
North Leederville but due to our youthful inexperience, it was not noted.The club would
become known as West Perth for the next three seasons.
We submitted this further nomination agreeable to their request and waited for the season
to commence. As the second season approached, recruiting had us with the service of my brother Alan (our inaugural Life Member) who had returned to WA after naval duties. Other talented players to enter the club were Ron Wulff, Fred Hart, Jim Wheeler and an exceptionally
skilled player in Clyde Spalding who became the clubs first century maker with 109n.o. in a
close finishing win against a side skippered by former Leederville captain Keith London who
also claimed a century - 102.
We completed our final season with the Temperance League Association with the knowledge we
had gained respect for our competitive style of play. We eyed the prospect competing in the Metropolitan Senior Cricket Association with confidence, but more talent would be imperative.
Entering the Metropolitan Senior Cricket Association (1950/51)
During the off season we canvassed and recruited many talented players who guaranteed
us their services should we be accepted into the MSCA competition. The players we recruited
were Des Cooper, Brian Keay, Wally Geekie, Bert Sykes and later on Fred Dans, Alan Evans
and Tom O’Dwyer (an ex-State player).
A meeting was convened to discuss the merge into the MSCA and was enthusiastically agreed
by all to accept the challenge. We had recruited exceptionally well and with this additional
talent and the aid of the weekly raffle, our cricket gear had become satisfactory and many players had purchased their own personal equipment, thus easing the Clubs coffers.
We submitted a nomination with the required fee requested and after a period of time
received official notification that our entry in the MSCA had been accepted. We were
allocated Lake Monger East as our home ground as our previous ground had been classified
as unsuitable. The dilemma confronting us was that the Lake Monger wicket had not been treated with a malthoid surface. As malthoid was a new concept, enquiries told us we were
on the Council agenda for the following year. We would be required to use matting for our
home games. The price of matting was expensive and out of the reach of our Club to
purchase, especially if just for one season. I raised the issue with my father whom had retired
as President and had become an active member of the local RSL Branch - Mt Hawthorn/North Leederville. Mr Wilfred Johnson was elected the new President.
My father was able to arranged a meeting with the RSL heirachy to discuss our plight. It became noticable with the end of the War, an increase in the number of Returned Servicemen and Women League branches sprung into prominence. One such club in Oxford Street North called
Mt Hawthorn/North Leederville was the focal point for many ex-serviceman to focus on
rebuilding their lives, renewing old friendships and accepting the priveledges that were offered
by the branch, which were assistance in such areas as hospitalisation, medical, housing,
finance and legal matters.
The branch with its strong membership and excellent facilities - a large hall frequently used
for functions, committee and conference rooms, catering and also boasted a small arms rifle range in the undercroft which we participated in when available and supervised.
Prior to the war years, the branch fielded a very strong cricket side in the Mercantile Matting Association and was contemplating renewing its membership. With this proposal in view, the branch had placed an order to purchase and replace all of their sporting equipment. The RSL heirachy of the branch, having been told of our plight, arranged an urgent meeting to discuss
A brief discussion was arranged at the Oxford Street RSL Hall with the branch secretary. We explained our position and asked him for advice on how they might be able to offer assistance
to overcome our shortage of a matting surface for the inaugural season.
The branch had decided we could use have use of the matting which was still in reasonable condition and some of the unrequired cricket equipment. We were also offered the use of the
clubs facilities and amenities for Club functions and meetings when available and approved.
The ultimatum given to us was the branch would not sponsor an “outside” club and if we
decided to accept their offer we would be required to change our club name of West Perth
to Mt Hawthorn North Leederville Sons of Serviceman League (SSL). We were delighted with
the offer and greatly accepted their assistance.
Hence the origin of Mt Hawthorn North Leederville. We abbreviated the full title with approval.
I designed a logo for the Club blazers which were dark blue and gold.The logo was three
wickets with two crossed bats and a ball in the centre.We used the full R.S.L. title.
With the major problem dissolved, we enthusiastically waited for the pending season with a
quiet sense of confidence...
Many years have passed - more than 50 years since the name change eventuated prior to
the 1955/56 season. The committee of the day convened a special meeting at the patrons Leederville Hotel. To the best of my knowledge the hierachy was Mr Leo Ellefsen President
and the late Mr Fred Dans Secretary who occupied the chair to address the meeting. On the agenda was the motion to be read to all attending members explaining that in the best
interests of the Club the name be changed from Mt Hawthorn North Leederville to Leederville
and the reasons and explanations would be given to members to discuss and debate with a
vote for the affirmative or against by a show of hands. The motion was read and was open
I rose to address the chair to give my view on the motion. One aspect I approved of was the
Club name returning to the original requested name of Leederville. I decided I would vote
against the motion for loyalty reasons and debated my case to the chair.
I asked why a 10 year old established and reputable club that had battled the odds to be recognised and achieved respect with 2 premierships, one undefeated, against quality opponents should lose its identity. Motion for the name change was read out to the members.
The motion was put to a vote, the result in the affirmative.The Clubs name change was
officially accepted. I voted against the motion.
It has always been my assumption that the contributing factor that influenced the decision to change the name of the club was initiated with the influx of sporting personnel from various
clubs bearing the club name of Leederville into the district.
Mr Bernie Ogden, publican of the Leederville Hotel, a sporting enthusiast and patron to many
clubs generously offered his hotel for Club meetings and social functions which was greatly appreciated and was regarded as the focal meeting place.
Around this period of time, a social cricket club named Leederville Rovers (or Ramblers)
joined ranks with the then Mt Hawthorn North Leederville Cricket Club and many of the their members accepted vacant positions on the Clubs committee due to the retirement of a few
of the “old brigade”.
A Sunday social football team named Tramways also joined ranks and decided to enter a
side in the Sunday Football League competition under the name of Leederville. The side disbanded in 1964.
During this period of time - approximately 10 years, the Club played A Grade level with a runners up achievement, one player representing the club in the combined league side against the South West Football League. A Leederville Darts Club in A Division also made its mark during this time.
It was always inevitable that with the influx of Leederville named clubs that filtered in central Leederville, this would bring about the demise of the Mt Hawthorn North Leederville Cricket
Club after 10 years of competitive achievements. This theory was confirmed when the Secretary
read out to the members present why the name change was imperative and a financial benefit
to the Club. It was also cited that the clubs home ground was in central Leederville and very
few members resided in either North Leederville or Mount Hawthorn.
When one looks back and relates to the decision made and the reasons that initiated the name change then considers our current location, it seems quite ironical. The existing location and clubrooms for over 30 years have been situated in North Leederville on the boundary with
Mount Hawthorn and the clubs original home ground, “Greenie Square” was only 400 metres
from our current clubrooms.
The bottom line, when one contemplates the issues over the past years is that the initial one
pound donation from my fathers war pension to the Temperance League to nominate a team
into a strong competition environment, paved the way and laid the foundation for the birth of
the Leederville Cricket Club.
I am adamant had we not the foresight to progress with the challenge, players would have
drifted away and the Club of today would not have eventuated. I firmly believe that my father
William Albert Wemm, Arthur Cox & myself to be the founders of the Leederville Cricket Club.
Cliff Wemm (written in 2008)
YEAR CLUB NAME ASSOCIATION
1946/47 Leederville Cricket Club Temperance League Assoc - U/15 Cobbers
1948/49 West Perth Cricket Club Temperance League Association - U/18 Comp
1950/51 Mt Hawthorn Nth Leederville Metropolitan Senior Matting Association
1955/56 Leederville Cricket Club Metropolitan Senior Cricket Association
1977/78 Leederville Cricket Club Metropolitan Cricket Association
1997/98 Leederville Cricket Club Perth Cricket Association
2019/20 Leederville Cricket Club Perth Swan Cricket Association