THe History Of Football Margaret River
Rowley Hart was one of the main driving forces behind the Margaret River Association from its beginnings in the late 1920’s. He arrived at Fremantle with his family on the ship Moreton Bay in 1923.
He and his family were some of the original group settlers at Metricup. Rowley Hart had five sons all of who played soccer. Two of his sons were selected to play for Western Australia against a visiting England Team in 1937.
He was President of the Margaret River Association and the Metricup club for many years and his love of the game never diminished.
The Migrant Group Settlement Scheme was in full swing in the region of West Australia in the 1920’s and most of the emigrants were of British origin. The first game of soccer that was recorded in the area was held in 1927 at Augusta between the Main Road Boys and Mewitts X1. In the following year a medal competition was held. The participants were Augusta, Cowaramup, Kudarup, Main Road Boy, and Mewitts X1. Although there is a minute book that refers to an A.G.M being held in 1927 there was no organized fixtures as such and the teams of 1928 were still playing social matches on a frequent basis.
I tried to authenticate the above with the late Bob McShane who commenced his playing career with Cowaramup United, later plating for a number of clubs like Shenton Park, Victoria Park and Sydney Leichardt. He finally ended his career as the West Australian team trainer, a post he held for many years. Bob passed away in 1993 after giving more than sixty years to the sport he loved.
We settled that the leagues competition commenced proper in 1929. It was in this year that the Augusta/Margaret group entered their first South Western Carnival and from 1929 onward participated every year until the carnival was no longer held. This would seem to indicate that if they were truly organized in 1928 they would have played in the inaugural South Western Carnival that was held in Bunbury in 1928.
The members clubs in the inaugural league were Augusta, Bramley United, Cowaramup United, Margaret, Margaret United and Rosabrook Rosella’s.
The competition soon grew and became so large that the clubs were split into two leagues the Southern & Northern leagues. This enabled the clubs to curtail the amount of traveling that they had to put up with to take part in their soccer games. If you consider that the roads were in a primitive state in them years and a club could be traveling a hundred miles on a match day, on top of this some of the distance travelled were by horse cart or horseback. At the end of each season the winner of the Northern & Southern leagues played each other to ascertain the Champions. They also played in a combined cup. The group had twelve clubs in their overall competition plus Margarets also had a school competition. The association Shield and Knockout Cup were donated by W.H. Samworth who was the Association President until 1936.
The Margaret River carnival which commenced in 1938 continued except for the war years into the mid 1950’s but fell by the wayside thereafter. The present Margaret River club recommenced the carnival in the late 1980’s and it is still continuing.
Two of the early coaches with this association were Geordie Hobson played for Sheffield United in his early years and Bill Lynn, the former, took his team Warner Glen to the top by winning the Southern Division Championship, while the latter was to see his team Bramley United win the premiership four years in succession and also take the Knockout Cup three years in succession.
Some of the clubs that took part in this groups competition over the years were as follows; Alexander Bridge, Augusta, Australs, Bramley United, Blackwood United, Carlotta Settlement, Chapmans Corner, Cowaramup, Cowaramup United, Forest Grove, Glenarty, Karridale, Kudarup, Margaret, Margaret Rovers, Main Road Boys, Mewitts X1, Metricup, Nyalup, Rosabrook Rosella’s and Warner Glen.
credit: Ron Moss
FMR Life Members