Port Fairy premiership players reunite for milestone

ALL SMILES: Premiership players Pat Matthey (back, left), Jim Murray, Colin Lane, Lyle Denning, Kevin Cole (front, left) and Ashley King (he was the team mascot). Picture: Monique Patterson
ALL SMILES: Premiership players Pat Matthey (back, left), Jim Murray, Colin Lane, Lyle Denning, Kevin Cole (front, left) and Ashley King (he was the team mascot). Picture: Monique Patterson

THE pressure is on for Port Fairy to take out a senior flag.

The Port Fairy Football Netball club celebrated its 150th birthday on the weekend and the remaining six players from its only premiership team want to be around to see a second senior premiership.

Pat Matthey, 80, who travelled from Hoppers Crossing for the milestone, said he would be cheering from the sidelines if the club reaches a grand final in the coming years.

“We hope we see another one – there’s only six of us left,” Mr Matthey said.

There are only six players who were members of the 1958 winning premiership side against Colac Tigers.

It was a win for the record book, according to Mr Matthey.

“Colac were nicknamed the invincibles,” he said.

“In our first match of the season they beat us by 16 goals. When they came to Port Fairy they were tired from the trip and beat us by 11 goals.”

Mr Matthey said thousands of people attended the grand final at the Friendly Societies’ Park.

“I’ve never seen that many people at a grand final,” he said.

He remembers poor kicking from Colac saw them with a total of six points on the board at quarter time and 10 at half-time.

“They hadn’t scored any goals,” Mr Matthey said.

However, a late surge from Colac saw them level scores in the last quarter.

Port Fairy eventually snared victory by two points, but many speculate it should have been seven.

“I kicked three goals on the day but I always thought I might have kicked four,” Mr Matthey said.

“I kicked it and the goal umpire fell over and when he got up it had already gone through the posts.”

Mr Matthey said the celebrations in Port Fairy following the grand final win were of epic proportions.

He remembers players dug a hole in the football ground on the Sunday after the match and buried a toy tiger.

Mr Matthey said he was delighted to be back in Port Fairy, where he lived for 30 years, for the celebrations.

“It’s great to catch up with everyone,” he said.