Don Gibbs became captain of Towns in 1951, a position he held for 8 seasons which included 5 Premierships. (Don Gibbs passed away on May 26th 2011 aged 80. His family returned the five Premiership trophies to the Towns Football Club in August 2011). Under his leadership Towns improved from their dismal showing the previous year to win the flag.
DON GIBBS HOLDING THE SOLOMON SHIELD SHOWING PREMIERSHIP IN 1950'S. THE SHIELD WAS PRESENTED TO TOWN FOOTBALL CLUB BY KATH GIBBS ON AUGUST 20TH 2011
During that season also, a combined Broome side defeated Derby by 11 goals.
Similarly, in 1952 Towns 13.15 defeated Meatworks 11.10 to make it two in a row. But this was only the beginning for the Club that would dominate the competition until the present day.
By 1953, Gibbs had recruited from the local community, an untapped resource until then, to give his 'polished machine' speed. Simon Bernard, also renowned for his boxing ability, became a footy champion, even racing a horse over a furlong at one time, to test his pace, which he narrowly lost. Sid Tolentino, as a rover, certainly caught the umpires eye too taking off the best and fairest award in that year; (his trophy was a BBQ stand). In a recent interview he stated with a wry smile that he was never injured because he was too fast. Was it any wonder that Towns were undefeated for the season in a team that included 7 policemen.
Although the oval was quite small with most players easily kicking goals from centre half forward, Towns 15.14 defeated Commonwealth 8.4. Bob Stephens kicked 14 goals in that final and Keith Murray retired having played in 3 successive Premierships.
This photo is probably the Premiership team won by Towns in 1953. Simon Bernard appears and Bob Stephens who is one of 7 Policeman.
NAMES BACK ROW LEFT TO RIGHT: ?, Dan Kennedy, Don Gibbs, Keith Murray, John Gould, ? ? Arthur Shackleton (in white shirt - first Captain of Meatworks), ? ? ?
FRONT ROW: ? Ron Chincock, ? Sergeant Bob Stephens holding the football, ? Simon Bernard, Dan Howard.
Meatworks were after revenge in 1954. It was rumoured that they drank a keg before hostilities began and Kevin McClements was given the job of 'taking out' Sergeant Bob Stephens. Ernie Rahman made his debut in this season as centre half forward at the young age of 17.
"The Meatworkers were giants compared to nowadays. Most of them were champions but I reckon the water they brought out during the game was always half full of plonk. I can still see 'Squeaker', a mountain of a man, dragging Sid Tolentino along after a tackle."
Ernie went on to win the best and fairest award
twice. But after a car accident in which he broke his leg, his
short career seemed doomed. However it wasn't too long before
Ernie had strapped up his leg and was once more kicking goals
in his comeback game.
His horrified doctor went on to the ground in an unsuccessful attempt to pull him off.
" I told you, you were never to play football again".
Some of the players in the early to mid 50's were:
Keith Hill (ruck - Post office), Terry McDaniel (rover master pearler - died from gun accident), Phil Carey (wing - Airport), Max (barman) Abbott, Merv Straton, (Rick Mills vice captain, Kevin Townsend captain, Bob Bowers, Ivor Thomter (torpedo master kick) and Kevin McKay all policemen), Don Gibbs, Ringer Corpus (father of Ron Corpus who played for Towns in the 80's, umpired 48 games including the '88 Grand Final and is now involved with Nyul Nyul Football Club), Keith Murray (father of Glen), Sid Tolentino (brother of Guanita Gower and father of Brad was best player in the 1989 Grand Final for Meatworks), Ernie Rahman (father of Fido and Michael who played for Roos and Meatworks), Paddy Torres, Ross Edgar (PWD) and Tommy King.
Tom Brown (captain - linesman at Post office), Des Barker (Post office), Cliff Adams (customs), Phil Carey (Airport), John Oliver, Ted Pierce, Mo Gower (father of Gary who played in the Saints Premiership of 1980), Peter Sibosado, Bob McGregor, Gill Hepburn (very tall - master of the drop kick - airport) and Albert Dann (father of Alec, James and Glen).
Arthur Shackleton (captain), Mick Hansen, Albie Braun, Alan Fruin, Len Molan (played with East Perth Reserves), Bob Johnson (centre), Kevin McClements (played with Claremont Reserves), Geo Ross, Big Mac, Billy Blume, Ronny Foy (father of Ron who won the best and fairest award for the Association in 1982).