First legend of the Kimberley to play footy at the State level in the 1960's. Played in 8 Premierships.
Born 1943 - (photo taken in 2005 outside Boulevard Shopping Centre).
1950's Played with Beagle Bay juniors learnt to play football from Fr. McGuire. Saints junior side came out to play Beagle Bay juniors.
1959 Premiership with Towns.
1960 Premiership with Saints - played CHB. Don McKenzie was Captain Coach of this team. Don kicked 5 goals in the GF. Celebrations at the Governor of Broome hotel - 18 gallon keg. Peter said that he was recruited to play for Saints by Fr. McKelson. He said he was embarrassed to play in shorts for awhile at first since coming from Beagle Bay but he said that once he was out on the field he soon forgot about it and just concentrated on the footy.
1961 Premiership with Towns - defeated Saints. Peter played in the ruck. Discrimination was often a problem in Broome at this time.
1962 Premiership with Meaties - defeated Saints easily.
1962/63 Drafted by East Perth but Peter decided to play with Nightcliff in Darwin.
1963 Premiership with Meatworks in Broome
1964 Premiership with Meatworks in Broome
1964/5 Arrived just in time to qualify the 3 matches required with Nightcliff.
Nightcliff only made the final four on percentage over Wanderers. Beat Warratahs in the first Semi. Played Saint Marys in the Preliminary final for a draw and then won the rematch. Buffaloes were undefeated in the season but were knocked off by Nightcliff in the Grand Final by 6 goals.
Peter was carried off the ground by the spectators but everyone forgot to congratulate the Captain of the side - Bob Middleton. Bob and his wife visited Peter in 2004 from Victoria and they laughed about this event which occurred 40 years ago. Bill Dempsey who was later Captain of West Perth was captain of the Buffaloes team in this game.
Ray Walker (best and fairest for Footscray in 1963) gave a football clinic at Darwin this year. He played back pocket for Footscray and represented Victoria. Peter spoke with him about his plans to play for South Adelaide. Port Adelaide however were first to sign him.
1965 Peter played the first game with Port Adelaide seconds and was reserve for the Ist's side in the second game. When he came on he clashed with David Kantilla. At the bounce down, Peter deflected David's arm and flicked the ball to his rover as the crowed roared.
Peter felt a lot of tension in that game having never played in front of so many people. Peter played 11 senior games for Port Adelaide in 65/66.
Port Adelaide won the Premiership in 1965 and for Peter to have played in half a dozen games in the Seniors during this year, shows his quality as a player. However, he played in the wining reserves Grand Final of that year. Geof Motley (won the Magarey Medal in 1964) was the Captain and John Cahill was the vice captain of the Premiership side. John later took over the Captaincy from 1967 to 1973.
1965 PORT ADELAIDE 12-8 (80) defeated Sturt 12-5 (77)
Geof Motley held aloft the TS Hill Trophy for his 9th premiership with Port Adelaide. The fitst half was evenly fought and Port held a 1point lead at the break. Port booted away to a 29 point lead at ¾ time after Port’s Kevin Salmon missed a goal from 6 inches out. This almost proved costly as Sturt came home strong, but when the siren sounded the Magpies were 3 points clear. Geof Motley and John Cahill played best for the Magpies whilst Tony “Doc” Clarkson was best player and ME Jones booted 6 for the Blues.
His position was ruck - resting in the back pocket. He played in the winning grand final in the Reserves against Sturt and came runner up for the Tonkin medal in the reserves even after only playing half a season and being injured with a shin kick.
1965/66 Played in Darwin for Nightcliff. 'Got flattened' in the second quarter of the Grand Final and played the rest of the game with concussion - can't remember anything after the 2nd quarter. Nightcliff lost this game. Peter won the Advertiser News award for best player and was runner up to Rusty Moreen for the Nichols Medal in the best and fairest competition.
1967/68 Played in Queensland for a young side called Morningside out near Manly. Worked on an oil survey and was a painter and docker shifting containers
1969 Picked pototoes, onions and carrots - did sightseeing down to the border of NSW.
1970 Worked in Brisbane - demolition of a wine factory - the timber was in good condition and was saved.
1974 Played for Meatworks against Towns in the GF which Towns won.
1975 Came late for the GF thinking the game started at 2:30. It started at 2:00 so Peter missed the first quarter. Game won by Towns
1976 Meatworks defeated by Towns
1977 Gave footy away
Overall Peter played in 8 winning Premierships
Peter has 6 children who live in Broome, Derby, Beagle Bay and the Peninsula.
Nightcliff Football Club
Formed: 1950 (as Works and Housing Football Club)
Colours: Black and gold
Premierships: 1956/57, 1960/61 & 1964/65 (3 total)
In 1964/65 the grand final victims were Darwin (previously known as Buffaloes), Nightcliff winning comfortably by 39 points, 11.13 (79) to 5.10 (40).
Buffaloes (Darwin Football Club)
Formed: 1917 as Warriors; changed name to Vesteys in 1918, and to Buffaloes in 1926; became known as Darwin Football Club in 1962
Colours: Navy and light blue
Arguably Nightcliff's most famous playing export is Michael McLean who was an outstanding junior with the club and played 35 senior games before embarking on an auspicious VFL/AFL career with Footscray and Brisbane.
After leaving the
Darwin Football Club
as an 18 year old in 1960 Bill Dempsey went on to become one of the finest
ruckman to play in Western Australia since the war. Whether on the
ball or resting in a back pocket he was an imposing, formidable presence,
who inspired his team mates.
best and fairest in 1966, he won a
after the 1969 grand final in which he formed part of an irrepressible 1st
ruck combination with the legendary
Graham 'Polly' Farmer,
and Bill Valli. West Perth won that game by 73 points, and would go on
to lift further premierships, with Dempsey a prominent contributor both
times, in 1971 and 1975. He also returned home to the Top End
occasionally, and was a member of Darwin's unbeaten 1967/68 premiership
After making his interstate debut in an ignominious home defeat against Tasmania in 1963, Dempsey went on to more than make amends with some superb performances in a total of 14 state appearances over the course of the next decade.
The last game of Bill Dempsey's illustrious 343 game WANFL career came in the losing 1976 1st semi final against Perth. Only Mel Whinnen, with 371 games over 18 seasons, has represented West Perth on more occasions than Dempsey.
(courtesy 'Full Points Football')
Fos Williams came to Port Adelaide Footy Club in 1950. He led the club to 9 premierships overall and in many ways propelled the Club to where it is today. Port Adelaide won seven premierships in the 50's including a SANFL record six in a row. The success of the club can be gauged by its record 34 SANFL premierships
The Tiwi Islander born in 1938 and given the tribal name Amparralamtua, is one of the most famous figures in the history of Territory sport.
Better known by his "Anglo" name of David Kantilla he bacame a sporting legend in his own time in both the NT and South Australia when he played league football with South Adelaide during the 1960s.
His sporting success almost defies belief given the cultural leap he had to make in order to play. Each year, for seven years, David would leave his tribal lifestyle on Bathurst Island and travel to Adelaide for the winter months of football.
David had his Australian Rules grounding as a barefooted youngster kicking a ball around at the Catholic mission on Bathurst. By the time he reached adulthood he stood 6 feet 4 inches tall, and possessed an amazing leap.
David played two seasons with St Marys in the NTFL before he was recruited in 1961 to play for South Adelaide, a struggling club desperately short of big men.
His first game against Glenelg at Kensington oval created a sensation. Tall, thin and jet black he was like something never before seen on in Adelaide football, and when he got cracking it was sight to behold.
David kicked six goals in that first match, mainly from spectacular marks near the goalsquare. His opponent that day allegedly said afterwards: "Everytime he went for a mark it was like the sun had set."
In his first two seasons David won the Knuckey Cup for South Adelaide's best and fairest player. In 1961 he was also the club's leading goalkicker.
At the end of his last season in 1967, David had played 113 games and was the first Aboriginal player to reach the 100 game milestone in SA league football.
David was a key player in South Adelaide's 1964:Premiership win under coach Neil Kerley. The club had finished bottom in 1963. Possibly his finest moment came in 1964 when he was arguably best afield in South's 9.15 (69) to 5.12 (42) grand final victory over Port. In 1964 he also played state football for the first time against Victoria at the Adelaide Oval in front of a crowd of 45 000 people.
Playing state football also gave rise to David's famous nickname "Soapy". After state training one night a newspaper photographer captured him lathered with soap in a steam bath.
The photo ran the next morning and the name soapy stuck thereafter.
David played state football again in 1965, but in Hobart for the game against Tasmania he missed selection because it was so cold the selectors thought he wouldn't cope.
Each year, at the end of the season, David returned home to the Top End, spending time on Bathurst Island and in Darwin where he continued to play for St Marys. In the 1968-69 season David took over from Benny Lewfatt as coach, and led Saints to the grand final.
David was killed in a car accident on Bathurst Island at the age of 37. The restaurant in the new NTFL headquarters at Mararra is named "Kantilla's" in his honour.
David is remembered as a great Aboriginal sportsman who always displayed the natural sportsmanship of the Tiwi people. He left behind many friends and admirers both in the Territory and interstate.
David Kantilla was named in the NT team of the Century.