"Barefoot and Brilliant"


When I wrote my first article 'Footy in Review' for the Broome News, I was unaware that it would balloon into a major undertaking. Since the League possessed no records at all, I began my research at the Battye library in Perth and was surprised to find that football in Broome began in an organised way in 1921 and was recorded in great detail in the Nor West Echo. In fact, the first football club committee had no less than 5 vice presidents. Before this, the odd social game was played between the 'Cabbages' and the 'Sprouts' in 1917.  Over-all, there were three eras:- 1921 - 1929, 1949 - 1964, 1969 to the present day. After 10 years of compiling this information, I am happy to finally complete the job.

When I first came to Broome I attended the Annual General Meeting of the Association in 1979 which was held at the Civic Centre. I was very surprised that one of the main items discussed that evening was whether players should be forced to wear football boots. The motion was defeated and so the flair, agility and speed of the Kimberley footballers was not hindered. "Barefoot and Brilliant" was a title suggested to me by Kevin Lawton, and I think it sums up my experience of involvement in Broome footy. In 1989, Sun/Herald photographer Ian Stevenson from Melbourne was visiting Broome. He was enthralled at the enjoyment and raw talent of the footballers here, and his series of photographs appeared later as the centre spread in that newspaper. Hence, I have used one of these photos on the opening page.

From a personal point of view I consider the highlights and major contributions of Broome Footy from 1921 to the present day to be:



Highest score in a Grand Final : 1950 Bulls (Meatworks) 30.19.199

Greatest winning margin in a Grand Final: 1950 Bulls (Meatworks) 30.19.199 defeated Towns 8.7.55 by 24 goals.

Lowest score in a Grand Final : 2014 Looma 2.3.15

Highest number of goals kicked in a Grand Final : 1950 Lenny Molan (Meatworks) kicked 16.

Closest Grand Final: 1983 Towns defeated Saints by 1 solitary point.

Most memorable Grand Final: 2002 when Lindsay Dean (Towns) kicked a goal after the siren to defeat Saints by two points.

8 players in the Bidyadanga Premiership side of 2016 had the same surname.  Angelo won the Best and Fairest for the season and Rowan won the McMahon Medal for best on the ground in the Grand Final.  (That family can play football!!!)  

I hope that the enjoyment and interest I experienced by meeting such personalities as Bob Noble, Norm Back, Don Gibbs, Sid Tolentino, Pete Matsumoto and others is passed on to the readers of these articles and that they act as a contribution to the sporting history of Broome. Originally, I had planned to put this material together in book form but, with the advent of technology, I have found that this web site will be easier, more convenient and will be more interactive. I welcome any comments, suggestions and additional information for this page.

Brian Kane