Roys raise the bat to Brunswick Street Oval

Posted on - Latest News, Premier B Men's, Featured, Fitzroy

Saturday marks the 50-year anniversary of the final Victorian Football League match played on Brunswick Street Oval between Fitzroy and St Kilda.

The Roys will host a major player reunion featuring those who donned the Lions’ jumper on the famous oval prior to 1966 including Tony Ongarello, Kevin Murray and Bruno Zorzi.

Of the 20 players who represented the Roys in that fateful match, 12 will be in attendance alongside Bob Sayers (1930’s), Bill Stephen (1966 senior coach and former player) and a further 29 from the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s playing era.

Former captain, John Hayes, and Stephen will entertain the crowd when they are interviewed throughout the event along with two well-known personalities from the era, Gary Lazarus and Darryl Peoples.

The Roys were unable to overcome the might of the Saints on that day in 1966 as they were defeated by 84 points in front of 12,000 supporters on the slow, chopped up track.

The Saints boasted a star-studded line-up in their sole premiership team including three-time Brownlow medallist, Ian Stewart, Kevin ‘Cowboy’ Neale and Bob Murray. However, they did it all without champion ruckman, Carl Ditterich, after he was reported in the final quarter of the Brunswick clash.

As reported by Inside Football, Ditterich was handed a six-week suspension and famously missed the grand final.

“The man on the receiving end of Ditterich’s ire was Darryl Peoples,” the publication reported.

“Ditterich has been continually questioned over the years about that day, but in a strange twist to the famous incident Peoples has never before been interviewed about it and sheds new light on the events of half a century ago.

The tribunal asked the pair to re-enact the clash.

“I think the bump in the tribunal was harder than the one on the footy ground,” Peoples said of the incident and subsequent suspension.

“We did a demonstration. It was a shirtfront. To be perfectly honest I didn’t think there was much in it at the time.”

Speaking with VAFA Media earlier this week, event organiser and 1966 wingman, Colin Hobbs, gave his humorous take on the incident.

“He (Ditterich) went off his head because of a little young blonde wingman giving him plenty of cheek,” Hobbs said referring to himself.

“But he flattened someone else because I jumped out of the way.”

“Saturday is just a lunch and chance to reminisce. It won’t happen again but it was a long time ago.”

The lunch bodes as the perfect opportunity for the faithful Fitzroy community to support their beloved Roys as they attempt to solidify their first-ever Premier B finals berth when they face Old Scotch at 2pm.