‘Adventurous’ Raiders’ prayers answered in 1962

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Nick Armistead

The swinging 60’s was an amazing decade for the Old Paradians Football Club as they claimed six senior A-Section premierships in just seven years from 1962 – 1968.

Formed in 1929 under founding fathers Lou Arthur, Frank Mount and Perce Matthews, the Raiders took 22 years before winning their first senior pennant – 1951 B-Section – so when they finally earnt a spot in the 1962 A-Section Grand Final, club ‘Godfather’ and 22-year President Lou Arthur was taking no chances ahead of their first showdown for the top gong.

“In his own way he was perhaps a bit worried about how some of the more adventurous players might spend that grand final eve,” Vin Arthur (Lou’s son) recalled on the ‘Clubs in Focus’ Podcast.

“So, what he did was he invited several of them to come around home and watch a little bit of television.”

The players in question – Neil Pivetta, Brian Weyman, eight-time premiership player/coach John Booth, Brian ‘Yanky’ Parker and Russell Lewis – would go on to become some of the greatest players in Old Paradians history, but they certainly weren’t going to be settling their nerves with a few grand final eve ales under Lou’s watch.

“The evening went along, we enjoyed watching a little bit of television, and around about nine o’clock Dad said, ‘now come on boys, we’ll kneel down and say the rosary’, Vin said.

“And that’s how the final hour on grand final eve was spent at Dad’s home in Banksia Street in Heidelberg. I still get emotional at the thought of it, but he was sort of making sure he was dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s and leaving nothing to chance in his approach to that grand final success.”

Parade would go on to defeat MHSOB by 47 points the next day en route to their first three-peat under the guidance of Maurie Considine. Despite finishing fourth in 1965, the team would repeat their success with flags in 1966, ‘67 and ‘68 this time with Booth at the helm.

Three of the five players Arthur invited around to his home in 1962 – Booth, Weyman and Pivetta – would all go on to feature in the club’s Team of the Century.

You can hear the full interview with Vin, Pat Mount, Dom Spillane, Peter Brabender, Chris Kandilakis and Daniel Spitty on the ‘Clubs in Focus’ Podcast.