Memories of Redfern Oval Passion and tribalism

Before the Covid 19 issue hit, a few of us old codgers were meeting up at least once twice a week at Souths training. Standing in the new grounds is great but I sure do miss the old Redfern oval, the blood and guts the place envisaged during Juniors Grand Final weekend. Wombat Hill, La Per Hill, Rovers, Waterloo, Mascot in the stands, the bookies taking bets in the stand, the sheer ferocity of some of the clashes were legendary. The Redfern grandstand wit was and is unmatched anywhere. The howls and the comments in the grandstand when Reg Austin made a blunder were legendary. I think the most feared group there were the Canteen ladies and the group of ladies that placed themselves under the goalposts at the south end. You dreaded running south if you were an opposition team, God bless those ladies, they tore strips off Steve Mortimer, absolutely shredded him when he tackled our halfback one metre from the line for the match winning try. Our men are fierce but I tell you they pale into into insignificance when a Souths Woman is in a mean mood.
From the Nappies up to A grade and especially the Nappies, remembering the determination on those little kids faces is indelible. Going back to to the fifties, sixties, seventies then on to the eighties, nineties, this tribalism created the passion we have today as many of those kids went on to become the Tuggers, the Suttos and Reynos of today.

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Great memories there sideline.

Plenty of memories there either on the field or on the hill . We even had athletics carnivals there when I was at Mascot Public school

Of the old guy selling “Peanuts in the shell or sugar coated.”
Of the cries of “Get em onside!”
Of the poor dear disabled woman who would all game let out her anguished cries of “Woo Woo”

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One of memories of that ground was taking my then girlfriend and now my wife of 30 odd years to her first game. We were playing Canberra and I looked for a lovely ’ respectable’ looking family to sit in front of. I found what I thought was a nice looking family of Canberra supporters. Well I tell it was the wrong decision. We got slaughtered by Canberra (1987) but the filthy language that came out these Canberra supporter women’s mouths was unbelievable- and their kids. Even the roughest Redfern types were moving away. She has never been back to a game.

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May '67 v Norths down 14 nil into the second half & playing poorly. I asked dad if we could go home. No son these guys have spirit they won’t put up with losing. We won 34 -14 in one of the most extradinary last 30 min of football I have ever seen.

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I seem to remember him shouting “Peanut 20 cent peanut”. Always thought that was rather expensive for one peanut lol.

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Redfern

Redfern Oval was a family affair for me. My parents, Grandma & my brother & I. We sat on the hill (scoreboard side) always next ti the southern light tower.
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We were there for all three grades, although during U23 & reserve grade played footy on the hill.
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Watched 1st Grade, yelling & cheering until the full time hooter, waiting on the fence to run on & grab the corner post.
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Great childhood & memories.
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I wish they never torn it down. I miss the old ground.
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SSTID

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An article from 1987

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Used to catch the train and walk up from Redfern Station.

I was a kid with maybe $5 screwed up in my pocket that my mum gave me.

Usually got a hotdog with sauce and a can of lemonade.

Used to enjoy getting those first scorer tickets.

I remember one day I’d lost my money but snuck through the gate somehow.

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Being a VFL fan my introduction to South Sydney was being introduced to a few players at the White House hotel Kingsford by my mate Gus, John O’Neill and Ron Coote were the players.

Unfortunately being a Victorian just passing through Sydney I did not realise the stature of O’Neill and Coote.
Then in the weekend Gus took me to a match at Redfern Souths vs St George but the atmosphere of the crowd did not inspire me much at the time as I was used the high scoring of an VFL game./

Fast forward to sometime later whilst travelling through Sydney I went to the Sydney RSL and in there was Lurch and I told him about our meeting at the White House many years ago and whilst he could not remember me he was a jovial sort of guy to talk to.

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I wrote a letter to rugby league week in the late 70s complaining that South’s started charging to get into the grandstand. From memory it was $2. I was outraged. Never sat in the grandstand again. In fact never sat there before I always stood up the back. From then on I always stood near the light towers either side of the grandstand. I did win letter of the week that week.

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My aunt and uncle had seats in the stand just in front of Don Lane. We as kids would sneak up there and sit on their laps . Best memories are the pies. Ive said it before and ill say it again , they are the best pies ive ever had , and ive have quite a few since. The last game game we played there , me and a mate were about 16 or 17 I think , at the end of the game we ran onto the field ,rolled around a bit , and I then ripped a big chunk of grass out and took it home. That grass sat in my cupboard for several years , a memory for every time I opened the door. Alas , one day I opened it and the grass was gone. I looked all over for it but couldn’t find it. It was only later that I found out my mum had taken it and thrown it out , thinking it was pot.

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So was this the game? I had a big laugh with your last comment.

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I love the photos of stuff like this before a whole tonne of rules and regs or whatever it was came in and seeing the kind of shit people used to be able to do. Like that scaffolding thingy people are on. Imagine trying to do that nowadays.

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So she threw it out after she realised she wasnt getting high? :grin:

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My God, now there’s a name from the past, Lurch. Would love to see him in today’s team, him and Sattler to iron out that thug, Hargreaves.

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Quite a few OH&S topics to discuss in that photo. Wasn’t it great when it was Rafferty’s rules. If you miscalculated and stuffed up, you copped it sweet, didn’t have ambulance chasers around.

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