In 1969 the Club found itself playing in reserve grade with UNSW being the first grade team. The Club also had a team playing in the St George All Age Competition.
The Leagues’ swap of the two university teams did little to improve the stability of the Sydney competition. UNSW did not fare any better in first grade although it won four games, but more than once had 200 points scored against it. However, it was good for Sydney University as the club finally won its first premiership nearly a century after Australian football was first played at the University.
In addition, Peter Sadler won the Sanders Medal as the competition’s best and fairest player (he later also won the Snow Medal in 1971 for best and fairest in Second Division) and Bob Patterson was the competition’s leading goal kicker.
At the end of the home and away games University only just scraped into the finals in fourth place with 52 points while Western Suburbs were the clear leaders on 66 points. University beat Western Suburbs in the preliminary final and then comfortably defeated St George in the grand final 14. 7. 91 to 8. 4. 52 to take out the flag.
Rodney Tubbs was captain coach. He had been one of the club’s best players for number of years, including just missing out on the Phelan Medal in 1966, notwithstanding that he had been an outstanding rugby union player in his school days. Tubbsy later went on to make his fortune in business before returning to campus as Manager, Corporate and Alumni Relations, Sydney Uni Sports and Fitness.
The team contained a number of stalwarts who had been with the club for nearly a decade. Col Keeble had played with the club since the early 1960s and had just made the transformation from a forward to fullback where he continue to play for many years.
Dennis Mattiske was a highly talented centre half forward who had been selected to play for New South Wales when the club was in first grade, and had to adjust his National Service commitments in Albury to travel to Sydney to play.
John Trowbridge, later a leading Sydney actuary, was a goalscoring rover who had played for a number of years and with Peter Sadler, the Sanders medallist, provided a strong combination of what are now described as midfielders.
Dick Quinn was another club legend who was famous for ignoring pain and had a permanent position on the wing. Dick later captained and coached before going on to finally destroy his body in a number of ironman events.
The photograph above is of the typically distinguished Inter-varsity team which went to Adelaide in 1969.
Peter Hastings is disguised as the manager on the left in the front row alongside Bob Jackman. Dick Quinn is in the middle of the front row with Bob Patterson and Rick Campbell, a ruckman, alongside him. Greg “Plonky” Walton is on the end of the front row. Peter Sadler is second from the right in the second row.
Click on each link to read.
Back of Front and Page 1