His­tory on their side

REPLICA GUERNSEY A SALUTE TO CLUB’S PAST

Joondalup Weekender - - Front Page - Justin Bian­chini

WEST Perth will cel­e­brate the 120th an­niver­sary of its first WAFL flag when it hosts Clare­mont at Arena Joon­dalup on Satur­day.

The play­ers will wear a replica guernsey fea­tur­ing a sim­u­lated lace-up front and an im­print of the 1897 pre­mier­ship team.

A pho­to­graph of the side is the club’s only sur­viv­ing mem­o­ra­bilia from that year.

“They did pre­mier­ship caps around that era,” club his­to­rian Sean Cowan said.

“I’ve never seen a pre­mier­ship cap from 1897; the ear­li­est I’ve seen is Perth 1907.”

Key de­fender Tyler Kei­tel (21) de­scribed the replica jumper, which in­cludes each of the 1897 play­ers’ names, as awe­some.

“West Perth has such a rich his­tory and it is good to see it ac­knowl­edged,” the 42-gamer said.

“The play­ers re­spect ev­ery past player; it’s a big thing here.”

Kei­tel’s un­cle, pre­mier­ship ruck­man and 2002 club best and fairest Ron Sk­ender, is one of them.

“When I was a real young fel­low, I re­mem­ber go­ing out on the ground, jumping on his shoul­ders and singing the song with him in the chang­e­rooms,” Kei­tel said.

“I sup­pose that’s where my love for foot­ball started. And I al­ways looked up to him when play­ing my footy.”

Club di­rec­tor and past player Peter Cut­ler said the 1897 West Perth team fin­ished on top of the lad­der.

“In those days the club fin­ish­ing on top at the end of the sea­son was deemed the pre­mier­ship team,” he said.

“West Perth was un­de­feated, win­ning seven matches and draw­ing five at a time when be­hinds scored were not in­cluded in the score.”

Cut­ler said the club’s move later in the year into a new fa­cil­ity at its ground would en­able it to bet­ter show­case its his­tory.

“Plan­ning is al­ready un­der way for mem­o­ra­bilia, au­dio and video dis­plays, and the es­tab­lish­ment of a West Perth Hall of Fame,” he said.

Picture: Martin Ken­nealey www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d469288

Fal­cons player Tyler Kei­tel shows off the com­mem­o­ra­tive jumper.

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