St Ives Football Club was first formed as St Ives Soccer Club in 1957. One of the founders and earliest presidents was Australia’s first soccer broadcaster, Martin Royal. Mr. Royal was well known for his work in telecasting the Anzac Day March in Sydney for the ABC.
What was soccer at St Ives like in those early days? Well, it must have been very genteel. One lady who was around in those days recounts that there was a “Tea Club” whose function was to serve afternoon tea during All Age matches on Saturday afternoon. It conjures up more of an image of social cricket on the English village green rather than soccer, doesn’t it?
The club has gone from strength to strength since those early days. Unfortunately, the club history has not yet been written, but we are aware of a couple of notable highlights and these will be presented periodically on this web site in coming months.
If you were involved in the club in past years and have some interesting stories or highlights to share, please contact us.
Memories from an early player, by Neil Philips
I am posting these comment at the encouragement of Chris Zvirblis who I understand is the somewhat belittled voluntary historian of the club. I was involved in the initial men's (or All Age) team in the club in 1969 and Chris has asked me to give some background to this. These are some of my "unreliable memoirs".
My family moved to St Ives in 1968 and one of my younger brothers, Michael, commenced playing with the under 13 team. There was a decided lack of football knowledge or experience amongst the parents of the junior teams at the time, and although I was only in my early 20's, I was fairly quickly press ganged into coaching the under 13 team, along with another brother, Peter, who was 18 at the time. The three of us had some football background, all of us commencing playing at about ten years of age in the Cronulla-Sutherland area, and I think it was for this "some football background" reason we were conscripted.
The following year (1969) we all turned up at the Village Green at the junior registration day, Michael to register and Peter and myself as coaches involved with the team. A fellow called Malcolm Ellis, father of another junior player, raised the possibility of starting a senior team (called an All Age team at the time) and it all grew from there. My brother Peter and I were already playing elsewhere, with the Uni of NSW in a competition which was mainly played on Sundays, but a fairly persuasive Malcolm talked us into playing occasionally with St Ives.
As it turned out, once we started, we ended up playing nearly every week, thus often playing twice a weekend. Malcolm Ellis, with considerable energy, somehow quickly got together a diverse group of people which became "the team". We had a few players who had been playing regularly, some who had not played for years, and some who some who had only impoverished backgrounds in such philistine pursuits as Rugby and Aussie Rules.
Fairly quickly we developed a slightly larger player base, inheriting (I suspect from some pub conversations) a group of Poms with playing backgrounds of varying quality. One however, a fellow called Keith Logan, quickly became our star player. Keith had recently migrated to Australia from the UK. There, he had been in the Royal Navy, training as a helicopter pilot. Halfway through his training, a change of government saw the disbanding of the helicopter wing and Keith out of a job. So Keith decided to come to Australia to try and complete his helicopter licence and become a civilian pilot; a very expensive exercise. Keith, a natural athlete, not long out of the Navy, exceptionally fit and robust due to his Navy background, had good football skills. He was fast, strong and could shoot with both feet. He naturally played striker.
We would try and feed Keith the ball and he would score goals. Simple.
Over forty goals in the first short season - two or three a game. The highlight of our year was probably the first senior team encounter with West Pymble which we won 7-1, of which I think Keith got 6. (I continued to play football and cricket in the Ku-ring-gai district for another fifteen years and I derived great pleasure from reminding friends who were West Pymble players regularly of this result. I sincerely hope that this result has not been forgotten).
Another of our English imports of interest was a fellow called Steve Dyson. Steve hailed from Reading, not far from London. Steve, who had never been to London, decided to migrate to Australia as one of the "ten pound poms". He flew to Australia, lived here for about eight years, then decided to return to Reading. He did this, still never having been to London. This was a time when English pop music was centre of the universe. Steve had some notoriety because he was a competent guitarist who had actually played in bands in the UK.
Another player I remember was John Davis who played right wing for us. John was a competent footballer, but was more notable for his academic career. He was physicist working if my memory serves me rightly in areas related to astronomy and astrophysics. I subsequently saw mentions of him occasionally in the media. Thirty years down the track, it has been a bit hard tracking down any of the players other than my brothers and even harder dredging things out of my memory, but I will keep at it.
Memories from an early player and official, Keith Logan.
Keith Logan 1970-1973
Club Coach 1972
AA team player
Following my return to Australia in 1969 I contacted some old family friends, the Pugh’s, living in St Ives.
Mr Pugh had been coaching the U/13 where his twin sons, Richard and John, who were playing at St Ives FC. They had sadly finished last in the U/13A’s that year and had decided not to continue coaching in 1970. He cajoled me into taking over the coaching role, knowing that during my teenage years in Cronulla I had played club football as well as playing in the Sutherland Shire Rep side for a number of years, and had coached younger teams during those times.
Turning up to the club registration for the u/14’s I heard that they were also considering forming an All Age side that year. Malcolm Ellis was rounding up anyone who could lace on boots.
The eclectic mix of players as Neil Phillips had mentioned also included Bob ‘The Tank’ Lowe a Pommie who in younger years had been a very savvy player running the defence as centre back. Steve Dyson and another Pom who went under the nickname of ‘Chelsea’ (a passionate supporter), George Nelson also English who had played both in UK and around Sydney, Bruce MacDonald a Kiwi, Alistair Kenyon our goalie and his 17 year old younger brother Ian, a very quick winger. Steve Hough a long term St Ives resident and a very solid reliable mid fielder. Neil and Peter Phillips who fortunately, besides their other clubs commitments played regularly for us.
We were fortunate that Acron Oval was our home ground and quite a few locals use to turn up to offer us encouragement.
Mal Ellis did a great job keeping us motivated and I assisted in running our training sessions. He arranged a preseason trip in 1971 to Tamworth, a team that had done exceedingly well in the State Champion of Champions (or its equivalent) the previous year. We on the other hand had struggled to finish in the bottom half of our league. Much to our surprise and there’s we beat them comfortably. It augured well for our 2nd season.
My U/14’s team comprising Mark Smith, Ian Fuller, Brian Booth, Graeme Hughes, Andy McIntosh, Peter Hickson, Mark Browne, John Pugh, Robert Searle (capt) Richard Pugh, Andrew Lloyd and David Freedman with Bob McIntosh as manager. The boys trained well, were keen to learn and really tried to execute some of the plans we had discussed, they put it all together exceedingly well and won the competition that year, a great turnaround from the previous year.
The boys stayed together the following year with only a couple of changes and won the comp again as the U/15’s.
Suddenly we were the team to beat and as the U/16’s we won the comp for the 3rd year in a row, this time undefeated.
That year, 1972, I was asked to coach the U/13 Ku-Ring-Gai rep side, a great honour for me. It was a busy year coaching the U/16’s, the U/13 reps and acting as Club Coach for the whole St Ives Club. The club had grown significantly and as always there were not enough coach’s. Numerous Mums and Dads that had never themselves played football volunteered but needed some assistance in what to teach the boys.
Playing in the All Age team and still being reasonable fit I seemed to be noticeably faster than a lot of the defenders making it easy for me to make a break and get a shot in. Sadly this also made me a target for over enthusiastic defenders keen to slow me down. I was starting to get injured far too often which was starting to effect my other passion, sailing, and as I had just made the Australian team to sail in Hawaii later that year, I made the tough decision to hang up my boots at just 24.
It was a great surprise that some 42 years later I would be sailing with Roger Dutton a long time St Ives member and official. A couple of pictures from that time are shown below.
St Ives U/14A, 1970
Back row : Keith Logan (coach) Mark Smith, Ian Fuller, Brian Booth,
Graeme Hughes, Andy McIntosh, Peter Hickson, Bob McIntosh (manager)
Front row : Mark Browne, John Pugh, Robert Searle (capt) Richard Pugh,
Andrew Lloyd and David Freedman (not in photo)
Peter Phillips great shot of Keith Logan scoring the first goal
against Tamworth on our tour of 1971