Yep, the heading is correct. I spent a week in Melbourne as my folks were down to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary, and came across a copy of the VFA Recorder from the 2nd Semi-Final of the 1956 season. Needless to say, the copy I have is very brown, and extremely fragile.
This game was between Port Melbourne and Williamstown, but I will endeavour to revise what I have as best as I can.
So, starting from the front, we have an ad for Garland's Famous Veterinary Mixtures, on behalf of Studley Trading Co. Pty. Ltd., 54 William St, Melbourne, MB 5355.
Beneath that, there is the title of the publication - The Official Organ of the VFA 6d. - with another ad below that, from Prahran Car Radio Centre promoting the 'new' A.W.A. car radio (from as little as 3 pound).
Over the page there is a full page ad for The Sun (You'll score every time when you get your football facts from the picture-packed pages of in a banner The Sun).
Page 3 sees all the contact details - Address Communications to "The Association Football Recorder", 1 Collins Place, Melbourne, C.1. Telephone MF 4311.
Next shows it is Vol. XXXVI, No. 21.
This written piece follows:
TIED HAND AND FOOT
AWARD WINNER SPEAKS OUT
Congratulations to Johnny Martin, Williamstown's centre-man, for an outstanding performance in scooping the pool of awards this season. Best and Fairest V.F.A. award, plus the 'Herald' and "Sporting Globe" awards completed a grand year for the 23 year old seasider. Martin is the type of player his club and the V.F.A. can feel proud to count as their own. Johnny Martin made some pertinent remarks when interviewed by a newspaper reporter. In fact, he said what a lot of us have been thinking and is to be commended for his forthright attitude towards the future of the V.F.A.
He suggested the time was opportune for the V.F.A. to breal away from the A.N.F.C. and bring back the throw-pass.
The throw-pass attracted the crowds in the past, and would do so again. The Association would be free to attract better players and induce League players to cross to the V.F.A.
There are many of us who will agree with Martin. There are some who would make the move immediately, but it is not a move that should be made without a great deal of thought.
My personal view is that the A.N.F.C. is doing a great deal for the game throughout Australia. I am sure the majority of A.N.F.C. members are real lovers of football and therefore think kindly of the V.F.A.
Unfortunately the V.F.L. does not take kindly to any form of control from another quarter even if the future of the game is at stake and it exercises an overwhelming influence in this State.
While the V.F.A. is a member of the A.N.F.C., it's hands are tied and the decision to break-away must be faced.
The only advantage to staying in the A.N.F.C. appears to be the liberty of fielding a team in the Carnival games each year they are held. To me the break-away faction have more to offer.
Freedom to do as we please. Freedom to attract big name players from the League ranks. New rules to bring the game up to date.
The V.F.A. has had many ups and downs and possess an amazing skill to fight back when many are prepared to write it off as a complete loss. We are not doing as well as we should and bold efforts are necessary to regain the pioneer spirit.
I have amplified Johnny Martin's thoughts and I hope all V.F.A. supporters will carefully consider what he has said.
I liked the way Martin finished his interview with the reporter.
He said "The standard of Association football is a lot better than most people think."
I liked it because that is what many of us have been saying for years and coming from a player may be it will carry more weight.
More to come