Toast to the Posts

The humble ‘big sticks’ i.e. the tall thin things at each end of a footy ground through which the footy must be propelled to score goals. They’ve existed from day one. In fact, the first item in the original ‘Melbourne Rules’ drawn up in 1959 is:

  1. The distance between the goal posts shall be decided upon by the captains of the sides playing.



“I told him to pull up, and I threatened to throw the goal-post at him if he didn’t,” said William Bradmore, laborer, in the Count Court today.

Bradmore explained to Judge Wasley that he was carrying a goal-post, after a game of football, along Flemington road, North Melbourne, on the afternoon of May 14, when he saw a motor car run into a horse. The driver, of the car, he said pulled up when he (witness) uttered the threat.

Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 – 1954), Wednesday 22 June 1921, page 8


J. Spain (Richmond) Reported. During the third quarter of the South Melbourne-Richmond match on Saturday J. Spain (Richmond) shook the goal post. The goal umpire pursued Spain to the centre of the oval and later announced that he intended to report that player for the act.

Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), Monday 30 June 1924, page 6

Shaken Goal Post

“Epidemic” at South Melb.

Several hours were spent by the Investigaiton Committee of the League last Friday in hearing the protest of the Geelong club against the awarding of the match on the previous Saturday to South Melbourne, on the unusual ground that they had been deprived of a goal through the action of a South Melbourne player in deliberately shaking the goal-post, this causing a shot by A. Pink, a Geelong player, to hit the post, instead of going through goal. South won the game by three points, and Geelong’s contention was that if they had not been deprived of the goal in question they would have been the winners. From the mass of evidence tendered it would appear that a goal post was shaken violently twice during match by the same South Melbourne player as a Geelong player fired for goal. In the second quarter Pink’s shot, it was alleged, hit the post, which was swaying two or three feet from the perpendicular; and in the third quarter the post was swaying again as C. Rankin took shot, but on this occasion the ball went clean through without touching either post Several Geelong players gave evidence as to having seen the post swaying on the two occasions, and declared that Pink would have scored a goal but for the interference with the post. Under pressure they all named a particular South Melbourne player as the offender each time. On the other hand, three of the umpires, and L. Woodfield, tho South Melbourne full-back, declared that they had not seen either of the posts shaken when Pink took his shot, but Goal-Umpire Vox testified to having seen the South player named Ghak-? the post in the third quarter. None of the witnesses who saw the swaying of the posts would attribute the occurrence to the wind, which blew strongly during the game. Field-umpire Wickham told the committee that in the umpires’ dressing-room after the match the question of the swaying post in the third quarter had been mentioned, but as it had not had any effect on tho match it had been agreed to Ray nothing about it, “as it might cause trouble.” After some minutes’ deliberation the committee announced that it had been decided to dismiss the protest. loiter, at full meeting of the League, the investigation committee reported that at the inquiry certain statements had been made regarding the conduct of A. Hando, a South Melbourne player, and it recommended that an inquiry be held, and such action taken as might be considered necessary in the best interests of football. The committee was authorised by the League to hold the inquiry. By a curious/coincidence. Goal umpire Fox was officiating again at South Melbourne last Saturday, and at the conclusion of the match against Richmond he announced to the club delegates that he intended to report to the League J. Spain, of Richmond, on a charge of having shaken a goal-post in the last quarter, when Johnson, of South Melbourne was shooting for goal. After Johnson’s kick and before he signalled the resultant, behind, Fox 40 yards up the field to Spain to inform him that he would “send him up.” Spain treated the matter as a little joke in view of the happenings of the previous week.

Sporting Globe (Melbourne, Vic. : 1922 – 1954), Wednesday 2 July 1924, page 12

Shaking Goal Post

Why Protest Was Lodged

In Geelong there is by no means unanimity in respect to the action of the football club In lodging a protest against South Melbourne being awarded the match against Geelong because of the shaking of one of the goal posts. It is felt that the committee would have done better to have forwarded a letter to the League directing attention to the incident and then to have allowed the matter to drop. A very strong argument In favor of the protest, however, has been put forward by Mr I. More, who was primarily the cause of the protest being made. As a preliminary to the protest, he said, he saw the shaking of the post, and then In conversation with Geelong players on Sunday morning heard so much about the matter that he realised that it was a serious state of affairs, but saw that there was nothing In the rules to meet the case. He arrived at the decision to lodge a protest on the ground that a letter of complaint to the League would have been received as an item ot correspondence and possibly been dismissed with a motion thanking Geelong for bringing the matter under notice, and delegates being warned to inform their committees that players should be instructed not to do such things. The protest, however, had had a much better effect. It meant that the Independent Tribunal had to thoroughly go into the matter, and that could only be done by calling witnesses. The result was that the Tribunal realised that It was a serious position. The Geelong committee Is now satisfied that their action will lead to the desired end In having the practice stopped

Sporting Globe (Melbourne, Vic. : 1922 – 1954), Saturday 5 July 1924, page 5


A remarkable feature of the football match between Fitzroy and Richmond at Fitzroy on Saturday, was the number of times that the goal post was struck. Richmond hit it six times: Morris on four occasions and Chalmers twice; while Moriarty did the same twice for Fitzroy. This experience will provide subject for discussion when the proposal to allow more than one point when the ball hits the post is considered by the Australian Football Council in Hobart next month.

Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), Tuesday 22 July 1924, page 5


BALLARAT. Tuesday. During the football match at Dunnstown, between Warronheip and Egerton, one of the goalposts collapsed. It was discovered that the post had been sawn through, probably by a mischievous youth. The game, which was the grand final of the Warronheip Association, was won by Warronheip : 4 goals 7 behinds, 31 points, to 2 goals 5 behinds, 17 points.

Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 – 1954), Tuesday 11 August 1925, page 3


‘Storm in a Teacup’

What was scornfully described by Mr. K. Drake-Brockman as a ‘storm in a tea-cup’ took place in the Children’s Court yesterday afternoon. Its real Identity was a charge of interfering with a goal-post in Forrest Park, North Perth, which was being preferred against a 16year-old boy. Mr. Drake-Brockman appeared in defence of the boy, who denied the charge, while Mr. T. A. L. Davy came to Court, representing the City Council, whose by-laws had been infringed. The Bench was occupied by Mr. F. D. Good and Miss N. Kidson, J.P. Evidence showed that a party of four boys, who were administering rough treatment to one of the goal-posts in the park one night recently, were seen by Ranger Cliff. The ranger secured the assistance of Sergeant Brody, who went round the other side of the grounds and ‘shooed’ them into the ranger’s arms. Defendant was the only boy caught. He gave his captors a wrong name and was taken to the house he named. As the sergeant lifted his hand to knock on the door the lad cunningly suggested that he should pop round the back way, as the family might be sleeping, and he would waken them. ‘No fear, you don’t,‘ said the sergeant, and knocked on the door. The lady of the house did not know the lad, who evidently, in the words of Mr. J Good yesterday, ‘seeing himself in a net,’ gave his right name and address. In addressing the Bench, Mr. Drake Brockman expressed surprise that the City Council should lay such a trivial charge. After an hour and a half of heated argument, in which the Bench took no active part, Mr. Goode announced the charge proved. The lad was fined £2, while he was ordered to pay a further 20s for having given a false name and address.

Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 – 1950), Thursday 25 October 1928, page 6


Treatment at Hospital Necessary

Robert Rankin, 13 years, of East Geelong, was treated at the hospital for a severe scalp wound yesterday, the result of a goal post having fallen on his head.

Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), Friday 14 August 1931, page 12

Player Knocks Goal Post Over

There was an amusing incident in the Ulverstone-Penguin match yesterday, when during the third quarter, P. Doyle, one of the UIverstone players collided with one of the goal-posts, and it toppled over. The game was held up for a time until a decision was reached as to how it was to be replaced. Eventually some of the officials of the two clubs held it in position until a spade was secured from a nearby house, and the post was again firmly embedded in the around.

Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 – 1954), Tuesday 23 June 1936, page 5

Thieves Dig Up Goal Post At Suburban Oval

THIEVES last night dug up and walked off with a 20-ft.-long goal post from the Hindmarsh Oval. Police are speculating whether the pole was taken for use as a wireless aerial, a flagpole, or for firewood.

News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 – 1954), Saturday 8 July 1944, page 3

Horse Crashes Into Goal Post


While riding a horse on the Cranbourne Recreation reserve last Sunday afternoon, Mr. P. Wearne, 17, of the National Bank, Cranbourne, sustained a fractured thigh and arm when his mount crashed into a goalpost. The injured lad was removed to the Alfred Hospital by the Dandenong District Ambulance, and’ admitted for treatment.

Dandenong Journal (Vic. : 1927 – 1954), Wednesday 23 April 1952, page 1

Most ‘posters’:

  • In a match: 11 [ Footscray 6, Carlton 5, 1936]
  • By an individual: 7 [V.Banbury (Footscray) vs Pt.Melb. VFA, 1912]
  • Inaccuracy in general: Dave McNamara kicked 18.16 [for Essendon A vs Melbourne City, VFA, 1912]

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