Whilst the focus of the years leading up to 1960 had been more about re-establishing the Spartan Cricket Club, the decade that followed saw the Club strengthen itself considerably, and laid the foundation towards on-field success, unseen for more than twenty years.

The period began with a new President, our fourth in total, as Jack Knox-Peden succeeded the retiring Albert West, having been a vital figure in the Club’s post-war inception.

Page Contents

The Club was now well and truly re-established following World War Two, and it was now time to formalise the corporate aspect of the Club. This coincided with the retirements of key figures within the Club, most having served the full fifteen years since the 1945 return.

Jack Knox-Peden, the Club’s fourth President. Taken circa 1975.

In order to achieve this, a Spartan Cricket Club Constitution was drafted, a record book inaugurated and firm management principles were put in place that led to the Club becoming a stable, powerful and well respected organisation.

As was the case with previous seasons, the Club continued to field one side in the First Grade in the Fremantle & Districts Mercantile Cricket Association (F&DMCA).

New President Jack Knox-Peden (pictured left) served an incredible nineteen years in the role, all the while aided by ‘Mr. Statistics’ Brian Waterer, who became Secretary the same season, holding the position for over a decade.

1960 marked the beginning of a major period of stability and success within the Club – both on and off the field – which was highlighted by a number of premierships in the mid to late seventies.

This period was therefore hugely instrumental in shaping the future of the Club, with the efforts of these fine individuals ensuring that the hard work in re-establishing the Club after World War Two was not lost.

Not only that, but their efforts laid the foundation for the Club’s success for the remainder of the twentieth century.

Previous Chapter (The Club Reborn – 1945-1959) 

 Next Chapter (A Change At The Top – 1978-1988) 

1959/1960 Season – Knox-Peden Our Fourth President

President: Mr. J. Knox-Peden (1st Year)
Senior Vice President: Mr. T. Langlands / Mr. W.J. Rayner (1st Year)
Junior Vice President:
Secretary: Mr. B.M. Waterer (1st Year)
Treasurer: Mr. B.M. Waterer (1st Year)

As mentioned earlier, at the beginning of the 1959/1960 season, the Club’s administration was completely overhauled.

Jack Knox-Peden took over as President for the first of his nineteen consecutive years as leader, whilst the volatile Joe Rayner became Vice President mid-way through the season, and Brian Waterer became the Secretary, a position he fulfilled for over a decade.

On-field records from the season are yet to be established, unfortunately due to the aforementioned fact that when President Knox-Peden’s predecessor, Albert West (a fine record keeper for the Club who had immaculately hand-written the statistics of the period) presented a tin containing the season’s results to Brian Waterer in 1965, it was discovered that termites had destroyed the contents.

Whilst 1959 marked the first year as President for our fourth leader in Jack Knox-Peden, the October of that same year saw the birth of our eleventh, Mr. Peter Coombs.

1960/1961 Season

President: Mr. J. Knox-Peden (2nd Year)
Senior Vice President: Mr. W.J. Rayner (2nd Year)
Junior Vice President:
Secretary: Mr. B.M. Waterer (2nd Year)
Treasurer: Mr. B.M. Waterer (2nd Year)

The Spartan Cricket Club only finished in sixth position in the 1960/61 season of the Fremantle & Districts Mercantile Cricket Association (F&DMCA), but there were many signs that the players were increasing in maturity.

Notably, Alf ‘Dunga’ Dyer and Neville Langlands shared a seventh wicket partnership of 109 against YCW, and George Pluske revealed some of his outstanding all-round skills in scoring 69 against Palmyra as well as capturing 6/20 later in the season against Tally Clerks.

Medium pacer Harold Bell took 6/62 and 4/10 against Palmyra to return match figures of 10/72 and set up an outright win for Spartans.

In the years to come, Bell’s somewhat deceptive medium pace bowling was to bring about the downfall of many highly rated batting sides.

Brian Waterer (pictured left) also played the first of his many ‘anchor’ innings that were to give the side stability but also make him somewhat notorious as the greatest stonewaller in the history of the F&DMCA.

On this occasion, he carried his bat for 5 not out out of a total of 62 against CBC – and he occupied the crease for three hours while doing so!

This incredible effort made Brian the first Spartan to have carried his bat in a completed innings, an extremely rare feat indeed.

As was the case with seasons of this period, many of the statistics and records regarding them are not fully established.

List Of Spartans To Have Carried The Bat:

#SpartanScoreTeam ScoreOpponentGradeSeason
1.Brian Waterer5 not out10/62CBC1st Grade1960/61
2.Greg Horne36 not out10/62CBC2nd Grade1960/61
3.Doug Stewart54 not out10/84South Fremantle1st Grade1964/65
4.Greg Horne69 not out10/150Kardinya3rd Grade1987/88
5.Adrian Litterick68 not out10/106Jandakot Lakes4th Grade1989/90
6.Antony Bright45 not out10/131Kardinya Lakes3rd Grade2004/05
7.Andrew Walker47 not out10/145Cockburn2nd Grade2005/06
8.Dale Putland66 not out10/150CBC4th Grade2016/17

In the decades that followed, Brian Waterer certainly established himself as one of the (if not the) finest and most dedicated Spartans of all time. You can read more about Brian’s efforts here.

1961/1962 Season – Runners Up

President: Mr. J. Knox-Peden (3rd Year)
Senior Vice President: Mr. W.J. Rayner (3rd Year)
Junior Vice President:
Secretary: Mr. B.M. Waterer (3rd Year)
Treasurer: Mr. B.M. Waterer (3rd Year)

The appointment of George Pluske as Captain-Coach brought a far more dedicated approach to the game, and thanks to his clever leadership and brilliant individual efforts, the Club became the most competitive it had been in its history – some forty-three years to this point.

The batting still lacked depth – although it was certainly developing – whilst the bowling was as excellent as ever and the fielding was superb.

Despite the deficiencies in the batting stocks, 1961/1962 marked the first of many successful seasons for the Club, with the Spartans all but taking home a First Grade Premiership.

The side fought their way through to a showdown against CBC in the Grand Final only to lose by a mere twenty runs.

The loss was hard to take as they had the agony of seeing one of CBC’s leading batsman Tom Hegarty bowled around his legs for no score by Joe Rayner, only to be given not out by both umpires.

Hegarty went on to make 39 which was the highest individual score in the game.

The umpire at the bowler’s end thought that the wicket-keeper may have interfered with the stumps while the square leg umpire wasn’t watching at the time. This had actually been a common tactic used by other sides in the past, as the playing surface allowed the keeper to stand up to the stumps, and incredibly, led many umpires to start giving batsman the benefit of the doubt despite the fact they had been clean bowled!

The Spartans’ Grand Final star was medium pacer Ron Stanton who bowled with great determination to take 6/30 and 6/42 to finish with 12/72 for the match.

Stanton finished the season with 48 wickets with his best haul being his 8/39 against Scots.

1962/1963 Season – A Minor Premiership

President: Mr. J. Knox-Peden (4th Year)
Senior Vice President: Mr. W.J. Rayner (4th Year)
Junior Vice President:
Secretary: Mr. B.M. Waterer (4th Year)
Treasurer: Mr. B.M. Waterer (4th Year)

This season saw the Club capture the first of many Minor Premierships following another season of improved performances.

Significantly, Joe Rayner slammed 105 against Scots in just over an hour, and with the support of Lew Read, the two added 135 for the fifth wicket.

In the same game, George Pluske captured 7/46 and 4/41 – incredible match figures of 11/87.

Later in the season, Ron Stanton captured 7/65 against North Fremantle, and Alf Dyer and Brian Waterer shared an opening stand of 107 in 90 minutes against CBC.

Under the rules of the Association at this time, the teams finishing first and second on the premiership table played off in the Grand Final, while the teams finishing third and fourth played off for the Minor Premiership.

Spartans finished third, and went on to win the Minor Premiership.

1963/1964 Season – Runners Up Again

President: Mr. J. Knox-Peden (5th Year)
Senior Vice President: Mr. W.J. Rayner (5th Year)
Junior Vice President:
Secretary: Mr. B.M. Waterer (5th Year)
Treasurer: Mr. B.M. Waterer (5th Year)

Incredibly, the Spartan Cricket Club were into the First Grade Grand Final again, against CBC again, and the loser by a narrow margin – again!

Defeat to CBC in the Grand Final for the second time in three years by just fifty runs must have been a disheartening period for the Club, who had continued to work extremely hard at strengthening itself post World War Two.

Nevertheless, the side was becoming better balanced season by season under Captain-Coach George Pluske, with some of the players developing into class performers.

Pluske’s regular performances meant that he lead from the front, and enjoyed a magnificent season to finish with 70 wickets, with his pace and accuracy often frightening and almost ‘deadly’ at times.

Some of the outstanding efforts included a superb all-round performance by state golf champion Denis Bell (brother of Harold), who amassed 420 runs at an average of 35 and took 49 wickets at 11.2. He had two devastating spells of 7/10 and 5/11 against Tally Clerks. He too bowled very fast with great accuracy.

Harold Bell and Lew Read both recorded centuries as they slaughtered the Scots bowling to the tune of a 180 run partnership which took just 75 minutes.

Finally, Joe Rayner displayed his customary aggression with a pair of lightning innings – 94 against Palmyra and 88 in the Grand Final, with each innings lasting 60 minutes.

Unfortunately despite these astonishing individual performances, a Premiership was not to be, and in fact, it would take another six seasons to be crowned the competition’s greatest side.

1964/1965 Season – Minor Premiers Again

President: Mr. J. Knox-Peden (6th Year)
Senior Vice President: Mr. W.J. Rayner (6th Year)
Junior Vice President:
Secretary: Mr. B.M. Waterer (6th Year)
Treasurer: Mr. B.M. Waterer (6th Year)

A pattern had begun to emerge in 1965, as the Spartans claimed their second Minor Premiership in three seasons to go with their two Grand Final defeats since 1962.

Wicket-keeper batsmen Doug Stewart, who had scored 233 against Spartans in the previous season’s Grand Final, crossed over from CBC and thanks to his experience and expertise, many of the Spartan batsmen improved considerably.

Stewart scored 577 runs at an average of 52 for Spartans, and a further 505 runs for the WACU and Association side (a separate competition that played against the other associations and ran during the regular F&DMCA season), thereby giving him a total of 1082 runs for the season.

For Spartans he scored 103 in an opening stand of 125 with Brian Waterer and 105 in a sixth wicket partnership of 157 with Harold Bell.

His finest innings was when he carried his bat against South Fremantle to record 53 not out in a total of 84.

Also of note, Palmyra had great difficulty in coping with the Spartan pace attack, and they were skittled by Ron Stanton with 8/65, and then by George Pluske with 7/36 in the return game.

1965/1966 Season – The Club Expands

President: Mr. J. Knox-Peden (7th Year)
Senior Vice President: Mr. W.J. Rayner (7th Year)
Junior Vice President:
Secretary: Mr. B.M. Waterer (7th Year)
Treasurer: Mr. B.M. Waterer (7th Year)

The 1965/1966 season saw the Club increase its playing strength to two teams for the first time in its history.

Previously, the Club had only fielded the solitary side that was comprised of about eight regular players and a further seven who were rotated in and out of the side based on availability and performances.

Naturally this strained the Club’s finances and playing strength in this initial year, although slowly but surely these difficulties were overcome.

The composition of the sides within Fremantle and Districts Mercantile Cricket Association at this stage were as follows (in alphabetical order):

First Grade Second Grade
Premiers: South Fremantle Cockburn
Runners Up: CBC Park Cricket Club
Minor Premiers: Spartan Cricket Club Rockingham
East Fremantle CBC
Hilton Park East Fremantle
Palmyra Hamilton
Scots Hilton Park
Tally-Marmions Palmyra
Spartan Cricket Club

Meanwhile, Lew Read succeeded George Pluske as First Grade Captain and Coach, whilst Colin Crompton became the Spartan’s first ever second grade captain.

Despite a change in Captain-Coach, the result was very much the same, with another Minor Premiership for the First Grade.

The performances of note during the season include;

  • Scores of 99, 86 not out, and 60 by opener Frank Ellis
    • He later enjoyed a successful career as a trotting reinsman
  • Scores of 86 and 82 by Doug Stewart
    • Stewart left the Spartans at Christmas time when he moved to Victoria to live
  • John Spencer made a superb 119 against Tally-Clerks
  • 7 for 11 by Harold Bell against Scots and 8 for 33 by his brother Denis against Tally-Clerks were the pick of the bowling performances.

The Second Grade was led by the veteran Colin Crompton, with their only win coming in the very last game of the season.

More importantly, some very promising juniors had been introduced into the Club’s ranks.

Notable efforts include;

  • Bevan ‘Wacka’ James took 6 for 48 against Hamilton
    • This proved to be the first of many occasions on which he was to rout that particular club.
    • James bowled a variety of spinners with great bounce and he developed into a superb all-round player being a very sound batsman and a magnificent gully fieldsman.
    • Bevan went on to claim the record for the most wickets in Leeming Spartan Cricket Club history, his 638 wickets are yet to be bettered.
    • Wacka has gone on to become a true legend of the Club, and you can read his full page here.
  • A consistent performance by wicket-keeper Bernie Maher who took 14 catches and made 8 stumpings.
    • Unfortunately this was his one and only season with the Club as he enlisted in the army and left the state.

1966/1967 Season

President: Mr. J. Knox-Peden (8th Year)
Senior Vice President: Mr. W.J. Rayner (8th Year)
Junior Vice President:
Secretary: Mr. B.M. Waterer (8th Year)
Treasurer: Mr. B.M. Waterer (8th Year)

For the First Grade, this was one of their least successful seasons during the sixties and they finished in fourth place.

The Seconds won their first major trophy and naturally enough it was a Minor Premiership!

There were very few outstanding performances in the top grade, but the second side had several, with Bevan James taking his one man war against Hamilton to another level, with bursts of 5 for 5 and 5 for 30.

He also took 5 for 49 against CBC, and gave proof of his developing status as an all-rounder with scores of 58 and 52 not out.

In addition, captain Colin ‘Pop’ Crompton (who was seemingly improving with age) returned scores of 78, 75 and 55, and wicket-keeper Roy Gough took 12 catches and made 9 stumpings during the season.

1966/1967 Season – Chronicle

A chronicle listing upcoming events, news, and milestones from the 1966/67 season. Copies all had to be handwritten.

1967/1968 Season – Dual Minor Premiers

– Our 50th Year –

President: Mr. J. Knox-Peden (9th Year)
Senior Vice President: Mr. W.J. Rayner (9th Year)
Junior Vice President:
Secretary: Mr. B.M. Waterer (9th Year)
Treasurer: Mr. B.M. Waterer (9th Year)

In 1967-68 the F&DMCA adopted the WACA system of finals with the team finishing on top at the end of the qualifying rounds being awarded the Minor Premiership.

The semi-finals were then played between first and fourth on the ladder and the other between the second and third placed sides. The semi-final winners then played off for the Premiership.

The Spartans greeted this change by winning the Minor Premiership – in both grades!

This season saw the introduction of the Club’s first yearly award – the Knox-Peden Young Spartan Award, which is the annual recognition of the most exemplary and committed player at the age of twenty-one or under. It was won by Peter Dama

Globally, 1968 marked the peak of United States involvement in the Vietnam War, with Australia’s efforts reaching their greatest point the following year.

1st Grade – Captained By Lew Read:

This particular First Grade side would have to rank as one of the finest in the club’s history. The side lost narrowly to South Fremantle in the semi-final after a very dour struggle.

In batting order the side was:

  1. Harold Bell
    • A brilliant right hand bat, and a very capable medium pace swing bowler, he was rated by many as the finest fieldsman in the history of the F&DMCA.
  2. Brian Waterer
    • A determined and dour right hand bat, a very capable close-to-the-wicket fieldsman, an off-spin bowler and a safe wicket-keeper.
  3. Denis Bell
    • A fine right hand bat, a bowler of express pace and a very safe fieldsman.
  4. Lew Read ©
    • Would have to be a contender for the title of the club’s greatest batsman as well as being one of its greatest captains, an outstanding fieldsman and an above average wicket-keeper.
  5. Ron Caporn
    • At this stage, Ron was an outstanding junior, being a brilliant right hand bat and a brilliant fieldsman.
  6. Sam Hume
    • A dogged and high scoring left hand bat, a very good fieldsman, a capable wicket- keeper and – at times- a dangerous leg spin bowler.
  7. Joe Rayner
    • A big hitting right hand bat, a steady leg spin bowler, and a very fine fieldsman.
  8. Les Reynolds
    • A steady right hand bat, an outstanding off-spin bowler, and a safe and reliable fieldsman.
  9. George Pluske
    • In all probability, George was the greatest player in the Club’s history to this point.
    • A great right hand fast bowler, a very good batsman and a magnificent fieldsman in any position.
  10. Ron Stanton
    • A very fine right hand fast-medium paced bowler, a punishing batsman and a great fieldsman.
  11. Roy Gough
    • A determined right hand bat, a steady top spin bowler, a very safe fieldsman and a reliable wicket-keeper.

Every player in the side was capable of big scores, and in fact seven of them scored centuries for the Club.

The bowling meanwhile had everything – pace, swing, off and leg spin – and it was well supported by what was regarded by Association officials as the finest fielding side to play in the competition in the period from 1945 to 1968.

The leading performances include:

  • Denis Bell destroying Tally-Clerks batting with 7 for 54 and later did the same to CBC in claiming 5 for 21.
  • Other top bowling hauls were 6 for 39 by Reynolds, 5 for 10 by Pluske, 5 for 33 by Rayner, and 5 for 37 by Stanton.
  • Most of the batsmen scored at least one half century but of greater value was the increasing number of sound partnerships that led to many big team totals.

Nevertheless, despite the strength of our First Grade, it did not result in a Premiership, and whilst we did finish on top of the ladder to claim the revamped Minor Premiership, we did not make the Grand Final, instead succumbing in the semi-final to end what was otherwise a highly successful season.

2nd Grade – Captained By Colin Crompton:

The team went through the qualifying rounds undefeated, and knocked out CBC in the semi-final, but unfortunately they couldn’t quite go all the way and lost the Grand Final to East Fremantle.

There were some great performances during the season, including Ron Caporn, in a brilliant debut, scoring 134 against Rockingham.

Colin Crompton, still leading from the front, knocked up scores of 97, 95 and 53, Bevan James continued to torment Hamilton with returns of 5 for 12 and 5 for 17 in the first match – for match figures of 10 for 32 – and then took 5 for 79 in the return match.

He also recorded a career best of 98 not out against East Fremantle.

Left hand medium pacer Pat Miller returned match figures of 10 for 127 in the Grand Final.

1968/1969 Season – A Mass Exodus

President: Mr. J. Knox-Peden (10th Year)
Senior Vice President: Mr. C.A. Crompton (1st Year)
Junior Vice President:
Secretary: Mr. B.M. Waterer (10th Year)
Treasurer: Mr. B.M. Waterer (10th Year)

The tenth season of Knox-Peden’s Presidency started in disastrous fashion, as Joe Rayner, Les Reynolds, Sam Hume, Tony Morley (who was also a South Fremantle and state footballer) and Wayne Murray all left to join the newly formed Medina Club as they were residents in that district.

Morley and Murray were highly talented juniors and were just on the verge of outstanding First Grade careers.

To add to the club’s woes Denis Bell and Frank Ellis retired from cricket to take up other outstanding sporting careers – golf and harness racing respectively.

Off the field, Joe Rayner retired as Vice President after nine years in the role, and was succeeded by second grade captain Colin Crompton.

Despite the mass exodus, the season turned out to be a highly successful one, as the Spartans were runners up in the First Grade!

1st Grade – Captained By Lew Read:

Despite all this, the season turned out to be a highly successful one with the First Grade being runners up to Hilton Park in the Grand Final, and the Seconds reaching the Semi Final where they lost to Rockingham.

Among the highlights in the First Grade were:

  • Harold Bell, who had a marvellous season, amassing 561 runs at an average of 37.
    • This total included 118 against Scots and other scores of 72, 63 and 60.
  • Lew Read and Bell sharing an opening stand of 148 against East Fremantle.
    • At this stage of their careers, the pair were in devastating form and each repeatedly tore attacks apart.
    • Read’s aggregate for the season was 302 runs.
  • George Pluske skittled Tallies with a burst of 7 for 27 while the recently promoted Bevan James did likewise to East Fremantle with 6 for 15.

The heartbreak of the 1969 Grand Final defeat was avenged the following season, as the Spartan Cricket Club recorded a famous Premiership.

2nd Grade – Captained By Colin Crompton:

The Spartan Seconds’ road to the semi-final was met with some outstanding individual performances, with John Spencer making a fine 136 against Park during a third wicket partnership of 168 with Alan Reynolds.

Furthermore, a rising star in left-hand fast-medium bowler Barry Maher took 29 wickets for the season.

1969/1970 Season – PREMIERS!

President: Mr. J. Knox-Peden (11th Year)
Senior Vice President: Mr. C.A. Crompton (2nd Year)
Junior Vice President:
Secretary: Mr. B.M. Waterer (11th Year)
Treasurer: Mr. B.M. Waterer (11th Year)

This was a most memorable season when a dream became a reality as the First Grade team thrashed Hilton Park in the Grand Final to win the club’s first premiership since 1925/26 at the top level!

The win was based on the inspirational leadership of Lew Read, whilst great bowling by George Pluske and Bevan James was supported by a superb display of fielding by all members of the side.

The Grand Final Score:

Spartans 136 and 0/5 defeated Hilton Park 74 and 66 by ten wickets.

The Premiership Team (In Batting Order): Harold Bell, Lew Read (Captain), Brian Waterer, Ron Caporn, Pat Miller, Alan Reynolds, John Spencer, George Pluske, Colin Hyde, Bevan James, Barry Maher.

Harold Bell had another great season with the bat as he totalled 409 runs, which included 125 against South Fremantle and 101 against East Fremantle.

John Spencer kept the wickets brilliantly, taking 17 catches and claiming 8 stumpings. Furthermore, his big hitting in the lower order was of great value.

Bevan James bowled magnificently to set up the Grand Final win, when he mesmerised the Hilton Park batsmen to take 5 for 28 in the first innings.

2nd Grade – Captained By Colin Crompton & Alan Reynolds:

Colin Crompton‘s move to the Vice Presidency saw a change in Second Grade Captain later in the season, with Alan Reynolds taking the reigns.

The two men led the Second Grade in what was a very successful season, unfortunately ending with their semi-final defeat to CBC.

Of note, Ron Caporn scored 103 in a partnership of 158 with Laurie ‘Dogs’ Farmer, and Colin Hyde skittled Scots with the remarkable figures of 7/9 and 5/7 – which gave him an incredible 12 for just 16 for the match!

Alan Reynolds and Roy Gough had an opening stand of 103 in even time.

This was the final season in which Colin Crompton was to captain a Spartan side. In all he led club teams for eight seasons and 86 games, with 36 in First Grade and 50 in Second Grade. In all he played 131 games for 2520 runs, 67 wickets and 47 catches.

1970/1971 Season

President: Mr. J. Knox-Peden (12th Year)
Senior Vice President: Mr. C.A. Crompton (3rd Year)
Junior Vice President:
Secretary: Mr. A.J. Reynolds (1st Year)
Treasurer: Mr. B.M. Waterer (12th Year)

This season was somewhat of an anti-climax, although it proved to be a famous one amongst the senior members of both the Spartan Club and the Fremantle and Districts Mercantile Cricket Association.

South Fremantle defeated Spartans in the semi final and then caused a sensation when they forfeited the Grand Final to Hilton Park.

We were knocked out in the Semi Final by South Fremantle, who then caused a sensation when they forfeited the Grand Final to play football! They were subsequently suspended!

Most of their players were league footballers and their club would not release them on the weekends of the game.

Brian Waterer, who was President of the F&DMCA at that stage suspended South Fremantle from the association and they subsequently disbanded as they could not guarantee that they would not do likewise in the future.

So with that, passed one of Spartans oldest and bitterest rivals – the two sides had been competing against one another since 1919.

The Seconds, under new captain Roy Gough, had a poor season and finished in seventh position.

1971/1972 Season – More Personnel Changes

President: Mr. J. Knox-Peden (13th Year)
Senior Vice President: Mr. C.A. Crompton (4th Year)
Junior Vice President:
Secretary: Mr. P.J. Dama (1st Year)
Treasurer: Mr. R.B. Stanton (1st Year)

This season was marked by a series of personnel changes within the Club, with longtime Secretary and Treasurer Brian Waterer departing the position after twelve seasons. The second grade encountered their third captain in two seasons, as Peter Dama (a future President of the Club), took the reigns whilst also taking on the position of Secretary.

On the field, the Club bounced back to the forefront of the association with both sides making the finals.

The First Grade lost to Medina in the semi-finals, but batsmen Harold Bell‘s 334 runs, Lew Read‘s 302 runs and John Spencer with 308 runs all had good seasons.

The Second Grade won their semi-final but were beaten by Park for the Premiership.

Captain Peter Dama continued the recent trend of captains leading the way with 400 runs with a top score of 108 not out, while bowlers Dan Davy (31 wickets), Colin Hyde (28 wickets), and Ian Hutchins with 24 wickets, all had a fine season.

1972/1973 Season – PREMIERS

President: Mr. J. Knox-Peden (14th Year)
Senior Vice President: Mr. C.A. Crompton (5th Year)
Junior Vice President:
Secretary: Mr. P.J. Dama (2nd Year)
Treasurer: Mr. R.B. Stanton (2nd Year)

This season was of course marked by our First Grade Premiership, a hugely memorable victory for the Spartan Cricket Club on the back of sensational hard work and grit.

This was to be our final First Grade Premiership in the Fremantle and Districts Mercantile Cricket Association for two decades.

1st Grade – Premiers – Captained By Ron Caporn:

After a desperate struggle to make the four, the side lifted to great heights to win their semi-final and then defeat CBC in the Grand Final.

The win was based on fine teamwork rather than individual brilliance with the turning point in the match being the run-out of CBC’s Graeme Wood for 99. Wood went on to a distinguished First Class and Test career.

The Premiership Team (In Batting Order): Harold Bell, Lew Read, Kevin Minett, Ron Caporn (Captain), Ray Bastin, Peter Kynaston, John Spencer, Morrie Pietroniro, Ray Griffiths Ian Hutchins, Barry Maher.

  • During the season Barry Maher took 60 wickets, which included six separate hauls of five wickets or more in an innings.
  • He was brilliantly supported by express bowler Peter Kynaston who took 39 wickets.
  • John Spencer led the batsmen with 380 runs.

2nd Grade – Captained By Brian Waterer:

The Second Grade, under yet another new captain – this time in Brian Waterer, dominated the competition all season to win the Minor Premiership, but inexplicably lost their semi-final to Rockingham.

Terry Wortley, with 245 runs, was the best of the batsmen while Bevan James showed that he was now a genuine all-rounder with 233 runs and 39 wickets.

1973/1974 Season – A Three Team Club

President: Mr. J. Knox-Peden (15th Year)
Senior Vice President: Mr. B.M. Waterer (1st Year)
Junior Vice President:
Secretary: Mr. P.J. Dama (3rd Year)
Treasurer: Mr. R.B. Stanton (3rd Year)

Following some very careful planning and some successful fund raising, the Club was able to add a third team to its playing strength for the season.

The Spartan Cricket Club was developing into a rather large organisation, and it was becoming obvious that the composition of the Committee was going to become a very vital factor in the club’s survival.

The composition of the sides within Fremantle and Districts Mercantile Cricket Association at this stage were as follows (in alphabetical order):

First Grade Second Grade Third Grade
Premiers: CBC Spartan Cricket Club Hamilton
Runners Up: Hilton Park Rockingham Davilak
Third: East Fremantle CBC CBC
Hamilton Hilton Park Kardinya
Kwinana Kwinana Kwinana
Park Cricket Club Magpies Rockingham
Scots Oceans XI Rovers
Spartan Cricket Club Park Cricket Club Spartan Cricket Club

1st Grade – Captained By Ron Caporn:

The Spartan’s top side was unable to replicate the efforts of the previous season, having a miserable 1973/74, and missed the four for the first time in thirteen years, largely due to the fact that they lost the last five games of the season.

Captain Ron Caporn, with 336 runs, was the best of the batsmen, while Peter Kynaston was the mainstay of the attack with 45 wickets. He was well supported by John Spencer who kept wickets with his usual brilliance.

2nd Grade – Premiers – Captained By Brian Waterer:

The Spartan Second Grade went from rags to riches this season – they had barely scraped into the four, but then crushed Oceans XI in the semi-final and went on to defeat Rockingham by 196 runs in the Grand Final to win the Premiership!

The Grand Final Score:

Spartans 167 and 196 defeated Rockingham 85 and 87 by 196 runs.

The Premiership Team (In Batting Order): Brian Waterer (Captain), Neil Stingemore, Morrie Pietroniro, Ray Griffiths, Eric Ash, Bevan James (Vice Captain), Roy Gough, Ron Stanton, Ray Glazbrook, Steve Carter, Ian Sheridan.

Fast medium bowler Steve Carter took 8/25 and 5/22 to return match figures of 13/47 in the Grand Final.

In a qualifying match against Kwinana he had match figures of 11/63, in the form of 7/29 and 4/34. He finished 38 wickets for the season.

During the regular season, Bevan James scored 315 runs and took 40 wickets.

Morrie Pietroniro, with 450 runs and a highest score of 145, and skipper Brian Waterer, with 429 runs and a top score of 108 were in prolific form. The pair shared a second wicket partnership of 228 against Park.

Former First Grade Captain George Pluske, in what proved to be his final season, took his 600th wicket to cap of a marvellous career.

3rd Grade – Captained By Ron Stanton:

The new Third Grade made the four easily, only to lose the semi-final by 4 runs to eventual Premiers Hamilton.

The captain, Ron Stanton, led from the front with 298 runs and 40 wickets, whilst their excellent attack took a bundle of wickets thanks to Barry Preedy, with 28, Colin Hyde‘s 24 wickets, and Neil Tondut‘s 20 wickets ensured they all enjoyed great seasons.

The highlight of this season was the ‘Past and Present Player’s Reunion’, held on the 9th March 1974.

Representatives from every era of the Club attended, many of whom spoke to the gathering and recalled a number of events from the bygone days.

The founder of the Club – the Reverend W.R. Hibbert – unfortunately could not attend as he was living in Victoria, but he sent a letter to be read on the night in which he explained how the Spartan Club came to be formed and the reason he decided to give it the name of Spartans.

Mr. Hibbert settled on the name Spartan in honour of the Greek tribe of history and legend whose people had performed superhuman feats of endurance and toughness that have never been equalled.

Chapter One: The Club’s Foundation

The evening was a marvellous success and was an important step towards creating a greater Spartan tradition.

1974/1975 Season – Spartan Sportsmans Club (Inc.)

President: Mr. J. Knox-Peden (16th Year)
Senior Vice President: Mr. B.M. Waterer (2nd Year)
Junior Vice President:
Secretary: Mr. P.J. Dama (4th Year)
Treasurer: Mr. R.B. Stanton (4th Year)

This season opened with some apprehension concerning the Club’s playing strength as several players had retired, including former First Grade Captain George Pluske, and a further series of players sustained injuries which restricted the number of games for which they were available.

However, all turned out well as the sides performed with distinction.

Globally, the April of 1975 marked the end of the Vietnam War following the fall of Saigon. The last Australian troops were withdrawn in 1972.

1st Grade – Captained By Lew Read:

Lew Read had resumed as captain, and under his astute leadership, the First Grade side dominated the qualifying rounds to win the Minor Premiership and looked by far the best side in the grade.

An inexplicably poor performance against Park in the semi-final ended their hopes of being Premiers, which Park duly went on to win.

John Spencer, with 315 runs and Barry Maher, with 25 wickets were the star performers.

2nd Grade – Captained By Brian Waterer:

Most of the Premiership team of the previous season had been promoted to the top side due to the aforementioned unavailabilities, so this side was almost completely rebuilt and lacked the strength of its predecessor.

Despite this they scraped into the finals, defeated Rockingham in the semi-final by the barest of margins –100 runs to 99 runs – but ultimately went down to Hilton Park in a somewhat one sided Grand Final.

Openers (and brothers-in-law) Ray Glazbrook‘s 269 runs and Brian Waterer‘s 254 runs held the batting together, and off-spinner Gary Reid, with 36 wickets, and left hand quickie Rodney Maher‘s 33 spearheaded the attack.

3rd Grade – Captained By Ron Stanton:

Naturally, this too was a rebuilt side and struggled far more than they had in the previous couple of seasons.

They had to win the last game of the season to get into the four but to their bitter disappointment lost it to Park on a score of 211 runs to 210 runs.

Captain Ron Stanton was once again outstanding with 259 runs and 36 wickets, whilst sixteen year old pace bowler Peter Bentley took 18 wickets at 7.8 to finish second in the Association averages. Wicket-keeper Ray Griffiths showed his all-round ability with a stylish 102 against Kardinya.

Spartan Sportsmans Club (Inc.):

In order to place the Club on a more professional basis, and to cope with the expansion taking place within, it was decided to take the necessary steps to make the Spartan Cricket Club an incorporated body.

This meant that a properly constituted constitution had to be drawn up and legally approved. This was duly done, and the Spartans were granted incorporated status as ‘The Spartan Sportsmans Club’ prior to the opening of the 1975/76 season.

1975/1976 Season – Passing Of The First

President: Mr. J. Knox-Peden (17th Year)
Senior Vice President: Mr. B.M. Waterer (3rd Year)
Junior Vice President: Mr. L.F. Read (1st Year)
Secretary: Mr. T.J. Wortley (1st Year)
Treasurer: Mr. S.A. Carter (1st Year)

This season saw the Club’s Third Grade side garner the most excitement, as they claimed their first ever Premiership after a season of rebuild in 1974/75.

Off the field, there were a few changes in personnel, as Terry Wortley, the new Secretary was transferred in his job mid-way through the season and had to give up the position.

Brian Waterer, the incumbent Vice President took on the role. Lew Read became the Club’s first Junior Vice President in a newly established position to help grow the Club’s Executive to five, in accordance with the new incorporated status of the Spartan Cricket Club.

The Club saw its first foray into junior cricket, with the establishment of an Under Sixteens side, led by George Prince Junior.

It was with deep regret and much sadness that the Spartan Cricket Club received the news in June 1975 that the founder of the Club, the Reverend W.R. Hibbert, had passed away at his home in Victoria.

1st Grade – Captained By Barry Maher:

The side held a place in the four for most of the season and was lying in third spot at the end of the qualifying round. Unfortunately an abysmal performance in the semi-final saw us lose to Hilton Park by 150 runs.

Peter Kynaston, in his last season with the Spartans before his transfer to the Swanbourne Cricket Club in the Suburban Turf Association, played brilliantly. He made 395 runs for the year, with a top score of 101, and took 30 wickets, with 6 for 24 being his best effort with the ball.

He also won the Association Team’s batting trophy as well as being adjudged best player for the WACU in the series against Victoria.

2nd Grade – Captained By Roy Gough:

On paper, this looked to be a better side than we had fielded at this level for some time, but it didn’t quite fulfill that promise.

They scraped into the four only to lose their place due to another side being unfinancial and forfeiting the points for the last game of the season to the club situated just behind Spartans on the ladder.

Harold Bell and John Spencer each totalled 212 runs for the season to share the batting honours, while Rodney Maher with 21 wickets was the leading bowler.

3rd Grade – Premiers – Captained By Brian Waterer:

Incredibly, this time it was the Spartans who were able to sneak into the four because the aforesaid unfinancial club forfeited to us!

The margin between Spartans and the fifth placed side was just 0.60 of a point!

Many people were of the opinion that they were in a false position and that they would soon be eliminated, but these critics ended up eating their words.

Spartans defeated the Minor Premiers Park in the semi-final by 198 runs to 134 runs and then, after trailing CBC by 20 runs on the first innings fought back to win the Grand Final by 64 runs.

The Grand Final Score:

Spartans 164 and 197 defeated CBC 184 and 113 by 64 runs.

The Premiership Team: Laurie Farmer, Bevan James (Vice Captain), Barry Preedy Brian Waterer (Captain), Peter Dama, Eric Ash, Ray Turnbull, Keith Warner, Peter Bentley, Peter King, Bob Chapman.

The leading performers of the season included Bevan James, whose 198 runs and 37 wickets meant he was once again in outstanding all-round form, and Captain Brian Waterer, with 313 runs at an average of 44. For their efforts, the two won the Batting and Best All-Rounder trophies for the Association.

Furthermore, a trio of young pace bowlers in Peter King with 27 wickets, and Peter Bentley and Bob Chapman with 23 gave the attack a great deal of penetration.

Colts Under 16 – Captained By George Prince Junior:

The Spartan Under Sixteens did very well to finish in third spot, but were defeated in the semi-final.

Some very promising players were unearthed in this grade with the pick of them being:

  • Dean Knowles – with 161 runs and 8 wickets
  • Clifton Carter – a very promising quick bowler who captured 24 wickets.
  • Peter James – who achieved F&DMCA and WACU status, and won the best fieldsman award in inter-association matches.

So concluded a very interesting season, that saw the Spartan’s Third Grade take home their inaugural Premiership. The grade would go on to be our second most successful (behind only our Firsts) in the decades to come, including a dominating period during the mid-2000s that saw a number of Premierships won by the Club in that division. 

It is worth noting that the Club’s turnover for this season was $4500.00.

By contrast, the turnover for the 1955/1956 season – twenty years prior – had been £27 which was ≈ $54.00AUD. This represented an increase of 900% in the two decades.

1976/1977 Season – We’ve Got A Home Ground!

President: Mr. J. Knox-Peden (18th Year)
Senior Vice President: Mr. B.M. Waterer (4th Year)
Junior Vice President: Mr. W.L. Farmer (1st Year)
Secretary: Mr. T.W. Morter (1st Year)
Treasurer: Mr. S.A. Carter (2nd Year)

For the first time in its 59-year history, Spartans acquired an official home ground!

Melville City Council granted the Spartan Cricket Club the Karoonda Reserve in Booragoon as its headquarters.

The Club did its part by funding the installation of practice wickets on the reserve.

The fine social facility now at our disposal led to the development of a very interesting social life, which benefited both the morale and financial well-being of the Spartans.

This season also marked the introduction of the Club’s second greatest individual honour – the Graeme Ashley Award for the Best Club Person.

The award is presented at the end of season windup to the individual who has made the single biggest contribution to the behind-the-scenes running of the Club. First introduced as the Club Person Award, it was later named in honour of Graeme Ashley, one of the greatest stalwarts the Club has ever seen.

From this point on, we will list the winners of this award, as well as the winners of the Jack Knox-Peden Young Spartan Award for the best player on and off the field under the age of 21.

1976/1977 Award Winners
Graeme Ashley

Best Club Person Award

Jack Knox-Peden

Young Spartan Award

Laurie Farmer David Blight

1st Grade – Captained By Barry Maher:

This side was once again almost completely rebuilt, and was one of the youngest ever put in the field by the Club at this level.

This of course meant that the side lacked the maturity to make an impression on the competition.

Little did the Club realise, but this was actually the beginning of a lean spell in the top division that was to last well over a decade.

Steve Carter with 239 runs and 20 wickets, and Captain Barry Maher with 28 wickets enjoyed good seasons.

2nd Grade – Captained By Roy Gough:

This side also played good cricket all year to make the four but were well beaten in the semi-final by Oceans XI.

Good performances were given by Roy Gough with 186 runs and 22 wickets, Val Steenholdt (who is a President of the East Fremantle Cricket Club) with 216 runs and youngster David Blight with 24 wickets.

3rd Grade – Premiers – Captained By Brian Waterer:

The thirds dominated the competition once again to win the Minor Premiership and go back to back in winning the Premiership.

The side was labelled ‘Dad’s Army’ because its average age was over forty, but all concerned enjoyed themselves thoroughly to play some very good cricket. Certainly, winning the flag proved that age was no boundary.

The Grand Final Score:

Spartans 234 and 102 defeated Phoenix 189 and 87 by 60 runs.

The Premiership Team: Eric Ash, John Spencer, Bevan James (Vice Captain), Brian Waterer (Captain), Ron Stanton, George Prince, Barry Preedy, Peter Bentley, Phil Thornton, Noel McCaskie, Keith Warner.

The side had outstanding all-rounders in Ron Stanton – 370 runs and 35 wickets, Bevan James – 280 runs and 15 wickets and Peter Bentley – 156 runs and 17 wickets. John Spencer, with 338 runs and 22 wicket-keeping dismissals, and Captain Brian Waterer – with 286 runs – also played a major part in the success.

Colts Under 23 – Premiers – Captained By Ray Griffiths:

This side filled a gap in the Club’s framework by providing extra games for the younger players and presenting them with more opportunities to gain experience. To the Club’s great delight they won the Premiership over arch-rivals CBC.

The Grand Final Score:

Spartans 102 defeated CBC 97 by 5 runs.

The Premiership Team (In Batting Order): Eric Taylor, Ray Griffiths (Captain), Peter Read, George Prince, Peter Bentley, Val Steenholdt, Noel McCaskie, Peter Gibson, Garry Reid, David Blight, George Mazzini.

This was to be the first and only Colts Premiership in Spartan history, as the side was later succeeded by the founding of the Leeming Spartan Junior Cricket Club, a separate entity fostering the development of younger players into the senior Club.

Furthermore, this Under 23s Colts side replaced the Under 16s side from the previous year.

Interestingly, three players in Bentley, Prince and McCaskie played in both the Third Grade and Colts Premiership sides.

Peter Bentley with 122 runs and 13 wickets, Garry Reid with 15 wickets and David Blight with 10 wickets were the outstanding players.

1977/1978 Season – Four Teams & Era’s End

President: Mr. J. Knox-Peden (19th Year)
Senior Vice President: Mr. B.M. Waterer (5th Year)
Junior Vice President: Mr. R.E. Gough (1st Year)
Secretary: Mr. T.W. Morter (2nd Year)
Treasurer: Mr. R.B. Turton (1st Year)

The 1977/78 Season marked the nineteenth and final under the Spartan Cricket Club’s fourth President, Mr. Jack Knox-Peden.

The season itself saw the Spartans enter yet another new side into the competition, our fourth grade side proving to be highly competitive and finished runners up to round out Knox-Peden’s tenure.

Knox-Peden, along with some extremely dedicated individuals (Joe Rayner, Colin Crompton, George Pluske, Brian Waterer, Peter Dama, and Ron Stanton to name a few), had ensured that the almost two decades since he first took office had been extremely productive on and off the field. The Club had much success throughout the seventies, winning a number of Premierships, and introducing three new senior sides and a colts team.

Additionally, the Fremantle and Districts Mercantile Cricket Association had greatly strengthened itself, thanks to heavy Spartan involvement, particularly from longtime Spartan and our incumbent Vice President Brian Waterer, who was the head of the association.

This season also saw a new Treasurer and Junior Vice President, whilst the Club’s two awards – the Young Spartan and Best Clubman awards continue to be presented to deserving winners.

1977/1978 Award Winners
Graeme Ashley

Best Club Person Award

Jack Knox-Peden

Young Spartan Award

Terry Morter Tim Vickredge

With the playing membership steadily growing, the Committee decided to add a fourth team to the Spartan Cricket Club’s structure.

The Association structure at this stage was:

First GradeSecond GradeThird GradeFourth GradeColts
CBCCBCOceans XICockburnCBC
PhoenixCockburnSpartan Cricket ClubSpartan Cricket ClubSpartan Cricket Club
East FremantleScotsHamiltonParkHamilton
ScotsSpartan Cricket ClubHilton ParkCBCScots
Hilton ParkPark Cricket ClubCBCNorth FremantlePhoenix
Spartan Cricket ClubEast FremantleEast FremantleHamiltonPark
HamiltonHilton ParkPark Cricket ClubPhoenixNorth Fremantle
Oceans XINorth FremantleScotsEast FremantleEast Fremantle
Park Cricket ClubRockinghamPhoenixHilton Park
North FremantleHamiltonRockingham

A total of 47 sides reflected the progress the Association had made towards becoming one of the major cricketing bodies in Western Australia. Brian Waterer was in the twelfth year of his fifteen year reign as President of the Association. He was to succeed Knox-Peden as President of the Spartan Cricket Club the following year.

The Era In Review

A nineteen year era came to an end in 1978 when Jack Knox-Peden was forced to resign from the Club Presidency due to ill health.

Jack Knox-Peden in 1969.

During his long term of office the Spartan Cricket Club had grown from a one team to a five team structure.

In all, Knox-Peden had served an incredible 33 years on the Spartan Executive, since first serving as Vice President under Albert West in 1945.

Together, West and Knox-Peden were responsible for reforming the Spartan Club at the conclusion of World War Two, and ensuring that the Club lived on well into our hugely successful seventies.

Their expertise, commitment and dedication was the most pivotal factor in our re-establishment, and the rewards reaped by the Club in the years that followed were a testament to these two fine Spartan stalwarts.

Knox-Peden was certainly influential in this ‘rise to power’ over the past three decades, overseeing a number of Premierships – two in the First Grade – and growing the Club from one to five sides. 

He oversaw the establishment of our two oldest individual awards, helped the Club gain its first ever home ground and clubhouse on the Karoonda Reserve in Booragoon, and by the time of his retirement in 1978, the Spartan Cricket Club was at its strongest point in its now sixty year history.

To honour his long service Jack was awarded the position of Life Vice President.

Following On:

The successes of the seventies certainly had the Spartan Cricket Club once again at the forefront of the competition.

For the first time since our days in the Churches Association, the Spartans were the envy of all other Clubs, regularly contesting First Grade, Second Grade, and later Third Grade Premierships.

A period of four years in the late sixties saw us win two Minor Premierships and two runners-up placings, before beginning the following decade with two historic First Grade titles.

Off the field, the Club’s expansion was rapid. The acquisition of a home ground on Karoonda Reserve was certainly among the most significant aspects of the period, as it paved the way for the next forty years and the establishment of our current John Connell headquarters under the Leeming Spartan name.

Increasing the number of sides meant the Spartans were a place for all, and the active Committee under Knox-Peden helped ensure there would be no illusions as to the future of the Club.

The Spartans were also heavily involved in the Fremantle and Districts Mercantile Cricket Association, Brian Waterer, the incoming Spartan President having been President of the Association for twelve consecutive years.

His work ensured the F&DMCA remained a serious and more than credible competition, and his no-nonsense approach proved pivotal in continuing to establish the association. Certainly, the expulsion of longtime rivals South Fremantle because of the difficulties they brought to the competition was more than warranted and had a profound effect on strengthening the authenticity of the association.

It would however be another twenty years almost to the day before the Spartans were to win another F&DMCA First Grade Premiership. This was more a testament to the strength of the competition, which continued to expand throughout the eighties (incorporating more and more clubs) than any possible perceived weakness within the Spartans.

In Conclusion:

Following the stresses and hard work associated with getting the Club back up and running post-WW2, it was fantastic to see it rewarded with great success in the following era.

The professionalism of the Club was now wholly apparent,

The Next Chapter – A Change At The Top

Previous Chapter (The Club Reborn – 1945-1959) 

 Next Chapter (A Change At The Top – 1978-1988) 

A special thank you to Spartan legends Graeme Ashley and Brian Waterer for the countless hours they have spent in compiling the historical information regarding the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club and preparing it for our website. This incredible effort is part of what makes the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club one of the most historically accurate and successful clubs in Western Australia.

Adapted and updated with new content for the new Leeming Spartan Website in May 2017 by Daniel Coombs.

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 Next Chapter (A Change At The Top – 1978-1988)