The Clubs Senior Statesmen - The 1948 Team
Thursday, 08 November 2007

THE CLUB'S SENIOR STATESMEN - THE 1948 TEAM

 

Tom Kenward, now in his 90s, and Bill Sharman, in his 80s, are the last surviving members of the 1948 Third Division Premiership winning team. The following is a brief outline of their careers.

 

Tom Kenward

Tom was born in 1914. His family moved to Mitchelton shortly after his birth. He started playing soccer at school and commenced playing his senior football for the YMCA in 1935. Tom's older brothers, Fred and Wally, both played for Mitchelton in the 1920s and 30s. Carson Laird, the holder of Mitchelton's goal scoring record for a season, credits Tom's fine work down the left wing for many of his goals. Tom was a member of the Club's 1948 premiership winning side. Tom's son, Bruce, played for the Club from 1958 to 1961 in a team coached by Tom. The team won three consecutive premierships in Under 13, 14 and 15 undefeated. Tom was named in the Club's Team of the Century.

 

Bill Sharman

Bill Sharman started playing for the Club in about 1936. The Second World War intervened and Bill served in the Army in New Guinea. After the war, the Club recommenced and Bill played until 1953. Bill was goalkeeper for the Club's 1948 Third Division Premiership winning team. Bill's father, Syd, had played for the Club for several years from 1923. Bill's son, John, commenced playing for the Club in 1956.

 

Bill credits the success of the 1948 team to the fitness regime imposed by its French coach, Wally Mielliene. Wally turned up to a club meeting under a street light outside the Mitchelton Picture Theatre wanting to coach the team. At the time the club had a bank balance of £3/7/-. The team members did not want a coach but changed their mind when Wally offered to donate £100 to the Club towards the costs of balls and equipment. Wally had apparently represented France before coming to Australia.