1947 Season That Was
Henley Two Blues
Located: Henley & Grange Memorial Oval
Affiliation: West Torrens District Football Association
1947 was the birth year of the Henley & Grange Memorial Oval. With encouragement from the Henley Rovers football team and friends, the Henley & Grange Council purchased about 14 acres of empty land behind East Terrace, Henley Beach. It needed to acquire the land from about 6 different private property owners with a total cost of about £2800 (pounds). Upon completion, the new Henley football oval from goal to goal, was marked out running in an East-West direction and also included about 10 tennis courts.
Mrs McNamara, a local neighbour, was the hero of the new oval, donating sandstone from which a Club shed was constructed.
With the new playing field came a new Club identity in the ‘Henley Two Blues’. It joined a newly reformed ‘West Torrens District Football Association’ in which previously had folded in 1926 and with a surplus of teams, the league was able split into 2 halves, formally known as the Blue Division and the Gold Division.
Henley’s team was submitted into the Blue Division as the Club’s neighbour Grange, friend and foe, participated in the association’s Gold Division. There was no Henley reserves side until 1949.
Henley’s playing uniform was a dark blue jumper, with a light blue ‘V’ and light blue collar. It wore dark blue socks with light blue folded over tops and dark blue shorts.
The inaugural administration needs of the new Club were attended to by President Perce Johns, Chairman Alf Griffiths, Treasurer Norm Odlum and playing Secretary Peter Ardill. The inaugural Coach was former West Torrens player Pat Martin.
Former 1920s and 30s Club Chairman Cyril Chambers, who had later progressed to become the Mayor of Henley & Grange, was now the South Australian State Minister for the Military and agreed to be the 1947 Chief Club Patron.
Back on the field, the senior team unfortunately missed out on playing finals in its first year. The premiers of the 1947 Blue Division Grand Final was the undefeated Flinders Park who had 2 teams.
The inaugural best & fairest winner at the Henley & Grange Memorial Oval was Arthur Pearce.
In July 1947, having undertaken to provide a new set of Football Guernseys for the Henley Beach Public School, the Club raised funds by hosting a Henley Oval football carnival for all the schools of the far Western District. The business men of the Henley community provided 12 trophies for best players, foot races and kicking contests. The carnival day also included the official opening of the new oval at 3:15pm by the Mayor of Henley & Grange, A. E. Northey.
Later, it was said that after raising $1500 possibly from this carnival or another, the Henley & Grange Memorial Oval was surveyed, leveled, and redesigned to run in a North-South direction, with dimensions made identical to that of the Adelaide Oval.