A film by Malcolm McKinnon
Football Stories from Country Victoria, An initiative of the Victorian Country Football League and the State Library of Victoria, 2007
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Malcolm McKinnon and State Library of Victoria, 2006.
Daryl Pitman recalls his starring moment as a mascot with the Hamilton 1959 Grand Final team and describes the impact that football had on the town.
Thank you to Daryl Pitman.
DARYL PITMAN: I do have vivid memories of the 1959 Grand Final. I was only seven years old. My father had retired from playing and was a trainer.
But there were as many mascots as there were players on the day. There were sort of two teams run out for that Grand Final in Hamilton colors. And one of them was all mascots, and then there was the senior team. We all got our photo taken in front of the team before the game, in front of a huge crowd.
It was a huge event in the town, and I think everything else stopped. I don't think many cows were milked. I don't think any other jobs were done that day, because the whole town was there.
And if you look in the photograph, you'll see the very, very big crowd there, up the stairs of the grandstand, the Noble Oval grandstand. The whole stand was packed. Right round the ground was five or six deep, and you just couldn't get in anywhere.
The rivalry was pretty intense in Hamilton. You were either in the Hamilton camp or the Imps camp, and never the twain shall meet. I believe that's changed a little bit in recent times, but it's always been a pretty fierce rivalry.
Our next door neighbors were Imperial supporters. We were Hamilton supporters. And it was a friendly rivalry, but by gee, it was fair dinkum. And when we played each other, whichever team won, well, the other family was in for a rough time for the next nine weeks until they met again.
I sort of didn't have much choice other than to be passionate about local football, given my family's history. One of my very, very favorite photographs is of the 1912 North Hamilton Football Club. My grandfather was the captain of that side, and he's holding the footy in that photo.
But I think there are something like seven or eight Pitmans in it. His father is at the back. That's my great-grandfather at the back as a committee man. I think he might have been president. And one of the mascots is in fact my grandfather's younger brother.
But there were quite a few brothers in that side. And they were renowned early in the 1910s, 1920s, and being a champion football family.
I left Hamilton when I was just eight years old, when we came down to Melbourne. I've been here ever since. But still have a passion for Hamilton. Still look up every week to see how they went.
Would love to have gone back and played football for Hamilton. It was a dream I had as a kid, was just going back and playing one game on the Noble Oval in the black and white like my dad did and like my granddad did. But it never happened. But it has never dimmed my passion for Hamilton Footy Club, and I follow their fortunes with great interest.