Time on for Chiltern
Time on for Chiltern
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
Contact the copyright holder or content contributor(s) listed at the bottom of the story home page.Copyright
Malcolm McKinnon and State Library of Victoria, 2006.
Accounts of the famous 1954 Grand Final between Chiltern and Greta, where time stood still in the fourth quarter and controversy reigned forever after.
Thank you to Chiltern Football Club, Tom Greenaway, Don Stephenson, Kevin Mayhew and the newspaper room at the State Library of Victoria.
DON STEPHENSON: I came to Chiltern in 1950. And in the famous '54 Grand Final, I was the center half forward. The next year, we made the Grand Final and lost to Greta after 43 minutes elapsed in the last quarter. That sounds unbelievable, but it's a fact.
KEVIN MAYHEW: At three-quarter time, we held a fairly comfortable lead. However, something happened in the timekeeper's box. And something that even to this day, we're not too sure, whether it was a Bermuda triangle or a vortex that come over the timekeeper's box at Tarrawingee, we can't say.
But as the game unfolded in the final quarter, Chiltern maintained their lead. And as legend would have it, at the end of full time, the Swans were actually in front on the scoreboard. The siren didn't sound at the end of full time. It actually went into overtime. And at the end of time on, Chiltern were still in front on the scoreboard.
DON STEPHENSON: My immediate oponent, Ernie Ford, said to me around that time, he said, well, you've done us to a bloody frazzle Don, so good on you. And we just kept going, and I laughed, and I said, oh, it's going to go any second. But it just failed to go.
After 35 minutes, cars were leaving the ground in droves and we were four goals in front. And I blame ourselves, up to a point. I think we sort of relaxed, thinking the game was won.
And one bloke by the name of Gordon Byron drove into Wangaratta, through he'd switch on the wireless and see what the final score was. And to his amazement, the game was still going. Which he couldn't believe. And at the final siren, we had the ball in our forward line, of but we lost the game by four points.
KEVIN MAYHEW: There are many theories-- and some, you would suggest, might be conspiracy theories-- as to why the final quarter went for almost as long as the previous three quarters in total.
Over the next 39 years, Chiltern and Greta would be known as traditional rivals, all because of what happened on the Grand Final day in 1954.
DON STEPHENSON: We even made up a little ditty on Greta, you know? We had, Greta in the morning, Greta in the evening, Greta at suppertime. We'll eat those purple people. We'll eat them any old time. It's a good story, and it's true.