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TOPIC: Wilson Onions

Wilson Onions 6 months 3 weeks ago #160301

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Freezin wrote: Robbie or Tony Solin perhaps Swandog....tough no nonsense sorts who dished out some no nonsense stuff during their time at EF and other clubs.....can only go on what my old man said and thought of good ole Wilson..

Cheers sounds like a hard nut then being compared to the Solins
Beneath the Southern cross i stand, on Bassendean Oval, can in hand, Swan Districts, you Farkin Beauty!

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Wilson Onions 6 months 3 weeks ago #160304

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Michael Regan also died a few days ago.

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Wilson Onions 6 months 3 weeks ago #160314

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Bazza wrote: Michael Regan also died a few days ago.


Is that Sam and Daniel Kerr's grand father.

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Wilson Onions 6 months 2 weeks ago #160550

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Was it WO, or a different EF player, who had the dubious distinction of running into, and snapping a point post during a WAFL game?

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Wilson Onions 6 months 2 weeks ago #160553

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Wilson Onions came out of National Service in 1951 expecting to go back home to Albany. Instead he ran into former East Fremantle player and club stalwart, Wyburn Taylor, who organised a job for him with the PMG on the proviso that he played football with Old Easts. East Fremantle were sharing Fremantle Oval at the time, so it was only a Ray Sorrell drop kick to training from his employment.
So began a fifty eight year association between Wilson Onions and the East Fremantle Football Club. Making his league debut in 1952, Onions quickly developed into one of the toughest and hardest backmen in the competition. Playing mainly as a half back flanker, but sometimes on the ball, he earned a reputation as a no nonsense competitor who never took a backward step from a confrontation.
His fierce competitiveness and hard at it style of play was utilised by coaches to nullify good players from the opposition, and the name Wilson Onions came to be synonymous with tough and physical. Standing only 5 ft 10 inches and weighing 12 stone, he was no giant, but he put his body on the line, which resulted in several injuries over a career that was undoubtedly shortened because of the battering he took.
Onions played 101 games with East Fremantle and became a life member of the club. After his league playing days were over, he joined the Past Players Association, and remained a committee member, serving as President for forty plus years. He coached Armadale to a grand final in 1961, and later became involved with the East Fremantle junior competition, coaching Melville.
He was East Fremantle’s first “runner” in WANFL football, when they were allowed to be used in league matches for the first time in 1961.
Wilson became active in tennis in association with Arthur Marshall, an interest that spanned eighteen years, and he coached at Wesley College.
Wilson Onions’ love for East Fremantle Football Club and football was obvious. “The highlight of my football career was wearing the East Fremantle jumper,” was his emphatic statement. “The 1957 premiership was just the icing on the cake,” he said.
“Along with Keith Harper of Perth, Jack Sheedy was the toughest bloke I played on. I called him a squib one day and got a whack in the head for my trouble,” Wilson told us. He and Jack became good mates.” Former East Fremantle legend Sheedy had left to coach East Perth in 1956. There would have been many players with the misfortune of lining up on Wilson Onions who would know what that whack felt like.
Asked about the best he played with, his reply was Norm Rogers, Tommy Guthrie, and Con Regan, all of whom shared the backline with him, and what a fearsome foursome that was, and champion ruckman Jack Clarke.
Onions wasn’t enamoured with the formation of the AFL and the effect it had on the local competition. “They buggered the game up,” he maintained, although his love for the game saw him relent when the Fremantle Dockers were formed, and he was an original member of the club.
When we thanked Wilson for his time, he said, “ Anything to help the game of footy.” And that sums up Wilson Onions and his feeling for the game of football and the East Fremantle Football Club.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Ti Em

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Wilson Onions 6 months 2 weeks ago #160554

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The arrival of Michael Regan at Moss Street was heralded by South Fremantle champion and East Fremantle coach Steve Marsh’s comments that the youngster was “the best junior I’ve ever seen.”
And that was no idle boast.
Michael was a highly promising junior, captaining the East Fremantle Juniors under fourteens, sixteens, and eighteens, winning fairest and best awards each year. Among his coaches were George Cormack, Alan Trott, and Ken Tilly.
One of seven Regans to wear the blue and white at league level, Michael made his debut in 1959 against Swan Districts, along with another promising young player in Ray Sorrell. “Sorrell and Regan Control The Game,” were headlines in the newspaper following the match, and both would become permanent members of the league side.
At five foot ten, Regan was no monster, but took nonsense from no one. Probably his own worst enemy, Michael Regan played it hard, never took a backward step, and reckoned that all he gave was a result of what he got, with maybe a bit of interest. Opposition players soon got to know they could get under his skin, and employed the tactic whenever he was playing well, which was often.
A much maligned player, Michael Regan had the doubtful distinction of losing more games through suspension than any other league footballer.
“I reckon I missed about four years through suspensions,” he said.
Despite the suspensions, Regan managed a hundred and sixteen appearances with East Fremantle between 1959 and 1967, and was a valuable midfielder who represented Western Australia in a second eighteen match against Melbourne in 1965. He played in three losing grand finals in 1962, 63, and 64, and still recalls the anguish of the 1964 loss to Claremont.
When Bert Thornley kicked a goal at the twenty six minute mark of that match, East led by seven points, and could almost taste the champagne. But fate was cruel that day, and Norm Rogers, who was later awarded the Simpson Medal for his defensive job on Claremont forward Ian Brewer, went down with cramp, and an unattended Brewer bagged two goals in the last minute to snatch an improbable victory.
“I suffered the agony of that last goal first hand,” Michael said. “I stood Brewer’s mark, and watched helplessly as the ball sailed over my head and through the sticks.”
But twelve months later it was finally East Fremantle’s hour.
“Whether or not the Swans players mentally relaxed at the beginning of the final term is open to conjecture, but Old Easts exploded out of the barrier after the break. They added four goals before the black and whites knew what was happening, and the game was being turned on it’s head. Players such as Neesham, Martinson, Casserley, and Regan were running riot, as busy rover John Martinson put them in front.”
The above is an excerpt from a story about the 1965 grand final.
Regan was one of his side’s best players in that grand final. “We flew Harry Neesham over from Puckapunyil to play, and David Imrie won the Simpson,” he said.
A suspension in 1967 led to Regan’s retirement amid controversy at the age of twenty six.
East were playing Subiaco, who had the services of former East Fremantle coach, Bob Johnson. Michael is firmly of the belief that it was Johnson who instigated the incident involving maroons player Trevor Williams which ended with Williams copping a whack from Regan.
“Football KO Raises a Storm,” headlined the West Australian, and the Tribunal reacted savagely, handing down a twenty one week suspension.
The controversy didn’t end there.
When Michael Regan announced plans to join brother Con at Cockburn, a club playing in an unaffiliated competition, and therefore not bound by WANFL sanctions, League President Pat Rodriguez announced that if Regan set foot on a football ground he’d never play again.
Michael did play again, and showed his class by winning fairest and bests in the following two seasons at Cockburn, before moving to North Fremantle ex Scholars, where he won one.
A policeman for eight years, Regan also worked on the wharves. His wife, Irene is from a sporting family, sister to Jack Brosnan and aunt to jockeys David and John Brosnan. Suspension is obviously a family thing, as John received a lengthy holiday in Hong Kong.
The Regans have five boys, three of them…Marcus, Sean, and Brett… playing for East Fremantle, while Danny was a leading player at Preston in Victoria and Davey played with Beverley, where he is a fairest and best winner. Each of them followed in Dad’s footsteps by winning East Fremantle juniors awards.
Michael is a true raconteur of the game, and is a delight to chat with, memories of the sixties abounding.
“I was having a bad day in a Derby one day,” he recalled. “Ashley August was carving me up and I hadn’t had a kick.”
“We were behind at half time, and I’d retreated to a toilet to listen to a race during the break.”
“In burst Bob Johnson, who proceeded to slam my National Transistor into the wall, breaking it into about twenty pieces.”
“Bloody horse got beat, too.”
“We had a supporter who was involved with Salvies Wines. He brought some along one match day, and a few had a sip at half time. Normie Rogers was having a rare off day, and, normally a teetotaler, he asked for a glass. “Beautiful,” he said as he downed the large container of vino. “Can I have another one?” Norm ran back out with a spring in his step and played like a millionaire, marking everything in sight and really ran riot.
On reaching the rooms after the final siren he headed straight for the headache tablets.
Michael reckoned that John Todd was the best player he’d seen, and it was another player from the other side of the traffic bridge who got his nomination as hardest to beat. “Bob Cassidy, I hated playing on him. He’d take all I gave him, a good player with a fast ten metre sprint.” From one tough player to another: “The toughest I saw were Subiaco pair, Dennis Barron and Laurie Kettlewell.” Best East Fremantle player? “Ray Sorrell and Jack Clarke.”
It’s a shame that Michael Regan is remembered more for his misdemeanors than his undoubted ability as a footballer. While he never lived up to Steve Marsh’s lavish words, he was nevertheless a valued member of a very good East Fremantle combination during the sixties.
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Wilson Onions 6 months 2 weeks ago #160561

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As always Oooze, you are a champ mate....thanks for that, great read....looking forward to catching up with you at the Nixon for a Parmie, beer and bet....Will see if I can get Steve on the case mate.

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