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'WHEELS' LACE-OUT TO PRATT ON NASH’S WATCH

Pictured here in his South Melbourne strip, handballing the Sherrin to the legendary South full-forward Bob Pratt and the equally legendary Laurie Nash alongside by the pickets is Parade’s very own Peter Bedford (1964), the League’s Brownlow Medallist of 50 years ago. 

Peter, who was recently inducted to the Old Paradians’ Association Hall of Fame, and whose name graces the newly-built sporing facility at Parade College’s Bundoora Campus, recently recalled this moment at the old Lakeside Oval - home to him through his 178-game in nine seasons – five of them club best and fairest seasons - for the mighty Bloods. 

“This was a press photograph and I reckon it was taken in the early 70s,” Peter said recently. 

“The thought behind those who organised the photo was to get the two great legends back to the Lake Oval where they forged such great histories . . . and I was fortunate enough be part of it.” 

Harold Robert (‘Bob’) Pratt represented South in 158 games (including the 1933 Grand Final triumph) from 1930-’39 and beyond the war in ’46. In ’34 he famously booted 150 goals in a season – a record equalled by Hawthorn’s Peter Hudson in 1971, but never broken. 

Laurence John (‘Laurie’) Nash was also a member of South’s 1933 premiership team, its captain in ’37 and leading goalkicker in that year and again in ’45. As with Peter, Laurie also excelled in cricket, as a paceman and hard-hitting lower order batsman who represented Australia in two Tests. 

Though Bob and Laurie chased the leather well before Peter’s time, the latter holds fond memories of the pair of them – particularly Laurie who together with another former South great Ron Clegg were positive influences on Peter when he first joined the club from nearby Port Melbourne. 

And it was Laurie with whom Peter would often share a convivial ale at the nearby Cricket Club Hotel (mine host the late Brian ‘The Whale’ Roberts) on Clarendon Street. 

“It was a great meeting place for sportsmen of all sorts, from ‘Nashy’ through to Sid Patterson the great bike rider and ‘Soapy’ Vallence the great Carlton full-forward,” Peter said. 

“The famous story with ‘Nashy’ of course was that when they asked him who was the best footballer he’d ever seen he’d reply ‘I see him every morning when I shave’." 

Peter recalled a funny aside to this photograph, which related to when it was first presented as a framed auction item at a South Melbourne Football Club function in the city. 

“A particular person came up to me, not obviously having a great knowledge of history, to ask me who the two old timekeepers in the photo were," Peter said.

“I had to tell him that those two old timekeepers were two of our greatest players.”