23 January 2023

Riverina Rewind: What became of the Bourne Shield last won by Ladysmith?

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football team

The Ladysmith soccer team in June 1927. Back row (from left): H Geale, unknown, A McDonald, J Craig, W Evans, unknown. Centre (from left): O Muir, F Broad, W Mills, F Cheney. Front (from left): Unknown, A Bell, V Evans. Photo: Peter Piltz, from The Beautiful Game: A History of Wagga Wagga Football by Sherry Morris, 2014.

In honour of our Socceroos’ valiant World Cup campaign, making it to the final 16 before being stopped by Argentina, the team from the Museum of the Riverina has dug up a pic of the Ladysmith soccer team in June 1927.

The Ladysmith club was formed under the presidency of Sydney Frank Percy Broad.

Frank was born on 23 November, 1896, in Congleton, UK, and emigrated to Australia with his parents in about 1912. The family settled in Wagga, and after serving in World War I, young Frank took up a soldier settlement at Tywong (Ladysmith), which he named ”Rockville”.

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F Cheney was the club secretary and they were supported by many enthusiastic locals. The club was affiliated with the Wagga and District Amateur Soccer Association and took part in the competitions.

Their first match was against a strong Wagga team, who beat them 2-1. The Daily Advertiser reported that “seeing this was the first run for the Ladysmith lads it is reasonable to expect them to give a good account of themselves as the season progresses”.

On 1 October, 1927, after having played two drawn games in the semi-final of the Maples Charity Cup, Ladysmith finally defeated Newtown (Wagga). Even though Ladysmith were without three of their best men, they risked the rain and the wet roads and fielded 11.

The match was played at Bolton Park, and Ladysmith scored two goals soon after the match started. In the second half, Ladysmith scored three more goals to one by their opponents, thus smashing Newtown 5-2 and qualifying for the final of the competition, where they would face Hardy’s Limited Club.

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Between 1927 and 1931, the Ladysmith team played Book Book, Coolamon, the Caledonians, the All Blacks, Wagga and the Wagga Association.

In August 1930 they won the Maples Charity Cup, in September 1931 the Bourne Shield and in October that same year, the McLeish Cup, in what was the final match of the season in the Wagga District Soccer Association competitions.

But what happened to the club? From October 1931 it is no longer mentioned in the local papers. Then, in September 1939, The Daily Advertiser carries two advertisements asking of the whereabouts of the Bourne Shield that was won by Ladysmith eight years earlier.

Was it ever found? We may never know.

Photo and information supplied by Michelle Maddison, curator of the Museum of the Riverina.

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