A1 – 1958, 1983, 1984
A2 – 1950, 1964, 1992
A4 – 1958
A8 – 1983, 1987
A9 – 1991
A10 – 1993
A1R – 1981, 1983, 1986
A1 – Bill Weird ’66, Darryl R Lowry ’83
A2 – Terry McKenna ’72
A4 – Max Watson ’58
A5 – Bob Hosie ’56
A10 – David A Simons ’93
A1R – Ron Bennett ’62, Greg Young ’90
A2R – Don Jaffer ’64
Back in the 1920s, pick‑up teams from various streets in the district would play social matches, and these teams formed the basis of the Riverside club formed in 1928, originally called the Dale Streets. A canal used to run at the‑ back of the old mill between the Port Anchor Hotel and the present oval with the river alongside that and so it was decided to call the club Riverside.
Facilities were frugal as the change rooms were made of kerosene cans cut in half to form the walls, and the roof was made from brush. For a shower, players would bring in buckets of water and tip them over each other.
In its first six seasons the Club won every premiership in the Port Adelaide Association, and it later applied to join the SAAFL but was unsuccessful at this attempt, and so joined Adelaide and Suburban instead. After the War it rejoined the Port Adelaide association, and then was accepted into the SAAFL in 1949.
Riverside had 9 All Australian reps, 2nd to Adelaide Uni. Our first was Jack Quinn, captain of the first Rivvies team to win an SAAFL flag: A2 in 1950, our 2nd year in. He was selected as State captain the next year and was joined by Charlie Irvine, after whom the SAAFL top goal scorer award is named. Rivvies finished bottom in 1952, with Jim Farr, a follower earning State representation. Back in A2 in 1953, we finished 8th. Jim went to Rosewater. 5th in ’54, 3rd in ’55 saw Rivvies improving.
George Clarke (centre player) starred in the interstate game, winning B.O.G. in 1956, Rivvies failed to reach the finals by 1 point. State player, George Clarke, won the War Memorial Medal that year. The War Memorial Medal is awarded to an under 21 player who shows ability, constant improvement, sportsmanship, leadership and popularity. Losing only one match in 1957 didn’t help the A2 side win the Grand Final. George was joined in the State side by Allan Greer, who was Vice Captain.
Amazingly Riverside won the A1 Premiership the next year in 1958, being only the 3rd club to win A1 in the 1st year after promotion. We were runners up in A1 and A3 in 1959. State reps were Ray Perry, Brian Fitzgerald and Alex Trimbell.
1960 saw us finish 4th, the A3’s 3rd. It was our first year of Colts and Barry Whitbread earned State selection. 3rd in 1961 with Bob White and Barry Wilson mourning the tragic death of fellow State player, Peter Ford, who died from a fall on the end-of-season trip. Chris Butler won the War Memorial Medal.
In 1962 Bruce Bald won the Colt’s medal and Max Clarke earned All Australian under State captain and Rivvies’ player, Bob White. Finishing bottom in 1963 sent us to A2 again the next year, where we finished 2nd, with the A2R team 3rd. Back in A1 in 1965 and another amazing finish to the year, runner up! Basil Mystik and Rick Oliver played State footy. Our first Hone Medal (B&F) was won by Bill Weir in 1966. Peter Hameister and Doug Lister enjoyed the State games they played in 1967. Terry Tierney made the State side for the first of 4 times for Rivvies in 1968. Joining him in 1969 were Jeff Emmel and David Jarvis.
Riverside A1 premiership team photos (as labelled)
State players in 1970 were David Stuart (Captain), Terry Tierney, Keith Marsh and Terry McKenna. 1971 was a sad year with the A1’s finishing 2nd bottom but David Stuart was State captain and Terry Tierney vice captain. 3rd in A2 was a good finish but the Colts were dominant in 1972, finishing Premiers. The A2 medal went to Terry McKenna and Horrie Chaplain joined Terry Tierney (Captain) and Jeff Emmel in the State squad. Again 3rd in A2 wasn’t good enough in 1973 but the colts dominated again, finishing Grand Final victors. Jeff “Strawbs” Emmel was back again for a solo State effort. Finally, 2nd in 1974 sent the club back to A1, the next year.
The A2R team also finished 2nd. Chris Hunter was State vice captain while he played for Riverside in 1975. The Colts finished Premiers again in 1976, their 3rd in 5 years. Chris Hunter and Fidelis “Fiji” Skorzewski played in the Interstate Carnival on Thebarton Oval that year. The A1R team finished a good year as runners-up in 1977, while 8 players, Neville Fielke, Mark Holman, Doug Aldgate, Greg Hamilton, Peter Hamilton, Peter Thiel, Fidelis Skorzewski and Greg Whittle did the “State” thing , the most of any year.
Coming 3rd for the A1R team in 1978, showed consistency, with new State representative, Colin Elson joining Chris Hunter. Consistency was the hallmark of the A1R, although they couldn’t break through for the ultimate, losing the GF in 1979. 3 All Australians, Chris Hunter, Fidelis Skorzewski and Bill Parousis welcomed Greg Hamilton to State ranks for the second time.
The 1980’s are arguably the club’s most successful. Bob Peterson took the A1’s to the finals for the first time since 1967. They finished 4th and Chris Hunter and Bill Parousis represented Rivvies at State level in 1980. In 1981 new coach, Noel “Sleepy” Annear took the A1’s to 2nd while the A1R won the big one! Noel was captain of the State team and Peter Wareing debuted. Finishing 2nd again in 1982, to College again, evoked many a depressed emotion from the keen Rivvies supporters The A9 and U18 teams finished 2nd also.
Steve Green, Daryl Lowry (All Australian) and Geoff Manuel did our club proud with their State selection. In 1983, some club supporters donated the money towards the continuation of the Charles Irvine Trophy for the top goal kicker. It was also our first A1 premiership in 25 years. Both the A1R and A8’s also won the GF, while the U18 finished 3rd. Daryl Lowry won the Pfitzner Medal (best in A1); we won the Angaston Night Series during pre-season and were awarded the Norwich Cup for Best Amateur League Club. What a year! Celebrations continued for days, with many from the premiership team of 1958 joining in. Peter Kiplocks earned State selection, too.
The club followed up in 1984 with back to back premierships in A1; A1R lost the ultimate and the U18’s were 3rd again. State players were Steve Green, Grant Montgomery, Peter Williams, Shane Lawson, Geoff Manuel, Marty Martinovic and Craig Clohessy. 2nd in ’85 was disappointing. State players were Craig Clohessy, Vinnie Librandi, Peter Williams, Ivan Coles and Bob Willoughby. Back to back 2nd in A1 was even more disastrous. The 1986 Grand Final was played at Adelaide Oval and Riverside was warm favourite and for most of the match it seemed that it was coasting to a comfortable victory. It was only really in the last 20 minutes of the match that Uni fired as it kicked 4 goals in 10 minutes without reply. State players abounded again: Peter Williams, Marty Martinovic and Mick Hamill (All Australian).
Nearing the end of the decade, it seemed harder to clinch another premiership in A1. We finished 4th in A1, but the A8’s were victorious and celebrated accordingly. Sleepy was State coach to Peter Williams, Darryl Ashby, Chris Pederson, Ivan Coles (C) and Marty Martinovic. In 1988, the A1’s finished 4th and Ivan Coles (All Australian), Colin Bald (All Australian), Andrew Killian, Geoff Manuel and Darryl Ashby represented us again. New coach, Geoff Morris kept the club in every finals series of the 80’s, where we finished 4th. A record 8 State reps were: Chris Pederson (VC), Colin Bald, Ashley Cranwell, Andrew Killian, Shane Moore, Peter Ridgway, Greg Simons and Hayden Stephens (All Australian).
1990 saw another new coach, Peter Woite, who took us to the Grand Final again. We lost but as this was the last year of the 80’s, it ended the most successful decade in the club’s history. The senior team competed at the highest level in every final series, unfortunately winning only 2 under Sleepy, in 1983 and 1984. The A0 team were 4th and Greg Young won the A1R medal. State players were Chris Pederson (VC), Paul Bradtberg, Michael Dittmar, Rob Matthews, Peter Ridgway and Greg Simons. On came 1991 with another new coach, Rod Burton.
A bad year saw us finish 2nd bottom. The A9 team, however, won the ultimate prize. Only one State representative: Andrew “Killer” Killian. A new coach again in 1992, John Harvey, led the club in A2, the first year out of A1 since 1972. The senior boys answered the call and we won the Grand Final, which put us back in A1 the next year. One State representative again: Kerry Handley. Unfortunately, it didn’t last. 2nd bottom again in 1993 and it was back down to A2 the following year.
The A10 side gave us something to celebrate, with a Grand Final win. Our only State representative was the coach, John Harvey. David Simons won the A10 Association medal. 1994 was another disastrous year, finishing 2nd bottom in A2, to be relegated to A3 for the first time since joining the SAAFL in 1949!
The coach was Brendan “Kanga” Kennedy. Another new coach in 1995, Greg Cox saw us perform poorly again, while the A8 team were victorious at the penultimate game. The start of 1996, with Greg as coach still, saw Riverside in a revamped SAAFL. The League was basically split into 2 divisions, with the top 4 being for the “professional” clubs and the lower divisions dedicated to the preservation of the true amateur ethic.
We were allocated to P4. 1997 was the last year of Riverside’s existence, before the amalgamation with Ethelton and Alberton United Football Clubs. We competed in P4 again.
Howard “Chops” Mutton was SAAFL’s most successful State coach, taking the State team to 3 successive carnival championships in 1970, 1973 and 1976 and 13 victories in 16 interstate matches. Included in his Ideal Team from the 60’s and 70’s are Chris Hunter and Terry Tierney.
In an official SAAFL Ideal Team of the 1980’s, with Strawbs as one of the selectors, Rivvies had 4 players: Daryl Lowry, Craig Clohessy, Peter Williams and Ivan Cloes.