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Post by Lee Harradine Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:21 pm

The tentative date for the launch of 'Flags, Spoons & Knives' is Friday 6th November at 6pm at the Club.

There will be a guest speaker and the book will be available to purchase.

To assist with catering numbers, would anyone wishing to attend please contact me by PM. You are all welcome.

If anyone can't go, but would like to purchase the book ($45), please let me know and I'll arange it.

Lee Harradine
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Post by Lee Harradine Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:14 pm

Privileged to give a talk about the bookl tobthe Sporting History Association tonight.

Launch is in 3 weeks.
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Post by Lee Harradine Fri Nov 06, 2020 9:13 pm

Wonderful evening. Thank youto all those who attended. About 75 people attending, including the privilege of Neil Kerley speaking.  My thanks to Dion McCaffrie for hosting and so many football greats and football lovers for being there.

A privilege to add to the literature about our great club.


Last edited by Lee Harradine on Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by cuban Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:25 am

Thanks Lee - I received my copy on Wednesday. Turned out great timing as we had our power out all day yesterday so I had something to do - I have almost finished it already!
Been a great read and brought back lots of memories.
Only issue is that it looks like you posted it personally - would have been nice if signed it too! Smile
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Post by Lee Harradine Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:28 am

Happy to catch up and sign it, cuban.

PM me and I can do that Smile
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Post by MR BLOODHOUND Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:46 pm

I have read up to year 2000 .Being born in 1950 your early years mirror my life as a Westies follower . going to the football with my parents from Cowandilla by bus or tram . Sitting in the stands 1n the 50's watching us lose those GF 's against Port Adelaide .It brings back so many great memories Lee . Thanks for writing such a brilliant book . Go The Bloods .
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Post by RODH2 Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:44 pm

Love the 'feel' of this book, there is something there for every Westies' supporter. You can start reading anywhere, great pics. and the design and layout gets you involved. MR BLOODHOUND, a great year 1950, makes it easy to remember your birthday!
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Post by Lee Harradine Sun Nov 15, 2020 1:19 pm

Thanks for all the lovely comments, here, on Facebook and websites.

The first batch I sent to the Kurralta Park Newsagency, Anzac Highway (KMart Shopping Centre) has sold out, so I'll deliver more today.

The book can also be purchased from the Club ($5 goes to Westies)

An official review of the book will be posted on www.footyalmanac.com.au before long.

Stocks are running down, so grab one before they're gone.

I've been very grateful for the interest shown by sporting historians and have had lovely reviews from Bernard Whimpress, Rob Laidlaw and others.

Chris and John Halbert at the SANFL History Centre are also advertising it soon and I thank them for that.
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Post by Lee Harradine Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:05 am

The first official review of the book has been published on the Footy Almanac site:


Lee Harradine had little choice but to be an ardent follower of West Adelaide, first attending matches as a young lad in the 1950s, his grandfather ‘Stud’ Harradine was the club’s timekeeper and had been since since 1904!

Flags, Spoons and Knives is the story of Harradine’s sixty-plus year affair with West Adelaide as a boyhood fan amongst his idols, an die-hard adult supporter craving success, an enthusiastic volunteer running water (and the occasional message), his rise to head trainer, recruiter, club life member, committee member and finally President.

Using Lee’s own words, the book is also:

“… a celebration of [West’s] spasmodic brilliance and wonderful players and an attempt to understand its frequent mediocrity and its well-known propensity to shoot itself in the foot when on the verge of success.”

To understand a little of West Adelaide, consider Neil Kerley who captain-coached the club to the 1961 flag and was summarily dumped as coach after losing the 1962 Grand Final. West’s next premiership came in 1983, in the third year of Kerley’s second stint with the Red and Blacks. He promptly left them after the 1984 season (chasing the America’s Cup!) but was prevailed upon once more to return for an unsuccessful two years in 1992 (replacing Kevin Morris after 1991’s Grand Final loss).

Until Mark Mickan took them to the 2015 pennant, that was all the success that Harradine had seen from his beloved Westies. Coaches of the calibre of Jack Oatey, Fos Williams and John Cahill were unable to deliver a flag to Westies despite their records at other clubs. (Harradine himself had to deliver the bad news that Mickan was to be relieved of his coaching duties two years later.)

The book’s season-by-season retelling reinforces West’s reputation as the club that invariably follows any short-term success with an extended period of self-inflicted misery.

The story of Kerls’ return to assemble what many have said was one of the all-time great SANFL sides is very well presented. That early ’80s period saw some canny recruiting from over the border (think Ian Borchard, Mark Dreher, Bernie Conlen, Mike Smith, Richard Hamilton, Craig Williams) supplementing home grown talent like Grantley Fielke, Leon Grosser, Roger Luders, Mark Mickan, Robin McKinnon, Bruce Lindner and Geoff Morris. That 1983 flag was West’s last for over thirty years.

As the SANFL’s post-Crows-and-Power position in the footy hierarchy diminished, Harradine conveys the near-futility at club level of developing players such as Tony Modra, Mark Riccuito, Shaun Rehn and Adam Cooney.

Harradine’s laconic style comes to the fore when talking about the transition from “man in the outer” to “man on the inside”, describing his first volunteer job at the club thus:

“My job description, not that there was such a thing at that time, included holding the sponsor’s sign at the huddle in the breaks, handing out the guernseys for both League and Reserves teams and being a general dogsbody, a task for which I was well qualified… By late-season I was well versed in the match day duties of an Assistant Reserves’ Property Steward, scraping mud off players’ boots at the breaks, handing out ‘Grippo’ and becoming expert at ensuring the proper strength of the cordial supply”

Moving on to join the training staff, Harradine’s sense of the slightly absurd brings us such gems as the time he was greeted on field when running water with a polite “We haven’t been introduced. I’m Paul Belton”, followed by a handshake with the club’s new recruit from Port Adelaide whilst the game continued around them.

Volunteers such as Jeannie Luke remain the bedrock of local clubs, even at the state league level and this book recognises many of them. Junior premiership sides, Reserves victors and long-time administrators such as Doug Thomas are all given their due.

An initiative of Harradine’s time at the top was the naming of West Adelaide Team of the Centuries. Including such legendary names as Henry ‘Dick’ Head, Kerley, Ken Eustice, Mickan, Brian Faehse, Bernie Smith and Bruce McGregor, Harradine proudly reflects on this high point of his time at the club with insider details such as the selection machinations involved with this event.

The final quarter of the book describes in detail (apart from some of the names) Harradine’s time on the Committee of Management and his rise to President. The book ends on a slightly downbeat note, as Harradine recounts the events leading up to the sudden end of his formal involvement at the club.

Lee Harradine has succeeded in producing a very readable account of West Adelaide’s trials and tribulations during his lifetime, as well as plenty of behind-the-scenes perspective from Richmond Oval and should be keenly received by anyone with an interest in the post-war years of the SANFL. The visual element of this book is excellent, with many photos and clippings that enhance its importance.

I’d give it a very solid: Four Knuckles.

Copies are available from Kurralta Park Newsagency on Anzac Highway or (at the Club) or by emailing the author at lee@hngreen.com.au

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Post by Lee Harradine Wed Dec 16, 2020 9:30 pm

Glad to report that I only have about 10 books left of the 250 printed.  They're flying out of Kurralta Park Newsagency and have been distributed now to every state in Australia.

I'll possibly look at a second print in the New Year.

The reviews and feedback have been very positive and thanks to all those who have been kind enough to give me feedback.
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