PORT ADELAIDE great Geof Motley has revealed he never wanted to coach the club, but was glad he did as he guided it to an Australian record sixth premiership in a row in 1959.
Motley was interviewed during the Port Adelaide Football Club’s 150th Anniversary Gala event at the Adelaide Convention Centre on Friday night.
The special night commemorating the significant milestone was enjoyed by 1600 people and featured panel discussions about key moments in the club’s history.
Motley was interviewed as part of a discussion surrounding the record breaking sides of 1954-59.
He reflected on taking over as Port Adelaide coach from the legendary Fos Williams after he had stood down after winning five consecutive premierships.
“I had to buy some new shorts pretty quick because when they first asked me to apply for the coaching job, I wasn’t keen on it at all,” Motley revealed.
“I just wanted to be a player but they came back to me several times.
“When we went on to win the premiership I was absolutely delighted because at that stage we were going through a period where we were playing not too flash footy.
“So I was delighted that we were able to go on and win and with my mate (Neville) “Chicken” Hayes of course.”
The nine-time premiership player went on to praise his “good mate” Hayes, who sat next to him during the gala.
“He was a wonderful player. As hard as nails. He doesn’t look like he was hard as nails but he was a tough unit,” Motley said.
“We first met when we went to High School when we used to play for the school in the morning and the junior and senior colts in the afternoon.
“We’ve been the greatest mates ever since then. We know each other backwards, he used to even live at my place.”
Hayes shared some of his memories of his eight premierships, joking about former administrator Bob McLean’s sense of humour.
“I just think back to Bob McLean,” he said.
“After the Grand Finals the losing captain used to come into the winner’s room and say hello.
“Bob McLean introduced (South Adelaide’s) Neil Kerley this particular day and said ‘I’d like you to meet Port Adelaide’s best player Neil Kerley’.
“Kerls got a bit rough and tumble out on the field.
“In the second-semi final, Westies got stuck into Ports, Ports retaliated and we lost the game so when we had to play West Adelaide in the Grand Final, we were told don’t get sucked in by the West Adelaide guys getting a bit rough, and we didn’t.
“And of course, the result was Port Adelaide beat West Adelaide again.”
One of the youngest members of that six-in-a-row team was Ian Hannaford who came into a team in 1958 which had won four consecutive premierships already.
“It was easy to play with these guys because they knew what they were bloody well doing,” he joked.
“I was playing with my schoolboy hero, Mr Motley, he was in the same side … and it was a terrific team. I was just out of school and it was a team which was just terrific.
“All the players were really protective of us young kids.”
Earlier the daughters of Bob McLean, Sue Doyle and Janine Jackson, and of Fos Williams, Jenny Williams, shared their memories of their fathers and the legacy they left for the club during those glory years in the 1950s.