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'The day I crashed through a ceiling at Subi'

August 23, 2017 8:31 PM

subi-th-17FrWC17DC0441.jpg

'Subi' has been the home of WA football for over a century

WHEN the Eagles play the Crows on Sunday, an era will end as Subiaco Oval hosts its final AFL match.

First used for football in 1908, the ground known affectionately as 'Subi' hosted WAFL finals and State of Origin games from 1936, and became the home of both West Coast and Fremantle as they joined the national competition. 

Ahead of Subi's AFL curtain call, we asked for your favourite Subiaco Oval memories.

Here is a selection of your responses.

'I proposed at the exact moment the Freo anchor was raised'

Round one 2005, Fremantle v Port Adelaide (Easter Round), was the best day at Subiaco Oval. After much planning on my part, I proposed to my now wife at the exact moment the Freo anchor was raised as the team ran onto the ground.  Despite the cramped seating, I managed to get down on one knee and ask. The game became much of a blur, but it was the first home game that Freo had beaten the Power. As a result we had to order the VHS of the game and to this day is the only game we have ever bought to keep.
- Quentin Hooper, Gwelup WA

The Freo anchors stand proud over Subi. All pictures: AFL Photos

'I still get goosebumps'

It was the 2015 preliminary final, West Coast v North Melbourne. The skies were heavy, waiting to belt down with rain, but it held off. The siren went off, signalling the end of the game and we were into the Grand Final! Just after the siren went the skies opened up and heavy rain poured on us all as we were all dancing in the stands at Subi Oval. It was so surreal. I still get goosebumps talking about it.
- Elisabeth Poland, Carramar WA

Eagles fans soak up that finals feeling.

'You would have thought Fremantle had won'

Anyone who walked into Subi at the end of Freo's first final would have thought Freo had won. The Freo chant just went on and on. It was incredible to be part of. Even though we lost, the result didn't matter to the crowd who'd come to cheer their team in their first final.
- Tim Maxwell, Greenwood WA

The day I crashed through a ceiling in the press pavilion

1946, I'm a Subi school kid, and at cricket practice under Jess Newton at Subi Oval. Practice over, we decided to explore the old press pavilion. Up in the higher seats, we found a trap door into which a couple of the bigger kids disappeared. I decided to follow. Hanging from the edges of the hole, I couldn't find a footing in the darkness but let go anyway. It appears I straddled a rafter, crashed through the asbestos, turned upside down and hurtled into the locked room below. Luckily, I landed on a trestle rubdown table, which cushioned my fall. I still have vision of four little terrified heads around the hole, looking down through the dust. I was not hurt.
- Murray Raynes, Nannup WA 

Standing room only at the WAFL decider

The 1979 WAFL Grand Final is right up there. Standing room only among 52,781 fans meant it was hard to see the whole game, but what an atmosphere. And to top it off the right team won. Subi was never the same after the redevelopment, and while there have been some great moments since 1995, nothing really beats that one."
- Dave Swainston, Margaret River WA

The purple army make their voices clear at Subiaco Oval.

'… the men in purple drew a line in the sand'

The Demolition Derby, the most infamous of the 46 contests played at Subiaco. The Eagles destroyed Freo by a record 117 points in the first derby of the season and the men in purple drew a line in the sand. It was on before the opening bounce, with Matthew Pavlich and Michael Gardiner sparring in the goal-square. Dale Kickett and Phil Read went toe-to-toe in several stoushes. Four players were suspended for 15 matches – Kickett copped a nine-week ban for three separate striking charges – and 11 players were fined for their part in some ugly brawls.
- Jim Popplenick, Burrumbuttock NSW

Farewelling Fitzroy

I'll never forget Fitzroy's last ever game played at Subiaco. The Lions won the last quarter. A haunting vocal rendition of Auld Lang Syne was sung at the end. There wasn't a dry eye in the house.
- Matthew Smith, Malvern Vic

A family tradition

My best memories of Subi are pre-AFL, sitting on the then-grass banks with my dad (a Claremont supporter) and my gramps (a Subiaco Lions fan). The last time I saw a game I sat in the stands with my dad again, but this time I was with my Canadian wife. Most recently, it was off-season and I took my 15-year-old son to this hallowed home of WA football. We stood on the grass in the empty arena, and then in the Eagles nest we ran into Dean Cox to create a special memory for my son.
- Paul Menhennett, Truro, Nova Scotia Canada 

Subi first hosted football matches way back in 1908.

'Enter Scott Lucas'

Saying goodbye to James Hird and Kevin Sheedy: one of the greatest to ever play, and arguably the greatest to ever coach. Eagles were up by 44 at three-quarter time, but Essendon were playing to say a farewell to two greats of the club. Enter Scott Lucas. He kicked seven in the last quarter but the Eagles just hung on.
- Alex Mancini, Perth WA

When the champions came home

1978 WAFL Grand Final, East Perth v Perth. Two former Perth champions in Barry Cable and Ian Miller had returned from Victoria to play for East Perth, and playing for Perth were the likes of Rob Wiley and Peter Bosustow. Torrential rain in the second half meant the last quarter was played under an inch of water. Ian Miller won the Simpson medal and the Buzz [Bosustow] kicked seven goals in horrendous conditions."
- Dean Burford, Perth WA 

'One of the greatest games I've ever watched'

2011 semi-final, West Coast v Carlton. One of the greatest games I've ever watched. All the old premiership heroes – Kerr, Cox, Glass, Embley and Waters – were absolutely phenomenal. An undermanned Carlton gave a mighty effort to keep in it all night and nearly pinch it with a late comeback. Intense pressure, plenty of excitement and drama as both sides had won wooden spoons in the last few years and were now playing for a spot in a preliminary final."
- Tyson Mitchells, Maribyrnong Vic

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