Darkan, Western Australia
One day a group of locals turned up at Darkan Oval to find their scoreboard had collapsed. It was a pile of junk.
A footy ground without a scoreboard is well… pointless.
Tim Harrington comes from a family that’s good at making things. So with a bit of panelling, a couple of tech screws and star pickets, some hooks and wire he fashioned a temporary scoreboard for Darkan and its occasional games of footy. Eight years later it’s still standing and Tim is the scoreboard attendant… with some part-time helpers.
The Darkan Football Club was formed in 1912 and played in the Wagin Districts Football Association. In more modern times the team playing at Darkan Oval was the West Arthur Football Club – a foundation member of the Upper Great Southern Football League in 1959. West Arthur lasted until 2004 when it merged with Wagin.
There’s been a bit of a Darkan revival in recent years with the town’s most famous product Paul Duffield coaching Wagin and that team playing a couple of games each season at his old home town. Duffield played 171 games for Fremantle from 2003 to 2015 and was a strong performer in finals.
West Arthur’s last premiership was in 1976. If ever you need to know anything about it just contact Paul’s uncle Mark Duffield, chief football writer at The West Australian. He’ll tell you the West Arthur line-up… in their starting positions and let you know how they went on grand final day – they were all brilliant but in different ways.
There was drama on our most recent visit. A Wickepin player went down with a serious leg injury early in the reserves game. The Darkan Sub Centre ambulance was on hand and the player was looked after and taken way, possibly with retirement from footy on his mind.
Darkan is about 210km south of Perth.