Scoreless at East Fremantle by Les Everett

The East Fremantle Oval scoreboard has gone. Victim of the long overdue redevelopment of the oval Old East and the Sharks have called home since 1953.

It was never the greatest scoreboard. A bit stark. And the numbers seemed small – they’re not, I know because I bought some of the number plates when the EFFC sold off some stuff late last year. Maybe the scoreboard was set back further than those at other grounds.

However one of the appealing aspects of the East Fremantle Oval was that it could be seen from a couple of kilometres away.

Scoreboard enthusiast Rob Klemm reminded us of a tale from WA footy great Percy Johnson in Chris Carmody’s wonderful (and sold out) book Yesterday’s Heroes: Fremantle’s Footballers and Wharfies of the Golden Years. Race results were posted on scoreboards until relatively recently – according to Percy the scoreboard attendants at East Fremantle were instructed during derbies to indicate that rank outsiders had won Perth races – not the real result. This was because keen punter and spectacular South Fremantle full forward John Gerovich would be keeping a close eye on the goings on at Ascot or Belmont. “Gero had his race card in his socks. Con Regan, who was playing on Gero at full back, would say ‘Oh Geeze, John, bad luck’ or ‘I hope you haven’t lost too much’ or ‘How are you going to be tonight’ or ‘Are you okay for money?’ And that’s true. Our blokes used to put up the bloody wrong number so Gero would feel depressed.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Rob Klemm’s Claremont TCFC website

Pecry Johnson

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