WAFL: West Perth says no to name change


With the name change issue settled, focus turns to West Perth’s derby against East Perth this weekend. Picture Dan White
WAFL: West Perth says no to name change
With the name change issue settled, focus turns to West Perth’s derby against East Perth this weekend. Picture Dan White

THE West Perth Football Club will not be changing its name.

Despite the fact the club will lose $40,000 in City of Joondalup sponsorship, the board has decided the Falcons will uphold the West Perth title.

Earlier this year, the City made it clear it would not renew its sponsorship of the side if it did not change its name to reflect the Joondalup location.

Falcons chief executive David Crute said relations between the two entities remained “cordial”.

“We’ll continue working with them in all sorts of other ways but the board resolved the West Perth Football Club would continue as the West Perth Football Club for the foreseeable future,” he said.

President Brett Raponi said “a cost-benefit analysis had shown there are no tangible benefits to be gained from adopting a new name”.

“Any name change would have required the approval of members in any case,” he said.

“The board has decided not to proceed to that stage.

“Further, the club received representations from several of its most prominent players and supporters who were all in favour of retaining the name the club has used since 1891.”

Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard said he was “deeply disappointed” the club was not prepared to have a conversation with its “members, key stakeholders and the broader community about a potential name change”.

“After more than 22 successful years in Joondalup, now is the appropriate time for the club to have this discussion given the vast majority of its players, members, supporters and sponsors all reside in the Joondalup region,” he said.

But he said the City respected West Perth’s decision, which “unfortunately will bring an end to a long-running and successful sponsorship partnership”.

He said, while the City would no longer be a sponsor, West Perth would remain a key stakeholder in the community and play an important role in the continued growth of Joondalup.

GRAHAM “POLLY” FARMER CUP

WAFL rivals West Perth and East Perth will honour one of the game’s greats through an annual match to be known as the Graham “Polly” Farmer Cup.

Farmer (81), who played for the Royals and the then Cardinals with a stint for Geelong in between, will have his name attached to a game each year hosted by whichever club is not hosting the WA Day derby.

The cup clash will replace the annual Jeremy Silcock Shield match, which was started to honour the former Royal who died on an end-of-season trip in 1996. It is understood the move has the Silcock family’s blessing.

The Graham Farmer Tunnel is named after the official Legend of the game but football officials realised recently that little was named after him in the sport apart from the Polly Farmer Room at Subiaco Oval.

Farmer set the football world alight with his dominating ruck work and handball.

Historian Brian Atkinson, in his book It’s a Grand Old Flag, described the buzz when Farmer chose West Perth over East Perth when he returned from Geelong in 1968:

“The appointment of Graham Farmer as captain coach of the Cardinals generated a wave of excitement and enthusiasm at West Perth, and captured the imagination of the football world. It was hailed as the greatest recruiting coup in WAFL history.”

Farmer led West Perth to premierships over the Royals in 1969 and 1971.

He won three Sandover Medals and three premierships with East Perth.

He captained Geelong and played in a premiership with the Cats in 1963.