It was with great sadness that I read today of the death of Peter Endersbee.
Peter Endersbee was a member of the Sturt Football Club at a time when they were near unbeatable. He was an important part of my early life, one of my many football heroes in the team that I supported through a period of near unprecedented success.
From 1966 to 1970 Sturt won 5 Premierships in the SANFL.
Under their master coach Jack Oatey, Sturt introduced handball as an attacking tool in Australian Rules Football. I know Ron Barassi is always given that accolade, but I suspect he saw it used to devastating advantage in end of season game between Sturt and Carlton and as the then VFL was the senior league, his promulgation of it is why he is given such credit. For those of us who support Sturt, I think we all believe something different!
It was in the 1968 SANFL Grand Final that Peter Endersbee became famous with two goals from the then squared off boundary lines of Adelaide Oval. His checkside punt goals from the pocket now famously “the Eddie Betts pocket” (that’s another story) were as The Advertiser rightly what has sent Peter Endersbee into the folklore of our game. As a then 9 year old, and one of the 57,811 crowd, I don’t think I realised that nearly 50 years later I would be writing this and remembering those moments like they were yesterday.
Peter Endersbee was an enigma in the Sturt team of that time. It was a team filled with immense talent but very much giving the appearance of being straight laced. But not Peter Endersbee – he was different a character and one we as supporters loved. To be fair we loved them all!!
He alongside Paul Bagshaw (recently inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame), John Halbert, Keith Chessell, Dr Tony Clarkson (who retired early to pursue his medical career – how times have changed), Sandy Nelson, Rick Schoff, John Murphy and so many more were all my heroes. Unfortunately, as I reflect on Peter Endersbee it is also sad that others, such as Brenton Miels and Bob Shearman are no longer with us.
This was a golden era in my life. One that was made all the better by the feats of Peter Endersbee. May he Rest in Peace.
Postscript – Sturt win’s 2016 SANFL Grand Final
Photos sourced from The Advertiser – 28 June 2016