The advent of wealthy ethnic clubs in Brisbane in the 1950s.
State of Origin match at the Gabba in 1950.
In 1959, emerging Scottish powerhouse, Heart of Midlothian, (1960 Scottish League and Cup double winners) played five exhibition matches against the Australian mens national team and two against an Australian men’s select. The matches took place in Sydney, Wallsend (Newcastle), Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.
Australia was led by player/manager Joe Marston. In the official tour matches, the Aussies scored a total of four goals to the Scottish team’s 36 (three of the fixtures finished 7-1). The select matches, played in Wallsend and Perth, ended 6-1 and 9-0 to Hearts respectively.
The tour was the last significant international football event in Australia before FIFA revoked the nation’s affiliation as a result of ‘transfer irregularities’ where a handful of European-born Australian were co-opted a little ahead of their formal nationalisation process was complete.
Among the players were Col and Keith Kitching and Ray Rule, whose grandsons now play for the Western Pride. Former Australian player George “Fat’’ Kitching was manager of the 1955 team and his son George was mascot. Young George’s brother Wally Kitching was the ball boy. Mascot George later became father of another Australian player, Belinda Kitching. Other greats in the successful side included Spencer Kitching, Bob Lawrie, Norm Rule and Graham Kathage.