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Sandridge Stars

Recently Mark Nettleton wrote to us about two football clubs from Garden City that played in the Melbourne Amateur Sunday Football Association during the 1950s.

Garden City Football Club played their home matches at Garden City Oval No. 1 (now known as R F Julier Reserve) while the Sandridge Stars Football Club were based at Oval No. 2 (now known as the T T Buckingham Reserve).

Sandridge Stars Football Club c1950s. Photograph courtesy of Mark Nettleton.

This photo of the Sandridge Stars has two bona fide Port Melbourne stars. Both made their debut for Port Melbourne Football Club in 1952 and just over fifty years later, both were named in the PMFC Team of the Century.

The first player sitting on the left of the middle row, next to the goal umpire, is Bob Withers. Withers played 137 games for the Borough. The tall, wavy-haired young man in the centre of the back row is Port’s star forward Bob Bonnett. He played 227 games for Port and was PMFC’s leading goal kicker each year from 1952 to 1963, also topping the VFA goal kicking in ’56, ’57, ’58, ’61 and ’63.

There is, however, a more personal side to the Sandridge Stars story and that is the Nettleton family connection to the team.

There are three Nettleton brothers in this photo. That goal umpire standing to the left of the middle row, next to Bob Withers, is Mark’s uncle, Jack Nettleton. The third player from the left in the front row, next to the mascot, is Mark’s uncle, Ben Nettleton and next to him is Mark’s father, Bill Nettleton.

And that’s not all. The house in the background, 12 Weeroona Street, was where Lillian Nettleton lived. Lillian was Ben, Jack and Bill’s mother and Mark’s grandmother. No. 12 wasn’t just a good spot for a team photo. It was used as change rooms for the team and for club social functions. A true reflection of the community spirit of the area at that time.

Mark goes on to say that he believes the man on the right wearing a suit and carrying a billy is the coach, Charlie Bond.

What do you know about Garden City FC or Sandridge Stars FC? Can you identify anyone else in the photo?


  • paul whitehead
    Posted January 25, 2021 3.07 pm 0Likes

    Small bloke up the top 2 from the left is Andrew Sutherland who lived at 47 Dunstan Parade. he sadly passed away aged 36 in 1960 from a heart condition

    • David Thompson
      Posted January 25, 2021 8.45 pm 0Likes

      Thanks for the identification of Andrew Sutherland. Very sad indeed that he passed away so young.

  • Phillip Bailey
    Posted July 7, 2023 6.14 pm 0Likes

    Does anybody know the colours of the sand ridge stars


    Phill Bailey

    • David Thompson
      Posted July 18, 2023 4.39 pm 0Likes

      I believe the colours were typical Port colours of red and blue. Hard to tell in this photo but I’ve been told they were blue with a red V.

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We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet and work, the Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation and pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.