HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
|Date of Birth||30th January 1895|
PLAYER, COACH, ADMINISTRATOR: 1915-51
GAMES: 41: Perth 1915-21
COACH: 14: Perth 1922.
HONOURS: Captain Perth 1920-21; honorary secretary Perth 1923-29; President WA National Football League 1932-51; President Australian National Football Council 1946-50.
As it was then, so it is today. Wally Stooke was aware hero whose football career was ended by a knee injury. A top public servant, he led the then WANFL for 20 straight years and confronted many of the same problems today’s administrators are grappling with. He succeeded Alf Moffat in 1932 after he resigned over the clearance “without any merits” of a player to Victoria. He then had to confront the death from a blow to the head of 22 year old Ron Doig, captain-coach of South Fremantle, after a semi final against East Perth. At a subsequent coroner’s inquiry, when the game’s violence was painted as unacceptable, Stooke refused to give umpires the send-off-rule. The WANFL also battled declining numbers throughout the depression and did little to help itself as rugby grew in schools and became a threat. He oversaw the post war growth of the game and in the late 1940’s cautiously predicted that the competition would grow to 10 teams – he was 50 years early until Peel was admitted. One of his last acts was to preside over a Sandover Medal tie between East Fremantle’s Jim Conway and East Perth’s Frank Allen in 1950. Conway won on a count back and it was nearly another 50 years before Allen got a retrospective medal