The History Of Langwarrin Soccer Club
Langwarrin Soccer Club 50th Anniversary
Posted: 6 June, 2014
Thanks to all those who helped put the night together along with those who attended. It was a great night enjoyed by all.
Please view the special 50th Anniversary program or watch the video below. Thanks to Saxon Productions for the video!
The benefit of this will probably not be realised in the short term but in 10 or 20 years when we celebrate our next milestone I am positive that these programs/videos will be priceless.
Even with our great resources something that you will have noticed is that there are gaps in our history. Many of the tables compiled in this program are missing key names. Our history in the 80's and 90's is not well covered.
We would ask everyone to scour through their memorabilia and memories and help us fill those gaps in our history. If you have anything that relates to the club, be it news clippings, photos or just recollections, could you please send them to us so that we can build a full and comprehensive record of the history of this great club. Email material to firstname.lastname@example.org or bring it to the club. We will copy it and return it to you as soon as we are able.
Langwarrin Soccer Club was formed in 1964 by a man called Ted Thornton, Ted’s idea was to form a soccer club for those kids in the Langwarrin area who weren’t interested in playing Australian Rules Football. The original name was The Langwarrin All Stars. They played their first games at the local primary school, and thanks to the help of a local wealthy industrialist by the name of Wally Lawton soon moved to the site of the Frankston golf driving range on Cranbourne Road. The All Stars made history almost immediately because the first pitch they had was made of sand.
Permission was granted by the then South of the Yarra Soccer League for the game to be played and the All Stars were off and running. Their first game was against Melbourne who soundly beat the young All Stars 20-1. But it didn’t matter the boys were off and running and playing soccer. The All Stars stayed at that ground for four years, until they moved to their current home in Barretts Road, Baxter.
The land was donated to the club by Wally Lawton and became known as Lawton Park. Back in those days Lawton Park looked very different, we had and old clubroom, a canteen building and a changing room and shower block. The facilities were pretty ordinary but the were ours and we made the most of them. The first senior team at Langwarrin was formed in 1968. Later that year there was a split in the club which saw Ted Thornton leave Langwarrin, but such was his passion for the game that he still wanted to be involved with soccer, so he moved just a few kilometers down the road to Ballam Park and formed a new club, and that club was Karingal United.
Such was Ted’s popularity with the juniors and parents most of the junior side of the club followed Ted to Karingal which saw the end of the juniors at Langwarrin for quite some time. In 1977 there was an injection of young blood in to Langwarrin, when there was a break-up up of the Mornington U20’s team. Most of the players followed their coach Jim Smith to Langwarrin. They then became the Langwarrin third team and at the end of the season won the league. This was the first league championship ever won by a Langwarrin team.
In 1979 Jim had more success when the reserve team won the league. Jim’s philosophy was simple, all be it borrowed from another more famous team, "All For One and One For All", no super stars, no Prima Donnas, and this seemed to work, with the camaraderie of the team growing with every game. In 1981 Neil McCarthy and Jim Smith managed to get the juniors going again which signaled a new era for Langwarrin. In that same year Langwarrin applied to go into Provisional League One and were successful.
The 80’s rolled along without any great success on the pitch, but the juniors were growing and the famous Langy spirit was bubbling. In 1988 the unthinkable happened, Frankston United were looking to merge with Langwarrin, which would have effectively meant the end of Langwarrin SC. The club was divided again, but thankfully for the Langy boys, the motion was thrown out and Langwarrin SC survived. This shook the very foundations of the club.
Proposals were put forward to up grade the club facilities and playing surfaces and things really started to happen around the club. It was also a successful year on the pitch with the reserve team winning the league. In 1991 the new clubrooms were finished and they were certainly a big improvement on the old one!
In December 1994 work commenced on the most ambitious project yet, the new playing surfaces. This was a big year for the club because not only did we celebrate thirty years as a club, but the fourth team won the Bayside League Division Two Championship, a feat they were to repeat the following year. It was also the year when the first Langwarrin senior women’s team was formed. In that first season the Langy girls were a formidable team, in fact they were so good they won the League Title and were runners up in the cup.
The MacLeod Era
In 1996, the new grounds were officially opened by Doug Hodgson of Sheffield United, that same year the reserve team won the Fourth Division Reserve Championship. The fortunes of the first team never really improved until 1999 when Gus MacLeod joined the club. Gus and his assistant Neil Collier brought a certain professionalism to Langwarrin that up until then had been lacking in the senior ranks.
That year the first team won the league by a country mile. The following year they did it again winning the Third Division title with three games to go. In 2001 it got to the last game of the season against Knox, what a finale, first against second, last game of the season at Lawton Park. Unfortunately we lost, and Knox won the league. Well you can’t win them all.
So that is a brief history of the Langwarrin Soccer Club, the whole story can be seen on the official club history video entitled, "Langwarrin Soccer Club The First Thirty Years". This along with other club memorabilia can be purchased from the club.
I hope you enjoyed this quick look at the club’s history and hope to see you at the game.
The 1964 Langwarrin All Stars