Walter Pless on Association Football
- Written by Walter Pless
- Published: 18 April 2017
Photo: South Hobart's Ben Hamlett scored 10 goals against Launceston United on Monday [PlessPix]
South Hobart’s Ben Hamlett joined a small and illustrious group of four players when, on Saturday, he scored 10 goals as his side overwhelmed Launceston United 12-0 in a Lakoseljac Cup Round-of-16 match.
He becomes the fourth player to have scored 10 goals or more in a senior top-flight game, but the record belongs to Walter Worsey, who scored 11 goals in one game.
Photo: Walter Worsey, who turns 83 today [PlessPix]
Worsey, who was playing for Caledonians, is reputed to have scored 11 goals against ANL [Australian Newsprint Mills], in 1957 or 1959, in a 15-1 win for Calies.
He scored a hat-trick for Tasmania against Victoria on a heavy pitch in the early 60s in Hobart. In a second game a couple of days later and on a dry pitch, the Victorians had his measure.
I spoke to Worsey yesterday - he turns 83 today - and he openly admits that he can’t remember the occasion.
“That was a long time ago [about 60 years] and I honestly can’t remember the game,” Worsey said.
“But, if Chris Hudson mentions it in his book [‘A Century of Soccer (1898-1998): A Tasmanian History], then it must be true.”
I have corresponded with Hudson who said he has the newspaper clipping to prove it.
Hudson also writes in his book that Worsey scored a total of 131 goals over two consecutive seasons, which is a phenomenal feat for the former professional sprinter.
Worsey also played for Hobart Juventus and he coached Croatia-Glenorchy to a couple of titles.
Photo: Ben Hamlett (second from left) picking the ball out of the net after yet another goal. Andy Brennan is the other South Hobart player [PlessPix]
The other scorers of 10 goals in one match were Frank Gmelch, who played for Caledonians and Rapid in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and Jim Witheford, a school teacher from Launceston.
Gmelch, who had reputedly the hardest shot in Tasmanian football, played for an Australian XI against the famous Hungarian side Ferencvaros at North Hobart in 1959.
He returned to his native Austria while with Rapid and was killed in a mountaineering accident in the early 1960s.
My good friend and enthusiastic football supporter, Glenn Thompson, who has had a lot to do with developing Indigenous football, particularly amongst youngsters in Borroloola in the Northern Territory, recalled this week how, as a 10-year-old, he was watching Rapid play at South Hobart.
Glenn was seated behind and to the side of the goal at the canteen end of the ground when a shot by Gmelch hit him right in the chest and knocked him completely off his perch. A member of St John Ambulance, who was a familiar figure to local soccer fans and who was always in attendance at South Hobart for games, raced to Glenn’s assistance. Fortunately, he was only winded.
The other member of the ’10-goal club’, Jim Witheforde, was a former soccer correspondent for The Examiner newspaper.
Witheford scored 10 goals for Launceston United against Launceston Croatia in 1971 to cement his place in this special club.
Photo: Ben Hamlett (left) in scintillating form [PlessPix]
Photo: Glenn Thompson (left) and John Moriarty in Hobart last week. I had a coffee with them before Easter. Moriarty was the first Aborignial to play for the Socceroos. I first saw him play for South Australia in the 0-0 draw with Tasmania at South Hobart in 1963.. He heads the Moriarty Foundation, which promotes football and encourages Indigenous youngsters to play football. Moriarty sent Thompson and a group of Indigenous youngsters to the World Cup in Brazil in 2014. [PlessPix]