Who Is Walter Pless?


A teacher by profession, but is now in his 38th year as a football writer. Has written for "Soccer Action" (Melbourne), "Australian Soccer Weekly" (Sydney) and "World Soccer" (London), as well as for several Tasmanian newspapers. Currently contributing to "Goal!Weekly" in Melbourne and the Australian magazine "Soccer International". Played for Croatia-Glenorchy, Caledonians, Metro, Rapid and University in Tasmania, as well as in the United States of America. Coached University, Metro and Croatia-Glenorchy.

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Bernard Siggins 21 08 10 obit

Photo:  Bernard Siggins terrorised opposition defences as a speedy and tricky winger for Caledonians [PlessPix]

The death has occurred in Hobart of Bernard Siggins, 72, one of the trickiest and most effective wingers to have graced Tasmanian football.

Siggins was a one-club man, spending his entire career with Caledonians, now known as Kingborough Lions United.

Rhodes Siggins and Hughes 18 08 12 obit

Photo:  Bernard Siggins (centre) as a trainer with Kingborough Lions United, together with coach Matthe Rhodes (left) and Brad Hughes (right) [PlessPix]

When he finished his playing career, Siggins served in many roles for the club, including trainer.

He played almost 500 games for Caledonians and the peak of his representative achievements was when he played for Tasmania against the visiting English FA XI at North Hobart in 1971.

Bernard, along with his older brother, the late David Siggins, who was a goalkeeper, grew up in Hobart and joined Caledonians from school.

Bernard made his debut for the Calies senior side on 16 May, 1964, against Olympia.

He and David then became regulars on the bench for the senior side, with the occasional start, for the remainder of the 1964 season.

Arnott and Siggins obit

Photo:  Bernard Siggins (right) with life-long friend, team-mate and Caledonians legend George Arnott [PlessPix]

Bernard scored his first senior goal for Calies against Olympia on 15 August 1964.

A couple of weeks later, he was playing in a trial game to select a Southern Under-19 team for the intrastate series against the North and the North-West.

He was picked for the Southern Under-19s but did not make the Tasmanian Under-19 side that was selected to compete in the national Under-19 tournament in Adelaide later that year.

Bernard and David Siggins became regulars in the Caledonians senior side in 1965.

Both played in the Falkinder Cup Final on 27 March 1965, in which Caledonians beat Olympia 3-0. David was outstanding in goal and Bernard opened the scoring.

The match report in the newspaper described Bernard’s performance thus: “Bernard was the livewire in a speedy forward line.”

The cup win was a huge achievement as Caledonians were missing six senior players from their team of the previous season.

Barry Shacklady Bernard Siggins Tony Wallner Hugh Robertson and Sid Cairns obit

Photo:  Bernard Siggins (second from left) with opponents and team-mates Barry Shacklady (left), the late Tony Walner (third from left), the late Hugh Robertson (second from right), and Sid Cairns [PlessPix]

The two Siggins brothers continued to impress and Bernard scored for Calies in a 5-4 loss to a powerful Rapid side on 17 April 1965.

On 18 September 1965, Bernard scored his first senior hat-trick as Calies trounced Devonport 11-4.

It was an auspicious beginning for Bernard in 1965 and he went on to play for Calies until the mid-1970s and was even scoring hat-tricks in 1974.

In 1970, he was named seventh in a list of Tasmania’s top ten footballers.

Although David Siggins eventually transferred to White Eagles, Bernard Siggins stayed with the Caledonians club through thick and thin and helped in any capacity he could, even when the club merged with Kingborough to become Kingborough Lions United.

Bernard Siggins and Luciano Longo obit

Photo:  The diminutive Bernard Siggins (left) often came up against giant Juventus defender, the late Luciano Longo [PlessPix]

A diminutive figure physically, Bernard was a giant of the game in terms of commitment and ability and he made many friends inside and outside the game, and he was well liked and respected by team-mates and opponents alike.

He suffered ill health in recent years and recovered from two strokes, but he passed away last Friday.

He is survived by his wife, Patti, and his daughter Karen and grandson Jarred.

Bernard Siggins Otmar Bachinger and Hans Heiermann obit

Photo:  Bernard Siggins (left) with regular opponent Otto Bachinger of Rapid (centre) and referee Hans Heirermann [PlessPix]

The funeral will be held at Turnbull's in Letitia Street, Hobart, at 12.30pm on Friday, 15 December 2018.

Bogdan Dora Bernard Siggins and Charlie Knapek obit

Photo:  Bernard Siggins (centre) with White Eagles opponent Bogdan Dora (left) and Calies team-mate Charlie Knapek [PlessPix]

Hodgman Siggins and the Dales - Copy

Photo:  Bernie Siggins with Premier Will Hodgman (left) and Jill and Brian Dale [PlessPix]

Bernard Siggins 26 August 2006 022 - Copy

Photo:  Bernie Siggins with his transistor radio at KGV Park in 2012 [PlessPix]


+1 #22 BARRY J MILLER 2017-12-22 09:15
Centrefold Newsagency 12 Hill ST West Hobart

+1 #21 andy gillian joseph 2017-12-17 07:55
A true gentleman lost..was a great man to us young blokes when we where at calies.he was the main reason why we stayed at the club.loved being round him and made us feel like we didnt wanna be anywhere else when we where with him.a legend to myself brett murtagh and timmy robins

He and Patti made our families part of his own and so many memories and stories that could be told.
Our condolence to Patti Karen and parky
+2 #20 andy & gillian josep 2017-12-17 07:45
Very sad news on the passing of a great man
Loved being with him every week when i was at calies.He made us young blokes at the club laugh and feel there was no better place to be when we were aroumd him.
Is a legend to myself brett murtagh and timmy robins.
Made us part of his family and will never forget him. love that last ohoto of him with the radio listening to the races as well
Condolences to Patti and Karen
+10 #19 Sean Collins 2017-12-13 23:17
Siggy was a lovable character and much loved by the football community.Your photo of him with arms folded is so classic, Walter. You can see him alert and getting ready to give some unfortunate referee his views on the latest outrageous decision. I should know as I was often on the end of such advice. This was despite my having played with Calies where among his many duties, he was marvellous with the pre match rub downs. However, I never took this personally as if there was ever a decision against his team by any ref any time which he agreed with, I must have blinked or not been there that day. Fortunately after the passions of the game receded, he would forgive me for turning to the dark side.I think Michael Palmer has summed him up beautifully as have others. As Brad noted, he was so positive with the younger players, including two of my sons who played with Kingborough for a while. For me Siggy epitomized so much of what is marvellous about community football. Vale
+3 #18 Scott Kirwan 2017-12-13 19:22
So sorry to hear of Bernard"s passing.
A great bloke and mentor for work ethic.
R.I.P Bernie
+9 #17 Laka 2017-12-12 23:40
Since I was a little kid I knew this Champion Character "Bernie"

As I grew older he was always there for words of wisdom or when we beat Calies and I scored they were different words Haha

Til the last time we talked Bernie was a man of the game a stalwart in Tasmania

The chats we used to have about the good old days and my dad, I will cherish

A fond family friend of the Lakoseljac family

Never to be forgotten as a part of our life

Fond memories of a great man
+5 #16 Colin Robbins 2017-12-12 12:09
I have met no one more passionate than Bernie Siggins in Tasmania football, how he managed to crossover the many generational changes over the years is a testimont to the man.
Loved every story & the many repeated stories (“did I tell you about the time I played against George Best” & the list goes on).
Before a big match the Lions were playing in, I was honoured to visit Bernie at his home & he shared his brother’s scrap book on their times in Tassie Football, no internet back then. Mercury write ups of all the matches/stats/s tars of the day. I won’t mention the “sealed section” at the back of the book, Bernie showed me this bloody first would you believe, scantly dressed young women in bathers, etc.
Miss you old mate RIP Bern :(
+3 #15 Anonymous 2017-12-12 09:14
What a true gentleman Bernie was. Always had a smile and a kind word. RIP
+25 #14 Michael Palmer 2017-12-12 03:13
I will miss bumping into Bernie at a game and chatting about football, AFL, horse racing or hearing a story about how many goals he would be scoring if he still played.

As a player who went from the juniors to the seniors at Kingborough, Bernie was a constant and was always a huge supporter of the club and its people. He celebrated every success with just about as much gusto as he did when bemoaning a referee after a loss. The best times were the bus trips away, which I’m sure will not be the same without the constant jokes and pre planned ‘props’ to get a laugh from the boys.

Kingborough has lost a trainer, a shirt washer, a drink bottle filler, a chef, the list goes on. Basically anything that Bernie could see needed to be done, he would take it upon himself with no fuss and wanting no accolades for doing so. But most importantly we have all lost a friend, a great football person and a true gentleman. We are all better for having known him. Rest easy mate.
+15 #13 Brian & Jill Dale 2017-12-11 23:41
We struggled to find the words that adequately do justice to acknowledge the contribution that Bernie made to the Lions, both on and off the park, following the merger with Calies. A fantastic friend who did an incredible job with great passion.
May his legacy live on.
Rest in peace mate.

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