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Early Memories of Canning Corinthians 1972

From Phillip Claxton

My name is Philip Claxton. I was a member of the original Corinthians team of 1972. I played until my return to the UK in December 1975.

It is great to see that the team is still going.

I was wondering if any of that original team are still involved with the club?

The beginnings of the club were actually during 1971, when a group of players split from another club. I can’t for the life of me remember which team that was. I arrived in Perth in July of that year just a few weeks after the split, and started working for the tractor manufacturer Chamberlain Deere at Welshpool. There I met Bill Reilly, who became the president of the club, and Ray Noble a player. We worked shifts and I took a couple of hours off an afternoon shift for my first visit to Willeton Reserve with Ray, to have a trial. I didn’t have any kit and played in my work gear!!  It went well. I remember hearing John Reilly comment on a tackle that I made against David Gard (a quick winger, who later played for the State team I believe), that he hadn’t seen a tackle like that in years!!! So I made a good first impression.

We took over the fixtures of a team thrown out of the Sunday amateur league, for the second half of the season, and finished unbeaten.

When we started the team there were only about 15 or 20 players at most. Eventually we had a first team and reserve team. I would often play in each team over the weekend, perhaps a half for the reserves and then full match for the first team, or vice versa. I predominantly played in defence or midfield, although in my very last match I played as a striker!!! 

Some of the names I can remember are John Reilly, he was the main coach and player, with his dad, Bill as president. His brothers Mick and Kevin also played. Then there was Do Shrandt, although I have seen David Shrandt mentioned, I assume they are the same person. He was a prolific goal scorer. In our first full season in the Sunday league, we won the league and scored 102 goals for and 25 against, he scored 54 of those goals!! Other names I remember are Guy Gaudet (midfield), Tony Threlfall (centre defence), Tony Tuffin (forward), Derek Cooper (goalkeeper) and David Gard (winger). I don’t have any photos though, sadly.

We then applied to be in the league in our own right the following season and that was the official founding of the club. That first full season was really good to be part of, with us winning the league. I don’t remember how many games we played but we finished with 102 goals for and 25 against. Of those 102, Do Shrandt scored 54. We always said that if we hit him with the ball then nine times out of ten it would end up in the back of the net. If the ball was a yard away then it was somebody else’s as he wouldn’t have chased for it.

At the end of that season, we then applied to join the Saturday pro league, and were accepted into the bottom division, the third. By this time, we had a reserve team as well, but that was the extent of the club, we didn’t have any juniors. We did also get an experienced coach that season or maybe the following season. I think his name was Norman Brooks, he had managed in the third and fourth divisions in England. John Reilly had moved to the Eastern States with his job as well. We were a mid-table team whilst I was there, but I returned to the UK in 1975 and the following season the club was promoted to the second division.

Perhaps a reflection of my contribution, ha-ha!

I played primarily as a defender/midfielder and only ever scored one goal that counted for anything and that was against Gosnells in the semi-final of a cup competition.
I remember that we played in all blue, but can’t remember whether there was any contrasting trim. We had kit bags in pale blue with a laurel leaf wreath type of logo.
We played on Willeton Reserve. Initially there were three or four floodlights along Malindi Street that we used to train under at night. There were also three or four pitches in total. I think it was the second year, there were changing rooms built. (These were removed about 15 years ago JR) 
I have remembered some more names.
Paul Valentine, a classy midfielder who had been on Southampton’s books, who also assisted with the coaching.
Ray Noble, a winger, who I should have remembered earlier because I worked with him and Bill Reilly and was the person who introduced me to the team.
Last, but not least, Des Barnet. My main memory of him was that he drove me home from a game in Rockingham after I had been laid out with an elbow on the final whistle of the game!!

***  These are email extracts from Phillips early memories of the club

Do you know anyone who remembers any of the above-mentioned players?

If so please ask them to email

Perhaps you would like to share with us your club memories as well.