Vale William “Bill” Boland

The Club wishes to advise the passing of player number 519 William “Bill” Boland who played 99 games as a rover for the “ Old Double Blues “ from 1949 to 1957. He kicked 85 goals.

Bill was a tenacious rover at only 168cm he could ‘duck and weave’, was tough on the ball and could outrun most opponents. He moved from Melbourne after playing in the seconds for North Melbourne to play for Sturt. Returning to Melbourne in 1950 for a holiday he was responsible for successfully luring his friend and Best Man the great Len Fitzgerald from Collingwood to play for Sturt. After a Sturt v Port Adelaide game Bill and Len had to run to the church to get there on time for Bill’s marriage to Kath, his wife of 67 years. Sturt lost by 52 points.

In 1952 he was one of the few SANFL players included in a card collection series in the Easi Oats packets. He remained very proud of this inclusion but quipped for the rest of his life that he never even got a free box of oats! Denied his 100th game and his life membership by the selectors in 1957 he went on to qualify for life membership by training the Sturt Colts in the 1980’s. He was greatly appreciated by those players and stayed in contact with them for many years. He was very proud of his Sturt Life Membership. Bill went on to coach many community and school AFL teams who were all appreciative of his gentle and directive manner.

Bill played in the number 22 guernsey for Sturt and always picked his football tipping competition margins by 22 points. And as they say in the AFL ‘you can only control what you do on the field, the score will take care of itself.’ Bill died on 22 February 2019.