ST MARYS NICHOLS MEDALLISTS
Our medal winner list is headed very appropriately by Bill Roe BEM 1954/55. Bill had played
a couple of seasons with Wanderers before Saints were formed but transferred to Saints where his brother Gordon was making
Bill was an extremely strong player able to take his place in the back or forward positions.
He had that personal gift of being able to lift the team to victory through his own sheer determination to win.
Naturally Bill was spotted as league potential and was quickly snapped up by East Perth where he played
with outstanding success, being a very essential part of their 1956 premiership team and earning a place in the state side.
Unfortunately Bill was injured in a car accident which left him with a badly injured leg,
cutting short his southern career after only 12 games with East Perth. Returning to Darwin his knowledge and ability greatly helped Saints in many of their
It is interesting to note that Bill's son Willie, formerly with Saints after playing 3
games with East Perth was cleared to South Fremantle where
he played 87 games and kicked 100 goals. He also played for the state in 1 game. Bill played in Saints premierships of 1954/55,
1955/56, 1959/60, 1961/62, 1965/66 and 1966/67. Bill had a career as a footballer and as a father he can be very proud of
-we salute you!
1955/56 saw Neil Davies of Adelaide
our next medallist. Neil was a very strong footballer and good athlete. A very polished well trained footballer with a very
professional approach to the game extremely different style to the locals of the time - where most played for the sheer pleasure
of the game. He also beat the cream of the local sprinters giving them a lesson in sprinting Cruising to easy wins in the
heats and putting everything into the final. His play certainly had a great influence on Saints 1955/56 premiership win.
He returned to Adelaide
and had a successful career with Glenelg he played 143 games for the Bays and kicked 105 goals. He won Glenelg’s best
and fairest in 1953 and 1956 and was also their leading goal kicker in 1956. He was captain in 1957 and captain/coach in 1957
and 1958. Neil was runner up for the 1953 Magarey Medal (SANFL best and fairest) in1953 and was also an all Australian in
that year. Neil also represented South Australia on 20 occasions
He started his career with Glenelg in 1951 with his final season at Glenelg being 1963. Neil also played 2 games with Richmond in the VFL in 1955
After Neil Davies' win came Terry Lewfatt in 1958/59. Terry tied with Joe Bonson (Works
and Housing) but was not presented with his medal until the NTFL decided in 1993 to follow the trend and fall into line with
other leagues throughout Australia and
award all the previously dual winners with a retrospective medal.
Terry first played for Saints in 1954/55 at the age of 15, not having any experience in
under age football or reserves, simply because there was no competition in those grades. Terry became a member of Saints first
premiership team of the same year. Terry was a very skilful ball player with excellent reflexes, and equally good with both
feet. An ideal teacher of skills and a good tactician as his coaching record shows.
Terry coached the N.T.F.L. against North Adelaide (S.A.N.F.L.) twice in 1966. He captained
St Marys for Seven (7) seasons, 1957/58 to 1961/62, and 1965/66 to 1967/68.
Terry played in 1954/55, 1955/56, 1958/59, 1959/60 premiership teams and also coached Saints
to three premierships in four seasons 1961/62, 1965/66 and 1966/67, runners up in 1967/68 to Darwin.
Having won several club Best and Fairest awards Terry won the Nichols in 1958/59 when he
tied with Works Captain Joe Bonson, third in 1961/62 to Ted Cooper (Wanderers) and equal third in 1965/66 to Rusty Moreen
(Wanderers). He was N.T.F.L leading goal kicker in 1961/62 with 33 goals. His brother Clifford (Gympie) won it in 1964/65.
After sixteen years of league football Terry retired in 1968/69 as a player. In 1979/80
Terry coached Saints to their second under 15 premiership. Terry was a great clubman during his playing career and worked
on many committees helping on many projects to benefit the club, and Terry was awarded club life membership in 1970.
Saints had a drought of six seasons before the brilliant young Clifford (Gympie) Lewfatt
won the medal in 1964/65. Gympie had played Colts for Nightcliff but came over to Saints. Possibly to join elder brother Terry.
Saints were very pleased to get him as he quickly made his presence felt winning the medal and goal kicking in the same year.
His strange kicking style and extreme agility left most opposition defeated. His judgement
for freak goals was uncanny. Not a very large person his pace and balance have probably made him a more dangerous opponent
than a bigger more physical person. He was a great drawcard for the league, which must be happy when players of this calibre
Gympie played in Saint’s premierships of 1965/66 and 1966/67,
Gympie was out of the game for a considerable period with a serious leg injury. Incidentally
he has won every medal possible to win in every grade to his retirement. Perhaps they will strike one for the oldest person
playing as Gympie played in the Senior Rules Carnival in1999 at 57 and he would probably win that too.
Our next medallist Leon
(Foxy) Gregory 1966/67 was probably one of Saints greatest characters. Coming over from Melville Island
in the 1965/66 season in what appeared to be a Melville Island invasion (we had had excellent
senior players from there over the years. Dinny Dunne (R.I.P.), Stacker, Vigona, Rioli, Long, Cusack’s (Tom R.I.P.)
Campbell’s, Cadell’s and McLennan’s. If any names are missing please forgive but here was almost a complete
colt’s team. Of course Leon was
the brightest light so it was no surprise when playing league in his first season he won the medal.
His happy personality endeared him to Saints supporter’s bot his foxy play on the
ground earned him the respect but very little love from his opponents. Like Gympie,
Leon was a draw card and league attendances were good when
hung up his boots rather early so football and Saints lost a very brilliant footballer and a refreshing personality.
Leon played in Saint’s premierships of 1966/67 and 1971/72
In 1969/70 John (Peppy) Pepperrill, an all time favourite won the medal. John came to Saints from
Alice Springs where he had won the Coveted Mail Medal. What a versatile player he was. Very
slight and speedy with that special magic of lifting a game with his own determination.
Who can forget that game in which Jack Long, Sebastian Rioli and John were all injured
in the first five minutes? Jack, badly broken nose. Sebastian concussion and John gashed mouth. Jack and Sebastian had to
leave the field but our doctor stitched John up (7stiches) inside the boundary (no interchange) and John continued to play.
He continued to give Saints many years of dedicated football, his dashing style of play
endearing him to the public. His successes elsewhere have been outstanding. He has won an All Australian Guernsey in each
Aboriginal Carnival in which he played.
What can be said about a player who wins the medal twice in succession? Which are what
Pat Murphy did in 1971/72 and 1972/73? Pat (The little fellah as he was affectionately called by some of the supporters) is
indeed a small person but was completely fit and extremely competent.
Pat came to Saints with a wealth of southern experience. He played 1 game with St Kilda
in the V.F.L. and 20 Games where he kicked 17 Goals with South Adelaide in the SANFL in 1971
and certainly made his presence felt in Darwin football.
A pocket dynamo with very accurate kicking. Pat played in Saints premiership side of 1971/72
A few seasons with Saints and in 1974 Pat was off to the West where he played 11 games
for South Fremantle and kicked 12 goals. He returned a couple of seasons later but after
a short stay with Saints decided to play Super rules
The very next season 1973/74, the dashing Michael Graham took the medal. An ex Sturt (SA) league
footballer. Michael needs no introduction to local football. He has a tremendous reputation in South Australia and is rated, as one of Sturt’s all time legends. He played in 282
games for them and kicked 455 goals and played 11 state games.
Michael also played in Sturt’s 1974 and 1976 premiership teams and certainly became
a very much admired player here. He also won the Chaney Medal 1978/79 for the best player in the Grand Final. Michael played
in the "off" Southern football season with Saints for nine seasons and won premierships in 1978/79 and 1983/84
Bill Bennett one of the most experienced footballer to play in the NTFL and won the 1977/78 medal
when he tied with Mark Motlop (Nightcliff). Bill played 11 games and kicked 9 goals between 1966 and 1968 for Carlton. He was also a Carlton Premiership player in 1968. Bill also played for SANFL club
South Adelaide where he played 65 games and kicked 41 goals between 1972-75, before coming
His very great strength as a ruck-rover and experience was very obvious and certainly gave
valuable inspiration and example to his team-mates. He played in Saints premiership of 1977/78 Bill left Saints to coach Nightcliff
and stayed with them
Saints giant ruckman Steve "Froggy" Thomson won the 1984/85 NTFL's most coveted award -
the Nichols Medal. Steve who in his first season of NTFL football - polled 15 votes (2,2,2,3,3,3) to win the medal from team
mate Cadji Dunn (1,2,2,3,3,3).
Steve joined Saints from Brisbane Club Mayne, where he has played 50 games in seasons 1981,
1983 and 1984 and represented Queensland twice. He missed
Mayne’s 1982 premiership while playing with Bright in the Victorian country league of Ovens and King where he played
40 games in 1980 and 1982. He also kicked 100 goals in 1982.
Missing Mayne's premiership was a major disappointment making "Froggy" that much keener
to play in the 1985 premiership team in the NTFL which Saints duly won
Major influences on Steve’s football were Mayne coach and former North
Melbourne ruckman, Mick Nolan (Rick’s father) and Queensland
coach, Norm Dare.
Steve also represented the NTFL against Glenelg on Australia day in 1985
The next Nichols medallist came in 1985/86 when our little rover Damien Christensen won it. Damien
came from Geelong (V.F.L.) in the 1984/85 season. He played 17 senior games and kicked 8 goals and played 24 reserves matches
between1983 and 1986 with Geelong.
Damien went on to play 32 games and kick 37 goals for St Marys and played in their premiership
sides of 1984/85and 1985/86
Damien also represented the NTFL against Glenelg on Australia day in 1985 and Essendon in 1987.
After Damien came the genius Willie Rioli who won it in 1988/89.
Willie made his senior NTFL debut with St Marys in 1987/88 and played 127 senior NTFL games.
(36 games and kicked 66 goals with St Marys and 91 games and 96 goals with Waratahs).
Willie also played first grade for South Fremantle from
1989-1990 and 1994. He played a total of 48 first grade games and kicked 37 goals
Willie was a member of St Marys 1987/88 Premiership side and was recognised as a big game
player, having won the 1992 Australia Day Medal as the NTFL's best player against Geelong
and he was also named best on ground in the NT's win over Essendon in 1990.
Willie transferred to Waratahs in 1990 and was captain in 1992/93, 1993/94 and 1996/97.
He also won Waratahs best and fairest in 1991/92 and 1996/97.
Saints Veteran Centre half back Michael Athanasiou was our next medallist in 1990/91. He played
his 304th NTFL League game on the 28th of December 1998 against
Southern Districts to overtake the previous NTFL Games Record of 303 games held by NTFL Representative and Southern Districts
coach Mark Motlop.
His record now stands at 316 (313 with St Marys and 3 With Darwin as captain /coach.
Michael made his senior debut for St Marys in 1980/81 after a successful junior career.
He was NT Secondary Schoolboy representative in 1979 and Teal Cup representative in1980.
He has been a member of 12 League premierships with St Marys 5 in a row from 1983/84 to
1987/88, 3 in a row from 1989/90 to 1991/92 and 4 in a row from 1993/94 to 1996/97). Michael was a member of Saints 1981/82,
1982/83, 1992/93 and 1997/98 Grand Final team.
Michael was club captain from 1991/92 to 1994/95 winning the clubs Best and Fairest award
in 1982/83, 1983/84 and 1990/91.
Michael was the recipient of the prestigious Nichols Medal in 1990/91 after being equal
runner-up in 1986/87.
NT captain five times, Michael has represented the NTFL on 20 occasions since 1985 to be
all time games record holder for NT Representative matches.
Gold medal winner of the Northern Territory
1995 Arafura Sports Festival football representative team. Michael also had the honour of being selected as a member of the
"Back to Cyclone Tracy NTFL team of 2 Decades" (1974-1994).
Michael extended his St Marys games record to 313 in the 1998/99 Grand Final.
Michael's outstanding career can be summarised as one of the greatest centre-half back's
to grace Gardens Oval and Football Park with his no nonsense approach and coolness under pressure have been the hallmark of
Noel long won the Nichols medal in 1992/93. He is in his 15th season of League Football,
having played in eleven NTFL premierships 1983/84, to 1987/88 (5), 1989/90 to 1992/93-(3), 1993/94 and 1995/96 (3).
Noel has represented the NTFL ten times, Glenelg1985, Sydney Swans1987, North
Melbourne1988, Essendon1989 and 1990, Port Adelaide 1989, St Kilda 1990, Hawthorn 1991 Geelong 1992 and Melbourne
Noel has been the clubs Best and fairest three times 1989/90, 1991/92 and 1992/93.
Noel won the Nichols Medal in 1992/93 and was runner up in 1989/90 and won the Chaney Medal
(best on ground in a grand final) in 1989/90, 1994/95 and 1995/96
Noel has played league football with West Torrens (6 games
1 goal in 1988) in the SANFL and with East Perth (3 games in 1990) in the WAFL.
Noel was also club captain in 1992 and he is a life member of St Marys and the NTFL.
Noel has played a total of 205 games to round 3 1999/00.
In 1995 Cyril Rioli tied with team-mate Marty Christensen. Cyril commenced his League career
with Saints in 1982/83. All Australian Primary School Best & Fairest in 1979 and was a member of first national title
winning NT football team All Australian Schoolboy 1982 (NT captain 1982)
WAFL Reserves Runner-up Best & Fairest 1987 playing Colts to League with South Fremantle between 1983 and 1987.
Cyril won the Club Best and Fairest award in the same year. Cyril was also Saints Best
and Fairest in 1987/88 and equal runner-up in 1996/97. He has played in 12 premierships with St Marys 1983/84, 1985/86, 1986/87,
1987/88, 1989/90, 1990/91, 1991/92, 1993/94, 1994/95, 1995/96, 1996/97 and 2002/03. He also won the Chaney Medal for Best
on Ground in a Grand Final in 1990/91.
NTFL representative against Essendon (1986), North Melbourne (1988), Tasmania and VFA in
the NT successful 1988 Bicentennial Championships, Geelong (1992), Melbourne (1993), ACT (1995) and Collingwood (1997).
Member of the Aboriginal Allstars team against Collingwood (1994) and "Back to Cyclone"
team of 2 decades. Cyril is a Life Member of St Marys Football Club and the NTFL.
When Cyril retired he had played 264 games and kicked 124 goals and played in 12 first
grade premierships for the great St Marys Football club and earned the status as one of it’s legends.
Marty Christensen was the joint winner, of the Nichols Medal the Northern Territory Football
League’s best and fairest award for 1995/96 Marty 30, shared the honour with team mate Cyril Rioli.
It was Marty’s third successive season with St Mary's and, according to the umpires,
his best. He played in the centre for the NTFL powerhouse, alongside Cyril Rioli and Noel and Patrick Long, brothers of Essendon
Marty also played in the centre for the NTFL representative side in games against Port
Adelaide and Brisbane Bears. Unfortunately Marty missed the 1995/96 Grand Final with a fractured thumb.
Marty played 69 games and kicked 18 goals for Geelong
between 1985 and 1991 and two games and kicked 1 goal with North Melbourne in 1992, before
snapping his medial ligament and undergoing knee surgery. Midway through 1993 he left North Melbourne
for Lara and played in its losing grand final against North
On season 1995/96 Marty stated that the NTFL was on a par with the former VFA competition
"It's difficult to judge because it's a different style of football, but we played the VFA two years ago and beat them by
eight goals. (Note: I bet he wouldn’t now. Saints would have gone close to winning the W.A.F.L. premiership that year.
Marty played in the 1993/94 and 1994/95 premierships.
Our next medallist comes in the form of a man who knows only one way to play and that is
to give 110% his name Tommy Weetra. He is not only a brilliant wingman but ironically won the medal playing in the back lines.
Tom played a total of 27 NT Underage Representative Matches at Primary Schoolboy level.
Tom also was selected as a Secondary Schoolboy (1986 and 1987) and Teal Cup (1987 and 1988) player. He was NT Secondary Schoolboy
Captain in 1987 when he also earned All Australian selection, and NT Teal Cup vice Captain in 1988 when he was judged as the
NT's Best and Fairest player.
Tommy has been a member of St Mary's Premiership sides in 1990/91, 1991/92, 1993/94, 1994/95,
1995/96 and 1996/97. He has represented the NTFL against Geelong
(1992), Essendon and ACT (1993), Fremantle (1995), Port Adelaide and Brisbane
(1996), Collingwood (1997), Essendon (1998) and Richmond (1999).
Tom was runner up in the 1993/94 Nichols Medal. In 1998/99 he went one better when he tied
with Adrian Collard (Southern Districts) to win the Nichols Medal. Tommy also won Saints Best and Fairest in 1998/99.
With a break of six years along came another Medal when hot favourite Jarred Ilett beat
Shannon Rusca (Sthn. Districts) for the 2004/05 Medal.
Jarred played all his junior football with St Marys playing 34 U/16's and 17 U/18's games
before cementing his place in their League side. He has also represented the NTFL on three occasions against Richmond (1999), Port Power (2001) and Western Bulldogs (2004).
The burying centreman had to survive a scare when a round 19 striking charge against
Darwin was withdrawn making him eligible to win the medal.
Jarred is a product of the St Marys Juniors an ex U/18 Thunder Captain and the 1999 NTFL
Rising Star. Like Tommy the Saints people got it right when He also won their Best and Fairest for 2004/05. Jarred has
played in their premiership sides of 2003/04, 2004/05.
Saints make it back to back medals and medal No 19 when their great centreman Heath
Culpitt takes off the 2005/06 from last years winner Jarred Ilett. Heath missed the last four games of the season with a broken
Heath won St Marys best and fairest in his first season in the NTFL in 2002/03 and was
also a member of the premiership that year and also their premiership side of 2009/10. He was also a member of their runner
up sides of 2005/06 and 2010/11 before embarking on a coaching career with Waratahs.
Heath played for Glenelg in South Australia for three years and played 55 games kicking 55
goals. He was also runner up for their best and fairest in seasons 2004 and 2005. He has transferred to and will played
Jarred Ilett is once again the Nichols Medal winner when he tied with Warren Berto of Nightcliff
to win the 2007/08 Nichols Medal
The mighty centreman became St Marys 21st winner of the Nichols Medal and although he started slowly came home strongly with some stellar performances Jarred played 155 games for St Marys and
added the 2007/08, 2008/09 and 2013/14 premiership medals to his collection
Jared also was St Marys best and Fairest winner for season 2007/08
Iggy Vallejo became St Marys 22nd Nichols Medal Winner when he won the 2008/09
Iggy commenced his career in St Mary’s juniors where he played 28 U/18’s and 32 U/16’s games
and kicked 38 and 25 goals. He was an NT Primary Representative in 1993 and Schoolboy Representative in 1996 and 1997
He was drafted as a rookie by Carlton and played
a handful of Reserve grade games in 2002. Iggy has also been a NTFL representative at league level three times against Richmond in 1999, Western Bulldogs in 2004 and North
Adelaide in 2005
He won St Marys best and fairest in 2001/02 and 2008/09 and played in St Marys premiership sides of 2002/03,
2003/04, 2004/05, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2012/13 and 2013/14. He was also a member of St Marys loosing Grand Final teams
of 1997/98, 1998/99, 2005/06 as captain and 2010/11. He took over from his brother Anthony as captain of the league side in
Iggy is a player Life Member of St Marys after playing his 150th game in 2005/06 season. On February
14/02/2009 Iggy became St Marys 10th 200 game player and 13th player Life Member of the NTFL when he
played his 200th game against Nightcliff. His total to end of season 2014/15 stands at 304 games and 172 goals.
At the age of 30 “Noodles” became St Marys 23rd Nicholls Medal Winner (NTFL Best and
Fairest) when he won it in 2013/14
Peter or “Noodles” as he is commonly known was born on the 27/05/1983 and commenced
his playing career with Sale in Victoria.
He commenced with St Marys in 2004/05 after transferring from Glenelg in SA.
In between 2004/05 and 20012/13 Peter has won the best team man twice in 2007/08 and 2009/10 Best
and Fairest for the club in 2011/12 and tied with Karl Lohde in 2013/14.
He was also the clubs leading goal kicker in 2007/08 with 32 and 2011/12 with 40 and so far to
end of the end of PF 2014/15 season has kicked 273 making him the 4th highest goal kicker for St Marys on record
and is in the elite club of 28 who have kicked 100 goals or more in their career
Peter has played in 6 premierships in 2004/05, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2012/13 and 2013/14
In 2012/13 He tied with Heath Culpitt for the Chaney Medal BOG in a League grade grand final the
first time this has happened by two players from the one club since it was first awarded in 1970/71.
He has also played in two loosing grand finals in 2005/06 and 2010/11.
In 2009 Peter played in the NTFL off season for NT Thunder in the QAFL where he was selected in
their very first team against Southport and was judged as BOG and awarded the Lord Mayors Medal.
He finished 4th in their best and fairest behind the winner Cameron Ilett and 3rd
place getter Jarred Ilett who are both St Marys players He also played 16 games and kicked 26 goals in his one and only season
with NT Thunder before committing himself back to St Marys
Peter has been captain for the last 6 seasons 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014/15
The 2014/15 Nichols Medal turned out to be a birthday present for Cameron Ilett who turns 30 in
4 days (12/03/1985).
If ever the AFL recruiting scouts have got it wrong it is that Cameron has never been drafted but their bad
luck is St Marys and NT Thunders and the football people of Darwin’s good luck. In my opinion the word “Champion”
is often used too loosely but certainly not in this case.
Due to the formation of the NT Thunder football club in 2009 Cameron is limited to playing only 10 games plus
finals each year which limits his success in various awards in the NTFL but unbelievably he won the Nichols Medal in 2014/15
(NTFL best and fairest) along with being the NTFL MVP for 2014/15
He has played in four premierships for St Marys in 2008/09, 2009/10, 2012/13 and 2013/14. He has also been in
two runners up sides in 2005/06 and 2010/11.
Cameron also finally won St Marys best an fairest in season 2014/15 after having finished third best and fairest
twice in 2008/09 and 2009/10 which considering his limited appearances is a tremendous effort.
When he runs out for St Marys in the first round of 2015/16 it will be his 100th appearance and in
that time has also kicked 118 goals.
Cameron’s football career has really excelled since the formation of NT Thunder
He played in NT Thunder’s inaugural game in 2009 against Southport and has just signed with the club for
2015 making it his seventh consecutive season. So far he has played up to the end of 2014 season 117 games and kicked 129
Cameron has won just about everything NT Thunder and the QAFL/NEAFL have to offer.
He has been Captain since taking over from his Brother Jarred in seasons 2011, 2012, 2013 and Co Captain in
Cameron has been NT Thunder Club Champion four times in 2009. 2010, 2013 and 2014,
Won the Syd Guilford Football Record Player of the year in 2010 and also won the Grogan Medal (QAFL/NEAFL best
and fairest equivalent to the Nichol’s Medal)
Cameron was also the Captain of NT Thunder’s first premiership and the cross conference Grand Finals in
2011 and won the Andrew Ireland medal as BOG in that game
Cameron has also been a QAFL/NEAFL Representative (equivalent to state representation) from 2009 - 2014
If you were picking the best players from St Marys since the Cyclone I think Cameron would be up
in the top echelon of players to have worn the Green and Gold….Rex