Goodbye Leederville Oval: History of West Perth Cheer Squad 1984-86

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This book is my memoir, and details my experiences as co-founder of West Perth Football Club’s unofficial cheer squad from 1984 to 1986. Our West Perth Football Club unofficial cheer squad (hardcore support) operated in the Western Australian Football League (WAFL) from 1984-86. The sections about the cheer squad are written by me (co-founder Kieran James) with input and support from the other co-founder Michael “Mike” Blewett. Using Marsh’s theory of the “illusion of violence”, I link the cheer squad to the academic literature on British soccer hooligans, Italian ultras, and other soccer supporter groups from around the world. The book details “traditional”, “hot” support for West Perth Football Club among teenaged supporters from middle-class and working-class backgrounds. The findings conform to Armstrong and Hughson’s idea of fluid “post-modern” “neo-tribes” where affiliations are very loose and people can easily adjust their degree of commitment to a group and / or leave the group when their personal priorities change. The book shows how, because of neo-liberal ideologies and the corporatization of football, the new national league (the “expanded VFL” / AFL) relegated the WAFL to a second-tier league in 1987. This move took place over the heads of ordinary football supporters and two WAFL club presidents. Moves to bring the game closer to the people in 1984, such as holding the best-and-fairest award count night at Perth Entertainment Centre, should be seen in this light. The book will allow supporters to relive great teams, great players, and great matches from a wonderful era in WA football.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationPaisley, Renfrewshire
PublisherKieran James
Number of pages234
ISBN (Print)978-0-244-32398-1, 978-0-244-92726-4, 978-0-244-62411-8 , 978-0-244-02642-4
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2017


  • Australian Rules Football; Marxism; Soccer Hooliganism; Sports History; West Perth Football Club; Western Australian Football; Western Australian History.
  • Marxism
  • Soccer hooliganism
  • Sports history
  • West Perth Football Club
  • Western Australian football
  • Western Australian history


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