K.M.Bennett Oval - Whyalla, South Australia, Australia

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Arthur Beaton

 After a successful S.A.N.F.L. career with both West Adelaide (1946-1947) and North Adelaide (1948-1949) Arthur played for Walkerville in the S.A. Amateur League in 1950-1952. He was Captain of their 1952 Premiership team.

In 1953 he was enticed to Whyalla by being offered the role of Captain Coach of West Whyalla Football Club. During his career he was primarily used at full back due to his ability to match it with both smaller and bigger opponents with  his agility, strength, and 'rat cunning' that all key defenders must possess.

He was much admired for his balance and poise under pressure, and a perfectionists kicking style.

But in season 1953 his versatility came to the fore, and whilst West Whyalla only finished third, Arthur did finish on top of the Clubs goal kicking list after moving to full forward mid season.

After 1953 Arthur stood down from coaching to concentrate more on his playing career, and mainly positioned at full back went on to win the Clubs Best & Fairest Award in 1954.

From 1953-1956 Arthur was also Club Secretary and is credited with being the driving force behind the recruitment of John McInerney as Captain Coach in 1957 from arch rivals North Whyalla.

Arthur was a key member of West Whyalla's first ever Premiership side in 1957 (also Club Treasurer that year) and again in 1958. He was also a member of the victorious 'Combined' team that beat Upper Murray in 1958.

This was also the year that West Whyalla's 'new' Clubrooms were opened and most accolades for the success of this enormous venture are credited to Arthur (referred to as the 'moving spirit' behind the project) and his ability to cajole and inspire men to work with and for him.

Arthur insisted that the Clubrooms must be the biggest in Whyalla and personally measured the size of Norths Clubrooms and made plans that were 1 foot longer, 1 foot wider, and 8 inches higher than Norths.

Yes, he was certainly competitive!

In 1959 Arthur was involved in a serious car accident and whilst he attempted 'comebacks' in 1960 and 1961 they were short lived and his games tally for West Whyalla ended at 86.

Arthur is fondly remembered by West Whyalla historians as the 'Architect of the Clubs Golden Era', both on and off the playing field.

Arthurs unending love for the sport did see him join the Umpiring fraternity where his knowledge of the game and cheerful, mature nature made him a much admired and respected Field Umpire during 1961 & 1962.

In 1963 Arthur was offered, and accepted, the North Whyalla Colts coaching position.

It was here he was to have an undeniable influence on the playing career of the great Barrie Robran, who to this day credits Arthur as having the biggest influence on his illustrious football career.

Arthur continued to coach various junior grades at North and also served a period as Chairman of the Club.

In 1988 Arthur become involved with Weeroona Bay who had joined the Whyalla Junior League in 1968 and the Senior ranks in 1970.

Using all his guile and business acumen Arthur assisted the development of an Administrative structure that further improved the principles and strategies that had resulted in their first ever 'A' Grade Premiership team in 1985.

Arthur also devoted many hours to assisting the various Junior grades and introduced and conducted ongoing fundraising activities for the Club that are still in existence to this day.

Arthur Beaton, a life time in football, recognised in part by being awarded Life Membership at three Clubs, namely North Whyalla 1973, West Whyalla 1995, Weeroona Bay 1999 and the Whyalla Football League in 1966.

Legendary status as it is very doubtful if four Life Memberships by the one person will ever be achieved in Whyalla Football again.

 

     
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