By Peter Argent
Football is more than a game – it’s about the memories you share, the friendships and connections you make and the special times you can reminisce about.
The pinnacle, of course, is winning a premiership and every footballer lucky enough to play in a flag-winning team will forever recall that special day.
It doesn’t matter what grade – weather is colts, country or State League football – or at the very top level on that final football weekend in September.
Both Brian Teakle and Peter Vivian have enjoyed long and distinguished football careers.
Over a half a century ago they were premiership teammates for the Pleasant Valley Football Club in the Hills League Northern Zone.
Pleasant Valley were premiers in 1968, defeating Gumeracha in the Grand Final by a significant 64-point margin, with the final scores being Pleasant Valley 16.16 (112) to Gumeracha, 6.12 (48).
Pleasant Valley was the amalgamation of the Mount Pleasant and the Eden Valley Rovers football clubs and subsequently joined forces with Mount Torrens in the late 1980s to become the Torrens Valley Mountain Lions.
Originally from the Barmera-Monash Roos in the Riverland, Teakle came down to the Hills during ‘68 when his parents brought a property at Mount Pleasant.
He played in the ‘69 flag as well, just before he was called off to fight for his country, and returned in 1971 after a couple of years of service.
“The 1968 Grand Final was at Williamstown Oval and we kicked 10 goals in the first quarter to set up that victory,” Teakle explained.
“The ‘69 Grand Final was against Sedan-Cambrai at Gumeracha Oval, just before I was shipped away.
“I had played one ‘seconds’ and an A grade game before the ’71 decider after coming back.
“It was a close tussle and after the ‘71 Grand Final against Kersbrook I kissed the ground.”
It was an exciting grand final win, with Teakle – playing in the ruck – kicking four goals in a best on ground performance, his side winning by five points – 10.11 (71) to 9.12 (66).
After nine years with Pleasant Valley, Teakle came across to play for the Angaston Panthers in the Barossa and Light competition before successfully running a sports store for a number of years in the main street of Angaston.
At the end of his career, he played 32 A grade games with the Panthers along with nearly 50 reserves appearances.
He was Angaston’s senior club person of the year in 1989 and was rewarded with Panthers Life Membership in 1991. Teakle spent a couple of years as senior colts coach, served as the A grade goal umpire for six years and has been a patron of the Angaston Panthers since 2005, along with serving the League as a commissioner.
Vivian, who also played in the ‘67 Pleasant Valley flag, would move down to Central Districts the following winter and play a club record 308 games for the Bulldogs in a SANFL career that spanned 16 years.
He would play State football for SA in ’74 and win the Bulldogs best and fairest, now called the Norm Russell Medal.
Vivian would go on to coach and play for Angaston, and finally coach Gawler Central to the 2001 Barossa, Light and Gawler premiership with both his sons, Kym and Anthony, in the side. In 2018 he was inducted into the West End SA Football Hall of Fame.
This ’68 Pleasant Valley side was captain-coached by another SANFL league footballer, David French, from Springton.
Also a Prince Alfred College student, French played 30 league games in the 1964 and ‘65 seasons and was a member of the Redlegs premiership side at SANFL reserves level in 1966. He held the captain-coaches role across this golden epoch of the club – winning four flags in five years.
Teakle and Vivian’s mateship has continued across half a century and is a great example of the essence of our great game.