HM Woodhouse-Herrick, Nhill Free Press & Kaniva Times
Former Nhill resident Tim Rath was heard recently on Matt Tribe’s Saturday morning show on ABC Radio. Tim was on to talk about his book: The Footy Jumper Book, which traces the history of the humble guernsey from the hessian sack days of Moonta FC in regional SA back in 1876 through to Neil Craig’s remarkable one-piece lycra invention for Norwood in 1994.
There are over 320 different guernseys from around the country, spanning all strata of the game from the big leagues to the bush. A self-proclaimed nostalgist, Tim credits his time in Nhill as being largely responsible for his love in particular of country footy jumpers. In the interview, he mentions that as the son of a school teacher (Bob), the family moved towns quite a bit during his childhood and as a result, Tim got an appreciation for the wide variety of jumpers in several different leagues across the state. His notion of the football jumper as being the symbol of the town was crystallised somewhere along this journey and some four decades on has materialised in a fabulous coffee table book!
Bob Rath taught at Nhill Primary from 1970 – 1978 before transferring to Colac, then ultimately Castlemaine, where they settled and Bob retired. Bob’s wife Jill remains in Castlemaine, as does Tim’s older brother Steve (Bob having died 10 years ago). Together with other siblings, Lisa and David, he lives in Melbourne. His other sibling Tracey lives in Geelong.
Bob was heavily involved in Rotary Club Nhill, the Nhill Golf Club and the establishment of Cooinda back in the ‘70’s and Tim has very fond memories of time spent at the ‘golfie’, as well as Davis Park for footy and cricket, where he recalls working the scoreboard with a few mates on a winter Saturday in exchange for a Big M! He has in the past had very occasional contact with younger brother’s David classmates David Flood and Rob McCartney, (who is Togs McCartney’s son).
Tim’s blog on his website www.sportingnation.com.au titled ‘The day the big time came to our little town’ is a recollection of the time Essendon footballers came to the primary school for a morning back in 1978.
You can purchase Tim’s book: The Footy Jumper Book via his website.
This article appeared in the Nhill Free Press & Kaniva Times, 21 June 2023.