Spike Pola, Australian football player, died he was 97.
Jack Stephen “Spike” Pola was an Australian rules footballer who played for the West Perth Football Club in the Western Australian National Football League (WANFL) between 1935 and 1947 died he was 97..
(born Giovanni Stefano Pola; 16 November 1914 – 6 January 2012)
Born in Fremantle in 1914 as Giovanni Stefano Pola, he anglicised his name to Jack Stephen Pola before a state schoolboys’ football carnival in 1928 on the advice of his mother.
Originally playing for Mount Hawthorn in the Metropolitan Junior
Football Association, Pola progressed to West Perth’s affiliated team in
the Western Australian National Football Association (WANFA), which
acted as a sort of reserves team for the club. In July 1935, he was
selected in a WANFA representative side which toured the Goldfields. He made his senior debut for West Perth later that year. In 1941, he was named captain of West Perth, having served as vice-captain
the previous year, and also played in West Perth’s premiership side. He
also shared the 1941 Breckler Medal, awarded to the club’s best and fairest player, with Ted O’Keefe. Pola joined the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in January 1943 as a leading aircraftman, and was discharged in February 1945.
He returned to West Perth in 1945, and was named captain for the
season. He retired two years later, having played 152 games and kicked
203 goals. Pola died in January 2012 at his home in Mount Lawley, and was buried at Karrakatta Cemetery. He was the last surviving member of the 1941 premiership team.
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