West Perth legend unhappy with name change

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Former West Perth footballer Bill Dempsey in 1967.

WEST Perth legend Bill Dempsey doesn’t like the idea of his former club’s potential name change to the Joondalup Falcons.

So much so, the 343-game WAFL and triple premiership player said the club would lose him if they went ahead with the controversial change.

Dempsey recalled how much it hurt when two big changes occurred at West Perth — the move out of Leederville Oval and the nickname change from the Cardinals.

“I don’t know why it is, but to me it’s always been negative,” Dempsey told TABradio on Thursday.

“West Perth always seem to be in the firing line with controversy.

“The biggest thing was moving out of Leederville Oval, that broke my heart because I spent 18 years playing football there — the best years of my life.

“Leederville Oval meant a lot to me, it’s like a sacred site, so it was very hard for me to go to Joondalup.

“When they changed (their name) over to the Falcons instead of the Cardinals/Garlic Munchers, that sort of hurt a bit too.

“And now they want to change it completely to whatever, I think they’re going to lose me.”

Dempsey described the change, which looks inevitable due to financial pressure from the City of Joondalup, as “the final nail in the coffin” in the proud club’s 131-year history.

“I think they’re going to lose what remaining loyal West Perthies,” he said.

Former West Perth footballer Bill Dempsey in 1967.

Former West Perth footballer Bill Dempsey in 1967.Source:News Limited

High-profile West Perth supporters including as No. 1 Ticket Holder Basil Zempilas and media personality Paul Murray have backed the push to become known as Joondalup, reflecting their homebase at Arena Joondalup since 1994.

But Dempsey, who played for the club from 1960-76 after being recruited from Northern Territory Football League side Darwin Buffaloes, was even considering removing his name from the grandstand where’s he’s recognised alongside fellow West Perth legend Mal Whinnen.

“That’s going to be a thing for me to consider,” he said.

“We played all our football, me and Mal, under the banner of the West Perth Cardinals/Garlic Munchers.”

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