Arguably the highest profile footballer in Western Australia during the first decade of the game there, Bill Bateman was the inaugural captain of the Fremantle Football Club in 1885. In 1887, when Fremantle disbanded, he joined Unions (which changed its name to Fremantle in 1890), and carried on playing with distinction for a further eight seasons. In a total of ten seasons in the game, Bateman was a member of a remarkable eight premiership sides.
Bill Bateman learned to play football when he attended Prince Alfred College in Adelaide, “one of the cradles of the Australian game”.2 He was fanatically devoted to the code, and was instrumental in seeing it supplant rugby as ‘flavour of the west’. His importance to the growth, indeed even the existence, of West Australian football would be difficult to over stress.
Author - John Devaney
Full Points Footy's WA Football Companion