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Friday, September 24, 2021 - 12:00 PM

By Ken Casellas

Dallas Dempster, a lifelong supporter of the Claremont Football Club, died this week at the age of 80.

He and a small band of other successful businessmen played an important role behind the scenes which led to Claremont’s rise to power in the 1980s.

Dempster was concerned at Claremont’s lowly position on the WAFL premiership table (last in 1973, seventh in 1974 and last in 1975) and he, with the blessing, direction and guidance of president Harry Milner and president-elect Wally Maskiell, established the Patrons Club and launched Project ’76 with the firm intention of helping to lift the club out of the doldrums and to become a strong force in the league competition.

Along with Charlie Clifford, Jock Laurie, Kevin Sullivan and Alan McGilvray, Dempster worked diligently to assist with the administration of the club by helping fund the recruitment of quality players and arranging employment and accommodation.

Dempster was the inaugural president of the Patrons Club in 1975, a position he held until 1990, and Claremont, boosted by the funds generated by the Patrons Club, along with the 100 Club, showed gradual improvement in finishing sixth in 1976, seventh in 1977 and fifth in 1978 before finishing third and fourth in the following two years. 

The wonderful work of the Patrons Club culminated in the thrilling 1981 grand final victory over South Fremantle --- and this was followed by a decade of dominance, with further premierships in 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993 and 1996.

Dempster, an ardent and enthusiastic Tigers follower, also was a club vice patron from 1973 to 1994. The club acknowledges his outstanding contribution and extends its condolences to Christine, Nina, Dallas jun. and Damien.