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Vale Ralph Sierakowski

SAINTS.com.au  July 17, 2017 4:35 PM

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Ralph Sierakowski didn’t kick a goal or play a game for St Kilda , but he occupies an important niche in St Kilda’s history.

Ralph has passed away at the age of 101.

His son Brian was an important part of our first premiership side in 1966, but Sierakowski senior was behind a late night plan which added a famous sidebar to the story of September 24, 1966.

Ralph Sierakowski owned the iconic Brighton Club Hotel on Nepean Highway, known universally as “Siera’s” . Naturally the celebrations after the flag win were enormous.

His son Brian told the story in the book, St Kilda’s 1966 Archive Collection which was published last year to mark the day’s 50th anniversary.

“I got back to the pub at 11.30 after we had finished dinner and just relaxing. Taking time to let it sink in. It also gave blokes time to settle down their digestive systems. The social club rooms at Moorabbin weren’t completed and my father got a special licence through to 7 am the next morning just because of that weekend. I remember the scene back at the hotel when I got back with Cowboy and some of the players. All the barmen and barmaids had Collingwood or St Kilda guernseys on. You couldn’t move in any of the bars I went up stairs which was residential. Eight to 10 rooms were chock-a- block and you couldn’t move. The entrance to the toilets were full, to the extent that people were sitting on the toilet with the seat down while all the other people were talking around them. It was madness! At 12 midnight there was the great procession to the statue. About 30-50 people. The players didn’t go. It was a group of publicans who put this ceremony together. They had this huge jumper made – about 10 foot to fit over Tommy Bent’s statue.”