Bernard Giles


Bernard “Barney” J. Giles was a foundation member of the Wembley Amateur Football Club in 1927, having a year earlier been a foundation member of the Wembley Athletic Club, the overriding body that incorporated football, cricket, baseball and basketball.

An imposing figure over Western Australian football for six decades, “Barney” Giles held a variety of positions as an administrator for the Wembley Amateur Football Club, Wembley Athletic Club, WA Football League, WA Country Football League and WA Amateur Football League.

Bernard was the inaugural Secretary of the Wembley Amateur Football Club, holding the position for 19 years, pre and post World War II. At the conclusion of his tenure as Secretary, Barney took up the position as President of Wembley and served the club as President for 20 years through until 1986.

Throughout his Presidency, Barney was also Secretary of the Wembley Athletic Club, holding the position for 50 years and served as Secretary and Assistant Secretary of the WA National Football League for a total of 21 years. For his work with both the Wembley Amateur Football club and Wembley Athletic Club, the hall at Henderson Park, the home of both clubs, is named the B.J Giles Hall.

Tonight Bernard is honoured for his work across amateur football but his contribution to all other levels of football, including the WA Football League and WA Country Football League, is legendary.

In 1969 Bernard began his work as Secretary/Organiser of the West Australian Country Football League, finishing in 1973 and taking up the position of Organiser of Mobil Wesfarmers Country Football Championships for nine years, finishing in 1982.

He was also the WAFL representative on the WA Sports Federation.

Bernard’s outstanding achievements have been recognised by the awarding of the Medal of the Order of Australia, as well as being the recipient of Life Memberships to both the WAAFL and WA National Football League.

The WAAFL have also recognised “Barney’s” outstanding contribution to amateur football by naming the best and fairest player in the A Grade Grand Final the B.J Giles Medalist.

Bernard J. Giles is revered by many of the older brigade still involved in amateur football and by all members of the Wembley Amateur Football Club, being a foundation member of the Hall of Champions is fitting recognition that will keep the legacy of “Barney” alive for future generations of amateur footballers.

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