Jack Spike Pola
Jack "Spike" Pola

West Perth's 1941 premiership captain and oldest life member, Jack "Spike" Pola, has died aged 97.

Pola, who played 152 games for West Perth and was the last surviving member of the 1941 team, passed away last Friday.

He was recruited from the strong Mt Hawthorn Metropolitan Juniors side and played a single game in West Perth's premiership year of 1935.

He played 17 games in his second season with the club.

A nuggetty rover, Pola was vice-captain in 1940 and led the side to a hard-fought 21-point victory over minor premiers East Fremantle in the grand final the following year.

He was forced to sit out of football from 1942-1944 when the league became an underage competition because of World War II, but returned as captain in 1945 and played through until the middle of 1947, when he retired.

West Perth president Brett Raponi said Pola had maintained an interest in the club and had presented league players with their jumpers at a function before last season.

"We are saddened to hear of the passing of one our club's great captains," Raponi said.

"I was only talking to Wally Price, now our oldest living life member, on the weekend and he said that Spike played with 110 per cent commitment week in and week out."

Pola, whose wife Alice died in 2003, is survived by a large family of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The West Australian

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