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The Roar


Visions of Blacktown City FC: Frank Lowy’s talisman NPL team

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27th August, 2022

CommBank Stadium will be a sea of colours this weekend, celebrating the NSW National Premier League final.

Built at the headwater of Parramatta River, its muddy flow of fresh liquid turns blue in due course, as the composition becomes salty, eventually pouring into Port Jackson.

Israel is a long way from Sydney Harbour. Just ask Frank Lowy. As the 91-year-old stands on his balcony, eying the Mediterranean Sea, everything feels connected.

I vividly picture the A-League’s Godfather with a laptop. Wistfully, he begins to live stream the NPL match. A cool ocean breeze of memories float by, some, from generations ago.

It’s 11 in the morning, I imagine, seven hours behind Sydney, and Frank’s enjoying a Sabich. He relishes the traditional Israeli sandwich, savouring the various Kosher fillings, and thinking back to how it all started.

The year is 1959, and his customers at the delicatessen are keen to hear the news. Frank’s bought a nearby subdivision in Blacktown with a business partner, and together they’re opening an arcade.

Since it’s located west of the CBD, and because semi-rural fields surround it, the new retail establishment needs a catchy name.

“What’s a shopping centre?” the curious deli customers ask, unaware of the forthcoming American influence Down Under.


In the present time, back on his Tel Aviv balcony, a nostalgic Mr Lowy whispers to himself: “You’ll see.”

If stories are to be believed, this is the same successful man who once owned a TV network, bought from the Murdoch family. The same man who went toe-to-toe with the AFL over World Cup stadium rights.

And the same man who was convinced by then-Prime Minister John Howard to invest millions of dollars into a fledgling football competition.

Back at the delicatessen, his dark hair slicked with product, Frank bids his final customers a warm goodbye. “It’s called Westfield,” he smiles, acknowledging the geographical connection.

Westfield. It rolls off the tongue.

In time, the retail empire grew the world game within Australia; assisting Hakoah football club, the Socceroos and finally Sydney FC.

And to think, it all started 46 kilometres west of the headland, in a quaint suburb called Blacktown. Far from Cromer Park, home of NPL final contenders, Manly United.


A place, where Mr Lowy’s heart belonged, all those years ago, when football was just a beautiful dream.