Real Estate

New direction for home of sports shoemaker to the stars

Written by The ReReport

A LOCAL family has put its best foot forward to snap up the long-term Kew home of a prominent sports shoemaking family after auction.

No bidders dipped their toe in under the hammer for 21 Thomas St, which belonged to Louis Zachariah and his wife, Billie.

Zachariah ran Arena Sporting Footwear from the 1950s to ’80s, attracting clients including Melbourne legend Ron Barassi, boxers Lionel Rose and Johnny Famechon, cricketer Max Walker, and “most of the Collingwood Football Club”. He also made boots for late singer and actor Jon English.

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The Zachariahs bought the 1313sq m property 71 years ago.

Step forward in time, and the elegant four-bedroom home with a tennis court sold for an undisclosed sum above the $4.8 million point where it was passed in on a vendor bid earlier this month.

It had a price guide of $5-$5.5 million leading up to the auction.

Marshall White agent Anthony Reis would not comment.

The Zachariahs raised nine children at the home in the well-heeled burb’s sought-after Sackville Ward.

One of their daughters, Margaret, went on to become a top squash player who notably won the 1977 Australian and 1979 Victorian Opens, was a finalist in the 1981 British Open, and was inducted into the Squash and Racquetball Victoria Hall of Fame this year.

Another daughter, Ann, previously told Property Confidential her family had decided to sell 1928 French colonial-style house Avignon after her mother died.

Arena Sporting Footwear, which peaked in the ’50s and ’60s, made a range of sports footwear including footy and boxing boots, cricket shoes, running spikes and ice skates.

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