– Timeline

Football in NSW has had some successes and failures and some incidents that are all that important.

Nevertheless the History Society wants to document all the significant football events that have taken place in NSW since the game was first played in this state since the late 1870s.

With that in mind we are calling on those from various parts of the state who have an interest in the game and who maybe able to provide some dated stats that we can add to the timeline that we intend to post on the site.

For example:

  • Australian football was first played in Sydney in 1878;
  • On 13 July 1878 a club was formed in Wagga Wagga;
  • In July 1881 a club was formed at West Maitland and called Northumberland;
  • The first football match was played in Broken Hill on 4 April 1885 when the teams, Day Dream and Silverton met;
  • It was first played in Grafton on 11 July 1885 when the Grafton and South Grafton clubs played off;
  • In 1890 Victor Trumper was playing in the Sydney Club’s second eighteen;
  • In 1911 the NSW Football League purchased an old racecourse in Botany Road, Alexandria and turned it into their own as the Australian Football Ground.
Grandstand at the
Australian Football Ground

And the list goes on.

If you have information that you think might be important enough to add to our Timeline, let us know, drop us an email here.

– Committee Re-elected

A reasonable turnout at Magpie Sports yesterday saw those on the committee who stood for election, re-appointed to their positions.

The include:

  • President                      –       Ian Granland
  • Vice President             –       Paul Macpherson
  • Secretary                      –        Heather White
  • Treasurer                      –        John Addison
  • Committee Persons –        Jenny Hancock, Tom Mahon, Ian Wright & Gus McKernan

A comprehensive annual report was tabled and the president moved through the document explaining its contents.  He also commended the members of the committee for their commitment and contribution over the past 12 months.  He also said that while four persons stood as Committee there was provision for the addition of an extra person with whom he had discussions with in recent weeks.

Following the meeting a Special General Meeting was held to approve the changes to the constitution.  These now bring the organisation in line with the updated requirements of the Incorporated Associations Act and the rules and guidelines set by the Department of Fair Trading.  A copy of this had been posted on this website.

After the formalities, attendees were invited to inspect the facilities in the Society’s room at Magpie Sports.  This is where a photograph was taken of some and include from left: Mark Spooner, Tom Mahon (standing),  Ian Allan (son of Bill),  Ian Granland, Bill Allan, Jim McSweeney, Ian Wright.

– Annual Meeting on Tuesday

The Society’s Annual General Meeting will be held on Tuesday (21 March) at the Magpie Sports Club, Croydon Park.

All members have been notified together with a copy of the annual report.

The incoming members of the committee will be elected which include:

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Five Committee persons

Some nominations have already been received.

Following the meeting a further special general meeting will be held to consider alterations to the Society’s constitution.

Over the past 12 months the Department of Fair Trading have made some significant changes to the rules which govern incorporated associations, such as the Society, and these changes are merely a formality to ensure conformity with the Incorporated Associations Act.

The AGM will begin at 1:00pm.

Society Releases New Logo

With the imminent release of the revised website, the Society has had their logo redrawn.

The Committee wanted a more modern and innovative image that continues to reflect the nature of the organisation.

A designer was sought who did a great job in his first attempt in re-producing the image .

The logo will now be seen on all digital and documentation generated by the History Society.

Committee Re-elected

A record number of members attended the Society’s 2016 Annual General Meeting held at West Magpies Club.  Unfortunately our camera caught just a small portion of those at the gathering (left).

The annual report circulated to members was tabled with the president outlining several of the points and issues contained therein.

He also spoke in glowing terms of the help and assistance provided by the Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL and the Wests Magpies Club.

He said the Society is moving through some enormous changes with more and more people opting to join.  “We can now have up to six or seven at our weekly working bees, which is great for the organisation.  It would be difficult to manage many more” the president of the Society Mr Granland said.

“Don’t get me wrong” he told those gathered “we can always do with more people but we have to have a specific task for them to undertake and our office manager, Jenny Hancock is only too willing to delegate the work out to those who come along.”

The meeting was told that the Society is in a very solid financial position however a good portion of that is earmarked for specific projects as a result of successful grant applications.

Magpies Manager, Jonathon Glenn, stood in as the returning officer as the elections were held.

Written nominations for the majority of positions were tabled as Mr Glenn moved through the process of elections.  The successful nominees are as follows:

President Ian Granland
Vice President Paul Macpherson
Secretary Heather White
Treasurer John Addison
Committee Persons Jenny Hancock
Ian Wright
Gus McKernan
Tom Mahon

Gus McKernan stood down from the treasurer’s job to which John Addison was elected.

The meeting was then handed back to the president who thanked Mr Glenn and those involved, particularly the members who attended for the day.

He then introduced member, Mark Spooner who spoke about possible strategies which may be adopted to a) make the existence of the Society wider known 2016 AGM back in the room thumbnailand, b) to encourage more people to join.  It was resolved to refer Mr Spooner’s paper to the committee for further action.

The meeting was then closed with an invitation to the attendees to join the committee in an afternoon tea and a tour of the material the Society has collected so far.  This picture shows some of the members following their inspection of the items and systems used by the committee.

Annual Meeting on Tuesday

The Society will hold its Annual General Meeting this coming Tuesday, 15 March at 1:00pm in the Magpie Sports Club, Croydon Park.

All members have been circulated with details of the gathering along with nomination and proxy forms.  They have also received a copy of the Society’s annual report which will be up for adoption.

There are nine positions open for election with most of the committee seeking re-election.  Current treasurer, Gus McKernan though is one who will not although he has indicated he is happy to remain on the committee itself.

Developments which have taken high priority recently include the release of the Society’s upgraded website which will hopefully make navigation around the site much easier for patrons.  Although we have previously published a proposed release date for the revised site, it would be now fair to say that following the resolution of some minor obstacles it should go live by March 31.

One of the projects associated with this is the tagging of all images which are currently posted on the Society’s website.  This is a huge task which will entail editing each and all images or photograph to provide them with meta data so that each can be separately searched on the world wide net.  Society officials will begin this over the next few weeks.

Arrangements have also been made for a data link to be installed in the Society’s rooms at Magpie Sports which should enable better internet communication plus the added bonus of an answer phone to pick up any telephone inquiries.

Despite the proposed changes, more is currently being posted on the website including the NSW articles in the Inside Football Publication from the 1970s-80s.  Click here to view.

Good Turnout For Christmas Function

2015 Christmas gathering thumbnailThe Wests Magpies Club was swinging today with those who attended the Society’s annual Christmas Party.

Quite a number responded to the invitation to join with the Committee in celebrating yet another year and moving into the next.

CEO of the AFL NSW/ACT, Sam Graham was one of a number who visited the club and the Society’s rooms today inspecting the material on hand whilst providing some solid support for the Society.  He was joined by State Football Operations Officer, Darren Simpson, the Operations Manager for AFL Sydney Lauren Bunting and the league’s facility manager, Matthew Graham.

Sam is shown here amid the Society’s committee and AFL employees.  He told those attending: “I was fascinated by the work that the team here are doing at the NSW Australian Football History Society, and the important role you play in preserving the history of football in NSW.”

It was fortunate for those who attended that Santa dropped by and gave out several delightful gifts.  All agreed that the nominated Santa couldChristmas gifts thumbnail well take the job on professionally.

He can be seen in this photo handing out presents to two former Sydney umpires, Jim McSweeney and Chris Huon, both members of the Society.

New Image Manager

Rob Pearsall thumbnailFollowing our appeal for assistance with our ever growing stock of photographs and images, relatively new member, Rob Pearsall met the call and has now been installed as our Image Manager.

Originally from Albury, Pearsall played in the victorious 1975 NSW Teal Cup side following which he turned out for Wests from about 1978-82 before moving back to the border area where he played with Lavington.

Rob is now based at Annandale and happy to help out with organising and overseeing our photographic collection.  This will entail scanning and uploading most of the images onto our website whilst at the same time providing a professional opinion as to their value to the Society.

The bottom pic shows him during a Teal Cup match.

Society Receives Cheque From Govt Minister

2015-10-24 Gus McKernan receiving grant thumbnailSociety treasurer, Gus McKernan (pictured on left), received a $3,600 cheque from The Hon David Clarke, MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for Justice last Saturday at the Royal Australian Historical Society’s Affiliates Conference.

The Society had applied for a grant through the Cultural Grants Scheme under the NSW Department of Arts to upgrade and enhance their website and while notification of our success some time ago, the actual presentation of the cheque did not take place until last weekend.

McKernan said he was chuffed and excited to accept the cheque from the Minister.  “This will go a long way to producing a more user friendly and easy to navigate site” McKernan said after the ceremony.

Five of the committee attended all or part of the two day conference at the Bankstown Sports Club with Vice President, Paul Mcpherson, shown here on the right, presenting a talk On the other side of collecting: refusing, replacing and deaccessioning historical material.  As a result, Mcpherson was invited to speak to2015-10-24 Paul Mcpherson presenting paper at conference thumbnail another local history group in the next few weeks.

All in all the weekend was most successful.  Besides the cheque, Society officials sold five books and signed up an additional member.  So with more joining in the past few weeks, the number of members has grown to ninety four.

At their meeting this week the committee resolved to commence a database on all players who have participated in Sydney, where records permit and also establishing a ‘grounds’ databank which will include all grounds that have been used for either playing or training in NSW since 1880.

Movements in the Society – more….

This article is providing some news on events and activities within the Society.

Magical Football Tour
Bus tour smallFollowing on from an early discussion the committee is closer to organising a magical mystery tour of Sydney football landmarks with an oral description on this bus guided trip.

The idea is to take members and those interested on a bus tour around Sydney where various football sights and attractions will be visited and a brief description given on their relation to the game.  It will take about four hours.

Some of the places identified are Trumper Park, Erskineville Oval, the site of the Australian Football Ground at Alexandria, Mascot Oval, three of the leagues offices at the Sydney Sports Club, 64 Regent Street Chippendale and the Newtown Rules Club.  The tour will also visit some old club watering holes and a few other mystery venues where football had an impact all those years ago.  If you are interested, let us know, click here.


More Football Records Online
Recently we have been loading more Sydney Football Records on our site.  Today we will load the two remaining missing years in the 1950 decade which will provide all the Football Records we have from 1927 (the initial year of the publication) to 1960.  You can access them by going to the Collections link on the front page of the website or by clicking here.  Included in the 1953 Football Records is the programme for the Intervarsity Carnival held in Sydney.

Just as interesting are the newly posted 1957 Football Records.  They too contain an Intervarsity Programme as well as a match programme for the Australian State Schools Carnival held in Melbourne.  Also old league and club minutes have and will continue to be added.

Should you have any minutes that relate to football in NSW or annual reports, please pass them on for scanning and adding to our collection.  We will post them online for all to see.


1978 Sydney Football Films
We have previously announced that we have digitised several 10 minute films of Sydney games taken in 1978.  These are still on sale and we are working on having a film day at the Wests Club, probably now after the season, where all the films will be shown and the digitised copies can be obtained at a special price.  These would make great presents for dad or an uncle etc. who played during that period.


Bunnings Bar-B-QueBunnings logo small
The committee will be hard at it at Bunnings Ashfield on Sunday (3 May) selling sausage sandwiches in an attempt to raise more funds for the projects the Society enters into.  Let us know if you can help out.  Any time between say 7am – 3pm.


Website Revamp
Out latest project is to give our website a facelift.  The current one has been with us now for four years and we feel it needs a bit of refurbishment.  We hope to have this done over the next few months.


Bertie Filgate
Braidwood Cenotaph thumbnailIf you go to our ANZAC profiles by clicking here or accessing them through the link on the front page of the website you will see an article about Bertie Filgate.  Killed moments after he left the boat and headed up the hills at Gallipoli he was a star player in Sydney over 100 years ago.

Although born in Victoria, his last employment was as a eucalyptus expert (work that one out) at Braidwood, NSW.  There, he is remembered on an honour board in the Anglican Church;  a trip through the town last week also found his name on the cenotaph in the main street of the village.  His story certainly is unusual.  Have you read it?