– 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.

– Society Unveils New Player & Game Resource

The Society has unveiled a new resource focusing mainly on representative fixtures and players – click image to access.

It has now and for some time published NSW representative game details from 1881 onwards, currently finishing at 1941.  Research is continuing on retrieving details from the latter date to the present.

At the same time tweaking this new feature will be undertaken to present it at its best.  It provides a fantastic background on NSW representative games that were played and those that participated and officiated in them.

Already an immense amount of research has gone into recovering the data which forms the basis of these records mostly because very little account of these many games was never kept.

Society officials have gone further in some circumstances by obtaining some personal information on participants however this will only be displayed where the person is deceased.  At this stage all who have been recorded fall within the category.

The former database will be retained on the search feature until the new one is fully operating.

– Society Cements History Links With Swans

Society officials, President Ian Granland and Vice President Paul Macpherson met with executives from the Sydney Swans Football Club today to discuss football heritage in NSW, as well as what the club has achieved prior to 1982 and within the sport in this State.

For some time the History Society has been gathering as much material as possible on the game from throughout NSW, both tangible and digital, to add to its ever expanding repository of significant historical items and events of the game.

The Swans intention is aimed at documenting the heritage of their club, including the days of South Melbourne FC, and educating their steadily growing membership, which is likely to top 60,000 by year’s end, with not only their history but the history of football in NSW.

Swans CEO Andrew Ireland was very positive in his endeavours to promote the concept and could not have chosen a better mentor than Paul Macpherson, an archivist and librarian by occupation.  His expertise will afford an solid guide to those trainees regarding what is expected in the serious business of seeking out and preserving the heritage of the club during an era which extends well over a period of one hundred years.

The promoter of the concept, former Swans Chairman and now a member of the SCG Trust, Richard Colless AM, was passionate in his efforts to facilitate this gathering of the two parties.

Finally, Society Vice President, Paul Macpherson said “our group looks forward to the next practical steps with the Swans in spreading more widely the knowledge of the long and fascinating history of football in NSW.”


– 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.

– 1975 Inside Football – NSW Article

The NSW article in the 1975 copies of Inside Football have been scanned and have been added to this site.  They may be viewed here.

This brings the number of issues to 14 posted on this site that highlights the NSW article.  Only 1974 is yet to be posted and we hope to have that online in the near future.

All of these articles make interesting reading with football in Sydney and around the state being nationally reported 30 and 40 years ago.

In the latest to be added gives a wonderful report on the NSW v Tasmania game played in Hobart in 1975 where NSW was unequivocally smashed.

– New Feature On Site

Image result for image dying australian rules football clubA new feature has been loaded onto the website.

Using a link to Footypedia, it displays all the known football leagues and associations both current and former, that have operated over the years.

In time it will also include junior associations.  Click here to view.

Having tapped into the Footypedia site, it provides a number of leagues that the Society was unaware of including: Caldwell Area Football League, Federal Football Association, Leeton and District Football Association and the Ringwood Football Association.

Some that are not listed in Footypedia are: Merriwagga and District Football Association, Weethallie & Hay Football Association and the (original) Central West Aust Rules Football Association 192-34 which competed for the Merdadool and Gunning Cups and we are working to locate more.

The Second World War put paid to the continuation of these small district leagues but in saying that the Wagga Daily Advertiser noted at one stage that The Rock and District Football Association was the strongest in the Riverina!

The years these leagues function is being added to our list as well as the clubs that competed in them.  A vast number of these clubs no longer exist and much like the ‘Four Corners’ Club in the Riverina, they were just a spot on the map.  No town, no pub, no store not even a hall.  Sadly these little clubs have died and are continuing to die.

Nevertheless the Society is keen to resurrect their memory and will attempt to list all those clubs that participated in this state over the years.

If you can help, just write us an email.

New Work on Website Development

Society Treasurer, John Addison with programmer Ryan Voitiskis analysing the issues with the website

The Society has taken a further step to upgrade its website.

It recently engage computer programmer, Ryan Voitiskis to investigate and reframe certain aspects of the site.

These changes will enable better ease of joining the Society and enable the inclusion of as many people as possible who were involved in the game in New South Wales throughout the years, to be included on our growing database.

The Society already has quite a number of lists of people ranging from players, umpires, club and league officials as well as a recently compiled register of all players from NSW who played in the VFL/AFL.

This entire database will eventually provided for literally thousands of names, their details and involvement in the code which should become a very interesting and important repository for the history of the game.

For too long those who walked before us have been forgotten.  Some had a huge impact on their respective facet of Australian Football and yet it only takes a year or two for their involvement to be forgotten.

We hope to have this up and running early in the new year.

New Gallery

As we slowly progress more changes to our website, we are pleased to announce a completely new face and growing content to our gallery, see it here.

We have been able to better identify and separate the various pictorial features we present on the site.

These include:

  •  NSW State Teams
  • NSW Junior State Teams
  • School & Junior Teams
  • Club Images
  • People
  • Women in Football
  • Grounds
  • Other

These pages have been developed over a period of significant thought and deliberation.

Now don’t jump up and down if the section you look at has has a narrow range of images.  This is a big task and with limited voluntary staff it will take some time to scan, categorize and load all the images in the Society’s collection.  But, we are getting there.  If you have any images that you think may be of value to us, please scan and send them to us.

So we encourage you to check the page every now and then to see the new images that have been included.