SNIPPETS OF INTEREST

A Club at Bourke in 1902
FOOTBALL – BOURKE, Friday.
At a public meeting lust night a football club was formed under the Australian Association rules. The officers elected were-President, Mr. M. Robertson ; vice-presidents. Messrs. H. J. Hayment, J. P. Fitz gerald, and C. E. Lang ; secretary, Mr. E. H. Mugg; treasurer, Mr. G. B. St. John ; committee, Messrs. P. Fitzgerald, Hamilton, Salenger, A. Williams, and Hallowes.  (Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Saturday 12 April 1902, page 12)

* * * * *

GOALS, GOALS, GOALS
Allan Tongs, captain of the Preston Club in Tasmania kicked all the goals for the club in every game in the 1908 season. (Tocumwal Guardian and Finley Free Press (NSW : 1908 – 1913), Friday 16 October 1908, page 2)

* * * * *

LISMORE,(NSW) Saturday.
The first Australian game of football ever played on the North Coast was contested here to-day between two local teams. The game promise# to become popular here. Sunday Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1903 – 1910), Sunday 21 June 1903, page 7

* * * * *

Club Formed in Gundagai
An enthusiastic meeting of footballers was held at the (Gundagai) Council’ Chambers on Tuesday night for the purpose of forming a club to play the Australian game. There were present :— Ald. Wood (chair), Ald. Harlow, Messrs. J. W. Ford, W. Craig, F. Sydenham, G. H. Sydenham, G. Nelson, J. Marshall, and J. Fox. Apologies were received for the non-attendance of ‘ several7 townsmen, who promised their support to the club. It was stated that about a dozen localities had already signified their intention of playing the game, whilst there were several bid players in the district’ who were anxious to get the game going. On the motion of  W. Craig and G. Nelson it was agreed to form a club entitled the  ‘Australian Rules Football Club.’ On the motion of J. Fox and F. Sydenham, Jas. Ford was elected hon. secretary.  All present were elected as a committee, with power to add. The membership fee was fixed at 2/6.  Gundagai Times and Tumut, Adelong and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser (NSW : 1868 – 1931), Friday 21 May 1920, page 2

* * * * *

Slouch Hats in 1904
It is to be hoped that the practice of some players of wearing slouch hats on the field will be discontinued. (Sydney Sportsman – Surry Hills, NSW : 1900 – 1954), Wednesday 11 May 1904, page 8)

* * * * *

1904 Schools Playing Australian Football in Sydney
There are now 59 Public schools and 12 catholic schools playing in this city under Australian Rules. (Sydney Sportsman – Surry Hills, NSW : 1900 – 1954), Wednesday 11 May 1904, page 8)

* * * * *

Getting Football Gear During War Years A DifficultyNeed 558 coupons to get a game
“If the problem of clothing 18 footballers (558 coupons) can be overcome, Junee Australian Rules team will contest the Wagga competition this season. A footballer needs: Boots (12 coupons), jersey (9), shorts (6), socles (4)« Main hope Is that Melbourne enthusiasts will supply secondhand gear.” (Sun – Sydney, NSW : 1910 – 1954), Sunday 22 April 1945, page 7)

* * * * *

Junior Age Group Revealed
It has been very difficult to ascertain the age group of junior gradings in the early years of the game in Sydney, however an article in the Evening News in 1907 gave a good indication of the ages of junior players: At the second annual meeting of the Young Australian Association (Australian’ Rules), Mr. A. A. Laird presided. The report congratulated members upon the advance last season. This year the age limit has been raised to 20, and a Junior Grade of 17 and under has been formed. The aim of the Junior Grade, is to cater for boys who have just left school. (Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931), Thursday 11 April 1907, page 3)

* * * * *

1927 – An Umpire Appointments Board in Sydney
AN INNOVATION this season will be the appointment of all umpires by a board, independent of all club Influences. In the past a delegate from each club has composed the umpire committee. The new board will comprise Messrs. C S. Armstrong, C. W. Pedler, aud Goldie Thomas, each an ex-captaln of League teams in Sydney, and should give universal satisfaction. (Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931), Saturday 16 April 1927, page 2)

* * * * *

North Shore Change Colours
” ……… It was decided that the club should change its colors to those used by the North Sydney Rugby League and Union, namely, red and black hoops.” (Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931), Saturday 13 March 1926, page 2)

* * * * *

Should Have Been An Umpire (1909)
“Jack Entwistle is the name of the captain of the Y.M.C.A.  Team (Sydney).  With such a moniker he should be an umpire instead of a player” (Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW : 1900 – 1954), Wednesday 22 September 1909, page 1)

* * * * *

No Flags or Whistles
Found an advertisement in a 1905 Melbourne Age Newspaper with reference to a NSW v Victoria game at the MCG: “The practice of blowing whistles and waving flags (behind the goal posts) will not be permitted. Gates open at 1 p.m.”  (The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954)Saturday 12 August 1905 – Page 16)

* * * * *

Biggest Crowd Ever For a Football Game in Sydney
“In the return match between the football players of New South Wales and Victoria took place on August 6, 1881, on the Association Cricket Ground (SCG), in the presence of perhaps the largest concourse of spectators that ever attended a football match in Sydney, even on occasions when nothing had to be paid for the privilege of witnessing the game. (Sydney Morning Herald, Monday 8 August 1881, page 6)

* * * * *

Umpire Bogged On Way To Ground
“The Australian Rules team visited Tabbita on Saturday afternoon, and were defeated, the final scores being: Tabbita 29 points; Goolgowi, 6 points. Owing to the car getting bogged on its way to the match, the official umpire did not put in an appearance, and an emergency umpire had to be elected, and many of his decisions were, adversely, criticised by both sides. Next Saturday our team will be at home to Budawong.” (Hillston Spectator and Lachlan River Advertiser (NSW : 1898 – 1952), Thursday 28 June 1934, page 1)

* * * * *

Very Unusual Situation
On the 27 July 1957, New South Wales defeated the Canberra Representative side 20-17 (137) to 9-10 (64) at Manuka Oval.  Following the game, an award was presented to the best player in the New South Wales team, Ken Williams of the South Sydney Club.  The best player award in the Canberra side also went to Ken Williams, but this fellow was a member of the Queanbeyan Club.  We wonder if they played on each other?? (NSWAFL Football Record 3 August 1957 page 4) 

* * * * *

Spectators Get State Game
Two spectators responded to an appeal by Australian Rules officials at Trumper Park yesterday, and played for New South Wales. They were Ron Neal (South Sydney) and Tom Ryan (St. George). New South Wales, 18-16 (124 points) defeated Canberra, 17-18 (120 points) Neal and Ryan substituted for Eric Geister and Darby Edgeworth, who could not play because of injuries received m Saturday’s club games.. Officials did not Know about the injuries of Geister and Edgeworth until the last minute. Their appeal for players was answered by Neal and Ryan, who had come to the ground as spectators. Neal and Ryan had to play in borrowed uniforms. Poor old Ryan had to wait until nearly half-time before a pair of boots to fit him could be found. (Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 – 1954), Monday 5 August 1946, page 18)

* * * * *

Twins Interrupt Interstate ‘Rules Game
Three-year-old twin girls caused an upset in yesterday’s Australian Rules match, New South Wales-Canberra, at Trumper Park.  Dressed in brown overalls they ran hand-in-hand to the centre of the field of play. Nothing stops an Australian Rules match, but a Canberra player ran out of position to save the twins from being knocked down by players. A St. John Ambulance attendant took them in charge 1 and carried them off the field to their mother. (Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 – 1954), Monday 5 August 1946, page 17)

* * * * *

What A Way To Spend Half Time
“During tho half-time interval in tho St. Kilda v Sydney match under Australian rules, several of the St. Kilda players went over to the Northern ground (SCG No. 2) to see what Rugby was like. The sight which happened to present itself just at that moment was rather, a funny one, inasmuch as the players were in two bunches attending to two of their number who had become winded or disabled.” (Referee (Sydney, NSW : 1886 – 1939), Wednesday 8 August 1906, page 10)

* * * * *

Club At St Leonards
“The St. Leonards Football Club (Australian rules) held a social in the Friendly Society’s Hall Lane Cove Road, North Sydney, on the 14th, and it proved a great success. There was a large attendance (about 45 couples being present), and a most enjoyable evening was spent. Songs were given by Messrs. Kitt, Wright, and Myers, and Mr. W. P. Woodhouse contributed a recitation of his own composition, entitled “St. Leonards Famous Football Fielders,” which produced much merriment, and for an encore he gave “The Young Maid’s Folly.” The committee, Messrs. Keys, Littlewood, James, Biersehark, Willington, and Hurley worked very hard to make the social a success.” (Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 – 1930), Saturday 14 July 1906, page 15)

* * * * *

From the Wagga Wagga Express
“Following a heated discussion at a meeting at the N.S.W. Australian Rules Umpires Association, two of the number had a brief exhibition of fisticuffs.” (Wagga Wagga Express Saturday 19 September 1931, page 10)

* * * * *

No Goals In Newcastle
“Kicking must have been somewhat erratic among Australian Rules players on Saturday (6 May 1950). Newcastle, playing against Broadmeadow at Empire Park, at three-quarter time had kicked 26 behinds without scoring a goal. At lslington Oval, Waratnth (playing Mayfield) also kicked 26 behinds and 8 goals. The Secretary of’ the Newcastle Australian National Football League (Mr. Bill Elliott) said he had never known such high off-goal scorings. (It didn’t help that an inch of rain fell in an hour in the area during the day – Ed.)  (Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW : 1876 – 1954), Monday 8 May 1950, page 2)

* * * * *

A Sydney Uni Team in 1909?
The (Sydney) University are trying to form a football club there to play Australian rules. (Sunday Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1903 – 1910), Sunday 28 March 1909, page 16)

* * * * *

No Goal Posts in 1951
Newcastle Australian Rules players who went to Wollongong on Saturday (21 July 1951) had to overcome obstacles before they had a game. They went to the showground, but there were no goal or point posts standing. They could not get a shovel to dig the post holes and finally approached the Mayor. He accompanied them back to the ground. Several sailors helped dig holes with an iron spike, the posts were raised and the game began.  (Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW : 1876 – 1954), Monday 23 July 1951, page 2)

* * * * *

Interesting Article From 1910
“In Sydney we have no less than four different games all enlisting public support and sympathy. The old:established game is the Rugby Union, whose supremacy has been seriously assailed by the Rugby League. Then there are the Australian game and Soccer, both of which have captivating attributes. Time was and not many years ago. when the Rugby Union game of 15 men also held absolute sway in this State, but the supremacy was further attacked and gradually began to depart. When Albert Nash, L. Ballhausen and other enthusiasts revived in Sydney the Australian game some seven years ago, the Rugby Union put up their best fixtures in opposition to the attractions offered by the new body. It might have been business, but it was not sport, because to deny publicity in a rival game is to admit weakness in the rules one espouses. Later on the Rugby League was formed, and the Union now desires to coquet with the Australian body to defeat the new body.” (Newsletter: an Australian Paper for Australian People (Sydney, NSW : 1900 – 1919), Saturday 7 May 1910, page 9)

* * * * *

Grog Up at Three Quarter Time
Out of a Sydney newspaper in 1925: “The practice of allowing liquor to be taken on the field to the players during the three-quarter interval should be stopped immediately. It will do the game no good.” (Arrow (Sydney, NSW : 1916 – 1933), Friday 19 June 1925, page 16)

* * * * *

1923 – No Interest in the Game in Schools in Newcastle
It is a most regrettable thing that scarcely any of tho schools foster the Australian game. I do not know of one juvenile Australian Rules game in the Newcastle district. Even the adult Australian Rules players are in the minority. (Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW : 1900 – 1954), Tuesday 15 May 1923, page 5)

* * * * *

1952 Sydney Under 18 Competition
in 1952 the Sydney Metropolitan Australian National Football Association conducted an Under 18 competition.  Incredibly only two teams competed: Newtown and Eastern Suburbs.

* * * * *

Waverley Oval
In 1950 the NSW Rugby Union lost Waverley Oval to Australian Rules.

The NSWANFL code tendered £200 for the season — a record for the ground. The proviso was that only first grade or better Australian Rules matches were to be played on the ground. The oval was sub-let to baseballers for nine Saturdays during the season. (Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 – 1954), Sunday 19 February 1950, page 24)  [In those days the league tendered and paid for all grounds in the competition.  They also charged an admission fee which they kept]

* * * * *

Frankfurts and Fruit
Reported in the Border Morning Mail of 10 August 1938 that “M. Matthews was the successful tenderer (£5/5/0) for the right to sell frankfurts and fruit at all (Hume Football League) final matches. (Border Morning Mail (Albury, NSW : 1938 – 1943), Wednesday 10 August 1938, page 5)

* * * * *

Interesting Article from 1885 in Sydney
“While the youth and activity of New South Wales are divided in their choice of the three games— Rugby, Australian, and British Association — we can never expect to cope with even a moderate Rugby team from England ; and there is no prospect of contests for supremacy between England and the colonies so long as our players are split up into different sections. England will not adopt the Australian game, and as they are averse to play under the Rugby rules in Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania, those three colonies will be virtually closed to the English propellers of the leather who purpose visiting us next year. If the visitors practiced and became proficient at the Australian game, the success of their venture would be assured as enormous crowds of people would flock to see them pitted against the Australians at Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide.” (Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 – 1912), Saturday 25 July 1885, page 197)

* * * * *

Footballer’s 358 Matches
Mr. Ernie Beller, of Coogee, claims he holds an all-code Australian football record.

Beller has played in 358 first-grade Australian Rules matches.

He also claims to have played in more than 600 competition matches before his retirement last year. Beller played 22 years in first grade, beginning in 1911 at the age of 18. He had 14 years with East Sydney, five with South Sydney, and three with Brighton (Melbourne). After his retirement from grade football in 1932, Beller captained the Railway and Tramway team in the Metropolitan Association.He He is a 53 year-old tramwayman, who neither drinks nor smokes. He trains regularly in Centennial Park with tramway teams. “I’m in great condition, and – still worth a second grade ‘Rules game,” he said last night. (Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 – 1954), Wednesday 28 July 1943, page 12)

* * * * *

Australian Football at Collector
Collector is a small village on the Federal Highway in New South Wales, Australia halfway between Goulburn and the Australian Capital Territory.   It is seven kilometres north of Lake George.

In 1936 a Sydney Second Division Club, or to be more accurate, Metropolitan Australian National Football Association, Rosebery (a suburb near Mascot) travelled there to play a match.

Their opposition was drawn from the Goulburn and Collector Australian Rules Clubs, and this combined team defeated the Rosebery Club by 14 points in a match played on 12 September. “There was a good crowd of spectators present and their enthusiasm and excitement encouraged the players to such a degree that a very spirited game resulted. The combined side was led by George Mulquinney, who carried out his task to satisfaction and his team gave a good exhibition of positional play. George and Jim Mulquinney, James, Selby Shurety, Reg Netting and Murphy played with perfect understanding.  Rosebery’s best were: Stan Stubley, Speer, Mollhon, Fry, Spencer, and Walsh.” (Goulburn Evening Penny Post (NSW : 1881 – 1940), Wednesday 16 September 1936, page 7)

* * * * *

Team Not in Position For Fourth Quarterumpire bounces ball and …..
In the 1910 Ovens & Murray Junior Association final, Wahgunyah, trailing Lake Rovers at three-quarter time decided the umpire was “unfair and biased against them and walked off the ground.” The ball was bounced to start the last quarter, possession was gain by the Rovers side (the only team on the field), and shot it into their forward line where a Rover’s player kicked a ….. point.  With the Wahgunyah players still sulking in the change rooms, the ball could not be kicked out into play so the Rovers players just had to wait around until fulltime, after which they were declared the winners.  An unsuccessful protest ensued and Lake Rovers went onto defeat Howlong the following week in the challenge final. (Hume – A History of the Hume Football League 1933-2018 p. 18)

* * * * *

Early Football in Lithgow, NSW
At a meeting of those interested in the movement to establish the Australian rules football game in Lithgow on Wednesday night (11 June 1919) the following officers were elected:— Patron, Mr. H. Bloom; vice-patrons, the Mayor (Ald Watson), Messrs. Pelletier, Liddle, S. Nicholls, M.P., and Player; president, Mr. Mitchell; vice-presidents, Messrs. McGann, E. Lane, Holman; secretary, Mr. Elliot; treasurer, Mr. Smith; auditor, Mr. Carroll; committee Messrs. Swanson (captain), Yelland (vice-captain), Patience, Carroll, Smith and Foley. The annual membership fee was fixed at 5s (five shillings). The first practice game was held yesterday on the recreation reserve, and it is intended to have practices on every Tuesday and Thursday evenings. (Lithgow Mercury (NSW : 1898 – 1954), Friday 13 June 1919, page 4)

* * * * *

1914 Sydney High Schools
Through the energetic efforts of Mr. L. Davidson secretary of the New South Wales Football League has resulted in the following High Schools deciding to play the national game in May 1914: North Sydney, Fort Street, Sydney High School, Cleveland Street, Technical High School and Petersham. Saturday (Referee and the Arrow (Sydney, NSW : 1912 – 1916), Saturday 9 May 1914, page 3)

* * * * *

Not Enough Support for a Team in Cobar in 1903
The meeting called by Mr. A. J. Boardman for Tuesday evening last, for the purpose of forming a Town Club under the new Australian game rules, did not eventuate, owing to the sparse attendance. (Cobar Herald (NSW : 1899 – 1914), Saturday 8 August 1903, page 2)

* * * * *

A Player From New Zealand
Jack Dawson, once of Essendon, Fitzroy (we could only find Dawson playing for Fitzroy in 1907) and Rose of Northcote (Vic.) Clubs, received a clearance from the Invercargill CIub (N.Z.) and endorsed by the N.Z. League, to play with the Newtown Club in Sydney. While in Invercargill he took part in a local Rugby Union kicking competition and secured first, second, and third places with kicks of 67, 65 and 62 yards. (The Arrow (Sydney, NSW : 1896 – 1912), Saturday 16 July 1910, page 5)

* * * * *

Benefit Football Match at Taree
A football match under Australian rules was played at the Taree Park on Saturday last (19 July 1913) between two teams .selecled from “The White Ants of Side-bottom” — the teams being, as the name would imply, – principally, we believe, composed of sleeper getters. Mr Sam King was promoter and the proceeds were for the M.R.D. Hospital. The attendance, however, was very small, and only a few shillings will result. Messrs. G. B. Morris and G, Serivaer took charge of the gate.  (Manning River Times and Advocate for the Northern Coast Districts of New South Wales (Taree, NSW : 1898 – 1954), Wednesday 23 July 1913, page 2) 

* * * * *

NSW Schoolboys Success
In 1919 the combined Sydney Schools’ team won the rubber against Victoria. They won the whole series of matches, scoring in the first 8-8 to 7-8; in the second 3-5 to 1-10 and in the third 5-7 to 5-6, scoring in all 126 points to 102 scored against them. Information regarding their performance came from the manager of the team Rupert Browne, a teacher at the Gardeners Road School, Mascot  who conveyed the pleasing fact that the team has been everywhere received with unbounded hospitality by the Victorian Schools’ Assn, the Victorian Football League, the Mayor of Geelong and the Collingwood Football Club, in particular. In a match against the Geelong High School, the team was defeated 7-11 to 7-4 and a similar fate befell them against Melbourne High School, the latter winning 6-12 to 3-15. (Arrow [Sydney Sporting Newspaper: 1916 – 1933], Friday 12 September 1919, page 3)

* * * * *

Sydney Schools in 1920
Mr. Rupert Browne, of P.S.A.A.A. and teacher at Gardeners Road School, Mascot, reported 19 schools had entered for the (Australian Football) competition, compared with 12 in 1919. The NSWAF League had appointed Messrs. BulIas, Burke, Oliver, Sheehan, Barnett, and Harrison to act as school coaches. (SMH, Friday 30 April 1920, p.10)

* * * * *

A Bit Smarter than the Average Bear
Mr. Leo Harry, for many years chairman of the N.S.W. Australian Rules Umpires’ Association, in 1929 was umpiring a game at Leeton, NSW, with one side consisting entirely of aboriginals. The aborigine team retired to a clump of trees between each quarter and returned to the fray like giants refreshed.  Curious to know what magic elixir they imbibed behind the trees he made investigations and found that they were putting a completely new team into the field each quarter, the whites being unable to tell one indigenous player from another. (Tweed Daily (Murwillumbah, NSW : 1914 – 1949), Thursday 12 September 1940, p.4)

* * * * *

Naughty Young Players In Narandera (sic)
(from the Narandera Argus) Young players should curb their habit of swearing on tho field. The practice is low and disgusting; it gives a nasty tone in the Club, and tends to keep respectable fellows at a distance. A football club does not necessarily want ‘tone’, but it should aim at respectability. The practice injures the Club, and is not creditable to the offender, so please don’t do it. (Narandera Argus and Riverina Advertiser (NSW : 1893 – 1953), Friday 1 June 1900, page 3)

* * * * *

Football in Newcastle in 1920
The match, Summerhill v. Abermain, ‘Australian rules,’ was played at Federal Park on Saturday, and among the spectators were a good number of the old followers of the game. The local [Summerhill] team won by 52 points to 32. (Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW : 1876 – 1954), Monday 29 March 1920, page 3)

* * * * *

Wagga start late training in 1940
In preparation for the forthcoming season, the Wagga Australian Rules football team will begin serious training at Bolton Park to-morrow afternoon at 3 o’clock. It Is anticipated that about 40 players will register with, in the next week or so. Officials and supporters of the club will be in attendance to Judge the ability of the recruits. (Daily Advertiser (Wagga Wagga, NSW : 1911 – 1954), Saturday 6 April 1940, page 10)

* * * * *

Penshurst Park
In march 1940 Hurstville Council has granted the use of Penshurst Park on Friday