A Granville Club in 1889

An interesting piece from an 1889 copy of the Referee (Sporting) Newspaper

                          Daily Telegraph 15 April 1886 p.2


“Geo. Graham says that he has already got 30 members for his now club at Granville. The Granvilles, or I should say, the Australian Football Club, plays its first match against the Sydney.

There is nothing like facing the big guns if a new club wants to learn all the dodges of the game. Appended is an official list of the matches for May :—



May 4.—
Sydney v Australian F.C. , at Granville ; Balmain v University, at Balmain ;
East Sydney v 2nd Sydney 23.
May 11.—
Waratah v Balmain, at Balmain ;
West Sydney v University at Wentworth Park ;
Sydney v St. Ignatius College 23, at Riverview ; Australian F.C. v 2nd Sydney, at Granville ;
East Sydney, vacant.
May 18.—
Sydney v Balmain, at Balmain;
East Sydney v Australian F.C., at Granville ;
Waratah v West Sydney, at Wentworth Park;
2nd Sydney v St. Ignatius College, at Riverview ;
University, vacant.
May 21.—
Waratah v Wallsend, at Wallsend;
Sydney v Northumberland, at Maitland ;
East Sydney v West Sydney, at Moore Park ;
Hamilton v St. Ignatius College 23, at Riverview ;
Australian F.C., vacant.
May 25,—
Sydney v Maitland Juniors, at Maitland;
Balmain v Hamilton, at Balmain ;

West Sydney v Australian F.C., at Granville ;
University v 2nd Sydney 23, on Sydney Ground ;
East Sydney v St, Ignatius College 22, at Riverview.

On Saturday the Australian – Football Club, Granville, played their first scratch match, and judging from the form shown by some of tho players they should have a very prosperous season. They meet the Sydney Club on Saturday, and will no doubt give the Sydney all they can do to score a victory.
As there are several good players in tho Cumberland district we hope they will join this now club, and make it a real first class one. (Referee (Sydney, NSW : 1886 – 1939), Wednesday 1 May 1889, page 6)

A couple of things to note here:

  • Granville called themselves ‘The Australian Football Club’, mostly we suggest a soccer club of the same name operated in the village of Granville.
  • We are at a loss to establish where their ground was.
  • Reserve or junior teams were permitted 23 on the field against the normal 20 players of those days.
  • In 1889 teams from the Hunter also participated in the competition.

In May of that year, Granville hosted the East Sydney Club and here is part of a report of the game :  “Before the close of the play party feeling ran high, and blows were exchanged between two of the players. The spectators participated in the excitement, and the attitude of some of them became so menacing that the visitors beat a hasty retreat, and that their retrograde movement was successfully accomplished they attribute to the protection afforded them by the opposing captain, Mr. Graham.” (Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931), Tuesday 21 May 1889, page 8)  The Granville club did complain about the actions of the East Sydney players however because they were not an ‘associated club’, ie participating  in the top grade for the Flanagan Cup, their letter was dismissed.  The led to an application by Granville to affiliate which was subsequently accepted.

Like the University club, Granville failed to reform in 1890.