Playing long balls into empty space since 2012.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

A Lost Aboriginal Soccer Player Found?

This is as mysterious as it is exciting. Smack bang in the middle of this fantastic photograph of the Dinmore Bush Rats (is there a better name in Australian sport?) 1910 2nd Premiers, is a man who appears to be Aboriginal. He is named as Quilp and his presence in the photo sends a frisson through the settled histories of football in Australia.

Dinmore Bush Rats, 2nd Premiers, Ipswich, 1910.
Top row: W. Lucas, W. Pioch, G. Humphrey, D. Potts, N. Randolph. 2nd row: C. H. Jones (Vice-president), J. Potts (Vice-president), G. Skellern, Quilp, A. Nunn, W. Dawes (Treasurer), J. Tedman (Vice-president). 3rd row: W. Jordan (Secretary), J. Burns, J. Staafford (Patron), E. Dawes (Captain), G. Jones, M. Bailey (President), W. Thompson, A. Stewart (Vice-president). Front row: M. Reichart, W. Tait, H. Randolph, H. Hainsworth (Vice-president).

Who is Quilp? Is he Aboriginal? Where is he from? How does he come to be playing British Association Football? Why the Dickensian name? There's a PhD in all of that!

A cursory glance at the digital archive reveals one reference to a soccer player named Quilp, playing for the Reliance team from Dinmore in 1904. Confusingly, it suggests the Quilp was sent off for backchat and then subsequently scored the winning goal that was to become the subject of a protest.
Quilp began talking to the referee and was ordered off the field. The game now was very fast and Hunter was playing well is also was Roberts and Salisbury. Verrol in goal as per usual was very clever in clearing his goal line. The Reliance got away, and Quilp had a shot at goal. To the spectators it did not seem as though they scored, but the referee gave a goal to Reliance, who were now 1 to nil. No further goals were scored, and at call of time a protest with regard to the above goal was lodged. The Brisbane Courier Monday 30 May 1904 p 6
It is possible that this is the first recorded goal by a senior Aboriginal player in Australian soccer, though it's also possible that as a forward (winger) he scored a few before that.

It's a mystery that is just begging to be explained. More to come!


  1. Thank you for finding a photo of my Great Grand Father Quilp also known as Jacky Lynch a full blood aboriginal person who was the father to my Grand Father Edward Broderick alias Eddie Lynch a well known Brisbane boxer around 1918 - Late 1940s whos mother Bridgett Broderick was Ian rish person whos family originally come from County Clair and family owned and ran a pottery in Ipswich Queensland.

  2. Thanks so much for that feedback. I'd love to talk with you more, Please email me on You might also appreciate this other article where I discuss Quilp in more depth It has a photo of him from 1923.

  3. I am the current president of the Dinmore Bushrats soccer & sports club and I would like to know more about Quilp and the Bushrats of that time. I can be contacted via or via our facbook page.