Playing long balls into empty space since 2012.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Round Balls in Melbourne 1879 (why?)

The Footballer was a fantastic compendium of information published yearly from 1875 until the early 1880s. It contained all Melbourne footy results and ventured interstate from time to time. It's a vital resource for football historians, especially those interested in Victorian rules. It tended to be ecumenical in its outlook and would also publish bits and pieces about rugby and soccer. The 1875 edition is the place I found reference to the Woogaroo game (the first recorded game of soccer in Australia). 

This advertisement in the 1879 Footballer got me thinking though.

Given that soccer is not played formally in Melbourne until 1883 and footy gave away the round ball in the 1860s, to what use would these round balls be put by the kids (and adults?) who played with them?

Moreover, the 1878 edition contained a brief and reasonable history of the Association football from its formation in 1863 until the time of writing. It also presented the FA rules for Melbourne readers. Why? It's a simple question but one with a complex answer I suspect.

If anyone wants to see the 1878 edition, follow me on twitter @iansyson and send me your email address. Happy to email it to you.

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