Playing long balls into empty space since 2012.

Friday, 18 December 2015

A Chronology of Soccer in Mount Isa

This is another one of my work-in-progress articles. Following on from a previous piece on my personal experiences of soccer in Mount Isa, this is a more sequenced revelation of articles and photographs in the town. I'll be adding more material as I find it.

The residents of Mount Isa are indeed keen on sport and despite the dust the recreation ground sees the Soccer teams on Saturdays and the League game on Sundays. Thanks to the splendid response from the Mount Isa Company, the improvements to the grounds will be commenced next week and it is to be hoped that the improvements will be completed be fore the return match with Cloncurry.
Townsville Daily Bulletin
15 July 1929 p 12



A correspondent at Mt. Isa writes: On Saturday last the Mt. Isa soccer association held a social at Hanlon's Cafe, and a very enjoyable evening was spent. Good music was supplied by Mr. H. Shaw and Mr. S. Martin. Mr. E. Thomas congratulated the premiers and presented the trophies. Mr. Panak congratulated Mr. Thomas, and Mr. Earl, chairman and secretary on their good work during the past season. There is no doubt these two men have worked hard, towards making a success of the game in Mt. Isa. We have had three teams here for the past three years, it is pleasing to see how popular soccer is becoming In the Isa. It was with sincere regret we learned of the proposed departure of our chairman, who is very popular amongst the boys, and it is to be hoped he will be with us again next season.
Townsville Daily Bulletin
7 August 1931 p 8

Sport is not overlooked at Mt. Isa. In football the Rugby and Soccer games are played, and there is tennis and cricket.
Barrier Miner
4 April 1932 p 2




The soccer match which was played between Thistles and Magpies on Sunday 22nd. July proved very exciting,   the half time scores being one to nil in favor of Magpies. The Thistles began to warm up towards the end, but   could not hold their opponents the Magpies winning by 3 to 2. Mr. W. Middleton was the referee and gave every satisfaction.
Townsville Daily Bulletin 27 July 1934 p 7

The soccer teams, Rovers and Magpies, met on Sunday last an excellent game resulting in 4 to 3 in   favor of Magpies, and giving this team a fair chance of winning the cup. At times sparkling play worked spectators into excited action, and at times it looked as though Rovers would over-run their opponents. Mr. Middleton gave every satisfaction as a very Impartial referee.
Townsville Daily Bulletin 24 August 1934 p 7

The Soccer teams, Thistles and Rovers, met on 8unday August 26th to try conclusions, and at times it would appear that the Thistles would conquer, but the final scores were one goal to nil in favor of Rovers. Mr. Mlddleton as referee was most impartial. All the players appear to be keen on making the trip to Cloncurry on September 9th.
Townsville Daily Bulletin
31 August 1934 p 4




At the conclusion of the soccer and football season the association held an evening in Smith's Hall on the night of November 26. Mr. R. A. Clarke presented the Secretary of the association (Mr. S. Budd) with an inkstand which was donated by the three teams which competed In the games. Mr. Rudd was also the recipient of a pair of cuff links presented by Mr. Ireland on behalf of the underground team. Mr. Rudd in acknowledging the gifts paid a tribute to the energy exercised by all who took part in the soccer game.  Townsville Daily Bulletin 10 December 1938 p 11

There was a very large gathering of soccer players and supporters during Saturday night in the C.W.A. Hall, when the trophies won for the season just ended were handed across. The Corinthians won all three trophies donated by Messrs F. Tadman, H. Smith and Jeff Willan. In the absence of Mr. Harry Smith, who donated the shield, Councillor Norman Smith presented the handsome shield and, In presenting it to the captain of the winning team (Mr. Fairbrother) said the feat was extraordinary, as the Corinthians had won all three trophies donated. He paid a tribute to the players, who had given their best in securing the coveted shield and hoped it would infuse zeal in the years ahead for other teams. Captain Falrbrother suitably acknowledged the trophy on behalf of his team. The evening was then given over to dancing and musical items. Musical Items were rendered by Mr. B. A. Clarke, mandolin, and monologues by Mr Chas. Gray.
Townsville Daily Bulletin
10 December 1938 p 5



1400 MILES FOR SOCCER MATCH. MT. ISA. August 15. The Mount Isa Representative Soccer team has returned to town after travelling 1400 miles to play a representative Ingham team, which was defeated by 4 to 2. The Ingham team comprised nine Italians, a Spaniard, and one Chinese.
Queensland Times 16 August 1939. p 10 

On the night of 30th September, In the C.W.A. Hall, the presentation of trophies won by Soccer teams took place, and were presented to the various clubs. Councillor R. Clarke presided and called on Mr. MacRae to present the Llttlejohn Cup, which had been won by the Rangers Club. Mr. Bob Lawson, in accepting the cup on behalf of the captain (Mr. Les Rudd), of the Rangers, thanked Mr. MacRae on behalf of his team, and said that it was the second time the club had won this cup. The Gray Cup, which was donated by Mr. Charles Gray, was then presented by the donor to Captain Fairbrother, of the Corinthian Club. The speaker congratulated the captain on the success of his team In winning the cup. In responding. Captain Fairbrother thanked Mr. Gray and paid a glowing tribute to his club-mates for the harmonious spirit that existed through out the season. The Jeff Willan Cup was also won by the Corinthians, and will become that club's property tor all time. Mr. Jim Burton accepted the cup on behalf of Captain Fairbrother. The Sari Castle Stewart Cup was also won by the Corinthians and Captain Fairbrother very modestly asked Mr. E. Brewer, a club-mate, to accept the gift. Prior to presenting the cup, Mr. S. Rudd, the president, said that when Earl Castle Stewart was at Mt Isa, despite his handsome donation to the R.S.S.I.L.A., he approached the Earl and asked if he would donate a trophy to the Soccer Association, and the result was the beautiful cup he now asked Mr. Brewer to accept on behalf of his club. Mr. Brewer briefly returned thanks to Mr. Rudd. Councillor Norman Smith was next called on to present the shield that he had donated to the winners of the premiership. He congratulated the underground team in having won the premiership and asked Captain Perry, of that team, to accept the shield. The speaker spoke glowingly of the club's performance, and congratulated play ers on their win. He also referred to the great distance the soccer players had travelled to play a match at Ingham. Captain Perry, in accepting the shield, thanked Mr. Smith in suitable words. During the evening Councillor Clarke entertained the gathering with many popular airs on his banjo mandolin, and Mr. Kerwin, conductor of the Paramount Band, also pleased those present with numerous melodies, on his piano-accordeon. A feature of the evening was the singing of Mr. Pat Harris, a tenor, late of the Adelaide Repertory Company.
Townsville Daily Bulletin
7 October 1939 p 9

reference in Cloncurry Advocate 8 March to the new season


The Courier-Mail 2 June 1949 p 7 refers to the "newly formed Mt Isa Association".

  1. Pannonia
  2. Scotties
  3. St Helens
  4. BSD
Sunday 24/5
St Helens 3 v BSD 1
Pannonia 3 v Scotties 1

Sunday 14/6
Pannonia 3 v St Helens 0
Scotties 3 v BSD 0

Sunday 21/6
St Helens 4 v BSD 1
Pannonia 2 v Scotties 1

Sunday 28/6
Pannonia 2 v BSD 0
St Helens 3 v Scotties 0

Sunday 5/7
Scotties 0 v BSD 0
St Helens 5 v Pannonia 1 (game spoiled by send offs and walk offs)

Sunday 9/8
British Isles v Europe (Abandoned)


Mt Isa plays Ingham in September
  1. Pannonia
  2. Scotties
  3. St Helens
  4. Hollandia

  1. Pannonia
  2. Hollandia
  3. St Helens
  4. Scotties


  1. Pannonia
  2. 5 others


  1. Pannonia

The Canberra Times reported on an active internationalism in Mount Isa. Soccer gets a mention but not before the Hungarian cricket team.

On the sporting side new Australians have come to the forefront in many fields. They are also trying their hands at typically Australian games such as cricket. The Pannonia Cricket Club is almost totally a New Australian Club. They are also giving zestful performances  on the soccer field and   are represented in every local soccer team.
The Canberra Times
8 October 1957 p 2

  1. Concordia
  2. United
  3. Scotties
  4. Irish 

  1. Irish (winners of Scottish Cup)
  2. Scotties
  3. United
  4. Independent
  5. International
  • (Concordia folded after winning previous year) 
North West Star August 28. 1967
Ampol Cup results
Sunday, 04/05/1969 Mt Isa - Hollandia-Inala 3:0


Ampol Cup results
Sunday, 19/07/1970 Merton - Mt Isa 6:1

  1. Anglo (claret and white)
  2. Irish (green and white)
  3. Scotties (navy blue and white)
  4. Concordia [German] (white and black)
  5. International [Italian] (all red)
  6. Blue Adriatic ['Yugoslav' largely Croatian] (light blue and white stripes, a beautiful strip)
  7. Scandia [Dutch + other Scandinavian ethnicities] (orange and black)
  8. Eiffel (cobalt blue and red socks) (the only ethnic French team I know of in Australia.)

Sunday soccer at Mt Isa, 1970. National Archives NAA: A12111, 2/1970/33A/1
Concordia v Eiffel, with section of mine site in background.
Notice the banked cycling track encircling Wellington Oval.
The photos below are from the same collection, probably of the same game.

Ampol Cup results
Sunday, 15/06/1975 Mt Isa - Lions 1:5

Hollandia (Mt. Isa)

Many thanks to Adam Muyt who has sent me these reports from Dutch Australian Weekly (DAW) along with his translations.


12 May 1955
In Mount Isa
In de mijnstad Mount Isa, 1500 mijl noordwestelijk van Brisbane, neemt ook dit jaar Hollandia weer deel aan de competitie.
Hoewel er slechts 4 clubs zijn, is soccer zeer populair.
Hollandia wist de eerste wedstrijd met 4-0 te winnen van het vorig jaar zo sterke St Helens.
In de voorhoede waren de oud-Alcmaria Victrix speler Kramer en de oud Be Quick man B. Willemse de grote stuwkrachten.
Secretaris van Hollandia is P.Westwerick, C/- BSD Mess, Mt. Isa.

In Mount Isa
In the mining town of Mount Isa, 1,500 miles north-west of Brisbane, Hollandia are again participating in the competition.
Although there are only four clubs, soccer is very popular.
Hollandia won the first game 4-0 against last year's strong side St Helens.
At the forefront, former Alcmaria Victrix player Kramer, and the old Be Quick man, B. Willemse, were the major driving forces.
Secretary of Hollandia is P. Westwerick, C / - BSD Mess, Mt. Isa.

5 June 1955
Hollandia wint cup
Door de kampion van het vorig jaar, het sterke, Panonia met 4-2 te slaan, heeft Hollandia de Little John Gray Cup gewonnen.
De zeer snelle rechtsbuiten G.Ruigrok maakte 2 doelpunten, de oud-Be Quick man B.Willemse en A. Verbakel ieder een.

Hollandia wins cup
By beating the champions of last year, the strong Panonia, Hollandia has won the Little John Gray Cup, 4-2.
The very fast right winger G.Ruigrok made two goals, the old Be Quick man, B.Willemse, and A. Verbakel, one each.

1 July 1955
G. Ruygrok beste speler
Volgens de plaatselijke pers was de Hollandia speler G.Ruygrok uit Mount Isa de beste speler van het in Townsville gehouden interstedelijke voetbal tournooi voor noordelijk Queensland.
Mount Isa eindigde op de derde plaats.
Terug in Mount Isa wisten de Hollandia spelers revanche te nemen op de Scotties en hen met 4-2 te slaan, na eerst met 1-0 achter gestaan te hebben.
G. Ruygrok maakte 2 van de doelpunten, terwijl Romeijn en Roosmalen voor de andere twee zorgden.

G. Ruigrok best player
According to the local press, Hollandia player, G. Ruigrok, was Mount Isa's best player in the northern Queensland intercity soccer tournament held in Townsville.
Mount Isa finished in third place.
Back in Mount Isa Hollandia players took revenge on the Scotties and beat them 4-2 after it was 1-0 when they first played.
G. Ruigrok made two of the goals, while Romeijn and Roosmalen accounted for the other two.

29 July 1955
Hollandia wint cup
Na een puntloos gelijkspel tegen Panonia heeft Hollandia in de laatse competitie wedstrijd het sterke St Helens weten te slaan en heeft hiermede de Castle Steward Cup veroverd voor het meeste aantal punten uit de laatste 6 wedstrijden.
J. Roosmalen wist voor de rust het enige doelpunt te maken.

Hollandia wins cup
After a scoreless tie against Pannonia, Hollandia made inroads against the strong St Helens in the last league match and has herewith won the Castle Steward Cup for the most points out of the last six matches.
J. Roosmalen did the rest to make the only goal.

16 Sept 1955
Hollandia eindigde op tweede plaats

Hollandia is dit jaar op de tweede plaats in de Mount Isa competitie geeindigd.
Hoewel de laatse competitie wedstrijd in een 4-1 overwinning voor Hollandia eindigde, verspeelde deze club zijn kansen door in de voorlaatste wedstrijd met 2-1 van kampion Panonia te verliezen.
Gezien de betrekkelijk geringe keus van spelers uit de kleine uit Nederland afkomstige gemeenschap van de mijnstad Mount Isa is deze tweede plaats ongetwijfeld eervol.
Hollandia is namelijk het enige team, dat geheel uit immigranten uit een enkel land samengesteld is.

Hollandia finished in second place

Hollandia has finished in second place in the Mount Isa competition just ended.
Although the last league match ended in a 4-1 victory for Hollandia, the club lost its chances by losing in the final match 2-1 to the champions Panonia.
Given the number of players from the small Netherlands community in the mining town of Mount Isa, this second place is undoubtedly honourable.
Hollandia is in fact the only team that is composed entirely of immigrants from a single country.


20 April 1956
In Mount Isa
Ook dit jaar doet Hollandia weer mee aan de soccer competitie in de mijnstad Mount Isa in Queensland.
Zes clubs nemen dit maal aan de competitie deel.
Hollandia heeft dit jaar de beschikking over een nieuw en beter speelveld.

Mount Isa
Also this year Hollandia returns to the soccer league in the mining town of Mount Isa in Queensland.
Six clubs are in the competition this year.
Hollandia this year has access to a new and better playing field.

Note: no further reports for Hollandia appear in DAW for 1956. In light of above report, this is unusual, particularly as the paper provides good coverage of all Dutch soccer teams across Australia each week. However, Hollandia was playing in Mt Isa in 1954 and DAW made no mention of this. DAW coverage only began in 1955.

Perhaps Hollandia didn't end up taking the field in 1956?