Playing long balls into empty space since 2012.

Tuesday 30 June 2020

Thursday 25 June 2020

A list of Melbourne soccer names 1883

Prompted by Garry McKenzie's discovery of this article in Trove about the formation of organised soccer in Melbourne I did a little digging. Reveals a tension between the Scottish and English strands of the game.

Leader, Saturday 24 March 1883, page 21

A few days ago a correspondent wrote to The Age calling attention to the difference existing between the Victorian game of football and the game as played under the rules of the Scottish Football Association, which rules have been very generally adopted throughout England and Scotland, the annual match between the two countries being played under them. The letter above alluded to evidently struck a key note, for communications flowed in from various quarters, all agreeing with "Dumbarton" that the Scottish Association game only wanted an introduction to become eventually much more popular with the players and the public than the Victorian game. One writer suggested that those players who had experience in the matter and would like to set the ball rolling should send in their names to the Sporting Editor of The Leader at once. The suggestion has been taken up with considerable spirit, and already the following gentlemen have written expressing their desire to see a club formed whose members will play the association game only : — 

  1. Messrs. Robert Law, 
  2. C, Kerr, 
  3. W. Riddell, 
  4. H. Playfair, 
  5. P. M. Laird, 
  6. J. C. Teare, 
  7. W. Hopson, 
  8. W. H. Neil, 
  9. H. Ackinson, 
  10. P. M'Larne, 
  11. J. Brough, 
  12. G. Brough, jun., 
  13. G. W, Ellison, 
  14. E. D. Hornby, 
  15. John Miller, 
  16. Thos. A. Cheadle, 
  17. Wm. Church, 
  18. Stephen Newton, 
  19. G. M. Buchanan. 
One of the abovenamed informs me that he can name three or four others who are willing to join in any movement having for its object the intro duction of the association rules. Whether the game will be so popular as most of the abovenamed suppose of course remains to be seen, but it has been decided to give the public an opportunity of forming an opinion by playing a scratch match under the association rules at an early date. The votaries of the proposed game argue in its favor — 1. That it is far and away more scientific than the Victorian game ; (2) that the chances of sovere accident are reduced to a minimum by the excellence of the rules ; and (3) that it is most desirable that the association rules be adopted all over Australia if only with the view of sending (at no remote date) a team of footballers to the old country, where, it is affirmed, no hope could be entertained of getting the clubs or players to compete under our present rules. The last certainly seems to me to be a very strong argument in favor of the game if it can be proved to be based on fact. However, amongst those named above are some extremely energetic spirits, who have determined to push on to a culmination the suggestions already made. It has accordingly been arranged that they meet at Young and Jackson's Hotel, Swanston-street, on Friday, the 30th instant, at 3 o'clock p.m. sharp, to arrange the formation of a club, and to discuss the best and speediest means of introducing the game of football as played under the Scottish National Association Rules to the public notice. I am requested to invite the attendance of any gentlemen favorable to the introduction of the game who would like to see a club started at once. Messrs. Boyle and Scott have copies of the association rules for sale.

Victorian team August 1883 [the 6 in bold are in the original list of 19]

Backs : Kier (captain) and M'Laren.
Half backs : Law and M'Causlan.
Forwards: Almond and Ware on the right wing, Spence and Teare in the centre, Riddel and Laird on the left wing;
Keefe, goal keeper.

By the time the following report by Peter Pindar is written, the game has lost its Scottish moniker and has become British then English Association football. Garry McKenzie pointed out the intriguing sentence at the end of the paragraph

Australasian, Saturday 25 August 1883, page 14


"And some, with many a merry shout,
Mid riot, revelry and rout.
Pursue the football play."—SCOTT.

The intercolonial match between New Smith Wales and Victoria, on the South Melbourne cricket-ground under the British Association rules was but poorly patronised by the public, who evidently preferred the more congenial contest at East Melbourne. I regret that more people did not avail themselves of this excellent opportunity of witnessing the British game, so that they might knowingly and conscientiously decide on the relative merits of Victorian and English (Association) football. However, regret will not alter the matter, and it is very apparent that a radical change will have to come over the public here before any great patronage will be extended to the Britisher, whose devotees are certainly of the most zealous kind to have existed here so long on so little encouragement. For what other game would have lived so long on a line and a half on Saturdays and Mondays?

The Legacy of Walter Williams

The case of Walter Williams is particularly tragic but is also an interesting example of how research can approach and learn from such events.

Walter William WILLIAMS
Regimental number 1195
Place of birth London, England
Religion Church of England
Occupation Farm hand
Marital status Single
Age at embarkation 20
Next of kin
G H Williams, 88 Neptune Street, Rotherlithe, London, England
Enlistment date 12 September 1914
Place of enlistment Casterton, Victoria
Rank on enlistment Private
Unit name 14th Battalion, G Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number 23/31/1
Embarkation details
Unit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board Transport A38 Ulysses on 22 December 1914
Rank from Nominal Roll Private
Unit from Nominal Roll 14th Battalion
Fate Returned to Australia 5 March 1919

Advocate (Burnie), Monday 21 June 1920, page 3

MELBOURNE, Sunday.-S. Kennedy (Melbourne Juniors) had one of his legs broken through a kick in the match yesterday against Fitzroy Juniors.
William Williams, in the match (soccer) Northcote against Northumberland and Durham, sustained concussion of the brain.
John Kelly, in a match at Woodstock, had one of his legs broken.

Argus , Monday 28 June 1920, page 9

Walter William Williams, a returned soldier, 26 year of age, who was admitted to the Melbourne Hospital on June 19, suffering from injuries received while playing in a soccer football match at Preston, died on Saturday afternoon. He had fallen on head, and sustained compression of the brain and concussion, from which he did not regain consciousness. Williams lived in Drummond street, Carlton.

Argus, Monday 28 June 1920, page 1

WILLIAMS.-The Friends of the late Mr. WALTER (Wally) WILLIAMS (late A.I.F.-Anzac) are respectfully invited to follow his remains to the place of interment, Coburg Cemetery.
The funeral will leave the residence of Mrs. Thomas, 21 Drummond street, Carlton, THIS DAY (Monday, 23th inst.), at half-past 3 o'clock.
JOHN DALEY, Enbalmer and Undertaker,
Latrobe and Spring streets, Melbourne. Tel. 827.
WlLLIAMS. PRESTON BRITISH ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL CLUB. All Soccer Players please meet at Trades Hall, corner of Victoria street, Carlton at 3 p.m. sharp, to follow the remains of the late member of the above club, WALTER WILLIAM WILLIAMS, to Coburg Cemetery.
C. VICTRESS, Hon. Sec.

Herald, Saturday 18 September 1920, page 3

British Association
A friendly game of British Association football was played between N. and D. and Preston clubs at Middle Park in aid of funds for erecting a memorial tombstone to Walter William Williams, who died from injuries received in the game between these two teams on June 19. A satisfactory amount was received as a result of a collection taken up on the ground. Teams representing Windsor and Osborne House Submarine Clubs played a return match match. At half-time Windsor had kicked one goal to nil.

Support from elsewhere in Australia as well. I speculated that it might have been the first soccer death in Australia but there was at least one before that. William Hollings of the Balmain-Fernleigh Club died from lockjaw after breaking his arm on the field. 

Tuesday 23 June 2020

100 Years Ago Today 25 June 1920

Daily Telegraph (Launceston, Tas. : 1883 - 1928), Monday 28 June 1920, page 8

Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), Tuesday 29 June 1920, page 7

Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 - 1954), Saturday 26 June 1920, page 21


In Brisbane England beat Queensland under Rugby rules by 25 points to 15. Twenty thousand people watched the match.

Under British Association rules, the matches ended:—

  • Melbourne Thistle, 2 goals, v. Spotswood. nil: 
  • Burns, 3 goals, v. Welsh United. 1: 
  • Albert Park. 4. v. St. David's. 1; 
  • Windsor A. 5 goals, v. Footscray Thistle A. nil;
  • Melbourne Thistle A, 4 goals, v. St. Kilda A, nil. 
  • Preston v. N and D. [called off]
Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), Saturday 26 June 1920, page 21


Following are the league matches for today 
at Middle Park: N. and D. v. Albert Park, St. Kilda.v. St David's. Welsh United v. Osborne House, Burns v. Melbourne Thistle, Windsor v. St Kilda (Reserves), Melbourne Thistle v. Spotswood (Reserves).
At Preston.-Preston v. Footscray Thistle. 
At Spotswood. Spotswood v, Windsor. 
At Footscray (park). Footscray Thistle v. Preston (Reserves).

Thursday 18 June 2020

100 Years Ago Today, 18 June 1920

Maitland Daily Mercury (NSW : 1894 - 1939), Friday 18 June 1920, page 7

On the West Maitland Park on Tuesday afternoon, a team of soccer players from Marist Brothers, Newcastle, played the local Marist Brothers, and were defeated by 5 to 1. The game was fast throughout, though a strong wind prevented good combination. Good individual work was much in evidence, especially on part of Manion, Maitland's captain, Stephenson, Rowen, Combet, Dunne, and Tobin. The Newcastle captain, a midget in size, had a good knowledge of the game, and saved many times. He, his two backs and goalkeeper prevented the score from being much more than it was. The goal kickers for Maitland were Manion (2), Stephenson, McGinley. Byrne. Newcastle's was from a penalty. The game was umpired by Mr. Couzens, of South Maitland, who is a soccer enthusiast and has done a lot of work, for the Marists' colour competition.

Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser, Friday 18 June 1920, page 2

The following team has been chosen to represent Armidale against Glen Innes, at soccer, on Saturday, 26th June: Goal, A. Woodcock;. backs, Gill and Ridley; half-backs, Leitch, Milner, and Denner; forwards, Barton, Honley, R. Woodcock, McAvly, and Bishop. Reserves: Herron, McMullan, Randall. Any player unable to make the journey should notify Secretary McAvoy at once.

Fremantle Times, Friday 18 June 1920, page 2

Toowoomba Chronicle, Friday 18 June 1920, page 7

The usual weekly meeting was held on Wednesday at the Soldiers' Best Rooms. Strong objections were voiced regarding men playing two codes of football. It was felt that men guilty of such conduct were not fair to either code, and should be asked to make a decision as to which code they would farther. Mr. Styans was elected to the selection committee. A few remarks would not be out or place regarding the match last Saturday. It is laid down in "soccer" laws that the condition of the ground governs as to whether the game shall be played or not. The writer contends that, though not laid down in the rules, it is an unwritten law that the weather also governs the game insofar that had it rained between 2 o'clock and 3 o'clock no players would have been there, and the game would have been postponed. It rained so hard in the flrst 20 minutes that the players and the referee were driven helter skelter for shelter. The match should then have been postponed, as the conditions were very threatening. The writer witnessed a Cup Tie stopped in the last 10 minutes through a snowstorm and when one team was leading by 2 goals. In the interest of the game the writer thinks the match should have been postponed. The Diggers showed their ability in the first ten minutes, when the ground was firm, by pressing very hard and scoring. After the first hard shower it was easily seen that the younger players had a very large advantage over Ihe more elderly men. These players played exceedingly well against New South Wales, but it was the 'youths' who could hold themselves firm on a wet ground and control a greasy ball, Gili, Plant and few others, by their play, bare my statement out. The soccer players and followers can rest assured that the Diggers welcome their defeat, as it will stimulate enthusiasm and interest in the other teams opposed to them, and make the matches much keener. Better play will result. One item which should be strongly pushed forward is that there is no Toowoomba branch representative on the selection committee or executive committee of the Q.B.F.A. in Brisbane. There is a tendency to show that local players the =tters connected with the game do not receive the support, interest and representation it so rightly deserves. Players and officials will be doing something for the Toowoomba branch and players by pushing this matter. 
The followjng players have been chosen to play against the Suburbs to morrow on No. 3 ground at 2.30 sharp: Black, Kennedy, Fletcher, Fox, Bowman, Mills, Perkins, Brazier, French, Beardsworth, Hillocks. Extras: Francis, Stevenson, Wilson.

Arrow (Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), Friday 18 June 1920, page 9

Sydney beat Renown 3-1 at Wentworth Park For the winners,. Dane, Doerner scored, and one was put through by the Renown goalkeeper, For Renown, Williams a goal.

Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 - 1954), Saturday 19 June 1920, page 21

Adelaide games resulted as follows:— North Adelaide, 9.9, v. Norwood. 2 6: Sturt. 13.10, v. South Adelaide, 3.9; Port Adelaide. 10.13, v. West Torrens. 10.9.
Fifty thousand people witnessed the second game between England and New South wales, at Sydney. The home players were this time successful by the large margin of 42 points to 6. In the competition among clubs of the Victorian Junior Association the positions are held as follows:— Yarraville. 28 points: Preston. Prahran and Port Melbourne, each 20: Williamstown and North Melbourne, each 16. Esscndon-12, Footscray Diggers 4, South Melbourne and Kew, nil. In the Metropolitan Amateur Association only two sides are unbeaten. Elrternwick and Collegians. Three of the Elsternwick team, Kohn, Morris and KonJev. got three goals apiece against Old Caulfield Grammarians, for whom Campbell got five sixers. University are still unbeaten in the Junior League. 

Under British Association rules the first round for the Dockerty Cup resulted thus: — 

  • Albert Park, 3 goals; Osborne House (comprising portion of the crew of Submarine J4) 2 goals; 
  • Welsh United, 1 goal. v. Windsor, nil: 
  • St. Kilda. 3 goals, v. Spotswood, nil. 

Thursday 4 June 2020

100 Years Ago Today 5 June 1920

Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 - 1954), Friday 4 June 1920, page 6

As a preliminary to the opening of the soccer season, there will be a practice match at York Park to-morrow.

Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), Monday 7 June 1920, page 8

BRISBANE.— A return match, under Soccer rules, between teams representing Queensland and New South Wales was played on the Brisbane cricket ground on Saturday. The game ended to a draw, each side having scored 2 goals.

Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 - 1954), Friday 4 June 1920, page 3

play and players
Club Gossip Recorded
Collingwood's rooms are regarded as among the best equipped of any in Melbourne, and visiting footballers are always taken to inspect them. On Sunday morning the South Australians and the men of H.M.S. Renown who had taken part in the Soccer match were entertained at Victoria Park by the Collingwood Club. Boxing bouts were staged by Messrs. Syd. Sherrin and Alf. Boyd, and the visitors expressed their appreciation of the club's hospitality. 

Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), Monday 7 June 1920, page 3

There was a good attendance at Middle Park to watch the soccer games, the chief interest being taken in the match between N. and D. and Footscray Thistle. Although the N. and D. forwards were nippy and fast, they seemed to be at disadvantage when close to the Thistle goal. Several good opportunities occurred in the first half, when tricky shots in open goal would have ensured a substantial lead. But the marksman did not give the Thistle goalie much to do. Eventually H. Western in a scramble near the posts drove the ball through for N. and D. Thistle rallied but had not scored when the whistle blew. On resuming N. and D. attacked heavily, and H. Western snapped a shot, which was brilliantly saved by the Thistle goalie. The pressure continued, and the ball passed to J. Grieves, who succeeded in getting right through on an individual run, which culminated in a good low drive, against which Hamilton had no hope. From this stage until the finish N. and D. outclassed their opponents. The final scores were: - 

  • N. and D. .2: Footscray Thistles, nil. 
  • St. Kilda 3  Albert Park 1 
  • Windsor 6 Burns 0
  • Prston 2 St David's 1

Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), Saturday 5 June 1920, page 34


The Visiting Warships, 
The programme of entertainment for the officers and men of the visiting warships is well in hand. The theatres, picture shows, vaudeville entertainments, dancing, and other forms of amusement will all play their part. Every night there will be an entertainment in the Exhibition Building; band concerts by the combined bands of H.M.S. Renown and H.M.A.S. Australia, smoke socials, vaudeville, and so on. To these sailors in uniform from the visiting warships will be admitted free, and the public will be admitted on payment of a nominal sum, probably one shilling. There will be a ball for the sailors in addition to that provided by the ladies committee for the officers. The Legion of Frontiersmen will, give a smoke social. The programme of athletic sports includes football (the Australian game, "Soccer" and Rugby). The Adelaide, Jubilee, and University Ovals will be utilised. The sailors will be taken for picnics at Belair and for a trip through the country — probably the Angaston district. Adelaide seems to be in for a time of continuous gaiety.