Fitzroy Football Club

Fitzroy Football Club
Full nameFitzroy Football Club
NicknameThe Lions
StripRed with blue yoke and gold FFC monogram
Founded1883 (playing operations merged with Brisbane Bears in 1996) FFC Ltd continues to this day.
SportAustralian rules football
LeagueAustralian Football League
First season1897
GroundBrunswick Street Oval, Princes Park, Junction Oval, Victoria Park, Whitten Oval
Club songSung to the tune of La Marseillaise. Original was sung to the tune of Far Better Off In A Home
President/Chair
Coach
Captain
199616th (last)
Fitzroy Football Club, most recently nicknamed The Lions, is an Australian rules football club formed in 1883 to represent the inner Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy, Victoria and was a foundation member club of the Victorian Football League (now the Australian Football League) on its inception in 1897.

The club ran into financial difficulties in the 1980s and was forced to merge with the Brisbane Bears at the end of the 1996 season to form the Brisbane Lions.

The original Fitzroy Football Club came out of administration after the merger of the playing operations in late 1998 and continues to this day as a non-playing club with several partnerships, notably with the Coburg Tigers in the VFL, the Fitzroy Reds (formerly University Reds) in the Victorian Amateur Football Association and the Fitzroy Junior Football Club in the Yarra Junior Football League. The Reds and Juniors both wear the old Fitzroy jumper, play the old theme song, and play from Brunswick Street Oval in the heart of Fitzroy in honour of the historic club.

History

Enlarge picture
The 1944 Grand Final winning side

Early years

The Fitzroy Football Club formed at a meeting at the Brunswick Hotel in September 1883, at a time when Melbourne's population was rapidly increasing. The Victorian Football Association (VFA) made changes to their rules, allowing Fitzroy to be join as the seventh club in 1884, playing in the maroon and blue colours of the local Normandy Junior Football Club. They quickly became one of the most successful clubs, drawing large crowds to their home at the Brunswick Street Oval in Edinburgh Gardens, and consistently in the top four and winning the VFA premiership in 1895. Their rover Jack Worrall was twice named Champion of the Colony.

In 1897, Fitzroy were one of the eight clubs who broke away from the VFA to form the Victorian Football League (VFL). Despite winning only four games and finishing sixth in the first season, the Maroons, as they were then known, won the premiership the following year, winning the VFL's first "Grand Final" against Essendon. Fitzroy was the most successful club in the first 10 years of the VFL, winning four premierships and finishing runners-up on three occasions. Despite internal problems after the 1906 season which led to the players and set the club back for several seasons, the 1913 team won the flag after winning 16 of 18 matches in the home and away season, earning the nickname "Unbeatables". In contrast, the 1916 Fitzroy team only won 2 home and away matches and finished last in a competition reduced by the effects of World War I to four teams. All four teams qualified for the finals, and Fitzroy won their next three games to win one of the strangest VFL premierships.

Between the wars

The Maroons won their seventh premiership in 1922, a year season which included four very rough games against eventual runners-up Collingwood. However, after this their fortunes waned, and they did not make the finals at all from 1925 to 1942. During this time, highlights for the club were individual achievements of their players, especially Haydn Bunton. Originally a source of controversy, lured to Fitzroy with an illegal £222 payment, and subsequently not allowed to play in the 1930 season, Bunton became one of the game's greatest players, winning three Brownlow Medals while at Fitzroy. Brownlow Medals were also won by Wilfred Smallhorn and Dinny Ryan, while Jack Moriarty set many goalkicking records. It was during this time that the Maroons became known as the Gorillas.

Post-war

Enlarge picture
Fred Hughson was Fitzroy's last Premiership winning captain
Football was less affected by World War II than it had been in 1916, and by 1944 was starting to return to its normal level. It was in this year, under captain-coach Fred Hughson, that the Gorillas won their eighth VFL flag against Richmond in front of a capacity crowd at Junction Oval. However, it was also to be their last senior premiership, as the club, which became known as the Lions in 1957 entered one of the least successful periods any VFL club has had. The club finished in the bottom three 11 times in the 60s and 70s, including 3 wooden spoons in 4 years and going completely winless in 1964, but still continued to produce great individual players, including Brownlow Medallists Allan Ruthven and Kevin Murray. In 1967, Fitzroy moved its home games from Brunswick Street to Princes Park and from then on suffered from a lack of a permanent home. In 1970, they moved to Junction Oval and had a short lived promising start to the decade, followed by a night premiership win in 1978 and a League record score of 36.22 (238) in 1979. However, Fitzroy's most significant post-war success was in the early eighties, when the Lions made the finals four times, culminating in a preliminary final appearance in 1986. This success occurred under the coaching of Robert Walls and David Parkin, with players such as 1981 Brownlow Medallist Bernie Quinlan, Garry Wilson, Gary Pert and Paul Roos, but still without financial success or a permanent home. The Lions played at Victoria Park in 1985 and 1986 and then moved back to Princes Park.

The merger years

Talk of the death of the club due to financial troubles occurred as early as 1986, and in 1989 the directors agreed to amalgamation with Footscray. Many Footscray supporters did not approve, and made donations which averted the merger. At other times, joining with Melbourne or relocating to Brisbane was suggested. As well as trying several fund-raising ventures, the Lions experimented with playing four home matches in Tasmania in 1991 and 1992, but lost money in the process. In 1994, the club moved its home matches to Western Oval, its fourth home ground in 10 years. While the financial future of the club was uncertain, its on-field performances continued to deteriorate, to the point where the Lions finished last by a long way in 1996.

On Friday, June 28, 1996, the Nauru Insurance Company, a creditor of the Fitzroy Football Club, appointed Michael Brennan to administer the affairs of the Fitzroy Football Club in order to ensure a loan of AU$1.25million was to be repaid. The AFL guaranteed funds to allow Fitzroy to continue in the competition for the remainder of 1996.

During this time the Fitzroy Football Club had been in merger discussions with the North Melbourne Football Club to become the Fitzroy-North Melbourne Kangaroos Football Club, with negotiations for elements such as club colours, guernsey and song well underway. The AFL Commission met with the remainder of the AFL clubs to discuss the merger. Fearful that a merger between Fitzroy and the then-dominant North Melbourne Football Club would result in a superteam, the clubs opposed the proposal. Instead, they approved a last-minute approach from the lowly Brisbane Bears (ironically, just a few years later the newly formed Brisbane Lions would become the dominant superteam the other clubs had, in their short-sighted self-interest, feared the Fitzroy-North Melbourne Kangaroos would become).

On July 4 1996, the Fitzroy Football Club merged with the Brisbane Bears, to be based in Brisbane at the Brisbane Cricket Ground (often referred to as the Gabba) - an arrangement ensuring all creditors were repaid. At least eight Fitzroy players were to be selected by the Brisbane Lions before the 1996 National Draft and three Fitzroy representatives were to be on the new club's 11-member board.

On September 1 1996, Fitzroy played their final AFL game against Fremantle at Subiaco Oval in Perth. they lost by 86 points, Although they "won" the last quarter by 2 points, with their last ever goal kicked by Simon Atkins. Scores were, Fitzroy 10.11 71 V Fremantle 24.13 157

Post-merger

The original Fitzroy Football Club came out of administration after the merger of the playing operations in late 1998. The shareholders voted to continue the club, and Fitzroy then developed a partnership with Coburg, a club playing in the VFL. Coburg were known as the Coburg-Fitzroy Lions for one season in the VFL, however when Coburg entered into an alliance with Richmond the Fitzroy connection was abandoned.

Fitzroy FC now sponsors the Fitzroy Reds (formerly University Reds) in the Victorian Amateur Football Association and the Fitzroy Junior Football Club in the Yarra Junior Football League. Both wear the old Fitzroy jumper, play the old theme song, and play from Brunswick Street Oval in the heart of Fitzroy.

Fitzroy FC Ltd has also improved its relationship with the Brisbane Lions dramatically in the last 5 years. Brisbane agreed to use the BB-FFC logo on the back of the new club's guernseys from 2002, the Fitzroy Reds played the curtain-raiser at the MCG when the Brisbane Lions met Collingwood in the AFL Heritage Round of 2003 and Brisbane wear the old Fitzroy jumper every two years in the Heritage Round. With the dominance of the Brisbane Lions from 2001-2004, this led to some degree of reconciliation between the old diehards and those who accepted the merger.

Club facts

Premierships

* The 1916 premiership came in a year when the club also won the wooden spoon. Only four teams contested the premiership that year, and at the end of the home and away rounds all teams made the finals. Fitzroy finished last at the end of the home-and-away season but finished strongly in the finals to complete a stunning form reversal.

Brownlow Medal winners

Leigh Matthews Trophy winners

Norm Smith medallists

Nil

Best and Fairest winners

See Fitzroy FC honour roll for list of winners 1884-1996.

Home venues

Note: Fitzroy also played home matches at North Hobart Oval and Canberra Stadium.

Former nicknames

Club records

Win-loss record:Played: 1928Won: 869, Lost: 1034, Drawn: 25
Highest score:238 points (36.22)v Melbourne FC, Round 17 28 July 1979
Lowest score:6 points (1 goal)v Footscray FC, Round 5 23 May 1953
Greatest winning margin:190 pointsv Melbourne FC, Round 17 28 July 1979
Biggest loss:157 pointsv Hawthorn FC, Round 6 28 April 1991
Longest winning streak:14 gamesRound 10 16 July 1898 to Round 4 27 May 1899
Longest losing streak:27 gamesRound 11 20 July 1963 to Round 1 17 April 1965
Most games played:333Kevin Murray 1955-1964 & 1967-1974
Most Best & Fairests:9Kevin Murray 1956, 1958, 1960-64, 1968-69

Team of the Century

Fitzroy Team of the Century
B:Bill StephenFred HughsonFrank Curcio
HB:Kevin Murray (Captain)Paul RoosGary Pert
C:Wilfred SmallhornJohn MurphyWarwick Irwin
HF:Owen AbrahamsBernie QuinlanGarry Wilson
F:Allan RuthvenJack MoriartyNorm Brown
Foll:Alan GaleNorm JohnstoneHaydn Bunton, Sr
Int:Michael ConlanAlastair LynchHarvey Merrigan
Richard OsbornePercy ParrattPercy Trotter
Coach:Len Smith

Club jumpers

Enlarge picture
Worn from 1983 until the end of the club in 1996

See also

External links

References

  • Lovett, M. (ed.) (2005). AFL Record Guide to Season 2005. Melbourne: AFL Publishing. ISBN 0-9580300-6-5. 
  • Holmesby, R.; Main, J. (2004). The Encyclopaedia of AFL Footballers: Every Brisbane and Fitzroy AFL Player Ever. Melbourne: BAS Publishing. ISBN 1-920910-09-3. 
  • Hutchinson, G.; Lang, R.; Ross, J. (1997). Roar of the Lions. Port Melbourne: Lothian Books. ISBN 0-85091-880-4. 
  • Piesse, K. (1995). The Complete Guide to Australian Football. Pan Macmillan Australia. ISBN 0-330-35712-3. 
Brisbane Bears

Full name Brisbane Bears Australian Football Club
Nickname The Bears
Strip Maroon, Gold, and White
Founded 1986 (merged with Fitzroy in 1996)
Sport Australian rules football
League Australian Football League
First season 1987
..... Click the link for more information.
Australian rules football, also known as Australian football, Aussie rules, or simply "football" or "footy" is a code of football played with a prolate spheroid ball, on large oval shaped fields (cricket fields), with four posts at each end.
..... Click the link for more information.
Australian Football League

General Information
Founded 1897 in Melbourne
Previous names Victorian Football League (VFL) (1897-1989)
Current clubs Adelaide
Brisbane Lions
Carlton
Collingwood
Essendon
Fremantle
Geelong
..... Click the link for more information.
Edinburgh Gardens is a large park located in North Fitzroy. It is bounded by Brunswick Street and St. Georges Road to the west, the curve of Alfred Crescent to the north and east, and Freeman Street to the south.
..... Click the link for more information.
MC Labour Park (or Princes Park Football Ground) has been the home ground of the Carlton Football Club since the formation of the VFL/AFL in 1897 and is the single longest serving ground in the competition.
..... Click the link for more information.
Junction Oval (officially, the St. Kilda Cricket Ground) is an historic sports ground in Melbourne, Australia. Its location near the St Kilda junction (the intersection of St Kilda's main street - Fitzroy Street - and St Kilda Road) gave rise to its nickname.
..... Click the link for more information.
Victoria Park was named after Queen Victoria in the 19th century and is both a large park and the name of an Australian rules football stadium in inner-city of Melbourne, Australia, and is located in the suburb of Abbotsford.
..... Click the link for more information.
Whitten Oval is a stadium in the western suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia located at 417 Barkly Street, Footscray West. It is the home base of Australian Football League side Western Bulldogs.
..... Click the link for more information.
La Marseillaise" (IPA: [la maʁsɛjɛz]; in English The Song of Marseille) is the national anthem of France.
..... Click the link for more information.
Australian rules football, also known as Australian football, Aussie rules, or simply "football" or "footy" is a code of football played with a prolate spheroid ball, on large oval shaped fields (cricket fields), with four posts at each end.
..... Click the link for more information.
18th century - 19th century - 20th century
1850s  1860s  1870s  - 1880s -  1890s  1900s  1910s
1880 1881 1882 - 1883 - 1884 1885 1886

:
Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
..... Click the link for more information.
An inner city is the central area of a major city. In the United States, United Kingdom and Ireland, the term is often applied to the poorer parts of the city centre and is sometimes used as a euphemism with the connotation of being an area, perhaps a ghetto, where people are less
..... Click the link for more information.
Melbourne
Victoria

Location of Melbourne in Australia

Population:
• Density: 3,744,373 (2006 estimate) (2nd)
479.
..... Click the link for more information.
Fitzroy
Melbourne, Victoria

High Victorian architecture in Brunswick Street

Population: 8814 (2006) [1]

Established: 1850s

Postcode: 3065


..... Click the link for more information.
Australian Football League

General Information
Founded 1897 in Melbourne
Previous names Victorian Football League (VFL) (1897-1989)
Current clubs Adelaide
Brisbane Lions
Carlton
Collingwood
Essendon
Fremantle
Geelong
..... Click the link for more information.
1897 1898 1899 1900

18th century · 19th century · 20th century
1860s 1870s 1880s 1890s 1900s 1910s 
1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900


..... Click the link for more information.
worldwide view of the subject.
Please [ improve this article] or discuss the issue on the talk page.


This article may contain original research or unverified claims.
Please help Wikipedia by adding references.

..... Click the link for more information.
Brisbane Bears

Full name Brisbane Bears Australian Football Club
Nickname The Bears
Strip Maroon, Gold, and White
Founded 1986 (merged with Fitzroy in 1996)
Sport Australian rules football
League Australian Football League
First season 1987
..... Click the link for more information.
1996 1997 1998 1999

19th century · 20th century · 21st century
1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 
1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999


..... Click the link for more information.
Brisbane Lions

Full name Brisbane Lions Australian Football Club
Nickname The Lions
Strip Maroon, Gold and Blue
Founded 1996
Sport Australian rules football
League Australian Football League
First season 1997
Ground The Gabba
..... Click the link for more information.
Coburg Tigers

Full name Coburg Tigers Football Club
Nickname Tigers
Strip Navy blue guernsey with a red sash, navy blue shorts, navy blue socks with red top
Founded 1891
Sport Australian rules football
League Victorian Football League
First season 1921
..... Click the link for more information.
Victorian Football League

General Information
Founded 1877, Melbourne
Previous Names Victorian Football Association (VFA)
Current Clubs Bendigo Bombers
Box Hill Hawks
Casey Scorpions (Springvale Football Club)
Coburg Tigers
..... Click the link for more information.
The Victorian Amateur Football Association is an Australian rules football league in Victoria, Australia consisting purely of amateur players. Unlike the Victorian Football League and the VFL/AFL, the VAFA has always been strictly a purely amateur league.
..... Click the link for more information.
Brunswick
Melbourne, Victoria

Sydney Road, Brunswick, looking south to Melbourne's central business district

Population: 20,780 (2006)

Postcode: 3056


..... Click the link for more information.
18th century - 19th century - 20th century
1850s  1860s  1870s  - 1880s -  1890s  1900s  1910s
1880 1881 1882 - 1883 - 1884 1885 1886

:
Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
..... Click the link for more information.
Victorian Football Association

General Information
Established 1877, Melbourne
VFA Clubs Albert Park
Ballarat
Ballarat Imperial
Ballarat South
Berwick
Box Hill Mustangs
Brighton Penguins
Brunswick
(The Wicks)
..... Click the link for more information.
Edinburgh Gardens is a large park located in North Fitzroy. It is bounded by Brunswick Street and St. Georges Road to the west, the curve of Alfred Crescent to the north and east, and Freeman Street to the south.
..... Click the link for more information.
Edinburgh Gardens is a large park located in North Fitzroy. It is bounded by Brunswick Street and St. Georges Road to the west, the curve of Alfred Crescent to the north and east, and Freeman Street to the south.
..... Click the link for more information.
Jack Worrall


Personal Info
Birth 21 May 1861(1861--), Maryborough, Vic.
..... Click the link for more information.
The Champion Of The Colony was, prior to the introduction of the Brownlow Medal, the most prestigious individual award in Australian rules football in Victoria. It was awarded based on votes from Melbourne's leading football journalists.
..... Click the link for more information.


This article is copied from an article on Wikipedia.org - the free encyclopedia created and edited by online user community. The text was not checked or edited by anyone on our staff. Although the vast majority of the wikipedia encyclopedia articles provide accurate and timely information please do not assume the accuracy of any particular article. This article is distributed under the terms of GNU Free Documentation License.