SA Football the early years 1843-1899

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Post by Scrappy on Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:44 pm

This is an open thread for anyone to contribute to the formulative years of South Australian Football in the 19th century

My posts will be made up from Newspapers, Books, Internet, Budgets, passed information from reputed historians , and here say unconfirmed snippets from individuals
Naturally none of us were around at the time, so anything I post that might be wrong or contradictory , so feel free to correct or offer opinions

Ive followed a few of the posters in TFSA over the years , and Im glad some of the best are on this site
Looking forward to any contributions any of the doyens of History rooms have to offer


Rather than keep this thread in 'exact' chronicled date form, I will present random stories, facts and snippets , dating back and forth in the 1843-1899 time frame
Feel free to post about the immediate period dating 1900 onwards that is applicable to the happenings of the 19th century as well

I will start the football rolling ...




Last edited by Scrappy on Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:21 am; edited 2 times in total
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Post by Scrappy on Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:57 pm

This is the first reference to football in Adelaide
St Patricks Day 1843
The South Australian Newspaper

A few of the Colonists from the Emerald Isle intend this day enjoying themselves in honour of their Saint with a game of football.
After which with their friends they hope to regale themselves with a portion of Ox to be roasted whole opposite the Markethouse, Thebarton, this day 2:00pm


Was this the earliest reference to football in our state ?
Can we trace back any early roots of football to the Irish brand of football, Gaelic ?
Gaelic football started about 1802 , so perhaps there is a link
There is a reference that games were played in 1670 and 1712 as well
That 7 years after Adelaide settlement, people were contemplating a form of football is certainly thought provoking
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Post by Lee on Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:19 pm

This sounds terrific, scrappy.

We'll all follow this with interest and hopefully contribute as well.
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Post by C.K on Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:40 pm

Scrappy wrote:Naturally none of us were around at the time, so anything I post that might be wrong or contradictory , so feel free to correct or offer opinions


Don't be too sure. Redandblack might surprise you there Very Happy

Great initiative, Scrappy, really interested to see how this pans out.
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Post by Lee on Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:46 pm

That is an unwarranted personal and ageist attack, CK and there will be consequences Evil or Very Mad

I can categorically say that you are wrong. I didn't start following footy until 1902. Mad
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Post by Lee on Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:49 pm

Scrappy, when this is complete, we'll transfer all the relevant posts to a separate forum, so we then have a really good reference to this period.

I suppose the definition of the term 'football' is the important factor here?
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Post by Scrappy on Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:21 pm

Redandblacks team West Adelaide played a one off season in the newly formed South Australian Football Association in 1887

The West Adelaide 1887 colors is of interest
Red white and blue guernsey and cap,and blue knickerbockers !
72 years later another Phil Big club spurned the same colors

West re-entered the SAFA in 1897
The new colors were REDANDBLACK !
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Post by howthewestwaswon on Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:47 pm

An interesting article from our club historian:

http://www.westadelaidefc.com.au/HISTORY/EARLY_YEARS.aspx
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Post by Scrappy on Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:45 pm

A team called West Adelaide played in the SAFA 1887
It is reported the club was linked and formed from a West Torrens team of the Adelaide and Suburban Association
This team played its first game on May 7 against Norwood and went scoreless ?
This club had 1 win and 2 draws in 1887
West 3-9 defeated Gawler 3-4 in the only win
This West team quit the SAFA after a one off season
This team played back in the Adelaide and Suburban Association
I emphasise this is a team of West Adelaide by name , and is not recognised of being the West we know currently

It is acknowledged that the current West Adelaide was formed in about 1891 or 1892
They did their early training in the South Parklands somewhere across the road from Wayville
The club played scratch matches in the Parklands until 1895
In March1895 Board members were elected including J McCabe
They won a couple of flags in the ASA comp in 1895-1896 ?
Then West Adelaide came into the SAFA in 1897

In April 1897 the SAFA held a meeting at the Prince Alfred Hotel
The SAFA agreed to a submission for West Adelaide to join the comp

West became red and black , those colors previously used by a club called the Adelaide Football Club

Please take note, I am not a historian, I have researched the topic, hopefully this info is correct enough

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Post by Lee on Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:05 pm

Great work, Scrappy, keep it coming.
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Post by howthewestwaswon on Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:07 pm

I didn't mean to discredit your work Scrappy, rather I thought I'd compliment it. Sorry to step on toes if I did!
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Post by Scrappy on Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:47 pm

howthewestwaswon wrote:I didn't mean to discredit your work Scrappy, rather I thought I'd compliment it. Sorry to step on toes if I did!

I need to clarify a comment Ive made
When I post
*I am not a historian , I have researched the topic etc *
Im just covering my tracks, in case Im wrong Wink
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Post by Leaping Lindner on Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:33 pm

howthewestwaswon wrote:An interesting article from our club historian:

http://www.westadelaidefc.com.au/HISTORY/EARLY_YEARS.aspx

Interestingly in that article Mark mentions he has found an exact for the birth of North Adelaide, and he has, but unfortunately it's more of an adoption.
Medindie changed their name to North Adelaide on March 23rd 1893, but an exact date for the start of Medindie can't be found. I have read in some books that it started in 1881. The earliest records I have found of games is 1882 and the earliest mention of an AGM is 1883 !!! I have even found a mention of a Medindie (and Walkerville Football Club) asking permission to erect goalposts on the North parklands in 1872, which was granted SA Football the early years 1843-1899 1344700888

One thing I have confirmed is that Medindie's first home ground was "Hawker's Paddock" named after its George Hawker. Which today is the site of Wilderness School's sport ground.
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Post by Mr66 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:26 pm

Great initiative Scrappy.
I am very interested in the period 1897 to 1906.
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Post by Scrappy on Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:20 pm

A very early reference to a game of football comes from England
In a book on Australian etiquette published in 1885 there was this reference :
* It began in England in the reign of Edward 111 and that by 1340 it was "" Much in vogue among the common people of England'' *
The King banned this game in 1349 and said it twas "" Useless idle game""

Another reference came in the 1600s by James 1 who banned from his court all rough and violent exercises including football

Another reference from England in the mid 1840s about a game played in the Public Schools
* Players were stout, lace up boots, tipped and heeled with iron*
* They had their legs from the knees to the ankles swathed in football pads and inch or two thick. *
Also mentioned was *Charging kicking an adversary intentionally, tripping and deliberately throwing were accepted features of the game.*


As mentioned previously ,somehow a version of this football was advertised to be played in Adelaide on St Patricks Day 1843


John Acraman was an early participator in the advent of football in Adelaide
He came from England to Adelaide in 1847
John had 5 round balls sent from abroad , these being acknowledged as the first footballs
John Acraman also was responsible for putting up the first goalposts in 1854

So it would appear that John was aware of a ball game in England, and brought that influence to Adelaide
Im tipping that John Acraman instigated interest in football somewhere between 1847 to about 1860 when matches were first played
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Post by Mr66 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:35 pm

You have to laugh when royalty says that something else is 'useless and idle'
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Post by Scrappy on Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:31 pm

Here is an extract by a Middle Ages poet John Barlow
Ive searched for information on John Barlow and found ziltch
But here is a writing of his a long time ago

"Ye jollie game which all creation lykes,
It is ye playe of kicking att footballe,
And him thatt playeth it between ye stycks,
Certes he is chiefest of ym alle,
His pate is like unto a stonie walle,
And mightie bootes hath he wherewith to lame,
Full manie a foeman doth he roughly maul,
Yet footballe is a verie jollie-game".

Very interesting writings from the Middle Ages
Bit difficult to understand some of the writings , but some references to footballe
Looks like a ball game of sorts [ an educated guess on my behalf ]
Could John Barlow have been referring to soccer, rugby, or even an very early form of football as we know it ?

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Post by Lee on Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:51 pm

Soccer, I think.

Definitely not our game mor a forerunner.
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Post by Scrappy on Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:23 pm

Cant confirm the following, but appears to be sometime just prior 1860
This may have been the first football contests played

There were contests involving the St Peters old boys, picking teams from within
The games were played between the City Bridges and Frome Road
Games were played using the Harrow rules
Goalposts were about 3 meters high with a bar across the top
Some of the rules included :
The ball had to be kicked below the bar
The ball could not be handled unless it was marked
Shouldering was allowed
Holding and hacking was against the rules
Teams were usually about 20 a team
At the end of each season the SPOB took on allcomers in matches

At some stage the Harrow Rules were changed during these contests to ones done up by the St Peters old boys College
Then these rules made way to the Kensington Rules ?
Then the rules became the rules formulated by the Victorians Tom Wills and Henry Harrison

Hope this post is reasonably correct, and can only be used as a guide to the happenings leading up to April 1860, a time when football gained impetus in Adelaide
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Post by Scrappy on Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:26 pm

redandblack wrote:Soccer, I think.

Definitely not our game mor a forerunner.

Agree, it would appear to be a soccer game
Even these days they call soccer as football in almost all parts of the world
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Post by Scrappy on Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:05 pm

Tom Wills and Henry Harrison were promoting Football in Victoria in the late 1850s, with a set if rules that were devised for the time, with a bias towards a running and ball handling sport
Word got around in the colony about the exploits of Tom and Henry
Wills went to New South Wales to promote football
Harrison made his way to Adelaide
Such was the influence of Harrison a meeting was set up on 26/4/1860

On April 25 a notice was shown
*Gentlemen interested in the establishment of a football club.
Notice of meeting to be held at the Globe Inn, Rundle Street on Thursday 26th of April 1860.
Signed: J Acraman , W.J.Fullarton, R Cussen.*

The meeting took place with about 16 people attending
A new club was formed called the Adelaide Club
As I understand this :
This Adelaide club was an association of clubs , it had 3 teams evolve, called South Division, North Division and Collegians
The teams were drawn up as a zone using the River Torrens
North division were players from North of the Torrens
South division were players from South of the Torrens
Collegians consisted of past and present scholars and staff members of Adelaides colleges

The first game of football was arranged for Saturday 28/4/1860


The Match :
Weather fine
Started 2:00pm
Captains were J B Spence and that man John Acraman
Acramans team won the game by 2 goals [I cant find the scores]
The game took about 3 hours to be played

South Australian Football was more or less born on this day



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Post by Lee on Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:11 pm

I think the scores are known, but at that time it may have been 2 goals to none?

Interesting stuff, Scrappy.
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Post by Scrappy on Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:22 pm

redandblack wrote:I think the scores are known, but at that time it may have been 2 goals to none?

Interesting stuff, Scrappy.

I really dont know R+B
I have 2 references to the scores on that day
* Acramans team scored 2 goals more than its opponents*
* Acramans side were the most active, and scored 1 or 2 more goals than their opponents said the report of the day*

So I conclude
The score is either of the following
a: 1 more goal
b: 2 more goals
c: 2 goals to nil

Whichever way we look at it, perhaps fittingly,that man John Acramans team won the match
And what about the venue the North Parklands, I presume this, lucky it didnt rain
I played in the Parklands in the 1980s on a wet day once, it was a sea of mud, the ball would lob stop and stay where it landed
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Post by Scrappy on Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:33 pm

Glenelg joined the League in 1921
But there is a reference to a Glenelg Football Club by name in 1876
The report :
* The opening match of the season was begun at 3:00 oclock on Saturday, 10th June 1876 at the grounds near Millers Corner railway station
A goal was soon gained by Mr Matthell
The opposite side than got one, secured by Mr W J Andrews, a second one by Matthell and another followed by Andrews amid great cheering.*

One would think there is no link of this 1876 team to the 1921 Glenelg team

Would be a good trivia question, "' Who kicked the first goal for the Glenelg Football Club.""

Millers Corner is that where the current Glenelg Tram is ?
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Post by Scrappy on Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:34 am

Perhaps the longest generation to generation of football familys are the Oateys
I will go from current to past generations
David Oatey
Bob + Peter Oatey
Jack Oatey
Ted Oatey
?


David the son of Bob played for Sturt
Bob the son of Jack + brother of Peter played for Norwood and Sturt
Peter the son of Jack + brother of Bob played for Norwood
Jack the son of Ted played for Norwood and Sturt
Ted the son of ? played for Torrens and Port Adelaide

I have the ? son of for Ted
That being because I have read elsewhere that Teds father played football in the 1800s ?
His name might have been George Oatey ???
That being the case that would mean 5 generations of Oateys have played league football

Thats astonishing genes passed over several generations
Perhaps we should clone the current Oateys for scientific research in a future time !

My question, and a difficult one at that, how many other generations of footballing families are there from players who played before 1900 ?


As a side note I had a shoulder injury a while ago
The speciallist I had to see at the Memorial hospital was Peter Oatey !
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