Australian Rules Football in Queensland

On May 21 and 22, 1866, notices were placed in the Brisbane Courier newspaper inviting "gentlemen desirous of forming a football club" to a meeting at Braysher's Metropolitan Hotel.

Brisbane Courier, 22 May 1866

The meeting was a successful one, with the formation of the new club reported in the following day's paper, "...It was decided that a club should be started, and to this end a committee...was appointed to prepare a code of rules to be submitted to a meeting to be held on the 31st instant. The prospects of the club must be certainly very encouraging to the promoters, as already more than twenty gentlemen have joined, and a large number of others have signified their wish to do so".

Metropolitan Hotel, Brisbane ca. 1864. Neg 22331, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

At a second meeting held on June 1, a uniform (consisting of a scarlet shirt) was selected, as well as a resolution that the new club would adopt the same rules as used by clubs in Melbourne.

The formation of the Brisbane Football Club  is recognised by the Australian Football League Queensland as the official beginning of Australian Rules Football in Queensland.

Australian Rules football team portrait in the Meandarra district 1913. Neg 32364, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

Australian Rules Football match at Perry Park in April 1938. Taringa vs Kedron. Neg 106353, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

Here's a few highlights from our collection.

Australian Football League Queensland Photographs 1906-1998

This collection contains a random selection of team photographs. Only a few images from this collection are available online through One Search catalogue, the rest can be viewed onsite.

Queensland Australian Rules Representative Team 1906-1907. Image 28014-0001-0002, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

Taringa Australian Rules Football Club in Brisbane Queensland 1938. Image 28014-0001-0004, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

Song sheet : Richmond Tigers tour of Queensland, 1920’s

This rare printed leaflet song sheet was produced by Melbourne club Richmond Tigers for their tour of Queensland, believed to be sometime in the 1920's. The sheet features nine ditties, with most obviously written for the tour with references to Queensland. Some of these ditties having more to do with partying than football prowess as evidenced in a few lines of "What, What, What"

"We're Tigers from Richmond, we're out on a spree,
We've knocked off the soup and we've knocked off the tea.
We're not going to train, we won't go to bed.
We'll jolly well drink till we're jolly well dead."

Song sheet : Richmond Tigers tour of Queensland, 1920's. RBJ 781.594 SON , John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

Australian rules news-record : Queensland v New South Wales, Brisbane Exhibition Grounds June 21st 1947 (souvenir booklet)

This souvenir booklet was published in the leadup to the game and contains profiles and photos of the Queensland and New South Wales players as well as umpires and administrators. The booklet is also littered with local advertisements for Brisbane businesses. Interestingly Australian cricketer Keith Miller took to the field for NSW, a fact which played heavily in the marketing of the game. According to the Sunday Mail, the match was a dramatic one with New South Wales levelling the score five minutes before full-time and then going on to win the game by five point. The final scores were - New South Wales 19-12-126, Queensland 16-25-121.

Australian rules news-record : Queensland v New South Wales, Brisbane Exhibition Grounds June 21st 1947. P 796.336 aus,  John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

Other resources

AFL Queensland Celebrates 150 Years of Queensland Footy. Official AFL Queensland YouTube channel. 

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