General History

History of Belgrave Football Club

The Early Years

The Belgrave -Magpies- Football Club was formed in 1909 and played in the Mountain District Football Association. At this time they played at the Belgrave Lake Park ova.l Success came just 3 years later, winning the 1911 premiership under the captaincy of George Hayes. Other known players in this era were Jim O'Donohue (whose family is still connected with the club), George Taylor, Bert Carrington, George Rutherford, Mick Hayes, Alf Miller and Bill Hamilton. The clubs jumper in this period was black with a light coloured hoop around the waist.

The competition ceased during World War 1 with the club fielding strong teams during the 1920's, however, they were not successful in winning any premierships during this period. Belgrave moved to play at their current location at the Reserve Road oval in Belgrave around this time.

The Golden Years

Play resumed in 1945 after the Second World War with Jim O'Donohue as BFC president and Albert Stace as captain. Belgrave reached the grand final but lost to Emerald 13-13-91 to 4-7-31. Known members of this team included Cliff McKenzie, Ray Guy, Jim Stump, Dave Johns, George Stagg (local police sergeant at the time), Fred Simms, E (Ted) Fitton, Les Hayes and Ken Sale.

Around this time Fred Argoon returned from active service to become one of the greatest and most feared full back's in the competition. Belgrave also had a famous full forward in Jack Hill.

This period of time began the greatest run of success in the club's history. Belgrave won premierships in 1948, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953 and 1954, and were runners up in 1949. The 1951 premiership was of considerable importance as it took place in the Jubilee year for the Mountain District Football Competition.
Leadership in this period was provided by Reg Butterworth and Ivan Argoon with typical Belgrave guts and determination.

Players in this period also included Don and Keith Argoon, Ron Prendergast, Jim Varty, Fred Rafton, Jim Stump, Harry Preston, Don Pitts, Alan Burt, Denis O'Donohue, Hughie Robertson, Jack Graham, Johnny Taylor, Jack Paterson, Mick James, Ted Fitton, Les Hayes, Jack Needs and Jack McSween. Other players to join this winning team included "Snowy" Clarke, Tom Bourke, Ian Barker, George Johnston, Bill Thompson, Stan Smart, John Skelton, Ken Whyte, Bob Meyers, Ken Edwards and Bill Kollosche.

Many of these families still reside in the Belgrave / Upwey area and have members involved in the club today

A Famous Magpie

John Charles (Jack) Hill was born on 25 June 1923 in Murrumbeena. He returned from active service with the RAAF in 1946 and with sensational marking and kicking he kicked 147 goals in 16 matches. He played in the 1948 premiership side and also kicked 8 goals in the first quarter of the 1949 grand final before suffering a fractured skull. The flag was then lost to Upwey and the injury ended his playing career.

He played cricket for the St Kilda club and played 38 games for Victoria. As a right hand batsman he made 572 runs and as a leg spin bowler he took 125 wickets at an average of 23.16. He also played 3 tests for Australia, going to England in 1951 and the West Indies in 1953 where he took 8 wickets at an average of 34.1, his best bowling result being 3 for 35.

Jack Hill died at Caulfield on 11 August 1974 at the age of 51. To this day Jack still has family ties to the Belgrave Football Club.

Historic Timeline

1907    Evelyn Football Association (Vic)
1911    Belgrave were Premiers of Evelyn Football Association.
1921    Founding member of Mountaineer FA, lost 2nd semi-final.
1925    Scoresby DFA: Belgrave finished 4th.
1926    Scoresby DFA: Belgrave finished 4th.
1930    Scoresby DFA: Belgrave finished 3rd.
1945    Mountain DFL: Belgrave participated.
1948    Mountain DFL: Belgrave were premiers.
1950    Mountain DFL: Belgrave were premiers.
1951    Mountain DFL: Belgrave were premiers.
1952    Mountain DFL: Belgrave were premiers.
1953    Mountain DFL: Belgrave were premiers.
1954    Mountain DFL: Belgrave were premiers.
1966    YVMDFL: Belgrave was a founding club.
1967    YVMDFL: Belgrave participated.
1974    YVMDFL Prelim Final: Upwey-Tec 9.14.68 dft Belgrave 9.7.61.
1975    YVMDFL: Belgrave were premiers.
1976    YVMDFL: Belgrave were premiers.
1977    YVMDFL: Belgrave participated.
1999    YVMDFL: Division 2: Belgrave were premiers.
2000    YVMDFL: Division 1: Wandin 22.14.146 def Belgrave 11.10.76.
2007    YVMDFL: Grand Final: Thornton Eildon Def Belgrave

2010    YVMDFL: Go magpies! 

Seeking more information

If anyone who played for, supported or was previously associated with the Belgrave FC in any capacity has information, photos or anything relating to our proud history please contact the club at or one of the contacts listed on the website.