A Brief History 1888-1988

100 YEARS    From 1888 - 1988

Researched and Written By Robert (Tojo) Nolan

The following is an attempt to put into writing as briefly as possible a portrayal of the History of the Club as we know it, from researching old local newspapers and talking to people still alive who have lived and experienced some of it.

It must be understood that research and collecting of information only really started when in 1985 a piece of paper containing an extract from the Lilydale Express dated 21.3.1888 was handed to the Club by Local Historian Frank Endacott.

This is what it read-"(From our Correspondent) Tuesday March 19  1888. A meeting was held in Daly's Hall on Friday evening to form a Football Club, Mr McNeil in the chair. It was proposed by Mr. Jurey and seconded by Mr. Forder that Mr Trezise be Secretary - carried. Mr. Jurey was elected Captain of the club, and the following members were elected as a committee:- Messrs McNeil, Forder, Jurey, Clemments and Cromie. It was resolved that the colours of  the club be Blue guernsey with white sash, Blue pants, Blue and White stockings, white cap with star. Two balls have been sent for, and the Club is going to make a start immediately. 25 members were enrolled that night. They have also formed a Football Club at Coranderrk with the same colours".

It seemed strange that two clubs should have the same colours, still it was agreed that 1888 was indeed the beginning of the Club as no one alive can disprove it and there is no literature to the contrary.

So after the initial introduction it must be said that 3 years is only a short time to research and collect 100 years of sporting history and put it in print for all to read and enjoy, thus this very brief version.

After establishing 1888 as the starting point, keen research into old newspapers after that date revealed that the club did indeed kick off imediately, playing games against Coranderrk, Lilydale, Yarra Glen, Coldstream and teams from Melbourne.

There was no real organised competition until 1894 when things relly kicked off. Between 1894 and 1914 HFC competed in Trophy Competitions where a prominant business man or land owner would put up a prize consisting off gold medals or some other items to compete for. Healesville won the Henry Trophy Competition in 1901 and in 1912.( See original 1912 photo in Archive photos, under History). Sides competing in this period were generally Healesville, Yarra Glen, Lilydale, Coldstream and Coranderrk, with sometimes an Upper Yarra team joining in.

In 1914 a new association was formed caleed the YVFA incorporating Upper Yarra teams with Lower Yarra teams. This was the beginning and nucleus of the competition we have today.

The competition was really keen by this stage and clubs were very disappointed that during the years 1916 - 1918 play was abandoned out of respect for those at the war.

In 1919 however  things kicked off again with a vengeance and in 1920 Healesville won it's first Premiership with some of the medallions still in existance today. (See 1920 team photo in Archive Photos)

Apart from a dry spell from 1920 to 1945 when Healesville won it's next Premiership, the Club was very successful over the years winning 15 Senior Premierships - 1901, 1912, 1920, 1945, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1969, 1972, 1977, 1985 and 1988.

The Reserves who were formed in 1949, have been relatively successful with also 15 premierships- 1949, 1950, 1957, 1959, 1963, 1966, 1967, 1976, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1993, 2001, 2003 and 2012.

The Thirds were formed in 1966 and have won 16 Premierships- 1966, 1967, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1982, 1999, 2005, and 2007.

For information about Best and Fairest winners etc, see the honour Boards in the club room or check out our web site as we are slowly loading the information on to the web.

In 1966 the YVFL and the MDFL combined to form the YVMDFL and from that time on Grand Finals were to be played at the newly constructed Gembrook Football Ground (and not the Traditionally Warburton, Healesville, Lilydale or Yarra Glen ovals)

Apart from a short stintin 1968 at the Racecourse.The home of the healesville football club has always been at the recreation oval and according to all reports has always been a mud heap in the winter and excellent during the summer.

From the days when filling the pot holes and clearing the blackberries off the oval were the norm, to todays thoughts of extensive drainage headaches, no one can disagree that despite all it's problems that sacred piece of turf holds a special place in the hearts of all those who have had the pleasure to tread upon it.

In 1962 new changerooms were built and at the time were as good as anywhere. Today these same changerooms with a few very much needed additions are still serving the club well (although a little cosy at times). No one could disagree that they were far better than the old rooms which were situated at the park end of the oval (Has anyone got a photo of it?).

Another interesting part of the club is the colour of the jumper. Very early the colours were Blue and White. Then there was mention of the Red Legs, the Red and Blues, the Maroons until finally in 1920 the Maroons and White,which obviously evolved into the Red and Whites. From 1920 to approximately 1945 the jumpers were red with a white stripe around the middle. Then in 1946 they changed to the jumper we have all grown very fond of today, Red with the big White V.

Obviously, as has already been said, this is just a very brief outline of the club but everyone will agree that in 100 years a great many characters have passed through the club and have made it what it is today. Testimony of this is the colourful array of photos, Shields and pennants which adorn the walls of the clubrooms with all of those characters staring back out at us as proud as punch to be part of it all. (You will find all these photos on our web under Archive Photos).

So if a few lines on a sheet of foolscap dosen't do much for you, take a trip down memory lane and stroll through the years (on our website) or come down to the rooms and enjoy a quite ale and a chat with the past, present and future characters of  this great institution.

IMPORTANT !! As research and collating is still continuing, anyone who has anything such as photo's, medals, trophies, etc. that could help to identify some grey areas in the club, please don't hesitate to contact Robert (Tojo) Nolan at the club or email beetojo@bigpond.net.au.


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