MITCHAM FC HISTORY SERIES: PART THREE - 1988 CENTENNIAL MATCH v SURREY HILLS FC
Mitcham FC had a long history and a special association with the Surrey Hills FC. Both club's were established in 1888 and met each in round two that year at Surrey, unfortunately losing 1.3 v 2.11.
Just six years later in 1893 and in the middle of the 1890's depression, times were very tough. At this time there were only three local football clubs - Mitcham, Surrey Hills & Box Hill, all whom decided to merge and pool resources and players to form the new Nunawading Football Club. The new club was named after the Shire of Nunawading, in order to provide a strong team to represent the District.
Mitcham players were prominent in this new team with Arthur Edgoose and Harold Pratt as its Captain and Vice Captain respectively. Harold Pratt, the father of the great Bob Pratt from Mitcham (South Melbourne FC (VFL) who kicked a record 150 goals in 1934, also played for the new Nunwading side.
This marriage however was short lived. Mitcham was the first team to "want out" of the merger and after 3 years (1893 - 1895 ) in order to regain their own identity as the Mitcham Football Club in 1896.
Since then the enduring battles and rivalry against Surrey has always been the standard. Somewhat unkindly the Mitchamities often referred to Surrey Hills FC as the "Surrey Sucks", such was the banter and esteem they held with all those at Tigerland.
This however was balanced against the much unsaid mutua respect and friendships as many a post match gatherings would detest.
It was with genuine sadness that Surrey Hills FC, our old mates, our historic combatant and fellow Centenary Club folded in 1994.
Mitcham FC V Surrey Hills FC (Walker Park - July 1988)
In regards to the Weather for this important match, it could not have been played in any worse conditions. Sheeting rain, artic winds and a feeling of snow prevailed.
Mitcham had three former Richmond FC players - Barry Williams ( Capt / Coach ), Bruce Tempany and Greg Strachan
Pictured Above: Grandstand View – Pre match team`s line up
PicturedAbove: Mitcham players lining on the pristine Walker Park surface.
Pictured Above: The Walker Park grandstand was near a full house.
Pictured Above: VFL "Centenary Club" plaque. Presented to MFC President Steve Lundberg by VFL President Doug Mills.
Author: Club Historian - Garry Wathen.