Port Melbourne Football Club

The Port Melbourne Football Club, nicknamed The Borough, is an Australian rules football club based in the Melbourne suburb of Port Melbourne and is currently playing in the Victorian Football League (VFL).

Port Melbourne
Names
Full namePort Melbourne Football Club
Nickname(s)The Borough
Club details
Founded1874 (1874)
Colours     Blue      Red
CompetitionVictorian Football League
PresidentMichael Shulman
CoachGary Ayres
Captain(s)Jordan Lisle / Tom O’Sullivan
Premierships17 (1897, 1901, 1922, 1940, 1941, 1947, 1953, 1964, 1966, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 2011, 2017)
Ground(s)North Port Oval (capacity: 10,000)
Uniforms
Home
Other information
Official websiteportmelbournefc.com.au

The club currently has no reserves alignment with an Australian Football League (AFL) club.

Port Melbourne is traditionally considered one of the strongest, most successful and most supported Victorian clubs outside the AFL due to its long and illustrious history in the competition formerly known as the Victorian Football Association (VFA).

History

The Borough joined the Victorian Football Association (VFA) in 1886 and has played in every season since then. In 1897, Port Melbourne was left out of the group of eight clubs which formed the breakaway VFL competition, despite having regularly been about the sixth- or seventh- best performing team onfield. Historian Terry Keenan theorised that the likeliest reason for Port Melbourne's exclusion was the reputation for the poor behaviour that its players and spectators had developed over the previous decade; its rivalry with and proximity to the influential South Melbourne Football Club and the fact that the club had supported the gate equalisation measures which the breakaway clubs were trying to escape were also speculated to have contributed to the decision.[1]

The club, and the suburb of Port Melbourne in general, were heavily associated with wharf labourers and the union movement. During a 1928 waterfront strike in Melbourne, a wharf labourer protesting the use of scab labour was shot by police; as a result, the club banned any police from playing with them. The policy remained in place until the late 1950s.[2]

For most, the nickname of the Borough (or Boroughs) may seem strange, but its origins lie when the team was based in what was known as the Borough of Port Melbourne. The name stuck, even after the area was upgraded to the status of town and eventually city.[3][4]

Port Melbourne went on to become one of the strongest clubs in the VFA, and today still attracts some of the biggest crowds to its games. The club had very strong links with the Port Melbourne community, arguably the strongest community relationship within the VFA; local juniors often held stronger aspirations to play for Port Melbourne than for the VFL's South Melbourne – which by the 1950s was perennially struggling and to which the Port Melbourne area was zoned – and even players as highly decorated as Brownlow Medallists Peter Bedford and Bob Skilton regularly returned to Port Melbourne after their VFL careers.[5]

Traditionally the Borough's greatest rivals are the Williamstown Seagulls and the Sandringham Zebras. All three teams continue to play in the VFL to this day. Prior to the original breakaway of the VFL from the VFA in 1897, Port Melbourne's greatest rival was South Melbourne.[1]

Since the AFL reserves competition merged with the Victorian Football League in 2000, Port Melbourne has been involved in two affiliations: with the Sydney Swans (2001–2002), and with the North Melbourne Kangaroos (2003–2005); since 2006, Port Melbourne has existed as a stand-alone VFL club.

Port Melbourne has been affiliated with the Oakleigh Chargers TAC Cup team since the 1999 season.[6] It had previously been affiliated with the Geelong Falcons (1996–1998),[7] and in 1995 was part of a three-way affiliation which saw it share the Calder Cannons and Western Jets with Williamstown and Coburg.[8]

Club Jumper

The Port Melbourne Football Club's Guernsey is royal blue with red vertical stripes.

Uniform evolution

1889–
1897–1908
1909–present

Club Song

The club song is sung to the tune of "You're a Grand Old Flag".

2011 season

In 2011, Port Melbourne completed a perfect season, winning all eighteen home-and-away games, then three finals matches, culminating in a 56-point win against Williamstown in the Grand Final.[9] It was the first perfect season in the VFA/VFL first division since 1918.[10]

Team of the Century

The Port Melbourne Football Club team of the century was chosen in 2003, combining all the clubs greats from across its long history.

Team of the Century: Line Up
Back Line Stan PlumridgeJoe GarbuttVic Aanensen
Half Back Line David KingBob KelseyBob Withers
Centre Line Bill SwanPeter BedfordBilly McGee
Half Forward Line Rob FreyerTed FreyerBrian Walsh
Forward Line Bob BonnettFred CookTommy Lahiff
Rucks Frank Johnson, Sr. (c)Graeme AndersonBill Findlay
Interchange David HoltReg MurrayNorm Goss, Jr.
Bill BedfordCarl BowenGary Brice
Coach Gary Brice

Premierships

  • 1897 – runners-up North Melbourne
  • 1901 – runners-up Richmond
  • 1922Port Melbourne 9.6 (60) d Footscray 8.10 (58) (Crowd: 22,000)
  • 1940Port Melbourne 23.22 (160) d Prahran 17.11 (113) (Crowd: 30,882)
  • 1941Port Melbourne 15.18 (108) d Coburg 11.23 (89) (Crowd: 36,289)
  • 1947Port Melbourne 15.13 (103) d Sandringham 11.8 (74) (Crowd: 24,000)
  • 1953Port Melbourne 21.15 (141) d Yarraville 12.9 (81) (Crowd: 40,000)
  • 1964Port Melbourne 14.17 (101) d Williamstown 10.5 (65) (Crowd: 20,000)
  • 1966Port Melbourne 13.12 (90) d Waverley 6.11 (47) (Crowd: 20,000)
  • 1974Port Melbourne 22.20 (152) d Oakleigh 11.17 (83) (Crowd: 23,936)
  • 1976Port Melbourne 19.18 (132) d Dandenong 10.15 (75) (Crowd: 32,317)
  • 1977Port Melbourne 23.19 (157) d Sandringham 7.15 (57) (Crowd: 29,664)
  • 1977 Centenary CupPort Melbourne 26.16 (172) d. Caulfield 15.11 (101) (Crowd: 3,000)
  • 1980Port Melbourne 11.15 (81) d Coburg 10.10 (70) (Crowd: 22,010)
  • 1981Port Melbourne 32.19 (211) d Preston 15.8 (98) (Crowd: 20,186)
  • 1982Port Melbourne 21.15 (141) d Preston 20.14 (134) (Crowd: 20,732)
  • 2011Port Melbourne 22.12 (144) d Williamstown 13.10 (88) (Crowd: 11,896)
  • 2017Port Melbourne 11.8 (74) d Richmond 10.10 (70) (Crowd: 17,159)
  • Total Premierships – 17
  • Total Grand Finals – 33

The Centenary Cup was a once-off knock-out competition held during 1977, and is not counted amongst Port Melbourne's total premiership statistics.

Other Awards

Runners-ups (21): 1902, 1923, 1925, 1928, 1929, 1945, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1965, 1967, 1987, 1993, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2012

Minor Premierships (20): 1941, 1947, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1966, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1987, 1993, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2011, 2014

Wooden Spoons (3): 1909, 1936, 2006

Post War Placings

Placings (1945–64)
Year 19451946194719481949195019511952195319541955195619571958195919601961196219631964
Placement 241117222122223886751
Placings (1965–84)
Year 19651966196719681969197019711972197319741975197619771978197919801981198219831984
Placement 21253465413113311136
Placings (1985-04)
Year 19851986198719881989199019911992199319941995199619971998199920002001200220032004
Placement 55248105627354861310232
Placings (2005–present)
Year 20052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018201920202021202220232024
Placement 51372361263108184

Records

  • League History: VFA/VFL 1886-15, 1918–41, 1945–present
  • Record Attendance: 36,289 v the Coburg Lions in 1941
  • Most Games: 253 by Fred Cook
  • Most Goals: 1210 by Fred Cook
  • Liston Medallists: E. Hyde (1930), W. Findlay (1946), F. Johnson (1952), V. Aanensen (1979, 1981), S. Allender (1980), W. Swan (1982, 1983), S. Harkins (1990), S. Valenti (2010, 2011)
  • Highest Score: 43.29 (287) v Sandringham in 1941
  • Lowest Score: 0.2 (2) v Prahran in 1902
  • Longest Winning Run: 28 (2011–2012)
  • Longest Losing Run: 14 (1909)

Coaches

See also

References

  1. Keenan, Terry (2001), "Keeping out the riff-raff – Port Melbourne's exclusion from the Victorian Football League in 1896", Sporting Traditions, 17 (2): 1–16
  2. Marc Fiddian (19 September 1981). "Another proud day for Port". The Age. Melbourne, VIC. p. 43.
  3. Ciem (22 July 1922). "Association topics". Record. Emerald Hill, VIC. p. 2.
  4. "Ports wilted at the finish". Record. Emerald Hill, VIC. 19 June 1937. p. 5.
  5. Amy, Paul (2014), Fabulous Fred: the Strife and Times of Fred Cook, Melbourne Books, pp. 53–54
  6. "Borough Continue To Build on Oakleigh Chargers Relationship". Port Melbourne Football Club. 23 February 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  7. Adrian Dunn (5 October 1995). "Willy and the Bees merge order". Herald Sun (Afternoon ed.). Melbourne, VIC. p. 86.
  8. Adrian Dunn (17 September 1994). "Prahran calls time out". Herald Sun (Morning ed.). Melbourne, VIC. p. 86.
  9. Amy, Paul (25 September 2011). "Port Melbourne crushes Williamstown to claim VFL flag". Leader. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  10. "This weekend in the VFL". The Marngrook Footy Show. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 9 September 2011.

Sources

  • Atkinson, G. (1982) Everything you ever wanted to know about Australian rules football but couldn't be bothered asking, The Five Mile Press: Melbourne. ISBN 0 86788 009 0.
  • Terry Keenan. 2006. Unduly Rough Play – A History of the Port Melbourne Football Club, Volume 2 1918 – 1944. Albert Park: Eucalyptus Press
  • Terry Keenan. 2004. Kicking into the Wind – A History of the Formative Years of the Port Melbourne Football Club 1874–1917. Petersham: Walla Walla Press
  • Terry Keenan. 1999. A Taste of Port. Albert Park: Eucalyptus Press
  • Terry Keenan. A Family Feud. Port Melbourne: Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society.
  • Terry Keenan. Keeping Out the Riff-Raff. Port Melbourne: Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society.
  • Marc Fiddian. The VFA – A History of the Victorian Football Association 1877–1995.
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