The Fitzroy Reds Football Club (formerly the University Reds Football Club) has a long and distinguished history. Throughout its 48 years the
club has prided itself of being a club run by the players for the players. We have always maintained a strong social calendar and an eclectic
mix of players that has given us a reputation for eccentricity.
The first University Reds (known as Uni Reds) football team was formed in 1954 as a virtual Club XVIII to provide leftover players from University Blues and Blacks with an opportunity to get a regular match. Playing in the E grade section they were very competitive with many strong performances and final appearances but no flags.
The introduction of the compulsory reserves competition by the VAFA saw Uni Reds go into recess in 1964. However it did not take long to resurrect the spirit and the Reds played in the Federal League for 2 seasons before re-joining the VAFA, with both a seniors and reserves teams, in 1972. From 1972 onwards there were a number of home grounds, including Crawford oval, Yarra Bend oval, Princess Park and the University Main Oval. In 1991 the University Reds moved to the Brunswick Street Oval which has been the home ever since.
The first taste of premiership victory was in 1980 and were runners up in the following year. It took until 1994 to win the first reserves premiership. In 1995 the second senior premiership was won.
The turning point for the club was 1997, when under increasing pressure from the Melbourne University Sports Union to meet the required number of undergraduate and post graduate registrations to obtain funding it was decided to “go it alone” and became the Fitzroy Reds Football Club. Since that time the club had the support of the Fitzroy Football Club and the Fitzroy Foundation which have enabled us to remain independent and viable. The support of these organisations also saw the Reds wearing the Fitzroy Football Club colours on their original home ground.
Success has been much more a feature in recent years, than those struggling, yet fun-filled years of the early days. After going undefeated to win the premiership in 2001 (D3 Section), the Reds consolidated in the higher grade the following year. This has been a common trend in the ensuing years, with premierships, over the previously undefeated Peninsula Pirates in 2003, consolidation in D1 in 2004, and then a barnstorming year in 2005, winning the premiership, and promotion to the then C Grade for the first time ever.
The Reds' initial C Grade foray only lasted a couple of seasons, however, as they succumbed to relegation in 2007 after managing just 4 wins from 18 matches for the year. Despite this setback, ties with the local community have continued to be strengthened, and the club now counts among its growing supporter base a large number of former Fitzroy fans from all corners of Victoria and beyond.
In 2008 the seniors showed considerable promise as they claimed 11 wins from their 18 matches for the year to come within a whisker of making the D1 Grade finals.
First proposed in April of 2008 and completed In December 2008, the Fitzroy Reds merged with the former AFL club Fitzroy Football Club Ltd.
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