Fitzroy Football Club: Great football, Great community, Great culture.

Legend steps down, heir apparent steps up

After more than 12 years as President and 13 on the Board, Joan Eddy has steered the Fitzroy Football Club incorporating the Fitzroy Reds from strength to strength, building on the club’s enviable and unmatched history in the VFA, VFL, AFL, VWFL and the VAFA to champion innovations in community football such as Indigenous recognition, women’s footy and player wellbeing and leadership programs. Along the way she’s created the foundations for the club’s strong governance and ongoing financial growth and stability. That’s what we all know, but with her retirement, we think it’s time to pass over to Joan for her reflections at this momentous time in the history of the famous Fitzroy Football Club. Over to you Joan…


As I prepare to pass on the reins of the presidency, I’m feeling very confident about the place the club is at. Fitzroy members, players, supporters, coaches, community partners, sponsors, volunteers and, of course, its Board, continue to be an awesome group who together make a wonderful contribution to the life of our club.

People often ask me what makes the Fitzroy Football Club so special. Certainly, the history and legacy of the Club that began in 1883 and merged with the Fitzroy Reds in 2008 is generally well known and contributes to it being universally loved. And I can’t describe how privileged and honoured I have always felt about being its President.

But it’s the emergence of our identity as a community football club since the Reds merger that makes me feel most proud—the club’s commitment to the wonderful amateur tradition espoused by the VAFA motto, ‘love of the game’, the importance of being a relevant and contributing community partner, of working hard to champion inclusivity and diversity, of understanding that we still and always will, have so much to learn, and of realising that we all have so much more in common than we are different. And that if we are prepared to stand up for those principles and always, always find the joy in in whatever our role in the club is—even through the tough times (maybe even especially then), we’ll come out on top.

I’m retiring now because it’s time. It’s as simple as that. Regeneration and succession planning at a Board (and community) level is critical to the wellbeing of every club, and at Fitzroy we want to make sure we continue to develop the next generation of club leaders, both on and off the field.

The club’s Board is made up of committed, competent and dynamic directors who will continue to guide us through its next period of growth and development. I can’t describe in words what an extraordinary group of people they have been to work with, and I can’t thank them enough for the support they have given me and what they do for the club. I am so grateful to them, and all the directors I have had the privilege of serving with over this past 13 years.

The incoming President, David Leydon, epitomises everything that is great about the Fitzroy Football Club and he will continue to be an outstanding leader for the Roys. With a family history as a loyal lifelong supporter, he brings something extra special to the role of President. Elected to the FFC Board at the 2018 Annual General Meeting and Vice President since 2020, we are so lucky to have him in the role of President from the start of the 2022 year.

There are simply too many people to thank in writing, so I’ve made the decision to not name any individual in this article – you all know who you are. You are all members of either my blood family, my extended family, my Fitzroy family, my friends—many a combination of some or all of the above. What I will say is that each of you has given me so much support and been wonderful mentors and contributors, to the club, and to my life.

Kate and I will not be strangers!
We’ll be at games and Kate and I will not be able to keep the smiles off our faces as we hear the song when our senior women’s and men’s teams take the field, or when we hear any of our teams sing it after a win.

In fact, there is something to smile about at any Fitzroy game that is being played.

Always was, always will be.

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