Waiting, waiting, waiting. It's all we seem to be doing!
We're expecting to hear announcements from the AFL soon that will in turn affect what Season 2020 will look like for the VAFA. As soon as new information comes to hand, we'll share it with you.
In the meantime, we're so thankful for the level of support our community is showing. We've had some generous donations come through to our tax deductible Fitzroy Forever Operations Fund which will really help our Club get through this and we so appreciate all the comments and messages on social media that keep the footy conversations we'd love to be having at the game going. We have such a wonderful community.
Keep doing what you're doing Roys family. Stay home, stay safe and we'll bring you the news as soon as we have it.
Vale Brian Barclay
The Fitzroy Football Club extends our condolences to the family of Brian Barclay, who passed away this week.
Brian played 61 games for Fitzroy from 1957–62.
Rest in peace Brian.
It was 65 years ago this week...
Kevin Murray running out to a guard of honour from for his final game against Geelong, Junction Oval 1974.
This week marks the 65th anniversary of Club Legend Kevin Murray’s first ever senior game for Fitzroy on May 7th, 1955.
By David Leydon
The whole course of Fitzroy Football Club history was changed in this very week 65 years ago when the greatest Roys player of all, Kevin Murray, aged 16 years and 323 days, played his first-ever senior game for our club.
It was the Round 4 game of the 1955 season played at the Brunswick Street Oval against Geelong.
Kevin was the son of Fitzroy 1944 Premiership player, Dan Murray and had been attracting considerable praise for his form throughout the pre-season and in the early rounds of the season for in the Reserves.
It was a time of rebuilding at Fitzroy following the retirement the season before of legends such as our 1950 Brownlow Medal winner Allan Ruthven, 1952 Best and Fairest Neville Broderick and the great George Coates.
Over the course of 1954 and 1955 Fitzroy debuted a series of players who would become the backbone of the sides that later made the finals in 1958 and 1960.
Names such as Owen Abrahams, Ron Harvey, Brian Pert and Rod Vernon were the youthful arm playing alongside the experience and toughness of the great Norm Johnstone, Alan Gale, Jack Gervasoni, Eddie Goodger, Don Furness and Jack Streader.
To round things out the team was captain coached by the much loved Bill Stephen and with the addition of young Murray the nucleus was there for an exciting future.
Kevin was selected as 20th man for this his first senior game. These were the days when there was no interchange. Clubs could name two reserves, a 19th and 20th man, who could replace (not interchange) another player during the course of the game.
With Fitzroy 9-points down at three quarter time coach Billy Stephen threw Kevin Murray into the action for the first time when he replaced the injured Leo Smyth.
The last quarter of this game became renowned for another unique occurrence when Roys full forward Tony Ongarello, who had been struggling for accuracy all day, suddenly decided to use a place kick when lining up for goal. He kicked two goals with this method in the final quarter to finish with 5 for the match.
A terrible umpiring decision in the dying minutes when a clear mark wasn’t paid to Norm Johnstone in the goal square stopped the rampaging Roys momentum and cost them the game by 10 points.
Kevin Murray clearly excited everyone in his 30 odd minutes on the ground. Newspaper reports in The Argus said that “he impressed when he came on as a reserve on Saturday” and The Herald said “16 year old Kevin Murray came on in the final term and promptly had a couple of kicks…”.
This of course was just the beginning.
He played the remainder of 1955 in the Senior team, going from strength to strength, eventually winning the Best First Year Player Award by season's end with the Annual Report suggesting that he had a brilliant future ahead of him.
Well – they were right.
Fast forward to Round 22, 1974 and Kevin Murray played his 333rd and last game for Fitzroy – against Geelong at the Roys home ground of the 1970s, the Junction Oval.
What happened in between?
9 club Best and Fairest wins
The 1969 Brownlow Medal
Fitzroy Coach 1963–1964
Fitzroy Captain 11963–64 and 1967–72
Fitzroy Life Member 1964
Fitzroy Team of the Century 2001
30 State representative games (24 Vic, 6 WA)
AFL Team of the Century 1996
AFL Hall of Fame 1996
AFL Life Member
This is an amazing set of credentials for a man playing at a club that had little money and resources in the 1950s and 60s and, except for a couple of stand-out seasons, struggled badly on field.
Throughout all the adversity and everyday club difficulties Kevin Murray stood out like a beacon of hope for supporters.
Everyone who has seen him play remembers his fierce determination and desire to win every contest for the ball. He was rarely (if ever) beaten by an opponent.
Kevin Murray's 1969 Brownlow Medal is widely regarded as the most popular win of all time such was the respect he always commanded throughout his career.
That respect has only grown in the many years since. Whenever the great man shows up at a Fitzroy or Brisbane Lions event these days he is swamped by fans of every age.
Everyone loves Kevin Murray - from people in their 80s who saw him play his first game to 5 year-old fans who have only heard about him from Grandparents (or Great Grandparents!).
For many of us Kevin Murray is the greatest Royboy of all.
Kevin Murray with his 1969 Brownlow Medal speaking at the MCG on Grand Final day in 1969 after doing a lap of honour.
Winter Warmers Sale Now On!
If you're feeling the cold at the moment (we sure are!) now is the time to grab some winter Roys merch with our Winter Warmers Sale!
Hoodies are now just $50 for Adult sizes and $42 for kids.
If the AFL couldn't get rid of us, the coronavirus sure won't!
The Fitzroy Football Club is a strong, vibrant community club with a proud history that we are passionate about preserving and strengthening as we pursue success on and off the field.
Last week we shared our fully tax deductible fundraising channel through the Australian Sports Foundation. We'll continue to include the information to this for our community to contribute to if you can and share with your networks. We appreciate any donation to help us keep our club strong.
It's a tough time right now as the world looks to manage the impact of COVID-19 and plan as best we can, to find a way through.
Our club is doing what we can to manage during these times and we're playing our role to stop the spread of the coronavirus and keep our community safe. We’re a strong and resilient club. We're going to get through this.
But we also need as much help as possible to keep thriving and come out the other side of this in a position that allows us to continue at our best.
We know it’s a hard ask, but for anyone who is in a position to, we have the Fitzroy Forever Operations Fund up and running for any donation, big or small.
In an exciting partnership announced at the end of 2019, we have connected with the Australian Sports Foundation, which allows all donations to the Fitzroy Forever Operations Fund to be fully tax deductible.
Any donation will help the famous Fitzroy Football Club come through this crisis and allow us to continue bringing our community together through football.
We are so appreciative of any support and can’t wait to be back at the football again with you all.
Thank you for your support and stay strong Roys family.