Fitzroy Football Club President Joan Eddy. Photo: Phyllis Quealy.
Greetings Roys family!
We have so much happening at our Club this week that
you get a double dose of our RedRoy Mail!
We cannot express how thrilled we are to take the
field this weekend. To say we were devastated to lose our
season last year is an understatement. We of course understand
why it was necessary to cancel the 2020 VAFA Season. And
we're proud of what we've achieved here in Melbourne to
keep everyone safe. But it sure was tough.
It was tough for our players and our coaches who just
wanted to play. It was tough for our volunteers, members
and fans who lost their weekly day out at the footy, catching
up with friends and cheering on our men and women. It was
tough for our sponsors who had to navigate how to manage
their businesses in a pandemic. And it was tough for our
Board who never stopped working to keep our Club thriving.
I thank everyone for their support during 2020.
Now we get to go back to the footy to play, coach, volunteer
and cheer, as a community once again.
And I cannot wait!
We've done a lot of work as a Club to make 2021 one of
our best. We used 2020 to strategise, develop and put forward
new ideas and plans for success.
We have started work on a new strategic plan for
Fitzroy as detailed in the RedRoy Mail on Tuesday this
week. This is an exciting process that will define what
success looks like for the Roys and cement our values and
vision for the next three years.
The future is bright at Fitzroy!
And now we get to see it all come together as we, finally,
hit the park tomorrow. I wish our captains, leadership
groups and coaches all the best as they take the reins
in leading our Club on and off the field in 2021, you're
going to be brilliant. All the best to our players, enjoy
and cherish every minute out there!
To our volunteers, members and sponsors, I hope you enjoy
being back at the footy, supporting our teams and being
with our beautiful community.
I can't wait to see you all this weekend wearing Red,
Gold and Blue!
Fitzroy Football Club
Round 1 action!
Have you ever seen anything so beautiful as footy fixtures
after the year we just had! Enjoy the footy this weekend Roys
We have a triple header at Brunswick Street Oval with
our Senior Men's, Reserves and U19s taking on the Uni Blacks
and our Fitzroy-ACU Women's teams take on Old Geelong at Ramsden
Round one also sees four debutante coaches for the Fitzroy
We wish Bronte Ryan, Cam Ball, Silvano Inserra and Nathan
McLean all the best this weekend. Go Roys!
Fitzroy Senior Men
Brunswick Street Oval
Fitzroy-ACU Senior Women
Ramsden Street Oval
Fitzroy Reserves Men
Brunswick Street Oval
Fitzroy-ACU Reserves Women
Ramsden Street Oval
Fitzroy Under 19's
Brunswick Street Oval
Fitzroy Gold Thirds
Introducing more leadership groups for 2021!
Our leaders at the 2021 Season Launch. Photo: Phyllis Quealy.
Earlier this week we announced our senior leaders
for 2021 who were chosen by their coaches and peers
to lead the Roys this season.
We'd now like to introduce our leadership groups for the
Reserves, U19s and Thirds Gold (our new development team
Men's Reserves Leadership Group: Captain: Alex Ritchie
Vice Captains: Aaron Tatchell and Sam Turner
Deputy Vice Captains: Glen Burns and Alex Watson
Under 19s Leadership Group Co Captains: Harry Tauber and Clancy Morris Dalton
Vice Captains: Jacob Bourke and Pasquale Curcio
Third's Gold Leadership Group: Co Captains: Ben McDonald
Xander Van Vliet
Fitzroy v. University: rivalry and respect that began 136 years ago but remains strong today
The 1913 Fitzroy Football Club Premiership Team: (featuring Jim Toohey Snr – Great Grandfather of current Fitzroy player Donovan Toohey)
By David Leydon
One of the great, long-standing rivalries for the Fitzroy
Football Club will have its next instalment in the opening
round of the 2021 season when we take on the University Blacks.
Most supporters will know that the Fitzroy Football Club was
formed in 1883 and played its first official games in the old
Victorian Football Association (VFA) in 1884. In 1885 the University
Football Club was also admitted into the VFA and stayed in
that competition until 1888. It was during this four-year period
that the Roy-ites and Uni played their first games against
The first ever recorded Fitzroy vs University clash happened
on the 2nd of May, 1885 at Brunswick Street Oval in front
of a crowd of 1500 people.
The Roys came out victors on this day, kicking 5.10 to Uni
2.3. These were the times where, despite the behinds being
recorded, they effectively counted for nothing in either the
result or the percentage obtained from the game. Only the goals
That saw Fitzroy record a second win over Uni later in the
season when they kicked 2.10 to Uni’s 1.16 which, using modern
scoring methods, would register as a draw, but in 1885 it was
a two goal to one victory for Fitzroy.
Fitzroy recorded further victories over University in 1886
by seven goals at the University ground and then by four goals
late in the season at BSO in front of 2000 adoring fans.
The teams only played each other once in 1887, with the Royboys
running out three-goal winners at BSO. Despite both teams being
in the VFA in 1888, a quirky fixture, and an uneven number
of games played by each team saw no games played between Fitzroy
and University that year. University then left the VFA at the
end of 1888 and went into brief recess before reforming and
joining several other suburban competitions over the next 20
Fitzroy was one of the eight clubs that eventually broke away
from the VFA and formed the Victorian Football League in 1897,
the competition that became the AFL in 1990.
When the VFL had its first expansion in 1908, it added two
teams, Richmond and University, to its ranks to become a ten-team
competition. Of course this meant Fitzroy and University locked
horns once again at the top level of Victorian football.
This was a period of rebuilding for Fitzroy who, across the
ten years between 1895 and 1905, had won a staggering five
premierships and had been runners-up on three occasions.
A number of the champion Fitzroy players had retired and the
club begun its rebuild journey in 1907, which eventually secured
further Premierships in 1913, 1916 and 1922.
The first time Fitzroy and University met in 1908 came in
round 7, on the 8th of June at the East Melbourne Cricket Ground
(EMCG) which the University team used in its first few years
in the VFL. Fitzroy won that game 12.12.84 to University 9.7.61.
When the teams met again at the Brunswick Street Oval later
in the season, Fitzroy were victors a second time 13.16.94
Despite this being University’s first season in the big time
of the VFL, they did pretty well finishing 6th on
the ladder with 8 wins and 10 losses, one spot above Fitzroy
who had 7 wins and 11 losses. The teams next met in round 9
of 1909, and this time University were victors by 40-points
at the EMCG. They met again in the last round of 1909 and played
out a thrilling draw at Brunswick Street Oval.
1909 saw the previous seasons positions on the ladder reversed
with Fitzroy finishing 6th and Uni ending up in
In 1910 it was two wins to University. The first early in
the season by 36-points and they overran the Roys at BSO later
in the year by 25-points. By season's end, Uni had a credible
6th place finish and the Roys had dropped to 8th.
1910 also saw University appoint former Fitzroy captain and
premiership champion, Gerald Brosnan, as coach. Brosnan, who
had played in the back to back 1904-05 Fitzroy premiership
teams, ended up coaching Uni for four seasons (1910,11, 12,
By 1911 the Uni boys had moved their home ground to share
with Melbourne at the MCG. When the Roys visited the mighty
ground in round 6, they had a stirring 34-point away win and
then backed it up with a 37-point win at BSO later in the season.
It was during this period that things started on a downward
spiral for University. Most of their rival VFL teams were paying
their players as professionalism started to grow within the
league. Uni was keen to ensure it maintained its amateur status,
and had steadfastly refused to pay players. This meant that
many of their better players of the time went elsewhere to
play under the lure of the money on offer.
The University team only won one game in 1911 to finish bottom.
The club won wooden spoons again in 1912, 1913 and 1914, losing
its last 51 games in a row and eventually leaving the VFL at
the end of 1914.
Fitzroy recorded wins over University in 1912 by 27-points
In 1913, the Roys won both games again by 42 and 40-points
en-route to the magnificent 1913 VFL Premiership.
In University’s last year in the VFL in 1914, Fitzroy recorded
respective 84 and 89-point victories and again made the finals.
At the end of World War I, University were invited into the
newly formed VFL Reserves competition (also known as the Victorian
Junior Football League). Two University teams were entered
and they were originally called University A and University
By 1921, both Uni teams had moved to the Metropolitan Amateur
Football Association which eventually became the Victorian
Amateur Football Association in 1933.
The Uni A and Uni B name was replaced with Uni Blues and Uni
Blacks – the teams that survive and thrive to this day in the
In 1954 a third University team was formed – the mighty University
The Reds played until 1996 under the University umbrella.
The team moved to BSO in 1991 to play its home games. When
Melbourne University withdrew its support for the Reds, players
and supporters changed the club's name to the Fitzroy Reds.
In 2008 the Fitzroy Reds merged with the magnificent old Fitzroy
Football Club to become the club that we know and love today.
So the ties between Fitzroy and University that go back 136
years are strong and full of history. That history will get
another chapter in round 1 of 2021 when the teams again take
the field of battle to kick off the new VAFA season at the
Brunswick Street Oval.
The Rouge et Noir Cup
An additional piece of the Fitzroy/Uni Blacks his is when
the Uni Blacks and Fitzroy meet, we play for the Rouge et Noir
Cup, which the Blacks currently hold.
It has a long history, dating back to when the Uni Blacks
would play the Uni Reds.
Who will take the cup home this weekend?!
Photo: Peter Hille, President of the Reds Foundation, with the cup.
This weekend we also welcome the 1980 Uni Reds premiership
side at BSO for their one-year-delayed 40 year reunion.
Coach Andy McNair, captain Michael Smale and leading goal
kicker and Reds Foundation President, Peter Hille, will relive
the stories of that premiership year.
Fittingly, Fitzroy takes on the Uni Blacks in Round 1 at Brunswick
Street Oval and the Reds will take a walk down memory lane
to a time when the Reds were almost unstoppable. Almost.
The Reds finished the home and away season in 1980 atop the
ladder with 16 wins and two losses. Having lost to Thomastown
by one point in the second semi, they went on to exact
their revenge in emphatic style with a 10 goal grand final
win at the Beaurepaire Centre, Albert Park.
But they almost didn’t make it! Having been five goals down
at three quarter time in the Preliminary Final against
the Peninsula Old Boys, the Reds stormed home to win by
The Reserves also finished on top of the ladder after the
home and away season but were defeated in the grand
Come and commemorate the Anzacs at Brunswick Street Oval
2021 Player Sponsorship - a new tax deductible option!
As most supporters would know, there are considerable costs associated with fielding teams to represent our great club. This includes grounds, trainers, coaches, footballs, insurance, league fees and much more.
Many of our players are students with part-time work, or graduates at entry level jobs, and finding the $295 to $430 for registration fees each season is a challenge.
To help ease this pressure, the club has established the Fitzroy Football Club Player Assistance Fund (supporting the Player Sponsorship program) to be used exclusively used to cover player registration fees.
Donations to the Fitzroy Football Club Player Assistance Fund are fully tax deductible.
These donation payments come to the club, and not to the player, so it doesn't breach the amateur status nature of the competition.
Through the club’s fundraising partnership with the Australian Sports Foundation (ASF), we have introduced a new system this year that enables supporters to receive a tax deduction for assisting FFC players to cover the cost of their registration.
The suggested donation amounts per player are as follow:
Team Player Assistance donation amount Men’s Senior and Reserves $430 Women’s Senior and Reserves $315 Men’s Thirds $315 Men’s Under 19’s $295
If you would like to make a contribution towards assisting a player but do not want to pay the full amount please feel free to do so and your contribution will be grouped with other kind donations. It all adds up and is a great help for our players.