A BRIEF HISTORY OF YOUR CLUB
THE FOOTSCRAY HOCKEY CLUB
UPDATED MAY 2016
The Footscray Hockey Club has operated continuously for eighty two years, being established in late 1934, and first taking the field for the 1935 winter season. The Club has had a number of homes through this extended period, playing its early years at the bottom of the Footscray Gardens / Lynches Bridge area, followed by a short period at the back of the Yarraville Gardens. In 1965 the Club began its thirty year tenure of Johnson Reserve in Essex St West Footscray, following which it moved back to Yarraville (to McIvor Reserve) in 1994.
Some Interesting Aspects From Our History
1934 – (September) Meetings held to form a hockey club in Footscray
Mid to late 1930’s:
– Social functions held at ‘Greens Palace’ (above the current furniture shop on the corner of Geelong Rd and Barkley St).
– Roy ‘Monkey’ Campbell lost his dentures in the mud (Lynches Bridge ground
– During the 30’s and 40’s two ladies clubs operated locally – Footscray Centrals were our affiliated unit, so named because a separate Footscray Ladies club competed between 1936 -1946. The ‘Centrals’ tag was dropped in the late 1940’s after the other ladies hockey club disbanded.
– J O’Brien removed as president (failure to attend meetings)
1940 – Pioneer Hotel change-rooms mentioned (Lynch’s Bridge).
1942 – Committee decides against disbanding FHC after having only eight players throughout the entire 1942 season (war duties).
1945 – Food, clothing rations and War Savings Certificates given as trophies
1947 – FHC played Victoria (National Champions) to raise money for the Miss Footscray Quest (FHC lost 0-1)
– Old camouflage nets were purchased to use as goal nets
1949 – FHC endows bed at Footscray Hospital (₤120)
– FHC donated ₤45 to the Foots / Yarraville Spastic Children’s Society.
1950 – Ben Acton picked for Australia in both Field Hockey and Ice Hockey (Aust Capt). A great all-rounder, Ben also trained with Footscray Football Club as a young man.
1948-51 – FHC U16 squad produced eight State / State Schoolboy reps. In 1952 FHC’s U16 team beat Strathmore 30-0 and Kew 37-0.
1955 – As well as the Footscray Gardens (Lynch’s Bridge end) ground (called ‘Acton Reserve’), an extra ground was used near the lily ponds.
1956 – Bill Rowbury played the entire A1 game with a fractured skull (scoring FHC’s only goal!).
– FHC lost to the USA 1-2 in a pre-Olympics practice match.
1957 – 6th July: Alby Speed scored 6 goals (A2’s 7-0 win over Kew)
1958 – Ladies team wear Red, White and Blue for the first time.
1965 – FHC shift to Johnson Reserve in West Footscray
– A2 (SL2) men play GF three times (v St. K) before a result is achieved.
1967 – Later a Fed Parliamentarian, Gary Johns selected in Vic U16 team.
1972 – FHC v Australia at the Albury Carnival
1974 – Indoor hockey started at the Footscray YMCA.
– Administrative disagreements caused split in Club. Large number of players left to join Werribee and new club Sunshine.
1979 – Men’s ‘Senior Club Champion’ award won by U16 captain Greg Hopkins.
1980 – Revised constitution cuts committee size from 15 to 8.
1983 – Footscray Hockey Club incorporated.
– $100,000 upgrade carried out to Johnson Reserve pavilion.
1985 – FHC win p/ships in all five Mens grades – an Aust. record!
1994 – FHC shift to magnificent McIvor Reserve complex at Yarraville (sand based syn. turf ground and large pavilion)
1997 – Men’s 1st XI contest State League Division 1 for the first time since 1966.
2000 – Wet pitch (F1) added to Club complex.
2006 – FHC fields a record 36 teams (incl. a record 18 junior teams)
2008 – FHC junior teams compete in a club record 8 grand finals. Awarded ‘Best Junior Hockey Club in Victoria’.
2009 – FHC compete in both the mens and womens SL3 grand finals. Eastern ground re-carpeted, $200,000 specialist junior training area built.
2010 – Mens team play off in the SL2 grand final, 13 of a record 41 teams contested grand finals, FHC junior division again ranked #2 in the State, western ground recarpeted.
2011 – FHC compete in both mens and women’s SL2 grand finals (men won, women runners-up). Both promoted to SL1 for 2012. Most successful junior division in Vic again. Best girls program for 4th consecutive year.
2012 – FHC men’s and women’s first elevens return to SL1 (‘Premier League’)!!!
2016 – FHC enter a record 53 teams, including a 12 team intra-club U8 league and a 6 team intra-club U10 league.
- $900,000 pavilion re–development project announced.
- Men’s and women’s Premier League teams contest fifth consecutive year in the elite Hockey Victoria grade. Extended years in HVic’s elite grade has not occurred for 40 years (FHC women) and 50 years (FHC men). Note: FHC’s proud history of contributing to our local community! The major donations to the Footscray Hospital and the Footscray and Yarraville Spastic Children’s Society in the 1940’s started a commitment by FHC to, whenever possible; contribute back to our local communities. Later causes supported by FHC include Red Cross Calling, The Spastic Society (again) and Cancer cure organisations.