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Articles - Michael Riley

Introduction



‘Changi’ Football 1942-43

Author: Michael Riley - Published At: 2016-07-17 08:45 - (1736 Reads)
In 1945 the Sporting Globe published Jim Makeham's record of football at the Changi Prison Camp. Further articles and books have followed but few appear to have been aware of this early article. This is a new look at football at Changi.

1925 - The First VFL Grand Final Radio Call

Author: Michael Riley - Published At: 2016-06-17 11:17 - (1299 Reads)
The 1925 VFL Grand Final was the first Australian Rules Grand Final to be broadcast over a newfangled device, usually called the wireless. 1925 was still the infancy of radio in Australia, broadcasting had only officially started in 1924. Outdoor broadcasts were new and exciting. It seems fitting that ‘out of town’ers Geelong won this historic encounter. This is the story of the evolution of Australian Radio leading to this historic game.

Peter Brown - A Scrapbook of Football from the 1920's and 1930's

Author: Michael Riley - Published At: 2016-03-13 11:12 - (2316 Reads)
Peter Brown is an unsung footballer from the 1920’s and 1930’s. Peter’s story includes the periods in the VFL, VFA, Country football and later as a trainer, it includes individual achievements such as three premiership medals with Northcote in the VFA, to lows such as injuries and permit troubles at Footscray. Peters family scrapbook helps tell a fascinating story.

Two George Ogilvie's - 40 years of Football

Author: Michael Riley - Published At: 2015-02-08 10:59 - (4671 Reads)
While researching Echuca’s football history, one name repeatedly comes up, as one of the town’s greatest footballers and that is George Ogilvie. Taking a step back, there were actually two George Colin Oglive’s, father and son, both were great crashing followers with interesting stories, and like many footballing stories, (Hird, Barassi, Buntons) the story is much better understood in multiple generations.

Alex Gurney - Cartoonist

Author: Michael Riley - Published At: 2015-01-01 12:00 - (4267 Reads)
Alex Gurney was one of Australia's most famous cartoonists. He created the 'Bluey and Curley' strip which gained iconic status through the Second World War. His career, like that of many cartoonists included working the football beat. Gurney created the character of Fred for the Adelaide News and his cartoons from that short 1932-33 period are great examples of the art. For Victorian fans, Gurney illustrated the first 'Swans' emblem for South Melbourne. This article focuses on Gurney's football illustrations.

(L.F.) Reynolds (1897 - 1939) - Cartoonist/illustrator

Author: Michael Riley - Published At: 2014-06-09 13:33 - (8811 Reads)
Leonard Frank Reynolds (1897 - 1939) was not known as a football illustrator. But through his series of "Prominent Personalities" he drew a number of leading footballers of the late 1920's. These cartoons are a delight to the reader.

L.F. Reynolds also drew the Mr Melbourne cartoon strip, taking over from Jimmy Bancks in 1925.

Len Reynolds died tragically young in a motor car accident, but his cartoons continue his name.

Hal Gye - Football Cartoons

Author: Michael Riley - Published At: 2014-05-31 14:33 - (9183 Reads)
Hal Gye (1887–1967) was a cartoonist, commentator and writer. As a cartoonist he made comment on a number of issues of the day, including on football. Using Gye's cartoons, already accessible on the web, this article provides a brief profile of Gye as a football cartoonist and illustrates some of the themes he tacked, including player payment and crowd violence.

Margaret Berlowitz – Club President - Breaking Glass Ceilings

Author: Michael Riley - Published At: 2014-05-31 12:22 - (4998 Reads)
Women have played a prominent role in the history Australian Rules football. Women have provided key financial support, and have been supporters, fund raisers, organisers, taxi services and more.

In 2013, Peggy O’Neil at Richmond became the first women to be a VFL/AFL club president. Given history, she will be the first of many. But Peggy is certainly not the first woman to be an Australian Rules Football Club president…for that honour, we need to look nearly 100 years beforehand.

This is the story of Margaret Jane Berlowitz at Yarraville 1914-1922.

Photos of Thomas Quinlan – Flemington CYMS

Author: Michael Riley - Published At: 2014-04-16 12:32 - (4299 Reads)
Neither Thomas Quinlan (left) nor his mate Clem (right) made it to the big leagues. But the Y.C.W. and C.Y.M.S. football were large and popular competitions, and Catholic Youth teams played sport all around the country. In Melbourne, Flemington was a strong team with a strong reputation.

Toms' Flemington photos taken from 1944-47 were taken just as the League Thirds (Under 19s) in 1946 and when North Melbourne won the inaugural premiership.

These snapshots supplied by grand-daughter Veronica Poynton provide a window into this forgotten world.

Origin of the Big-V

Author: Michael Riley - Published At: 2014-04-06 12:00 - (5833 Reads)
Years ago you had to crawl over cut glass to get one – Ted Whitten

Do we Victorians know the State Flower? The State Animal? or Coat of Arms? …but give us a dark blue jumper with a white ‘V’ on it and we instantly recognise it. There are few symbols as unifying or as potent in football or indeed in any sport in our State. But what is the origin of this jumper?

Class and Warfare: The MAFA and the VFL Seconds

Author: Michael Riley - Published At: 2014-04-04 15:00 - (8227 Reads)
The VFL Seconds officially started in 1919, but prior to that date the Metropolitan Amateur Football Association (MAFA) essentially provided an unofficial seconds competition. The decision to move from the MAFA based system to having an official Seconds competition was taken during the First World War.

The end of the University team in the League, the rise of the amateurs in the 1920’s and conflict over the WW1 fit into this story.

Raymond Morris - National Museum of Australia

Author: Ken Mansell and Michael Riley - Published At: 2014-03-13 19:25 - (4315 Reads)
Raymond Morris is a New Zealand artist and photographer who visited Australia in the late 1950's. We are delighted to have received permission to post some of his photos here. For more of Raymond's fine photos, please have a look at the National Museum of Australia's flicker page. This contains a wonderful collection of 226 of Morris’s photos taken during his Australian travels.

1914 - Football in Photos

Author: Michael Riley. Edited by Ken Mansell - Published At: 2014-02-01 12:35 - (6873 Reads)
The pictorial article below will afford a glimpse at Australian Rules football in the year of 1914. 1914 of course was the last football season before the full onset of the Great War and its catastrophic effects on the Australian population. The War interrupted sport and had a seriously disruptive impact on most football competitions. The War caused many Leagues to actually shut down altogether, and it created division in those that continued playing.

Thousands, indeed millions, of people were either killed, maimed, or mentally scarred, in the War. Those involved in football - players, officials and supporters - were hardly immune from the effects. Many managed to rebuild their lives after the War and were able to participate in, or contribute to, the dynamic 1920's. For football, the 1920's decade was very different from those that had preceded it. There were important changes in the rules, Leagues were restructured, and goal-kicking rates increased.

1914 will be remembered as the year the great Port Adelaide team, which had dominated the game in South Australia, defeated the VFL premiers Carlton in the very last Championship of Australia match. It will also be remembered for the demise of the University club in the VFL, and for the unfortunate timing of the Sydney (football) Carnival.



Football Street Names

Author: Michael Riley. Edited by Ken Mansell - Published At: 2014-01-20 19:16 - (6925 Reads)
Football has provided Australian suburbs with a significant number of street names. Streets named after footballers appear in clusters in some of our newer suburbs. Others appear beside football grounds.

This article is about some of these streets. Hopefully other people will contribute street names I have missed.

Doug Nicholls and the Football Hall of Fame

Author: Michael Riley. Edited by Ken Mansell - Published At: 2014-01-04 12:40 - (13539 Reads)
Doug Nicholls was undoubtedly one of the most important Australian Rules footballers of all time, but he receives little official recognition by the Australian Football League (AFL) and is not a member of the Australian Rules Football Hall of Fame (AFHoF).

During the era of the White Australia Policy (1901-1972), Doug Nicholls was one of the few indigenous players to overcome the barriers and succeed. During this period, some indigenous people downplayed their identity to reduce the problems they otherwise faced. Doug was different. He won respect as a footballer from the white crowds, and used that hard won identity to campaign for indigenous rights within the football community and more broadly throughout Australia.

This article illustrates Doug's achievements and asks the question: 'What is a significant contribution to Australian Rules Football?'

The Same Game, A Different Ball

Author: Michael Riley - Edited by Ken Mansell - Published At: 2013-11-10 11:39 - (11355 Reads)
Who invented the shape of the Australian Rules football? Which ball is 'THE' ball?

The shape of the Australian Rules football has evolved from the 1860's onward. Today's smaller balls are more consistent and accurate than the early larger footballs, but they do not travel as far. Changes have been small but continual and there have been many contributors.

Football in the Illustrated Newspapers 1860-1890

Author: Michael Riley - Published At: 2013-10-19 11:56 - (8673 Reads)
Prior to the late 1880's the only images to appear in newspapers were woodcut prints. Technology to include photographs was yet to be produced.

Australia produced a number of illustrated newspapers during the 19th century. Tthere were a number of short lived papers and a number, such as the 'Australian Sketcher with Pen and Paper' which were much more successful.

This period coincides with the rise of Australian Rules football, and some of the most famous early images of the game were first published in illustrated newspapers. This article provides a number of examples of these woodblock prints.

'Let's Look At Football' With Hugh Buggy

Author: Michael Riley (Edited by Ken Mansell) - Published At: 2013-10-02 11:56 - (4466 Reads)
The magazine 'Let's Look At Football' (With Hugh Buggy) was published by The Argus in September 1952, selling for two shillings and sixpence. Written by Hugh Buggy, The Argus chief football writer, the magazine consisted of a series of articles, covering the entire history of the Victorian Football League, that had previously appeared in The Argus. Hugh Buggy is a member of the Australian Football Hall of Fame.

ANFC Football Carnival - Hobart 1947

Author: Michael Riley (being edited by Ken Mansell) - Published At: 2013-09-02 14:00 - (9024 Reads)
The 1947 Victory Carnival was held in Hobart and was the first Carnival conducted by the Australian National Football Council since the end of World War Two. It was also the first Carnival since 1933 where the 'B' Division teams had a chance to play. Poor weather caused disappointing attendances, and a muddy playing surface. It was no surprise that the Victorian Football League team was victorious, but the VFL did lose twice - once to Western Australia, and once (after the conclusion of the Carnival) to a combined South Australia/Western Australia team.

The Longest Kick in Football History....or not

Author: Michael Riley - Published At: 2013-09-01 14:44 - (12545 Reads)
One of the most rubbery statistics in Australian Rules football is the ‘Longest Kick’. An investigation of a set of records, referred to in this article as the 3AW records, shows that many the records listed are not as clear cut as they first appear.

This article examines a few of these records and uncovers some interesting stories behind them.

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