Australian Rules Football has a long history of Charity Matches where the players have dressed up in fancy dress and played football. These games were not played by elite footballers but by a wide range of everyday people. While researching old football matches these dress up games regularly appear, to the point where they deserves some attention.
Local hospitals frequently received the football fundraising and women as well as men got a go. These games might not be ‘elite’ but they provide a fascinating insight into history. Firstly the outfit trends over time changed as the world around changed. Secondly, what caused the end of this phenomena? Was it Television, or changes in attitudes?
In 1896, after a proposal by VFA Secretary T.S. Marshall, a group of teams broke away and formed the VFL. Why did they do this? why were some teams in and some teams out?
Winning the AFL Premiership is the height of Australian football, but what is it’s origin story. This article explains how in the early years of football in Victoria, the premiership evolved from a newspaper acclimation in an ad-hoc season of football in the early 1870s, into a points system run by the Victorian Football Association and finally into the winner of the Grand Final of a national competition that it is today.
Turmoil, argument, teams folding and teams appearing,even new competing competitions. The final years of the gold mining boom in Bendigo were interesting times for football in the town.
John Haygarth was an exciting Geelong footballer in the fifties. This article is the story of his football life, including his controversial departure from Geelong in 1959. The article includes an interview with John and photographs from his personal collection.
In 1953, a 17 year old Ronald Dale Barassi entered the M.C.G. for his first ever VFL game, he would later become a legend of the game. The story of how Ron arrived at this first game in 1953, involves war, tragedy, rule changes and help from others. Ron was also not just the only youngster starting in 1953 and others came together to make the 1950's a golden era for the Melbourne Club. This is the story of Ron's first VFL steps.
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.
The pity of yesteryear is that it is often lost in the glitz and razzmatazz of modernity. It would be wonderful if there were films to assist in showing the high marking skills of players like Alex Duncan in those earlier days of VFL football. Word pictures can never really do such players justice; however this story tries to shine a light on one of the best overhead marks in the history of the game.
In 1928 and 1929, the Weekly Times newspaper (part of the Herald group of newspapers) published two series of colourised football team photos. In 1929, the rival weekly, the Australasian (published from the Argus building) produced its own series. Both newspapers had colour sections each week.
The team photos appearing in the 1928-29 Weekly Times and Australasian were chopped up and converted into individual player portraits. These individual portraits were later used in a number of football cards series. They also appeared in the VFL Football Record.
This is the story of the first VFA v VFL game in twenty-nine years. The VFL won the match, a charity game, comfortably. Nevertheless, the contest was full of meaning to all involved.
Historical Articles (Reprinted)
Dan Minogue begins today his own story of his distinguished career. And a human, gripping story this great football personality has to tell! It is brimming with all the incident, thrills, humor and pathos which he has encountered during a quarter of a century as crack player and successful captain and coach. Turning back Time, Dan takes readers behind the scenes with him; into club rooms and on to playing fields as he lives again his hours of triumph —and disappointment.
Famous South Australian Umpire Johnny Quinn's reminiscences appeared in the News (Adelaide) in 1940. Quinn was famous for his smile and his gestures. He also took part in redrafting the rules of the game.
Originally appeared in The Argus 2-May-1908. Observer (Donald McDonald) the great Australian Journalist looks back at the best players in his 30 years writing on football.
HAPPY is the football club with a good centre man. He can constantly put his team into attack. He can also be a defender. When the ball is bounced he often acts as a rover, and, as he and his immediate opponent stand on either side of the rucks, there are frequently openings in those periods. When the play moves on the two centre men watch each other closely, and frequently engage in hotly contested duels.
This is the sixth or a series of great football dramas, retold by an eye-witness. It describes Geelong's tumultuous welcome home to the League Premiers of 1925 —a welcome fit for Royalty!
Jack Worrall, (Fitzroy player, Carlton/Essendon Coach), Test Cricketer and journalist, looks back at forty years of football. The original articles from 1923-24 appear over a number of weeks. (Formatting and sub-headings have been added to make to article easier to read.)
An Introduction to Charles Boyles
The website is centred around the photos of Charles Boyles, a Melbourne-based photographer. Boyles primarily took photos of Australian Rules Football teams and players. He appears to have started this football work in the late twenties. He continued through the 1930's, the years of the Second World War, and then right up to his final photos in the early sixties.
Unlike most commercial photographers, Charles Boyles did not wait for customers to come to him. Boyles set up his camera on training nights, and on game days took posed team photos after the players had run onto the ground. These were sold directly to the clubs, players and general public. On Saturdays, at the games, the photographer's son Harley Boyles (and others) would take a satchel of mixed photos and sell them throughout the game. Unlike newspaper photos, therefore, a Boyles photo was something you could own, take home, and treasure.
There are no action shots or photos of games in progress. Boyles specialised in team photos and player portraits, with the players looking directly to camera. Today these photos are used by clubs, by family historians, and by those interested in football history. They often appear uncredited in football history books.
Boyles did not restrict himself to the leading football competition of his era, the Victorian Football League. During his working life he attended many different competitions. He covered the VFA, Wartime Services matches, the various Victorian workplace competitions, the Sunday leagues, and other competitions.
Learn More about the Life of Charles Boyles
Read Ken's article on the methods, motives and life of Charles Boyles. The article includes notes from an extensive interview with Harley Boyles about his father. See Charles Edward Boyles: From Tripod to Website.
Website Aims and Objectives
This website contains work by two independent researchers, Ken Mansell and Michael Riley. Our objective is to share our own passion for history and provide a friendly resource for family historians, football buffs and others who have an interest in the Charles Boyles photos and more generally in football photography from the 1920's to 1960's.
A Football History Website
This site has grown to cover more than just football photos. There is an amazing amount to explore. You can start with articles, player pages, ground pages, team and league pages as well as information on players careers outside football.
All Football Photographers Not Just Charles Boyles Photos
This site contains photos from many of Boyles's contemporaries. These contrast Boyles's style, and add to an understanding of sport, photography, and the football of the time.
Football Outside the VFL
Charles Boyles took photos of VFL teams, but also took photos of VFA teams, Workplace Teams and teams in Junior Leagues. Also, for many players the VFL was just a small part of their footballing story. This site attempts to build a picture of the football world during Boyle's working period. This world is worth explored through articles and the pages thoughout the website.
Sources of Images on this Website
We are not associated with any library or institution. We have received permission from a variety of people and institutions to include their images on this particular website. Each photo is labelled as to it's source. Please contact the relevant source for permission to reproduce any images.
We credit the photographer and the photo source wherever possible,