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Police League



Introduction

In the 1930's and 40's many VFL footballers played for their workplace team, some reluctantly and others more keenly. In 1930 the Victorian police

Melbourne Police League


A Police team played in the Wednesday League competition from 1927 to 1929. Conflict from union linked teams in that competition, due to the Police involvement is strikebreaking, was a major factor causing the Police to leave the Wednesday League and to form their own competition in 1930.

The internal Police Football League was formed in 1930 which had a great deal of success. Peter Bourke's 'A social history of workplace Australian football, 1860–1939' includes an interesting background to the politics of the formation of the league.

The six mainstays of the Victorian Police Football Association were the Russell Street, Traffic Branch and four suburban district teams: Southern, Western, Northern and Eastern. To accommodate the shift-work requirements of many police, games were normally played on Wednesday afternoons. Apart from this metropolitan-based competition, there were also irregular social or charity matches with police from country districts with community teams. Matches against adversaries formerly found in the WFL halted. (Burke, 2008, p.221-222)

As in other workplace competitions such as the tramways, the suburban teams in police football adopted the colours of the local VFL/VFA club. Police thus tapped into the existing football and suburban rivalries. The Southern Suburbs team’s home ground was the South Melbourne Cricket Ground—home to VFL team South Melbourne—and they played in the local colours of red and white. (Burke, 2008, p.224)


1935 Teams included
Southern Suburbs (Police League) - White and Red - South Melbourne Style
Motor Cycle and Traffic Branch (Police League)
North and West Suburbs (Police League) - Probably Footscray Style
Russell Street (Police League) - Black and Yellow - Richmond Style

The Argus 24-Jul-1935 p10
The Argus 24-Jul-1935 p10


Team Photos

RN8308 - Russell Street Police F.C 1936 Reproduced with permission from the collection of the Victorian Police
RN8308 - Russell Street Police F.C 1936 Reproduced with permission from the collection of the Victorian Police







Police and Football


Charity Matches

The Police football team, then and now, has regularly played matches to raise money for charity.

Charity Football Williamstown Police v Local Council
'Williamstown's burly constables. and councillors will be seen in a new role at the Football Ground on Monday, when they will impersonate. 36 footballers in a praiseworthy effort to assist the Police Queen in the Blind Appeal.....Both teams are said to include a number of heavyweights, and ;are said to be evenly matched in their ignorance of the game, so a great tussle should result.' - Williamstown Chronicle 6-Jun-1931 p3

Fun report of Williamstown Charity Match
POLICE V. COUNCIL. (1931, June 13). Williamstown Chronicle (Vic. : 1856 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article69505278

Post and Telegraph defeat Police in Charity Match
MATCH FOR CHARITY. (1935, June 27). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 15. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12252974

Warracknabeal defeat Police in Charity Match
POLICE DEFEATED AT WARRACKNABEAL. (1935, September 30). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 13. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11772225
Note - A photo of the Police team for this match featuring Laurie Nash, George Jerram, Jack Perkins, Jack Evans and Neville Huggins exists in the Police Museum Collection.

Umpire Rescue

Crowds at football matches in the 1930s could get quite involved. A number of Police stories at matches involve umpire rescue.

The Argus 21-Sep-1931 p6
The Argus 21-Sep-1931 p6

FOOTBALL UMPIRE ATTACKED. (1931, September 21). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 6. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4437833

FOOTBALL UMPIRE STABBED WITH HATPIN. (1934, July 30). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 9. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10990031

Crowd Control

Crowds would surge onto the field and join a melee. Police were often required to break up fights at VFL, VFA and in many other leagues.

The Argus 26-Jul-1937 p9
The Argus 26-Jul-1937 p9

SERGEANT'S NOSE FRACTURED. (1937, July 26). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 9. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11102842

Police intervene in brawl at Wednesday League Match
Considering the issues the Police team had with the Wednesday League in the 1920s, they were still regulars at games in the 1930s.
FIGHTS AT FOOTBALL. (1932, July 21). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 7. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4464110

VFL/AFL Police Footballers

Over 100 Police Officers are known to have played VFL/AFL Football
See the Police Senior Footballer List

Famous Police Footballers


The Victoria Police Amateur Sports & Welfare Society Hall of Fame includes a number of Footballers who played though the 1930s-50s. These include
Ron Taylor (South Melbourne and St Kilda in 1950s)
Fred Hughson (Fitzroy 1940s)
Joe Sellwood (Geelong 1930s and 40s)
Jack 'Copper' Evans (Geelong 1930s)
Jack Dyer (Richmond 1930s and 40s)

Other VPASWS Hall of Fame members include early Collingwood player Bill Proudfoot and more recently footballer and personality Rex Hunt.

Laurie Nash also played with the Police for a short period in the 1930s.


Further Information

Match Details

Examples of Details available on Trove.

1934

Wed 04-07-1934 Matches Today
Police Association. (1934, July 4). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 10. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10963962

Thu 21-06-1934 Round Results
POLICE MATCHES. (1934, June 21). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 16. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10948512

1935

Fri 17-05-1935 Round Results - 1st Round
Police Association. (1935, May 17). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 14. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12239411

Sat 18-05-1935 Round Results
POLICE GAMES. (1936, June 18). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 15. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11043005

Thu 23-05-1935 Round Results
POLICE MATCHES. (1935, May 23). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 13. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12241435

Thu 13-06-1935 Round Results
CROWD HOOTS DECISION. (1935, June 13). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 19. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12248228

Wed 24-07-1935 Matches Today
POLICE MATCHES. (1935, July 24). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 10. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11751109

Thu 25-07-1935 Round Results
POLICE GAMES. (1935, July 25). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 14. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11751330

Wed 28-08-1935 Matches Today
Police Final. (1935, August 28). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 11. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11761932

Thu 29-08-1935 Round Results
KEEN POLICE FINAL. (1935, August 29). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 13. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11762273

1936

Thu 25-06-1936 Round Results
WILLIAMSON EXONERATED. (1936, June 25). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 15. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11044669

Thu 09-07-1936 Round Results
POLICE CONTESTS. (1936, July 9). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 15. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11890078
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