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John V

Australian Rules Football Match The First

Click on the play button to hear John read his recount with a clear voice!

Tom Wills was credited with starting the game of Australian Rules football to keep cricketers fit during the winter off season. His cousin H. Harrison and his friends W. J. Hammersley and J.B. Thompson helped him.

    On August 7th 1858 the first game was played between Scotch College and Melbourne Grammar      Schools at Richmond Paddock.                                                                                                                                                                                                                

On July 10th 1858 Tom Wills wrote a letter to “Bells Life “magazine asking for the creation of the first football clubs. A game of football was played between Wills and friends on the Richmond Paddock. Wills umpired the match.

The first real game was between Scotch College and Melbourne Grammar School. It was played over two weekends, on the 7th and 14th of August 1858. The match finished in a draw. There were forty players on each side and they used a round ball. The match lasted for more than five hours and there were lots of people watching it just like they do today.

After 4 or 5 seasons – teams wore their own colours and boundaries were marked.

In 1887a game was played outside Victoria and in 1879 football was allowed to be played on the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The laws of Australian Rules football started in 1883 and the first two official teams were Geelong and Melbourne. Tom Wills was the captain of Melbourne.  It was agreed there would be 20 players in each team. On May the 17th 1889 the VFL was started with 8 teams. They broke away from the VFA.

In 1990 the VFL became the AFL (Australian Football League) and is now a national game. It had clubs in Sydney, Perth and Queensland. Collingwood was the team to win the first AFL premiership. The Australian Football League is the national official name.

On Monday the 4th of August 2008 it was 150 years since the first Australian Rules football match. A 150th Anniversary game was played between Melbourne and Geelong as part of the AFL season’s Tom Wills round. It was played on Friday the 8th of August 2008. As a curtain raiser a game was played between Scotch College and Melbourne Grammar.

The first Australian Rules football match resulted in the game becoming one of the most popular sports in Australia. The game has gone national and is supported by thousands of fans. The AFL and all the clubs playing in the AFL have become big businesses worth millions of dollars.

by JamesDPhotography


2 Responses

  1. good work really interesting i love footy cool subject to choose

  2. Hi John,

    Good Work! You have written a great recount that is very interesting!

    Helen 🙂

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