A little piece of History
Our league has been running since 2010 as part of the growing story of Aussie Rules in the UK but how long has Aussie Rules been played here? You may be surprise to find out that it’s been for well over 100 years.
Former league secretary and member of the Tyne Tees Tigers Michael Teasdale found this newspaper clipping from 100 years ago today (Dec 13th 1915) during his work at South Tyneside Library.
“I was looking through the papers because we have a display in the library which updates weekly with articles from the Shields Gazette, in particular those mentioning local servicemen, alongside articles from the Daily Mirror which provide a larger perspective on the war.
I was definitely surprised both to find the picture and to discover that games were played in the UK 100 years ago, albeit just within the ranks of the Anzacs. My feelings (well, thoughts) upon finding it were “that’s cool, I’ll have to show the lads at the club that” followed shortly by “how many times can this journalist say ‘football’ in a caption that short?” though it doesn’t actually make me view the game any differently – at the end of the day these guys were passing the time as they knew how.”
This game played by ANZACs is even earlier than the one played in 1916 at Queens Club in London, which Collingwood hope to recreate next year in London. You can see a clip of what is thought to be the 1916 game here.
But neither of these can claim to be the first game of Australian Football in the UK. That honour goes to the match held in Balham London in 1888 between Edinburgh University and London University some 27 years earlier!