Brunswick Football Club
|Full name||Brunswick Football Club
Brunswick-Broadmeadows Football Club (1989-1991)
|Nickname(s)||Pottery Workers, Brickfielders, Magpies, 'Wicks, 'Wickers, the Combine|
|Colours||Black and White|
|Competition||Victorian Football Association 1897-1991|
|Ground(s)||Gillon Oval |
Brunswick Football Club was an Australian rules football club which played in the Victorian Football Association (VFA) from 1897 until 1991. Based in Brunswick, Victoria, for most of their time in the Association they were known as the Magpies, and wore black and white guernseys. In its final two seasons in the VFA, it was known as Brunswick-Broadmeadows.
Brunswick Football Club was formed in 1865 and joined the VFA in the 1897 season. The club was colloquially known in its early days as the Pottery Workers or the Brickfielders, and its fans were known for sounding clayhole bells at matches; after changing their colours from light blue and red colors to black and white, they became informally, and then later formally, known as the Magpies. They struggled to be competitive in the league early on, finishing last in 1898, 1899 and 1902.
They won the first of their three 1st division premierships in 1909 which started a successful era for the club under former Essendon Football Club player Jack McKenzie. Up until 1915 they played in six finals series and four grand finals.
After consistently making the finals following the end of the war they won another premiership in 1925. In 1926, the club dropped out of the Association near the end of the season in protest against suspensions meted out to captain-coach Wally Raleigh and team-mate Hassett, but was re-admitted prior to the 1927 season under an entirely new committee.
They struggled during the early 1930s, both financially and on the field, forcing them to sell their finest players to Victorian Football League (VFL) clubs, but they went on to be one of the strongest teams of the late 1930s, winning three consecutive minor premierships from 1936–1938 and reaching three consecutive Grand Finals from 1937–1939. Their third and last first division premiership came during this period, defeating Brighton Football Club in the 1938 Grand Final by 33 points in what was the first premiership of the throw-pass era.
For the remaining fifty years of its time in the Association, Brunswick was consistently a middle-of-the pack team. After the Association was partitioned into two divisions, Brunswick spent similar periods of time in both divisions; it was a regular finalist while in Division 2, winning three Division 2 premierships (1975, 1980 and 1985) from seven grand finals; but it seldom played finals in Division 1 and did not feature in a top division Grand Final after 1939.
Brunswick was one of several inner suburban VFA clubs whose off-field viability deteriorated through the late 1970s and early 1980s, in large part due to demographic shifts in the local area towards a higher migrant population which was largely uninterested in Australian rules football, and at different times the club was heavily in debt and appeared likely to fold. In October 1989, Brunswick entered into a merger with the Broadmeadows Football Club – which was a football club in an administrative capacity only, as it had a board of directors and enough local Broadmeadows support to have previously launched a bid to join the VFA, but it had no home ground nor a team active in any league – to form the Brunswick–Broadmeadows Football Club, which was still based in Brunswick. However, factional infighting between Brunswick and Broadmeadows members of the club's unwieldy 14-man board of directors distracted from any efforts to clear the club's debt (prompting the VFA to intervene and sack the board in August 1990), and the on-field position deteriorated dramatically after there was an exodus of 35 players in the 1990/91 offseason due to owing player payments; on 6 May 1991, after three enormous losses to start the 1991 season, the club withdrew from the VFA, and folded soon after.
- 1975 (2nd Division)
- 1980 (2nd Division)
- 1985 (2nd Division)
Club Champions/Best & Fairest
- 1938 J Dowling
- 1939 H Jones & R Quinn (equal)
- 1940 C Crawford & J Dowling (equal)
- 1947 R Shaw
- 1949 I McIvor
- 1964 B Wicks
- Frank Anderson, Hedley Blackmore, Jack McKenzie and Stewart McLatchie – Carlton footballers
- Tom Clarke – Essendon footballer
- Leo Maynes - Essendon/Fitzroy footballer
- Roy McKay – Footscray footballer
- Joe Kinnear – Melbourne footballer
- John Dowling, Keith Greig, Daryl O'Brien, Wayne Schimmelbusch and Daryl Schimmelbusch – North Melbourne footballers
- Ron Clegg and Charles Clements – South Melbourne footballers
- Mark "Jacko" Jackson – Melbourne/St Kilda/Geelong/South Fremantle footballer & entertainer
- Barry Nolan – 1978 J. J. Liston Trophy winner
- Tony West – 1986 J. J. Liston Trophy winner
- John Curtin – Australian Prime Minister
- Ernest George – 1913 Stawell Gift winner
- Paul Young – 1985 Stawell Gift winner
- Wayne Harmes played one season in 1989 after leaving Carlton
- Bill Jacobs - 1960s Australian Cricket Team Manager and Football Radio Broadcaster (3AW - 1957 to 1991 incl 25 Grand Finals)
- Alex Gillon – the longest serving VFA president (27 years from 1954 until 1981)
- "Brunswick". Australian Football. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
- "Football". Independent (Footscray, VIC). 29 August 1903. p. 3.
- Old Boy (1 September 1908). "Football – Association premiership". The Argus (Melbourne, VIC). p. 9.
- "Brunswick players suspended". The Argus (Melbourne, VIC). 19 August 1926. p. 12.
- "Football sensation – club leaves Association". The Argus (Melbourne, VIC). 21 August 1926. p. 32.
- "Brunswick's position". The Argus (Melbourne, VIC). 18 January 1927. p. 7.
- Marc Fiddian (18 March 1980). "VFA on-side with soccer?". The Age (Melbourne, VIC). p. 44.
- Amanda Buivids (3 October 1989). "'Wicks settle on merger option". The Sun News-Pictorial (Melbourne, VIC). p. 59.
- Amanda Buivids (2 August 1990). The Sun News-Pictorial (Melbourne, VIC). p. 75. Missing or empty
- Damian Barrett (6 April 1991). "Grand final action replay". Herald-Sun News-Pictorial (Melbourne, VIC). p. 67.
- Adrian Dunn (7 May 1991). "Death of VFA Magpies". Herald-Sun News-Pictorial (Melbourne, VIC). pp. 72, 69.