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.
Hal Gye (1887–1967) was a cartoonist, commentator and writer. As a cartoonist he made comment on a number of issues of the day, including on football. Using Gye's cartoons, already accessible on the web, this article provides a brief profile of Gye as a football cartoonist and illustrates some of the themes he tacked, including player payment and crowd violence.
With the resounding recent success of Hawthorn; and the current abundance of Hawks stars, many younger fans may be unaware of the rocky road that Hawthorn travelled in the early years of the club’s history. One of the heroes of Hawthorn during its darkest years was Stan Spinks…this is his story.
Harley Boyles is the son of photographer Charles Boyles. In 2010, then in his eighties, he was interviewed by Ken Mansell for an article about his father. The article, now titled From Tripod to Website became one of the first published writings on Boyles and his work.
The original interview notes have been made available through the permission of both Ken and Harley and provide a fascinating insight.
The story of Leslie Albert Johnson, better known as Len, is a tale of how one determined young man overcame hardship to become a ‘local hero’ with Essendon FC in his short VFL career. Len also left his mark as a country football coach, professional sprinter and a soldier who died on active service in Malaya in 1942.
Len’s story is uplifting but it is not without pathos and tragedy.
Footscray won the club’s VFL first premiership in 1954 and that historic day will live in the hearts of Footscray supporters forever. While Jack Collins led the charge against the Demons with seven goals; it was the ‘close up and personal’ performance of the Bulldogs’ half back line of Gallagher, Whitten and Martin that stopped the Melbourne forwards in their ‘tracks’ that day. This is the story of Alan Martin and his outstanding career in VFL and country football.
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.
In this, the tenth of a series of great football dramas, is described how, in 1903, Collingwood and Fitzroy made football history by contesting a League premiership match in Sydney, and how, in the Rugby stronghold, a crowd of 20,000, seeing a big Australian rules game for the first time, was thrilled by the fast, spectacular play.
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.
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,