It slowly dawned on me that Hogan’s book – a vast store of information emanating from a great variety of disparate sources, places and periods – was in fact a guide to Australian football’s collective memory.
Percy Leason (23 February 1889 – 11 September 1959 was a cartoonist an painter who rose to prominence in the 1920’s and 1930’s. He was most widely known for cartoons and illustrations that appeared in many magazines including Punch and later Table Talk.
Among those Victorian players who have been often overlooked for their significant contribution to interstate football is Carlton’s champion ruckman Charlie Davey. Charlie, who played 143 games for Carlton, represented Victoria on 17 occasions between 1929 and 1935. He is a classic example of a forgotten star of national football; and hopefully this story may serve as a reminder of Charlie’s undoubted ability and achievements in VFL and interstate football.
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.
Victor (aka Vic) Lawrence (born: 1928) played more than 100 VFL games; and although a steadfast defender, club captain and Victorian representative, he appears to be another ‘forgotten man’ of VFL football. This story attempts to remind football followers of Vic’s achievements and the key role he played in rebuilding the NMFC during the 1950’s.
Bryan Clements (born 1942) played 23 senior games of VFL football for Fitzroy between the years 1961 and 1964. In that time he played in only two winning teams for Fitzroy. However, one of those wins was the most memorable victory of the 1963 season and one of the biggest upsets in that decade of VFL football. This is Bryan’s story.
St Kilda scored the most meritorious victory by any league side for some years. It was not so much the brilliance of the football, but rather the dogged determination and real Aussie fighting spirit that enabled them to see it out and win a glorious victory with only 15 men.- Football Record - Round 6 (June 5) 1933 p12
The pity of yesteryear is that it is often lost in the glitz and razzmatazz of modernity. It would be wonderful if there were films to assist in showing the high marking skills of players like Alex Duncan in those earlier days of VFL football. Word pictures can never really do such players justice; however this story tries to shine a light on one of the best overhead marks in the history of the game.
The VFL Seconds officially started in 1919, but prior to that date the Metropolitan Amateur Football Association (MAFA) essentially provided an unofficial seconds competition. The decision to move from the MAFA based system to having an official Seconds competition was taken during the First World War.
The end of the University team in the League, the rise of the amateurs in the 1920’s and conflict over the WW1 fit into this story.
Historical Articles (Reprinted)
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.
DUNCAN’S MATCH!” Two words, ablaze with imperishable fame, that stand out vividly in Australian football history.
Re-told by an eye-witness, this, the second of a series of stories of stirring football dramas enacted on League grounds, describes how, in 1924, Footscray, Association premiers, paralysed Essendon, League premiers, in a memorable contest for the championship of Victoria.
Re-told by an eye-witness, this is the seventh of a series of great football dramas. It describes how, in the 1928 final against Richmond, Collingwood, with audacious match-winning strategy, set giant Percy Rowe to spoil Donald Don, dreaded champion full-back; and how, under Rowe’s clever protection, Gordon Coventry kicked nine goals – a record.
How Collingwood's famous system, then brand-new, was first smashed by Fitzroy in a memorable League semi-final in 1902, is retold in this, the thirteenth of a series of great football dramas.
Packed with hilarious incidents, it stand as the most comical football “match” that ever convulsed a crowd. Such was that burlesque, Victoria v. Queensland, at the Hobart Carnival in 1924.
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.
This article describes the Fitzroy v Collingwood final to determine the 1903 VFL premiership. A very close affair between the two great teams of the era. A game decided by the final kick of the day.
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,