Heritage: The 1910 Story



1. Historical Context

  • Local: “The Palace of Punch” or “The House of Stoush”, namely, the Brisbane Open-Air Boxing Ring (later Festival Hall) opens.  Brisbane’s first permanent picture theatre “The Pavilion” opens.  The University of Queensland is established.  A gentleman’s suit costs £1.17s.6d and a pair of pigeons sells for 1s.6d.
  • National: The Royal Australian Navy (R.A.N.) is formed.  The Labor Party starts pensions (disability, age, maternity) and workers compensation.  Frank Beaurepaire thrills the nation with his swimming achievements.
  • Global: The neon light is invented.  Japan invades Korea.  Lord Kitchener visits Australia.

The House of Stoush Open-Air Stadium Brisbane

Source: From the Moreton Bay Courier to The Courier-Mail p.124

2. QARL 1910 Season Outline

  • Duration: 19 weeks – 7th May to 10th September
  • Games: The First British Northern Union Tour; Queensland Trials; Interstate in Brisbane; Senior and Junior Club Competitions.
  • Senior Trophies: Premiership Francis Cup
  • Senior Clubs: the 6 Senior Clubs were: VFC, North Brisbane, South Brisbane, Toombul (being the 3 foundation clubs); East Brisbane and Ipswich.
  • Senior Grounds: The Brisbane Cricket Ground and Ipswich Reserve.
  • Junior Clubs: VFC A&B, North Brisbane A&B, St. Bridgets A&B, Kelvin Gordons, South Brisbane
  • Junior Grounds: New Farm Reserve, Kelvin Grove Reserve, Paddington Reserve, Albert Park and West End.

3. Valley Football Club 1910 A Grade

  • VFC was placed 4th from 6 teams, having won 5 out of 9 games, scoring 136 points for and 68 against.
  • 1910 was the first of only 19 seasons over the 87 year history of the club when the A Grade did not play in the finals.
  • Dug McGregor and Edward Buckley became the first VFC men to play against a Great Britain team.
  • A & O Thomsen were the first of many members of the Thomsen family who would play or support VFC.
  • The 1910 Season player details are included as a table.

4. Valley Football Club 1910 Junior Grades

  • QRL policy was to try to gain the support of the many Junior Clubs who often complained of poor treatment from the QRU.  To this end, the QRL organised a Junior Queensland versus New South Wales contest.
  • S. Edwards, D. Grieve, G. Smith, A. Scott, Baldwin and Anderson were VFC Juniors.  Edwards, Grieve and Smith were selected to play in the First QRL Junior Team.  VFC man Dug McGregor was the coach of this QRL Junior Team.

5. Team Photos

  • No 1910 VFC Junior or Senior Rugby League Team photos have as yet been discovered, however, included here are three other team photos:

1. South Brisbane Second Grade Junior Rugby League – features Thomas and Patrick Meehan who later had long careers as VFC Rubbers/Trainers.  Tom’s sons Thomas (Junior) and Patrick both become VFC players.  Thomas (Junior) attended VFC Reunions until his passing in 2010.  He was at that time VFC’s oldest player.

2. Valleys Rugby Union Junior First Grade this image contains members of the Sweeney, Scott, McKay, Lovell and Costello families who all later figure prominently in VFC history.

3. Valleys Rugby Union Junior Second Grade - this picture is included just because it was too good to leave out!!



1910 Season

Valley Football Club A Grade Player Details


6. Valley Football Club 1910 Officials

  • A list of the elected club officials from the VFC First Annual Meeting appears in the following newspaper extract.  All positions on the management committee were filled by players, as was the position of Treasurer.
  • T.C Beirne of Department Store fame was elected as a Vice President so too Dennis O’Connor, a Valley publican.
  • Contrary to claims made by some Rugby Union historians, the 1908-1909 VFC officials had not drifted away from Rugby League.

The Brisbane Courier Thurs 3rd March 1910 p.3

7. Valley Football Club Diary 1910

7.1 Game Reports

  • Saturday 14th May, 1910 saw the commencement of the Queensland Amateur Rugby League Senior matches.  VFC played the new team, East Brisbane.  The stronger VFC team defeated Easts 21 points to 2.
  • Saturday 20th July, 1910 VFC played Ipswich.  “It is confidently anticipated that the Ipswich Valley match will be one of the finest club games ever seen in Brisbane” The Daily Mail, Friday 22nd July, 1910, p.7  Ipswich defeated VFC 11 points to 5.
  • VFC Juniors played North Brisbane Juniors in the curtain raiser to the Great Britain game.
  • A table outlining details of the VFC games played during the year has been included.

7.2 Social Activities

  • A trip to Gympie to play the Pirate Football Club occurred on Saturday 7th April, 1910.  This was the beginning of a long tradition of VFC trips to the “country”.  These trips were considered to be among the highlights of the season, and as one would expect, they produced many “incidents” which became legendary in VFC Folklore.
  • Following an invitation from the Pirate Club, Gympie, the QRL decided “…to send the Valley Club, winners of last year’s metropolitan premiership…It is more than probable that this visit will be the means of establishing a strong branch to play under the Northern Union rules in the township referred to.” The Daily Mail, Thursday 5th April, 1910, p7.


Story contributed by Gerard Fitzpatrick October 2012

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