Heidelberg Historical Society

The Year of the Tiger!

Posted on Monday, 9th November 2020 by Janine Rizzetti


It was the Year of the Tiger in 1920, just as it is in 2020. But when we talk of the Year of the Tiger in 1920 - one hundred years ago- we mean the ‘Tigers’ at Heidelberg Football Club, who won the Grand Final against Ivanhoe in a low scoring match (Heidelberg 6.14 and Ivanhoe 2.6.) The match, viewed by over 2000 spectators was held at Heidelberg’s home ground in Heidelberg Park - across the road from its present ground in Warringal Park. The Heidelberg Football Club made the shift after a recess in WWII.

The Heidelberg Football Club was established in 1876, nine years before the Richmond Football Club started. It was part of the Melbourne Football League and played against teams like Northcote, Waverley, South Melbourne and Sandridge. After joining the Bourke-Evelyn Football League as a founding member in 1890, it competed in the second division of the VFA between 1900 and 1902. In 1909 it was a founding member of the Heidelberg District Football League, playing against more local teams. It won the premiership in 1911 and 1912 and then again in 1920. There was a four-year hiatus in the competition on account of WWI.

In 2020 we saw the “Yellow and Black” and the “Blue and White” on the Gabba together. Oddly, the original colours of the Heidelberg Football Club, before they adopted the Yellow and Black in the 1880s, were blue and white, with a fetching outfit of blue knickers, blue and white jersey with a cerise band, blue and white hose and a cap.

Image: Photo: Table Talk 2 September 1920 through Trove. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/146691368

And here are the members of the Heidelberg Football Club, looking all very spruced up for the occasion, celebrating their 1920 premiership win. The celebratory dinner, organized by the Ladies Committee was held at the Recreation Hall (now Banksia Palliative Care) in Lower Heidelberg Rd on Wed 25 August 1920. The dinner had been promised two years earlier, if they won the premiership. The club’s 1911-1912 banner was suspended above the table, and the young ladies who waited on the tables were “becomingly attired” with yellow and black on their caps. At 8.30 the room was cleared and a few hours’ dancing was indulged in by about 70 couples.

You can read more about the history of Heidelberg Football Club at their website https://www.heidelbergfnc.com.au/history.

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