The Blackburn Football Club was first established in 1903 and over the last 117+ years the club has become the centre piece of sport and recreation in the Blackburn area.

The BFC is one of the largest clubs in the EFNL, and in 2021 fielded 2 senior mens teams, 2 U19 mens teams, 3 senior womens teams, 23 junior teams (ranging in age from under 8s to under 17s, and including 6 girls teams) and a direct association with the Auskick conducted at Kalang Reserve.

The BFC has been built on community spirit and survives on the contributions, enthusiasm and goodwill of volunteers as well as the generosity of local businesses. BFC welcomes all comers and prides itself on the motto never put people down but build them up.


Our Senior Club history

There is very little of the club’s early history that remains and much is beyond the memory of our oldest members, however it is known that the club held its first official AGM in 1903. It is believed that the club was in existence prior to this and may have started sometime in the early or late 1890’s.

During the foundation years the club played in the Ringwood Districts Football Association and played on the same oval which is currently used today. Back then there were no fences and the ground was literally a paddock. The local area was mainly bushland with a spattering of farms, orchards and homesteads surrounding the shops alongside the railway line. The mode of transport was steam train, horse & buggy, bicycle or shankes’ pony. As the local area grew in numbers so too did the strength of the club. In 1910 the club won its first premiership with the Seniors, a momentous occasion in the area, up there with the electrification of the railway line that same year. The club jumper at the time was black with a red hoop.

“To check out a pictorial history of the club’s teams over the past 100 years (there are now over 70 photos), click on the decade, and then click on the year to bring up that year’s photo – you can then click on the photo to enlarge it”

The 1910's

1910’s content coming soon.

1910's Achievements

Blackburn FC 1910 Senior Premiers.

BFC 1919 senior 1st 18.

The 1920's

1920’s content coming soon.

1920's Achievements

BFC won 1922 Senior flag in the RDFA.

BFC team photo 1923.

BFC team photo 1929 seniors.

The 1930's

The Blackburn area was continuing to grow at a steady rate and some of the more well remembered family names of the area that played during this period were Kiker, Raftis, Henwood, McKirdy, Goodwin, Dashwood, McLellan, Schwab, Rooks, Heppner, Dobson, Collier, Foster and Barrett. These names will conjure up various memories of days long past and it is interesting to note that to this very day some of these names still have an involvement with this club.

1930's Achievements

BFC won 1930 Senior flag in the RDFA.

BFC won 1933 Senior flag in the RDFA.

BFC Bill Heppner captain coach 1933 premiers.

BFC won 1935 Senior flag in the RDFA.

The BFC won a Reserves flag in 1936.

BFC team photo 1938.

The 1940's

Again little is remembered of the history of the club and many memories are clouded by the advent of war and its impact. Many sporting activities were postponed as the young men went off to fight or to work for the war effort. The club jumper was black with two vertical stripes as depicted in the team photos but when this change occurred no one can remember or the reasons why. The change-rooms consisted of one large room with a wooden partition and a shower in each section. There was a wood chip heater in the home team rooms and that it was a race to get a hot shower because as soon as the fire went out so did the hot water.

The Blackburn Hotel would donate two bottles of sherry each week, one for the players the other for the sherry thieves, Dick Collier and Butch Schwab. The playing surface on the top oval was gravel and the bottom oval had the first cinder track in Australia. An interesting aside is that East Burwood combined with Blackburn during the early part of this decade due to a shortage of players and reformed in their own right around 1946. Other characters of this time were Mrs Burn who apparently could be heard in Camberwell when anyone went near her son, John. Mrs Yeomans who had a large umbrella and had no hesitation bringing it into use as a weapon, especially if her son Charlie was being unfairly treated.

Back in those times the committee used to select the Best & Fairest Award winner and allegedly the fathers on the committee had many a serious debate about whose son should be the recipient of this most prestigious award.

1940's Achievements

The highlights were that in 1941 the club joined the Eastern Suburbs Football League and were B Grade Premiers that year.

East Burwood combined with Blackburn during the early part of this decade due to a shortage of players and reformed in their own right around 1946. The 2nd-XVIII team below.

The 1950's

The club jumper was again black with a red hoop. The senior club played in the ESFL and the juniors played in the Blackburn & Surrounds Football Competition, which was run by the BFC. The club had no proper change rooms and all teams used a tin garden shed, which was roughly 16 x 9 foot. Just enough room to swing a cat!! As Les Millar recalls, after the game if you were muddy you traipsed home in your footy gear carrying your clothes in your bag. Something that even I remember having to do up not so long ago. There were some characters around the club at this time, especially the trainers.

Mr Jones and his “Black Jack” liniment concoction which would burn the skin off you; Dick Collier the sherry thief; Bill Barrett who lived near the roundabout in Railway Road, and if there was a barrel on, it would be at his place; Jeff Charman who was also an ex-player. Other characters of this decade and the next were the canteen ladies, Lorna Paterson, Margaret Matthews, Cath McLellan, Hilda Bruce, Pat Cerche, Marion Peach, Marg Bridgman and Bev Hoskins who set up shop in the grand stand each home game. Blackburn also always had the contract to run the canteen during the finals held at Mitcham, and these ladies worked tirelessly and subsequently contributed so much to the success of the club over these years. 1957 Club moved into current pavilion, which the club shared with Blackburn United FC who used the bottom oval. Therefore most Saturday’s 4 teams occupied these rooms up until the Blackburn United FC disbanded in the late 70’s. As you can imagine the wait for the showers after each game would have been a long one.

1950's Achievements

1950 ESFL B Grade Premiers.

Eade brothers Cliff, Laurie and Ron 1950 premiership players.

1950 premiership reunion 5th August 2000.

1952 ESFL B Grade Premiers

1956 ESFL Lightning Premiership

Blackburn FC Under 16 Premiers.

BFC team photo 1958 seniors.


BFC team photo 1958 Senior Reserves.


BFC team photo 1958 U16.

1959 ESFL 2nd XVIII C Grade Premiers.

The 1960's

According to the records, this was the club’s most successful decade to date and with this period came much change. The club was quickly growing in strength commensurate with the local community. The senior and junior teams were very competitive and there was some outstanding talent coming through the ranks. Such notables from this period were players such as Bryan Wood, Rod Appleton, Ian Scrimshaw and Ray McMahon who all played VFL football. Other local legends such as Les Millar, George Kane, John Burn, Ron Wood, Keith Sturgeon, Alan Peach, The Cullen boys, the Tierneys too name but a few were emerging and starting out on long careers with the club. The change-room and ground conditions were poor compared to today’s standards. The change-rooms became social rooms after the senior game and the old kitchen was the bar and players often served beers still wearing their footy gear. The rooms had to be cleaned and the ladies had to wait out in the cold until all was ready. The club fielded junior sides in both the EDFL and the Blackburn & Districts Football League (old B&SFC) during this decade.

1962 The club joined the Eastern Districts Football League (nee Croydon & FTG Football League) which is now known as the Eastern Football League.

1963 The club changed its strip from the black jumper with the red hoop to the current red and black vertical stripe. The club theme song changed from “Cheer Boys, Cheers we are from Blackburn” to the present day song.

1968 During the 60’s the club had requested that a canteen be built by the local council similar to those built at Mitcham and Vermont, which was refused. The club then undertook to build its own canteen and thanks to the efforts of the late George Kane this was completed in 1968.

1969 The club changed its emblem from the “Robins” to the “Panthers”. The old Robins emblem is depicted on the club blazer pocket, which is on display along with the club’s earlier jumpers, in the trophy cabinet.

1960's Achievements

BSFC U16 Division 3 Premiers 1960.

Blackburn FC Under 16 Premiers.

Seniors 1963 Team.

BFC team photo 1963 U16 premiers.

George Kane BFC Life Member.

George Kane – 118 games, 1963 Senior Best & Fairest, 1967 Reserves Best & Fairest, Club President 1991/92, Life Member 1982, Key organiser/builder of the canteen built in 1968 (demolished in 2019).

BDJL U15 Division 2 Premiers 1964.

Reserves 1965 Premiership Win.

Reserves 1966 Premiership Win

Blackburn FC Under 15 Premiers 1967.

TOP ROW – Ross Edmonds, Steve Onans, Colin Formby, Gary Kenyon, Bryan Wood, Alan Peach (goal umpire), Ray McMahon, Ian Coutts, Peter Easdale, Gary Tillotson

MIDDLE ROW – Bruce Fergie, Arthur Medson, Ian Glasscock (captain), Les Bridgman (coach), Ron Casey (VC), Kim Tierney, Greg Bridgman

BOTTOM ROW – Dave Appleton, Colin Smith, Rod Appleton, Neil Bridgman, Alan Gwynne

ABSENT – Steven Shelley

AWARDS – B&F – Greg Bridgman, B&F Runner Up – Steven Shelley

Blackburn FC Under 16 Premiers 1967.

Seniors Runners Up 1968

Back – Chris Gentle, John Porter, Peter Cullen, Ron Douglas, Lindsay Baker, Rod Butterworth Then – Alan Peach, Russell Scrimshaw, Alan Houghton, Stan Berry, Bob Cullen, John Ross Then – Robert Burns (trainer), Lindsay Hopkins, Wayne Bruce, Eddie Pearce, John Catterall, Terry Cerche, Fred Lyons, Paddy Dixon (trainer) Seated – Phil Hay, Harold Harris (Secretary), Stead Hay, Trevor Love (President), Peter Burgess Mascot – David Harris

1968 Reserves Team

BACK ROW – Mark Cerche, Rod Kidman, Rex Tait, John Porter, Ian Belling
3RD ROW – Ian Cullen, Les Enever, Les Millar, Don McLaren, Neil Bruce
2ND ROW – Robert Burn (trainer), Keith Sturgeon, Noel Frame, Brian Eddison, Bruce King, Ron Wood, Noel Smith, Paddy Dickson (trainer)
FRONT ROW – Colin Davis, George Kane (David Kane on knee), John Burn (Captain), Des Piper, Peter Dashwood

Reserves 1969 Premiership Win


Seniors Runners Up 1969 Below.

Additions/changes to the above team list –

BACK ROW – 2nd from left – John Truscott

MIDDLE ROW – 6th from left – Frank Boogert, 7th from left – Bruce King, 4th from right – Robert Allen, 2nd from right (next to trainer) – Ron Douglas

FRONT ROW – in suit between Sted Hay & Phil Hay – John Young (Secretary), 2nd from right – J Sykes should read David Sykes, far right – C Scholes should read Craig Scales

1969 Under 15 Premiership team

Bryan Wood – Captain of the U15 premiership team in 1969, Bryan went on to become the most decorated Blackburn junior playing at the highest level in the VFL/AFL. He played 209 games for Richmond from 1972 to 1982, including 3 premierships in 73,74 and 80, and captained the tigers in 1981. In 1982 he transferred to Essendon and played 44 games until retiring at the end of 1986, including playing in the bomber’s 1985 premiership team.

The 1970's

The 70’s saw the club reach the pinnacle without the success it had cherished and slip down the other side. In 1975 the seniors were poised to win their first ever senior premiership in the EDFL but were denied this opportunity by Mitcham. This began a roller coaster ride for the club over the remainder of the 70’s. In 1976 the wheels fell off and the club was demoted to 2nd Division. In 1977 the club managed to win a premiership to regain a berth in 1st Division only to win the wooden spoon again in 1978 to go back into 2nd Division. As previously mentioned the canteen ladies were significant in the success of the club. It would be remiss of me to not acknowledge the contribution of two exceptional ladies, Mary Medson and Aileen Jackson, who took over the reins from the old brigade in the early 70’s and are still running the canteen to this very day.

1970's Achievements

Blackburn FC Under 17 Premiers.

Rod Appleton – 1967 U15 Premiership player, 1968 U15 B&F and Captain, 1970 U17 B&F and Captain, 1971 Senior B&F, 1980 Senior Premiership player, 1987 Best Clubman.

1975 Seniors 1st Division Runners Up

1977 Seniors 2nd Division Premiers.

1977 Seniors Squad.

The 1980's

This period started off with a premiership in 1980 and saw the club try to consolidate their position in 1st Division. This was maintained until 1988 when the wooden spoon again ventured to Blackburn and a long residence within 2nd division began. This period also spelled the demise of the juniors and this was to have a profound effect on the club’s fortunes. The club rooms and ground conditions were no better than the 60’s but with the BUFC disbanding there was scope to utilise the middle change-rooms for social rooms and therefore the mad rush to get showered and to clean the rooms was greatly diminished. The ladies, kids and other supporters no longer had to stand out in the cold and a permanent bar was set up. Sharing the toilets with the players was not a concern for the males but this caused much angst amongst the females and was a constant problem for the club.

The major highlights of this era were the premiership and Champion Club awards in 1980. Another was the scoreboard, which was constructed in 1982, by a group of players and supporters who had volunteered their services.

1980's Achievements

1980 Seniors Division 1 Premiers Flag.

STANDING – Vin Wilson (trainer), Peter Johnston, Frank Traczewski, Darryn Watts, Paul Jacobs, John Roodenburg, Ray Megarry, Glen Sherry, Robert Toose, John Tamblyn, Leon Geddes, Ed Murphy (Treasurer)

SITTING – Greg Baulch, Rod Appleton, Peter Joseph, Tom Cullen, John Baker (Captain/Coach), Jim Sherry (President), John Schneider, Brian Fairhall, David Dietrich, Tony Chanter

MASCOTS – Mark Cullen, Brad Cullen

ABSENT – Alan Peach (injured), Shane Tierney, Eric Dommerschuyzen

1980 COACH – John Baker


Captain/Coach John “OX” Baker leads the boys out.

1976/77 President Norm Jackson & flag waving supporter.


Captain/Coach John Baker celebrates.

Captain/Coach John Baker celebrates drinking from the winning cup.

Paul Jacobs – CHF

3 Future Life Members – Brendan “Butch” Morris, David “Dietch” Dietrich & Ian “Tub” Johnston.

Darren Watts, Rod Appleton & John “Ox” Baker C/C.


1980 Senior Premiership team 20 year reunion – July 8, 2000

Tom Cullen – 227 games, 750+ career goals, 1980 EDFL Division 2 Leading Goalkicker – 77 goals, 1981 EDFL Division 1 Leading Goalkicker – 76 goals, 1977 & 1980 Senior Premiership player, TOC Full Forward, Life Member 1979.

Jim Johnston – Club President 1982/83, member of the 1952 Senior Premiership team.

BFC team photo 1987 seniors.

LIFE MEMBERS – Brendan “Butch” Morris & Anthony “Gleese” Gleeson

Brendan “Butch” Morris playing his 100th game & Anthony “Gleese” Gleeson his 200th game. Butch went on to play 173 games, was Club President in 1995/96 and made life member in 1993. Gleese went on to play 316 games, won 2 Reserves B&F’s in 1995 and 1996, the EDFL Div 2 Reserves B&F in 1995 and was awarded life membership in 1998.

The 1990's

The club was committed to being competitive in 2nd Division and again return to 1st Division. With some great work by the committee the junior sides again graced the park and the resurgence of younger families in the Blackburn area helped with this program.

The club realised that without the youth coming through and with the extra financial burden of recruiting players and ever increasing costs the future would not be rosy. The establishment of the under 18’s was integral to future senior teams and this was highlighted by the commitment of many older players to play reserves football and give the young blokes some guidance and confidence to continue their football careers. The junior club had continued to grow over the years since its reformation, which culminated in them winning the 1999 Junior Champion Club award. The juniors now boast teams in age groups from under 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 16. Another fine achievement of the club was the number of players who went on to play over 300 EFL games with Blackburn. These guys began their junior football careers in the 70’s and 80’s and went on to play another 18 odd years in the seniors.

The other highlight of this period was the commitment to upgrading the sporting facilities at Morton Park by the WCC. This enabled the horrendous playing conditions of the past to be mere recollections as necessary funds were granted to install new drainage and to resurface the oval. Also during this decade the Council had provided funds for new lights and new perimeter fencing which no doubt brought Morton Park on par with the other ovals in the municipality.

1990's Achievements

Burners captain Peter Plummer leads the team out for a tough away encounter with Clayton, followed by VC Scott Chamberlain, and Deputy VCs Paul Sparkes and Anthony Gleeson.
Peter Plummer – 250 games, Senior Captain 1992 & 1993, 1995 & 1996 Reserves Premiership player, Life Member 1992.
Paul Sparkes – 308 games, 1995 & 1996 Reserves Premiership player, Life Member 1990

1994 Senior Team

1994 Reserves Team

Allan Berry – Club President 1993/94, 170 games, Life Member 1993.



Neale Reid – Captain/Coach 1994/95, Coach 1996-1998.

Anthony “Gleese” Gleeson – 316 games, Reserves B&F 1995 & 1996, EDFL Division 2 B&F 1995, 1995 & 1996 Reserves Premiership Captain, Life Member 1998.

Craig Noske – 130 games, Senior Captain 1997-1999, Life Member 2002.

Anthony Waterworth – 276 games, 2002 Senior B&F, 2002 Senior Premiership player, Life Member 2004.

Scott Harvey – 205 games, Reserves B&F 1994, 1996 Reserves Premiership player, 2002 Reserves Premiership Captain, Life Member 2002.

Scott Chamberlain – 184 games, 5 times Senior B&F 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990 & 1992, 1988 EDFL Division 1 B&F Chandler Medallist, 1990 EDFL Division 2 B&F Wright Medallist, TOC member (forward pocket), Life Member 2003.

Robert “Tex” Toose – 263 Games, 1980 Senior Premiership player, 1995 Reserves Premiership player – LIFE MEMBER 1989.

David Dietrich – 306 Games, 1980 Senior Premiership player, TOC (wing), Senior B&F 1985, Senior Captain 1988, Reserves B&F 1997, 1996 Reserves Premiership player – LIFE MEMBER 1989.

Ian “Tub” Johnston – 174 Games, Reserves B&F 1991 Reserves C/C 1994 – LIFE MEMBER 1991.

Terry Morris – 254 Games, Reserves B&F 1993, 1996 Reserves Premiership player – LIFE MEMBER 1992.

Leo Velona – 131 games, 1991 Senior B&F.

Alan Whelan – 313 games, 3 times Senior B&F 1989, 1993 & 1995, 1996 Reserves Premiership player, TOC member (back pocket), Life Member 1988.

David Johns – 118 games, 1995 & 1996 Reserves Premiership player, Life Member 2006.

Reserves 1995 Division 2 Premiership Win.

Robert “Tex” Toose Plays game 250 in 1995

Reserves 1996 Division 2 Premiership Win.

BFC team photo 1997 reserves.

BFC team photo 1997 seniors.

Alan “Wheels” Whelan Plays game 300 in 1997.

BFC team photo 1998 senior team photo.

TOP ROW – Peter Neville (Selector), Danny McAllister (head trainer), David Gluyas, Dennis Porcellato, Graeme Schlittler, Warren Blackie, John O’Brien, Danny Weston, Peter Jago, David Nicholas, Edi Tommasini, Steve Bugeja, Anthony Sparkes, Andrew Kruger, Darren Croft (runner), Sophie White (trainer)

MIDDLE ROW – Michael Gaul, Glenn Benson, Craig Noske, Neale Reid (coach), Michael Tarrant, Matt Edwards

BOTTOM ROW – Stuart Fox, Steve White, Scott Harvey, Bradd Taylor

BFC team photo 1998 reserve grand finalists.



Pavilion Upgrade 1999/2000.

The old rooms prior to work starting.

Old Kitchen.

Old Bar.


The old pavilion and canteen.


New viewing room under construction.

New viewing room externally.


New viewing room finished from outside.


New social room.


The new change rooms at the back.


2 Side views.


Official opening DEC 1999.
BSC President Mark Paterson (3rd from right).

The 2000's

This period is still in its infancy but a special mention should be given to those that were involved in the redevelopment of the social rooms and change rooms. These have and will continue to provide a first class facility for all players, members and supporters of the BFC to enjoy and cherish for decades to come.

Other highlights of recent times are the continued improvements shown by all teams both junior and senior within the EFL competition and by the respective committees in the administration and the advancement of aussie rules football within the local community.

I would like to acknowledge the contributions of Ron Eade, Bob Hoskins and Les Millar in helping me with the writing of this brief history. Thanks gentlemen.

In closing, to all those unsung heroes and heroines of the past, be it players, coaches, trainers, supporters, committee members, canteen ladies, gatekeepers, team managers, timekeepers, goal umpires, boundary umpires, whatever, thank you for your commitment to ensuring the continued existence and prosperity of this great football club. To those currently taking up the challenge and those who will in the future, again thank you, congratulations on your wonderful work and hopefully your hard yakka will eventually lead to some more silverware, flags and most of all fond memories.

In 2002, the Club had a wonderful year culminating in the winning of both the Reserves and Senior premierships. This enabled the Club to return to the premier division of the Eastern Football League being First Division.

Over the past three seasons the Seniors have had limited success but the Reserves and Under 18s have generally been very competitive.

2000's Achievements

Seniors 2002 Premiership Win.


Reserves 2002 Premiership Win.

Anthony Waterworth – Senior Best & Fairest 2002, 276 games, 2002 Senior Premiership player, Life Member 2004.

Chris Wilson – Senior Best & Fairest 2003, 168 games, Senior Co-Captain 2006 – 2008, Senior Captain 2009 & 2010.

Adam Keech – Senior Captain 2003 to 2005.

Jamie Carpenter – 2004 Senior Best & Fairest.