Busselton Football Club History

by Barry Cameron

Although there are not any Club records available, the South Western News reported the formation of a new club on July 13th, 1934.

It is recorded that at a meeting on the Busselton Recreational Ground, the Railways and Pastimes Football Club disbanded and members of both clubs formed a brand new club – the Busselton Football Club.

It is believed that this club participated in the Busselton & Districts Football Association competition until it’s entry into the Bunbury-Collie League, now known as the South West Football League, in 1954.

The Club changed its name to Eastern Districts and comprised Busselton Football Club and Capel team players. The other Busselton team, which also entered the League was called Western Districts.

Gil Brennan was Captain of the side and capped off Busselton’s entry into the Bunbury-Collie League by winning the prestigious Hayward Medal. Gil’s tally of 31 votes remained a record until 1981 when ex Claremont and VFA and VFL player, Peter Ivanoff polled 39 votes. Coach of the side was the late Dudley McAlinden.

Dud coached the Busselton Football Club from 1946-1956. An eight-year stint of coaching produced 7 premierships for the Club in the old Busselton and Districts Association competition.

Gil Brennan arrived in Busselton in 1945, and an excerpt from the Margaret District Times on July 11th, 1957 described him as follows: 5”10’, 12 stone 4 pound, scrupulously fair, a sure mark, a long accurate kick and the finest exponent of the handball in the South West.”

In 1955, the Club changed its name to the Busselton Football Club and with the Western Districts team disbanding, it meant only one club in the Busselton district.
This year saw the commencement of a successful home ground record at Churchill Park – seven home games for seven wins. The Club recorded 11 wins and finished second at the end of the qualifying rounds. It also finished second at the conclusion of the season, by being runner-up to South Bunbury.

The Hayward Medal was won by Bob Farquhar (South Bunbury) with 18 votes. Ruckman Gil Brennan and State Schoolboys rover Richie Riley were the Club’s leading vote getters with 11 votes each. Both players tied for the Club’s Fairest & Best Award. League Coach was the late Dud McAlinden with Mal Reilly Club Captain.

The 1956 season brought the Club it’s first Premiership in the Bunbury-Collie League when they defeated the Donnybrook Football Club by 22 points. Trevor Reilly won the Pike Medal, being adjudged the best player in the Grand Final. The Club did it the hard way by having to win from the First Semi-Final against Mines Rovers. It avenged it’s grand Final defeat of 1955 when the team put South Bunbury out of the Preliminary Final by the big margin of 7 goals 4 behinds.

Download the full history of the Busselton Football Club 50th reunion booklet (1955 – 2004) (pdf 8mb)