Round 16, 2017

Greetings from Newcastle, at the end of the Australian Historical Association conference – we hope everyone is looking forward to round 16 which will be underway tonight.

 We thought we’d pass on some local Newcastle historical football updates this week.

 Those who were at the conference might have heard The Newcastle People’s Chorus wonderful performance at the launch of the current exhibition of radical protest in the area at the Newcastle Museum.

 There is, of course, a historical football connection!

 Newcastle Museum also holds the Black Diamond Challenge Cup (photo, via the museum, above), which is the oldest team sport trophy competed for in Australia. The trophy was made in 1887 and donated to the Australian Football league in Newcastle. Miners from Victoria had moved to the coal fields in Newcastle and contributed to the establishment of an Australian football competition in Newcastle in 1883.

Melbourne teams played in Newcastle too. South Melbourne came in 1883 (The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, 3 July 1883 p7) and played in front of 5,000 spectators with South Melbourne beating a combined Newcastle Team (The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser 21 July 1883, p124). In 1888 Fitzroy visited and events included a picnic and wallaby hunt (The Australian Star, 18 April 1888, p6).

And for those in tipping competitions – good luck with your tipping! Our favourite football statistical analysis, the Arc, shows that as a league the AFL competition is a close one this year, with the probability of winning being close to 50/50  – so we hope you have a coin ready to work out your tips!

Mary & Jordy

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