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VFL: Report Card - Round 16

North Melbourne notched a memorable comeback win, edging Coburg in a three-point thriller.

8:54am Jul 22, 2019

The run home takes a look at the remaining games for those in the finals mix.

8:37am Jul 22, 2019

The Formation

*From The North Story, by Gerard Dowling

There had been an attempt to establish a football team in the locality (North Melbourne) five years before (1864), but it had been short lived.

The North Melbourne Football Club quite likely did not have an official launching as a formally-constituted organisation. To begin with it was most probably little more than someone calling together a group of players and helpers to organise some competitive team sport for local cricketers during the winter months.

None of the details of the first historic game has been kept. Consequently we know neither the players' names, nor the team against which they pitted themselves.

The only story that has survived about the first game concerns the purchase of the side's original football. Tradition has it that it was made available through the generosity of Tom Jacks, who is reputed to have made a sale of some roofing iron, and with the proceeds to have bought this first football.

The site of this first match was "The Royal Park" which continued to be North's home ground for many years afterwards. Its precise location within the park is not known today, but it could be described as within the western boundaries of the Zoological Gardens.

Whether or not any particular person has the right to be accorded the specific title of "founder" of the North Melbourne Football Club we shall probably never know with certainty. However, there is one who was the inspiration and driving force behind the club's establishment and early development and who has been traditionally regarded as its founder by subsequent generations - James Henry Gardiner.

He was a young man of about 21 when the club was launched, and over the next 50 years rendered outstanding service both as a player and as the holder of several executive positions.