Origins of Australian football: Victoria's early history, Volume 1: Amateur heroes and the rise of clubs, 1858 to 1876 Pennings, Mark

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Pennings, Mark
Australian Rules football - History.; Australian football; Origins of football in Victoria
This is volume 1 in a series of four volumes about the origins of Australian football as it evolved in Victoria between 1858 and 1896. This volume addresses its very beginnings as an amateur sport and the rise of the first clubs. Invented by a group of Melbourne cricketers and sports enthusiasts, Australian Rules football was developed through games played on Melbourne's park lands and was originally known as "Melbourne Football Club Rules". This formative period of the game saw the birth of the first 'amateur heroes' of the game. Players such as T.W. Wills, H.C.A. Harrison, Jack Conway, George O'Mullane and Robert Murray Smith emerged as warriors engaged in individual rugby-type scrimmages. The introduction of Challenge Cups was an important spur for this burgeoning sport. Intense competition and growing rivalries between clubs such as Melbourne, South Yarra, Royal Park, and Geelong began to flourish and the game developed as a result. By the 1870s the game "Victorian Rules" had become the most popular outdoor winter sport across the state. In subsequent decades, rapid growth in club football occurred and the game attracted increasing media attention.
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