Queensland Footy History
Footy History Overview
1903 to 1914
1915 to 1926
1927 to 1940
1941 to 1958
1959 to 1971
1972 to 1986
1987 to 1999
2000 to 2010
2011 to present
Qld Footy Hall of Fame
Qld Players in VFL/AFL
Brisbane Lions History
Gold Coast Suns History
The AFL Competition - Overview and History
Here we are mainly focusing on
history of the game in Queensland. Many others have comprehensively
documented the history of the competition known as the AFL (formerly known
as the VFL), so the information on that page is therefore not as detailed as
many of the other pages on the site.
The Brisbane Lions History page includes sections devoted to Fitzroy and the
Brisbane Bears, the two clubs which merged to form the Brisbane Lions.
The years covering the history of AFL in Queensland are divided into a number of eras as listed above. An overview of each era
is given, along with a summary of the premiership for each year.
There was no formal premiership in Brisbane or southeast Queensland in the
19th century. Despite the game enjoying a status as the dominant
football code at various stages in the 1800s, games in that era were
specially-arranged ‘one-off’ matches, and it was not until the formation
of the Queensland Football League (QFL) in 1903 that premiership competition
commenced in Brisbane. The first premiership game was in June 1904.
Including the QAFL’s precursors, the premiership has been held every year since with the exception of the
period 1915 to 1919 when World War I and the influenza epidemic intervened.
The dates when the respective state governing bodies were established or
renamed are as follows:
1880 Queensland Football Association (QFA)
1903 Queensland Football League (QFL)
1927 Queensland Australian National Football League (QANFL)
1964 Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL)
1997 Queensland Australian Football Council
2000 AFL Queensland (AFLQ)
The main premiership competition has generally, over the years, taken the
name of the governing body of the day, as is the case with the AFL nowadays. For example, the governing body known as the QAFL would
oversee the competition also known as the QAFL.
However, in recent times this has not been the case. In the late 1990s
the Queensland Australian Football Council oversaw the Queensland State
Football League. From 2000 to 2008 AFL Queensland oversaw the State
League. In 2009 and 2010, AFL Queensland oversaw the QAFL.
From 2011 to 2013, AFL
Queensland oversaw the NEAFL Northern Conference.
From 2014, the NEAFL has featured teams from Qld, NSW, ACT and NT in the one
competition, doing away with the two conferences. In this period from
2014, AFL Queensland has overseen the QAFL.
Of course the names of sponsors have also long been used when referring to
the premiership competition. In fact the league found a willing
sponsor for its very first premiership season, that of 1904 – Heindorff
Brothers, a firm of merchants and importers who sold
pianos, musical instruments, watches, jewellery and other goods - and the
premiership of the day was sometimes referred to as the ‘Heindorff
Cup competition’. In the 1920s, 30s and 40s, the sides were often said to do battle for the ‘Old
Court Whisky Shield’, a prize donated by Federal Distilleries. In
the recent past, the premiership was referred to as the ‘Velocity Sports
State League’ or the ‘QAFL Velocity Sports Cup’.
Whether it be 1904 or over a century later, sponsorship clearly
remains an integral and invaluable part of the game. Researching the
game’s history tends to give you a greater appreciation of the role played
by sponsors, from the grassroots level right through to the elite.
(images are clickable)
Queensland team of 1910, photographed at the Gabba. George Paget,
with football, captained the side.
Queensland style: ‘Queenslander’ houses provide a charming
backdrop to this 1930 game between Brisbane-Valley and Mayne at
Perry Park. McEntee of Brisbane-Valley is taking the mark.
champion of the 1920s and 30s, and member of the Queensland Team of
the Century, Clem Ryan.