We shall remember them: The strange case of Thomas Witham and Whitmore Pink

Mirboo North Soccer team 1914, which includes the unidentified Shoesmith and Preston. (Image by George Sutton, thanks to Centre for Gippsland Studies, Monash University.) On 28 September 1913, two men walked into the Russell St Police Station, begging to be arrested, locked up, and fed. They gave their names as Thomas Witham, a Shoesmith and Whitmore Pink. After working their passages out from England as cabin stewards, they had worked for a week in the Wonthaggi mine before finding themselves [...]

By | April 22nd, 2015|History|0 Comments

We shall remember them: The Irymple Nine

Pre-war soccer in Victoria had not only grown in the metropolitan region. It took root in the country as well. It’s a fact little known that Mildura had a developing competition in this period. Even when soccer was in decline in Melbourne in the 1890s, Mildura kept the flag flying for a few years, engaging in local scratch matches and playing irregular competition with South Australian town, Renmark. The Mildura competition before the war involved two or three teams. While [...]

By | April 21st, 2015|History|0 Comments

We shall remember them: Victorian soccer players and the First World War

The photograph was forwarded from "Somewhere in France" by Corporal A. Shields. It is a team chosen from the 38th and 39th Battalion, which played a game of "Soccer" behind the lines, against a combination of "Tommies." The Australians won by four goals to one. Reading from left to right the names are: Back row – Pte. W. Martin (South Melbourne, 38th Batt.), Sgt. A. Geddes (Ballarat, 39th Batt), Cpl. A. Shields (Albert Park, 38th Batt.), Pte. G. Gregory (Bendigo, 39th [...]

By | April 20th, 2015|History|0 Comments

The long road to Asia

Australia’s relationship with Asia in football stretches as far back as 1923, when a Chinese side toured the country to enormous crowds, but for almost a century there were peaks and troughs when it came to engagement. Opinions differ on why this is the case. Many point to the historical resistance of key Asian powerbrokers to Australia joining the Asian Football Confederation, while others say Australia has never done enough on the diplomatic front to truly warrant Asia’s respect. The [...]

By | April 14th, 2015|History|0 Comments

I Am Not a Professional Historian: I’m a Human Being

I am not a professional historian. Yes, I get paid to research and write. And yes, I write history. But I am not a professional historian. I came to my history work through the back door. More interested in rhetoric, literature and the politics and poetics of language (with a PhD in Literature), I married these to my love of sport – particularly soccer and cricket. I started to notice and analyse the way language was used in sporting media discourse [...]

By | March 6th, 2015|Features, History|0 Comments
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