Albany Football Association

1897 – 1957 (61 years)
AFA Jumper

Albany experienced Australian Rules football for the first time when John Angove, secretary of the town’s Road Board, organised a social game at the Parade Street Recreation Reserve on Thursday May 6, 1886.

Players were asked to be at the ground early that afternoon so two teams could be selected. The Albany Bowling Club (formerly the Denmark Hospital building) adjoined the Reserve and was used by the footballers as changerooms.

John Angove continued to be the town’s organiser of social football matches until Monday May 13, 1889, when a meeting of Aussie Rules enthusiasts was held at the London Hotel.

John Kerr chaired the meeting and Edwin Keyser acted as secretary. ? Hogarth moved, and Edward Troode seconded, that an Albany football club committee be formed. The motion was passed.

William Knight and ? Bendall were elected with the above four-mentioned people on a social games organising committee.

This format continued until 1897 when, on Thursday April 29 at a meeting in the Royal George Hotel, it was decided to form the Albany Wanderers Football Club with its committee being responsible to co-ordinate an official competition.

However, the overwhelming feeling of town people was to launch East, North and West Ward teams – as per the Albany Cricket Association.

The ‘Albany Advertiser’ newspaper reported two days later “that without the territorial distinction, the public can take very little interest in the games”. The article (which showed no name of its writer) continued “that teams formed indiscriminately, one club might have such a preponderance of talent as to crush any attempt to create keen competition”.

An open meeting of football enthusiasts was conducted at the Royal George Hotel the following Wednesday, May 5, and Edwin Keyser was elected as chairman.

William Noonan moved “that three clubs be formed so players could join which one they chose”. The motion lapsed for want of a seconder.

Because the majority of people still felt the Albany Cricket Association example was worth duplicating, three seperate meetings to discuss each ward club were planned for the following Monday.

? Bruce proposed that four delegates be assigned to each of these meetings and to present a report at the next open gathering. The elected delegates were…

East Ward: Edwin Keyser, William Noonan, Percy Patterson & A Robinson

North Ward: ? Dudley, Charles Edwards, George Edwards & Frank Handley

West Ward: Stan Chester, Ernest Marchant, Walter McCallum & Charles Milne

A follow-up public meeting was held at the Royal George Hotel two days later with Edwin Keyser again chairman.

Edward Moffatt and Reg Greenwood reported, respectively, that North Ward and West Ward clubs were officially launched on Monday May 10, 1897.

Edwin Keyser informed that East Ward failed to attract enough people to form a club but stated it would inevitably happen. Keyser, Percy Patterson and A Robinson took responsibility to ensure an East Ward club becomes viable.

The club, with appointed office bearers, was not officially born until its second game of the season. Ironically, East beat West in its inaugural match.

William Noonan moved, at a May 12 (1897) open meeting, that the Albany Football Association be formed as the parent body of the three new clubs. This was unanimously carried.

It was also unanimous that the recently-formed Albany Wanderers Football Club not be allowed in the AFA as it did not represent a ward and would need people from the three new clubs to survive.


A meteor in our galaxy
AFA feels the force
AFA v Mount Barker premiers
AFA v WAFL teams
Albany mayors in AFA lifespan
Albany population in AFA lifespan
Annual wind-up date & venue
Association & club colours
Association AGM date & venue
Association games
Best throughout history
Big brother takeover
Birth of an institution
Cab’s secret demise
Cardinal visit
Clubs’ AGM venues
Double-figure goals
Drawn games
Elation turns to tragedy
Fairest & bests
Field umpires
Final game date & venue
Finals’ format
Finishing order
From footy field to battle field
From the beginning

Generation challenge
Grade leaders
Grand final regular
Grand final umpires
Grand finals best-on-ground
High praise from above
History of the AFA
How’s that Mr President?
Inter-club games
Leading goalkickers
Life members
Mr Versatile
Office bearers
Premiership leaders
Regal beginning
Scoreless teams in a game
Season start date & total games
Snap shots
Snowy on Centennial Oval
Success in other fields
The end of AFA
The great impression
VFL players
WAFL players