This Trove Tuesday, we are off to my hometown Hamilton.
Take two rival football clubs, the Hamilton Football Club and the Hamilton Imperials Football Club, merge them and what do you get? The beginning of a new chapter in the town’s sporting history when the Hamilton Kangaroos make their debut in Round 1 of the 2013 season this Saturday 13 April. Also, the new club will be entering a different league, the Hampden League, after both were founding members of the Western Border Football League in 1964.
Of the two teams, the Hamilton Football Club had the longest history. While the club may not have officially been formed at the time of this article from 1868, it is the earliest article I can find at Trove of football played at Hamilton.
In 1948, a club formed by a breakaway group from the Hamilton Football Club made its debut in the Western District Football League. The Hamilton Imperials Football Club was born. In June of that year, the Magpies (Hamilton) and the Bulldogs (Imperials) met for the first time beginning a rivalry that would endure for the next 64 years. Hamilton easy winners.
In the 1950s they used to say that the form guide could be thrown away when Hamilton and the Imperials met. The following headlines, all from The Argus during the 1950s, show how the rivalry had grown in just a short time.
Here’s to a successful future for the Hamilton Kangaroos but may the history of the two clubs that came before be maintained so future generations know their role, not only in Hamilton’s sporting history but its social history.
Where did my heart lie? With the mighty Imps of course!