The Death of Fitzroy Football Club

Russell Holmesby

The Death of Fitzroy Football Club
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The Death of Fitzroy Football Club

Russell Holmesby

The Death of Fitzroy Football Club is an oral history, outlining the reasons why Fitzroy FC, one of the founding clubs of the VFL in 1896, lost its way and eventually was merged with the Brisbane Bears. The book covers the spread of years from the seventies, through a period when the club was strong on the field in the early eighties, to the club’s death, at the end of the 1996 season.

Fitzroy FC never had a chance when the VFL moved into the professional era. Despite its heritage, despite some of its champion players and coaches, it never had the financial wherewithal to survive. The beginning of the end can be traced to the seventies, when finances became tight, and the club’s best players had to be traded for cash. The author has curated contemporaneous interviews from Inside Football magazine and other publications, together with interviews with those intimately involved in the club’s final days, including the AFL’s CEO, Ross Oakley, who oversaw the club’s final merge with the Brisbane Bears. The book describes the emotional fallout that saw families split, and supporters discarding their relationship with the AFL game.  

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