Noble Park Football Club

(03) 9546 0653

Our club’s history, special thanks to Jim Laidlaw:

Many months of research went into this article and it is featured in the town’s “Noble Park 100 Centenary Year Book” which was released in 2010, marking 100 years.
In 1909 Mrs Frank Buckley, the wife of the founder of Noble Park, donated some 5 acres of land in Moodemere Street to be used for sporting purposes. This area was managed by committees and cleared and fenced by voluntary effort. Unfortunately the ground was prone to flooding and was only used intermittently until the Dandenong Council drained it in 1932. The land which was originally named Moodemere Reserve and changed to The Pat Wright Oval in 2005, is now the permanent home of ‘The Bulls’. From humble beginnings the football club has evolved to become the Noble Park Football Club Social Club Ltd, which is the umbrella club for 9 sporting clubs and the centre for sporting, entertainment and community affairs for residence in Noble Park and surrounding areas.

The first football club was formed in 1918 under the Presidency of Frank O’Brian with Charlie Miles as Secretary. Charlie later went on to be elected Captain of the Noble Park Urban Fire Brigade in 1934. The first team played on land behind the Public Hall in the under 21 competition of the Berwick Association and played in suburban leagues until joining the Caulfield and Oakleigh Association. Other grounds played on when Moodemere Reserve was water-logged were Baccus Way and Behlow’s Paddock After being expelled from the Caulfield and Oakleigh Association; Noble Park joined the Dandenong & District Football Association and began a period of success that set the pattern for the Club to be a force in suburban football.

They played in Richmond colours and were known as the “Tigers”

The Club became a centre for community activity during the tough depression years of the 1930’s and the Saturday afternoon games were well attended. Barrackers would hurl advice and abuse at the players and umpire from around the boundary. Relatives of the players, including the women, were the most vocal especially when there was a ‘scrap’ on. Nothing has changed.

During this period the fierce rivalry developed between Noble Park and neighbouring sides of Springvale and Dandenong. The first success in the DDFA came in 1934 when they were runners up.

1935 proved to be a halcyon year when Noble Park achieved the title of Premiers & Champions under the coaching of R. Turner.

During the 1934, 1935 and 1936 seasons Noble Park competed in 56 games, winning 42 which included an unbeaten run of 17 matches in the 1935/1936 seasons. Noble Park Football Club was certainly now respected in the DDFA.

The success of the Club continued and Premierships were achieved in 1941, 1944, and 1945 under Coach Haig Davidson and again in 1947 under B. Carey.

The 50’s again saw success and during a golden period under
captain and coach Allen George Cullen Noble Park achieved back to back Premierships in 1951, 1952 and 1953.

The Dandenong and District Association folded at the end of 1953 no doubt partly due to the dominance of Noble Park.

Bill Norman took over the playing captain coach role for the 1954 and 1955 seasons in the Eastern Suburban League. This was a
tough period as many players from the premiership side had defected to the newly formed Parkfield Football Club. (Later named Harrisfield Football Club)

During the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s there were some great players who when on to play in VFL and Association clubs including Bill Perkins – Richmond, Frank Deayton – Melbourne, Bill Norman – Hawthorn & Moorabbin, Frank Baptist and Jim Baptist – Oakleigh, Bert Perkins – Dandenong & Oakleigh, Cunningham – Oakleigh and Wally Baptist to Collingwood. Pat Naughton was President for 15 years and Paddy O’Donoghue Secretary for 8 years.

In 1959 the Noble Park and Harrisfield Football Clubs merged and were then known as Noble Park Harrisfield Football Club wearing North Melbourne for the first two years before adopting the Blue & Gold.

In the 60’s initial success came with back to back Premierships in 1961 and 1962 under playing coaches J Coffey and Frank Baptist in the Caulfield Oakleigh District League.

In1964 Noble Park joined the Federal Football League and remained there until 1982 playing in the blue and gold colours which the Club still use today. This was a tough and competitive league and Noble had many great players including League Best & Fairest winners:

  • SENIORS – 1972 Dennis McGrath, 1977 L Studham, 1979 Stephen Watt, 1980 & 1983 (SESFL), Darren Brooks, Mick Plant, 1981 & 1982 (SESFL) Neville Esler.
  • RESERVES – 1976 Alan Campbell, 1978 Rueben Miles, 1980 Doug Ensor (As a junior for Noble Park, Doug Ensor, kicked over 350 goals in 3 seasons including 208 in one year. He has been entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest number of goals kicked in a game of football by an individual when he kicked 60 of the team’s 69 goals in one match.)
  • THIRDS – 1966 Jim O’Dea, 1967 P Deayton
  • FOURTHS – 1967 G Beck, 1981 D Brookes

In 1969 the Noble Park Football Club Juniors was formed as a separate entity from the senior Club and joined the Dandenong & District Junior Football League basing their sides at Ross Reserve. They successfully remained in that league until 2009.

The 70’s was a great decade and continued the on field successes with many premierships:

  • 1970 – Reserves coached by Kevin Meade
  • 1972 – Seniors coached by Kevin Ellis, Reserves back to back coached by Kevin Meade
  • 1975 – Under 16’s coached by Reuben Miles
  • 1976 – Under 18’s coached by Reuben Miles, Under 16’s coached by David Spence
  • 1977– Under 18’s coached by David Spence
  • 1978 – Under 16’s coached by Stephen Dicks
  • 1979 – Under 18’s coached by David Spence

During the early 70’s a committee was formed to explore the possibility of building a social club. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the volunteers this was eventually achieved and the licensed Noble Park Football Social Club opened on March 16th 1978.

The 80’s continued on the foundation of the great work done by many in the 70’s and Premierships were achieved:

  • 1980 – Under 18’s coached by David Spence
  • 1981 – Under 18’s coached by David Spence
  • 1982 – Under 18’s coached by Wayne Hughes
  • 1983 – Seniors coached by David Spence, Under 18’s coached by Wayne Hughes
  • 1984 – Under 18’s coached by Wayne Hughes (7th Premiership in row 3rd under Wayne Hughes) 1985 – Seniors coached by David Spence
  • 1986 – Seniors coached by Danny O’Kane. Reserves coached by Stephen Dicks
  • 1987 – Seniors coached by Danny O’Kane. Reserves coached by Stephen Dicks
  • 1988 – Reserves coached by Stephen Dicks (3rd Premiership in row)
  • 1989 – Reserves coached by Peter Milburn

The 90’s were the most successful era of the Club and started with a clean sweep of Premierships. The Club transferred to The Southern Football League in 1992:

  • 1990 – Seniors coached by David Dickson, Reserves coached by Ray Carter and Under 18’s coached by Dominic Cosenza
  • 1991 – Reserves coached by Ray Carter, Under 18’s coached by Ted Le
  • 1992 – Seniors coached by David Dickson, Reserves coached by Ray Carter and Under 18’s coached by Brett Shannon (EFL)
  • 1993 – Reserves coached by Billy Morri 1994 – Seniors coached by Peter Maloni, Reserves coached by Paul Garden and Under 18’s coached by Darren Eddington (EFL).
  • 1995 – Reserves coached by Paul Garden, under 18,s coached by Darren Eddington
  • 1996 – Seniors coached by Peter Reece, Reserves coached by Paul Garden
  • 1997 – Seniors coached by Peter Reece, Reserves coached by Paul Garden
  • 1998 – Reserves coached by Paul Garden (5th in row)
  • 1999 – Reserves coached by Hamish Ogilvie. This was the 14th Premiership in a row for the Reserves an achievement that will probably never be equalled. One great player and clubman, Paul (Smiley) Brightman played in all 14 Grand Final wins

In 2000, due to the foresight of President Jeff Marshall and his committee, Noble joined the very professional Eastern Football League and success took 3 years of hard work and planning with premierships in:

  • 2003 – Seniors coached by Dennis Knight
  • 2004 – Seniors coached by Dennis Knight, Reserves coached by Greg Siwes.

During the last 30 years Noble Park Football Club has had many great players including League Best & Fairest:

  • 1987 Scott Clement & ‘Nobby’ Glascott SESFL Reserves
  • 1989 Ben Robinson SEDDCFC Under 18’s , Jack Kol SESFL Reserves
  • 1990 Sandy Cameron SESFL Leading Goalkicker, John Sustar SESFL Reserves
  • 1996 Kris Abalos SFL Under 18’s
  • 2002 Brent Williams EFL Leading Goalkicker
  • 2003 Denis Knight EFL, Greg Siwes EFL Reserves
  • 2004 Benn Logan EFL, Brent Williams EFL Leading Goalkicker
  • 2007 Craig Anderson EFL

There have been a number of players who started in the Noble Park Football Club Juniors and who have gone on to play in the VFL & AFL. Robert Bell, Michael Plant and Ray Jamieson played at South Melbourne. John Blair played at South Melbourne, Fitzroy and St Kilda and later went on to win a Grogan Medal for the Best & Fairest in the Queensland Football League. Patrick Foy who started his junior career at Noble Park played at South Melbourne. Darren Bennett who played for West Coast Eagles and Melbourne then went on to play American football as a kicker. Rick Norman played for North Melbourne and the Brisbane Bears. David Neitz, the longest serving Captain of the Melbourne F.C. Brothers, Paul (South Melbourne, St.Kilda and Collingwood) and Tony Morwood (Sydney Swans).

To add to this list we have Premiership players, Shane Morwood (Sydney Swans & Collingwood), Darren Millane(Collingwood), Steven Icke (North Melbourne & Melbourne) and also Adam Ramanauskas (Essendon). In 2009, Shane Savage was drafted to the reigning Premiers, Hawthorn. In 2004 James Gwilt was the first player to be drafted outside of the national under 18 competition. He was picked up by St Kilda after a BOG performance in the EFL Grand Final. Shane Savage drafted by Hawthorn in 2008.


Noble Park Football Club is an affiliated club of NOBLE PARK FOOTBALL SOCIAL CLUB.