30. Escape to Victoria: Early football in and around Melbourne

It was one thing to convince the whole of the British Isles to do away with local traditions for the sake of a national standard, and another matter entirely to convince the handful of teams in a geographically secluded community that had very few local traditions to be sidetracked by.

Australians are often as surprised as anybody to learn that their code has a valid claim to be the oldest and most ‘authentic’ of all the different forms of football.

In the 1850s, there was probably nowhere in the world with such a vibrant footballing scene as the colony of Victoria, and by the time soccer and rugby were standardised, the local rules were already far too widespread to even consider adopting the British rules.

But how much of this was really the working of Tom Wills and HCA Harrison, the traditionally recognised ‘fathers’ of Australian football? Here we learn of the role of lesser known figures like Dalmahoy Campbell and James Bryant in the development of Australian rules football.

31. A KICK UP THE BEHIND: The early years of Australian rules football

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