Tarrawanna Blueys Soccer Club

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1913 - 2013

The History of Tarrawanna Soccer Club

It was 1913 when a group of coal miners and farmers decided to form Tarrawanna Soccer Club in Wollongong’s northern suburbs.
In the earlier years they played in the colours of red and white with a red heart on the left breast. Hence, they were nicknamed the Tarrawanna Sweat Hearts and played their home games on ground that was situated just north-east of today’s Tarrawanna Oval.
Tarrawanna entered a team in the IDSA 3rd Grade Challenge Cup and after playing two trial games and losing by the odd goal the competition proper started with the first game at home on the 20th June 1913.

The following is as recorded by the late Phillip Porter (Life Member):

I first played soccer/football for Tarrawanna Juniors at Tarrawanna School in the early 1960s enjoying some success. In my latter years it was evident that my soccer/football ability was not that good and I stopped playing.

I continued to follow and watch both junior and senior Tarrawanna teams who played at the Tarrawanna School and Balgownie Oval before the senior team moved to the now Tarrawanna Oval.

Being a supporter I made good friends with players and other supporters of the club and in the mid 1970s I was encouraged to join the committee of Tarrawanna Soccer Club.

When I joined the committee the Club had just completed a new ground and new facilities at Tarrawanna Oval. It was an exciting time for Tarrawanna as they had recruited players from Balgownie and South Coast United and were invited to participate in the new Premier League.

The club was originally formed in 1913 winning the Grand Final 2-1 against Bulli. Since then the club has been one of the main clubs in the Illawarra and they have played in all divisions and won all the main trophies on offer.

After hearing and reading many stories about teams from Balgownie, Corrimal, Woonona and Helensburgh I resolved to research the history of Tarrawanna Soccer Club of which I have enjoyed being part of and making many friends along the way.

In researching The South Coast Times and Illawarra Mercury newspapers in the Wollongong Library, on the internet and at the Australian War Memorial I found great stories and information on games and players in the early years ofTarrawanna Soccer Club and events that effected Tarrawanna Soccer Club and the community.

With some information and photos of the early years and a year date of 1913 the Tarrawanna Sweet Hearts Soccer club was formed, I attended Wollongong Library to research papers such as The South Coast Times and the Illawarra Mercury on write-ups and any stories of the club’s history.

With this information I wanted to embellish it with appropriate prose and edit, polish and publish a centennial book (Phillip passed away whilst working on the 100 Year Book).

There is possibly a lot more historical information associated with Tarrawanna Soccer Club that I have missed if so I will part quote from the first Secretary of The Tarrawanna Soccer Club, a Mr. Parkinson, from a letter he wrote to The South Coast Times in 1913 in response to some clubs complaining about Tarrawanna and their pitch.

He wrote that: "He was convinced that a job is never finished until it is criticised". He also stated: "Beggars have to be thankful for what they receive so Tarrawanna is in the same boat as a beggar"!

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