A HISTORY OF TARRAWANNA BLUEYS FC
It was 1913 when a group of coal miners and farmers decided to form Tarrawanna Blueys FC in Wollongong’s northern suburbs. This website acknowledges the memory of the early players, officials and the Tarrawanna community who formed the original club and continued to operate through the hard years of two world-wars and the great-depression.
Tarrawanna Blueys FC 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. That year they finished the season winning the Grand Final 2-1 against Bulli.
In these early 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.
Much of the past club’s history records were assembled and maintained by the late Phillip Porter who, along with fellow Life Member Ross Emerton, the pavilion at Tarrawanna Oval is named after. Phillip Porter did extensive research into the history of Tarrawanna Blueys FC whilst writing a centennial book (Phillip sadly passed away whilst working on the 100 Year Book).
With some information and photos of the early years and the year the Tarrawanna Sweet Hearts Soccer club was formed, Phillip attended Wollongong Library to research papers such as The South Coast Times and the Illawarra Mercury, sourcing write-ups and stories on the club’s history.
The following is as recorded by Phillip ;
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 Blueys FC.
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.
After hearing and reading many stories about teams from Balgownie, Corrimal, Woonona and Helensburgh I resolved to research the history of Tarrawanna Blueys FC of which I have enjoyed being part of and making many friends along the way.
There is possibly a lot more historical information associated with Tarrawanna Blueys FC that I have missed if so I will part quote from the first Secretary of The Tarrawanna Blueys FC, 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"!
Besides Phillip Porter and many others, the name Ross Emerton (who has been a player, coach and committee person of Tarrawanna Blueys FC for over 50 years) are prominent in the club records. Outstanding were the ‘Croppers’ and all those involved in securing the land and building the new playing facilities at Tarrawanna Oval.