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History of footy in Cairns - an inspiration to Leagues around the World

  • Saturday, October 23 2004 @ 09:57 am ACST
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General News The AFL Cairns is experiencing great success these days, but the history of footy there goes back to the 1950s, when it got its start in a way that will be very familiar to many new clubs in many different countries.

Cairns is a far north Queensland town of around 130,000 people, and has a solid history of Australian football. The game has been played there since the 1950s, when two journalists, a Victorian and a South Australian, arrived to find, to their distress, no Aussie Rules. Much like the story of how the game has spread around the world, the men ran a small advert in a local paper, to see if anyone was interested. Initial interest was poor, but the first recruit, Kevin Crathern, went on to become "the father of Australian football in the far north". From humble beginnings, numbers grew, a junior league was developed (1958), and the game has flourished since, with land being purchased and a social club built in the 1960s (not so cheap today, but perhaps a vital investment). Of course nowadays Queensland has embraced footy with a new passion, with AFL side Brisbane dominating the nation's top league. Although Brisbane is the capital of the state of Queensland, some of our non-Australian readers may be amazed to learn that it is still around 1700 km from Cairns.

Read more on the history of Australian football in far north Queensland at the AFL Cairns history page - it should be an inspiration to many new leagues and clubs around the world, who have started in much the say way.