1885 Chronology

Position (unofficial): Eighth
Won 4, Drew 2, Lost 12, Goals For 31, Goals Agst 72.
Captain: George Smith
Vice Captain: Tom Graham
Leading Goal Kickers: William Wells (6), Jack Conlon (6)
Debit Balance: 12pounds 0s. 0d.
Membership: 300

Thr. 1
Tommy Horan, who will play football with Richmond in 1888, captains the Australian cricket team against England for the first time.
Discussions between the Richmond Cricket Club and the Melbourne Football Club, concerning the latter’s proposed tenancy at the RCG, dissolve.

Wed February 4
The Richmond Cricket Club’s minute books hint at moves to form a senior Richmond football club.

Wed. 11
A preliminary meeting to gage support for proposed senior club is held. The team is expected to play at the RCG and wear orange and black, as per the Cricket Club. "Some forty gentlemen handed in their names as members at the meeting." The next meeting is agreed to take place on Friday 20th where it "is confidentially anticipated that there will be a large attendance". It is noted that of the 40 names gathered some as "first class players already well and favourably known in the football arena"

Fri. 20
The Richmond Football Club is officially founded at the Royal Hotel. Office bearers are elected. James Charles is the club’s first secretary, John Asher his assistant, and Clovis Mainon the treasurer. Richmond’s mayor, John C. Winn is the club’s first president.

Thr. 26
Richmond’s colours and uniform are decided at a committee meeting at Byrne's Hotel, Punt Road. The players are to wear, “all blue, with a yellow and black sash; cap with yellow and black stripe running from back to front”.

Thur 19
A general meeting of the club is held at the Temperance Hall, Church St 8pm. All footballers and supporters are invited to attend. The Sportsman paper writes "all supporters of the yellow and black stripes are urged to attend"

Sat. 21
All Richmond members and intending members are requested to attend practice in the Botanical Reserve.

Sat. 28
Richmond is accepted as a senior club by the VFA.

Saturdays: Richmond plays weekly intra-club scratch matches in the Botanical Reserve (in Gosch’s Paddock).
Mid-week: On Tuesdays and Thursdays Richmond players train at the RCG.

Sat 18
Richmond plays 'twenty-five all comers' in a practice match and gives them a 'sound drubbing'

Sat. 25
RICHMOND 2- | 2-12
Cremorne (23)| 0- | 1-4
Goals: Syle, Mullally
Richmond Cricket Ground
Richmond plays its first game against another club. Richmond 2 - 12 defeats the junior club Cremorne (23 players) 1 - 4 at the RCG. Chris Syle and James Mullally are Richmond’s goal scorers.
George “Geordie” Smith is captain and Tom Graham is vice captain.
Juniors: The Vaucluse Football Club is existent.

Sat. 2
Game 1
Williamstown 1.15 def Richmond 0.4
(Half time Williamstown 0.13 to Richmond 0.0)
Toss: Williamstown
Richmond plays its first premiership game. It is the first time they have played Williamstown since Aug 21 1875
Richmond held goalless for entire match (it was kicking into the wind for the first half).
Umpire was E. Hart

Thr. 7
The erection of ticket bays and a urinal at the RCG are “in progress”.

Sat. 9
Game 2
Richmond 3.13 def University 1.12
(Half time was Rich 1.6 to Uni 1.7)
Toss: University
The first time Richmond play University in the VFL, and the first time they meet since July 28 1860 (although that match was abandoned)
Richmond had 'a decided superiority in weight'
After Conlan kicks the first behind, the ball burst upon the subsequent kick-off , and has to be replaced.
The first time Richmond has held another team goalless in the second half.
Richmond’s celebrates its first win in a premiership game after defeating the other new senior club University.
It is Richmond’s first premiership game played at the Richmond Cricket Ground.
William Wells obtained a little mark thirty yards from the northern goal during the first half. He then proceeded to place kick Richmond’s first goal in a premiership game.
Umpire was Joseph Shaw from Hotham.

Sat. 16
Game 3
Geelong 8.26 def Rich 1.10
(Halftime score was Gee 4.14 to Rich 1.5)
Toss: Geelong.
Richmond scored 4 behinds before Geelong scored. Geelong then kicked 6 behinds in 20 minutes.
Wells kicked Richmond's only goal
Richmond goalless in second half
Richmond meet Geelong for the first time ever in the VFA, and their first meeting since Aug 31 1861
Around 1,300 - 1,600 spectators at Corio CG
About eighty supporters travel with the team to Geelong on a special train.
Umpire was Joseph Shaw

Wed. 20
A reference to “the yellow and blacks” in The Sportsman is possibly the earliest use of the phrase in relation to the Richmond team.

Sat. 30
RICHMOND 3-10 3-13
MELBOURNE 0-5 1-15
Goals: Conlon (2), Rushton
Richmond Cricket Ground
Richmond won toss.
First senior meeting between Richmond and Melbourne.
George Smith captains.
Rushton kicked the first ever goal against Melbourne , but dislocates his shoulder during the match and doesn't take any further part.
Conlan (incorrectly noted as Coulson in match report) kicks 2 goals in a row in first half.

Sat. 6
Game 5
Richmond 2.2 defeat Fitzroy 1.14 at Fitzroy Cricket Ground
Goals: H. Layton, C. Layton
The gates of the Fitzroy Cricket Ground are thrown open to the public gratis for the Fitzroy v. Richmond game without Richmond’s prior knowledge or consent.

"Yellow and Black" would write to the editor of The Herald and reference this match, in response to rowdyism that occurred at their return match later this year (Game 16).
He cites that in this match, played on a wet day, "the players returned to the rooms , the gas was put out twice, and the players , wet through, had to go out and dress themselves in the cabs, some of them not being able to play since through the cold they received"

Saturday 13
The match against Hotham is abandoned because the Hotham Recreation Reserve is waterlogged.
The Richmond team and the umpire appear at the ground. Richmond would unsuccessfully apply for a “walkover” victory.
Advertisement for the match

Sat. 20
RICHMOND 2-5 2-16
CARLTON 2-10 5-14
Goals: Hill, D. Elder
Richmond Cricket Ground attendance: 3,000
A RCG record attendance of 3,000 watch Richmond play Carlton.

Sat. 27
SOUTH MELB. 5-12 9-19
RICHMOND 0-1 0-4
South Melbourne Cricket Ground attendance: 3,000
Toss: Richmond
A large crowd, despite intermittent rain. Ground was heavy.

Sat. 4
ESSENDON 4-6 8-16
RICHMOND 0-5 2-6
Goals: Wells, Ryan
East Melbourne Cricket Ground

Sat. 11
Game 10
RICHMOND 1-1 1-1
Goals: Syle
Toss: Williamstown
Richmond Cricket Ground
Richmond and Williamstown barrackers “bandy words” and two or three “unseemly scuffles” ensue.
Richmond goalless after for second half.
With no fence around the ground, the crowd encroached upon the arena, and play occassionally resulted with players amongst spectators

Sat. 18
RICHMOND 0-3 0-9
University Cricket Ground
The RCG hosts a Victoria v. New South Wales inter-colonial soccer game. Only 200 to 300 spectators attend.

Sat. 25
ESSENDON 6-17 7-26
RICHMOND 1-2 3-8
Goals: Kelso, Conlon, H. Layton
East Melbourne Cricket Ground attendance: 1,000

Sat. 1
CARLTON 2-1 3-7
RICHMOND 0-5 1-9
Goal: Crohan
Princes Oval attendance: 6,000 - 7,000
A crowd of 6,000 to 7,000 watch Richmond play Carlton at Princes Oval. It is the largest attendance for a Richmond match.

Sat. 8
RICHMOND 1-5 5-12
MELBOURNE 2-5 2-10
Goals: Jackman (2), Conlon, H. Layton, D. Elder
Richmond Cricket Ground attendance: 1,000
Seats to prevent spectators from invading the playing space are in position around the western side of the RCG. Noisy juveniles are encouraged not to stand in front of the pavilion.

Sat. 15
RICHMOND 0-7 1-15
GEELONG 4-4 4-13
Goal: D. Elder
Richmond Cricket Ground

Sat. 22
Game 16
Richmond 0.7 lost to Fitzroy 6.12 at Richmond Cricket Ground
After a brutal game at the RCG, Richmond barrackers pelt Fitzroy players with mud and road metal.

James Simpsons, the secretary of the Fitzroy Football Club pens a letter to The Herald editor. In it he cites the Richmond supporters "disgraceful conduct" , and that they "hooted at, and grossly insulted" the Fitzroy players who were making their way to the hotel to change after the game (as the pavilion provides no room for visiting team to do so). The secretary writes that he received a face full of a mud after leaving the hotel , and that a Charles Cock was struck, and his hat with maroon stockings on it was stolen.

"Yellow and Black" writes a letter to the editor of The Herald in the following days, citing that spiteful play was the cause of Fitzroy players first and that "added to this the barrackers of The Richmond Club could not forget the treatment their club received at the previous match at Fitzroy"

Richmond secretary James Charles, writes a letter to the editor of The Herald as well, explaining that due to a lack of space in the Pavillion, the visiting teams dress at Byrne's Royal Hotel (across the road). Charles reiterates that the action of Fitzroy player Kerrigan was the cause of the disturbances, and that he personally assisted Charles Cock's wife into a cab. Charles says that as soon as he saw signs of disturbance he and fellow committeeman Mitchell ran across the road and asked supporters not to interfere with the players.


Saturday 29
Game 17
Richmond 1.10 drew Hotham 1.10,  at Richmond Cricket Ground.
Toss:  Hotham
Start time: 3.15pm
Goal:  Wells 1
Behinds: O'Shea 0.1, Conlan 0.1, Crohan 0.2, Stewart 0.1, Rushed 1 (Missing 4)
The first time these two teams meet.  Their initial encounter (Game 6), was abandoned. 
The first drawn match in Richmond history. (behinds weren't counted at this stage)
The attendance was "consequently meagre" (Herald), and the weather was "threatening and windy", and heavy rain set in during the first half.


Sat. 5
RICHMOND 1-3 2-16
Goals: Conlon, Crohan
Richmond Cricket Ground attendance: 1,000

_ At its annual meeting, the Richmond Cricket Club announces that of the 161 members on its balance sheet 120 are new. This increase entitles the RCC to have a larger dividend and an extra seat on the Victorian Cricket Association.

Sat. 26
SOUTH MELB. 9-9 9-9
RICHMOND 0-1 4-8
Goals: Wells (2), H. Layton, Howarth
Friendly Societies’ Ground attendance: 7,000 - 8,000
South Melbourne celebrate their premiership with a win over Richmond before a crowd of 7,000 to 8,000 at the Friendly Societies’ Gardens Ground.

Sat. 3
Richmond secretary James Charles publicly thanks the players, supporters, patrons, president and vice presidents in an open letter to the Richmond Guardian. Charles also hopes that the players will not succumb to offers and ‘bribes’ from other clubs and, ‘play for the honor and love of the game’.

Fri. 9
The Richmond Football Club holds a concert and ball.

Photos: During October Richmond players, officials and prominent members attend Yeomans’ studio in Prahran, at their convenience, for the club’s first photographs.

Wed. 21
New asphalt tennis courts are opened at the RCG.

Wed. 4
An inter-colonial football conference is held in Melbourne. It is resolved that ends will be changed four times (rather than twice) in a match. Other rule changes made at the meeting include the setting of a five yard minimum for a mark, allowing for the appointment of boundary umpires and the penalisation of players who deliberately force the ball out of play.

“The Australasian’s” 1885 Association Table (unofficial)

South Melbourne25223-15833

The VFA did not officially rank clubs at this time but newspapers did. The above table is based on rankings published in “The Australasian”. “The Australasian” recognised all games played after May 1 between the senior VFA, country and South Australian clubs, and between VFA and junior clubs at odds.
Both the “The Sportsman” and “The Football Guide and Register: Season 1886” placed Melbourne above Richmond.

Club Annual Awards/Honours 1885
James Charles is presented with a mounted photo display of players & officials at the RFC's 1st annual meeting (1886) by the Richmond Football Club in recognition of his role as the club’s first secretary and a founder. It is 4ft. 9" x 3ft., gilt framed, & contains 31 portraits taken by Yeoman.
Life Member:
In 1924 James Charles claims that during 1885 he was elected Richmond’s first life member.