It is 163 years today that the Geelong Football Club was officially formed on the site of what was once the Victoria Hotel on the corner of Moorabool and Malop Streets in central Geelong.
In the lead up an ad was placed in the Geelong Advertiser, calling out ‘admirers of football’ to meet the following Monday, and it was on that night that our club’s journey began.
Geelong is the second oldest continuously operating football club at an elite level of any code in the world.
It was decided at the meeting that the membership fee would be 2s 6d… or 25cents in today’s money… and that the Rules of the Melbourne Club would be adopted.
The very first games in 1859 would be a series of five scratch matches which were played on an open paddock where Pevensey Crescent is today.
For historical context, the population of Geelong was about 23,000 at the time, the city was on the crest of a boom with the discovery of gold in Ballarat, and the founding of English soccer giant Liverpool FC was still 33 years away.
Sixteen premierships across the VFA and VFL/AFL competitions, some of the greatest players the game has known, significant community contributions, the longest serving sponsorship in world sport history with Ford, and the launch of the club’s women’s team are some of the highlights of the club’s first 163 years.
And we’re just getting started. Happy birthday, Cats.