The Bardon Latrobe Football Club was formed in 1970, with the merger of two of Brisbane’s oldest football clubs: Latrobe Football Club (formed in 1916 at Gregory Park, Milton) and Bardon Soccer Football Club (formed around 1926 at Bowman Park, Bardon).
The original Bardon club was an amateur club, generally playing in the second and third tiers of the Brisbane senior competition, as well as fielding junior boys’ teams.
In contrast with this, the original Latrobe club often operated on a semi-professional basis, probably since the early 1920s. Latrobe remains as one of the most successful clubs in Brisbane football history, winning nine first grade premierships and numerous cup competitions between the mid-1920s and the late 1960s. The club also provided many State and Australian representatives. Latrobe is the second-oldest extant soccer football club in Brisbane (after Oxley FC).
The Bardon Latrobe football club (through its antecedent clubs) also appears to have enjoyed the longest continuous participation in the Brisbane competitions of any extant local club.
1916: Newspaper articles indicate that the Latrobe Soccer Club forms this year, despite the Brisbane competition being suspended because of the Great War (clubs are allowed to play ‘friendly’ matches).
The records also suggest that Latrobe is playing at Gregory Park Milton, one of the few public football grounds available in Brisbane at that time.
The Lieutenant-Governor officially opens Bowman Park as a public reserve, before around 1,000 guests (this area, formerly known as the ‘Cobblers’ Flat’, has been a popular sporting and picnic spot since the 1870s). MLA David Bowman, who is a strong supporter of its purchase and dedication as a public reserve, dies a few months before the park is opened, and the park is named in his memory.
1917: Latrobe joins the Brisbane competition in the senior Third Grade (first and second grades remain suspended because of the War). They lose the grand final playoff at Gregory Park to another local team, Ellena FC. Latrobe is the only club from the 1917 season still in existence.
1918-20: A number of soccer football clubs play out of Bowman Park, including Glenallen, IOR Bardon, Ovals, Paddington and St Barnabas.
1921: Latrobe forms the first women’s soccer football team in Brisbane. A competition commences with other new clubs, with some games played at Bowman Park.
The women’s competition appears to fold after the 1922 season.
1922: Some Latrobe men’s teams play out of Bowman Park (and possibly from earlier seasons).
1924: Latrobe gains promotion to the First Division, and finishes 5th out of the 6 teams. Most First Division matches now played at the Exhibition Ground, the home of the Queensland Football Association during the 1920s.
1925: Latrobe wins the Charity Cup, beating that year’s Premiers, Pineapple Rovers, in the final.
The area previously known as ‘Upper Paddington’ is officially renamed as the suburb of ‘Bardon’ (after the 1860s house still on the campus of nearby St Joseph’s school).
1926: The unconfirmed founding year of the Bardon SFC (possibly a renamed earlier club, such as the former IOR Bardon or Paddington FC, both of which had also played at Bowman Park).
Newspaper records suggest that Bardon is only a junior club during its early years.
1929: Latrobe becomes undefeated Premiers of the First Division, and winners of all other available cups and shields, under the captaincy of club stalwart, Edgar Rigby.
The Latrobe team also makes up over half of the Brisbane representative side that year, and has several Queensland and at least two Australian players in its squad (Hec Gorring and Bert Murray).
1929-1935: Latrobe wins 6 of the 7 First Division premierships (finishing second to YMCA in 1934)
1930s: Latrobe plays home games at Lang Park, also home of the Queensland Soccer Council at the time (now the site of Suncorp Stadium).
Bardon plays at Bowman Park, and appears to field mostly junior teams (although entering the senior third grade in 1936).
1941: Bardon’s top junior players attract the attention of the Latrobe management, and the clubs merge to form Latrobe-Bardon SFC. The Brisbane competition is suspended the following year for the duration of the war, and the two clubs go their own ways when the Brisbane competition recommences.
1940s and 50s: Bardon plays in the Second and Third divisions. Latrobe is relegated from the First Division for season 1948, and plays in the Second Division until promotion for the 1962 season.
1960s: Bardon continues in the Second and Third divisions. Latrobe, playing at Gregory Park, wins three First Division premierships: 1964, 1966 and 1967 (the team comprises mostly British and Irish immigrants, through the patronage of club manager William ‘Pop’ Harper). Latrobe player Ray Richards goes on to play for Australia at the World Cup in 1974.
1968: Latrobe is relegated to the Second Division and Bardon is relegated to the Third Division for season 1969. Latrobe wins the Second Division premiership in 1969 and gains promotion to the FirstDivision for season 1970.
1970: The two clubs merge to form Bardon Latrobe SFC. The seniors play in the First Division, where they finish fourth out of ten teams.
1971: The Bardon Latrobe junior Under 12 team commences reciprocal annual team visits with the Georges River SFC of Sydney (these tips continue to the present).
1977: Bardon Latrobe management decides to become a juniors-only club, and the First Division seniors’ team merges with Second Division club Mitchelton SFC.
1979: Many players decide to return to Bowman Park and play senior football as ‘Bardon Latrobe Juniors’, in the Fifth Division. They win successive promotions, culminating in promotion to the First Division for season 1983 (by then Brisbane’s second tier, after the newly formed Premier League).
1989: The Bardon Latrobe senior teams merge with the Valley Trident club to form Latrobe Valley, leaving Bardon Latrobe as a juniors-only club again. The merged senior club plays its last season under the name ‘Latrobe’ in 1998.
2001: A group of former Bardon Latrobe junior players enters a team in the Brisbane Commercial League senior competition for seasons 2001 to 2005, playing at Bowman Park. The team transfers to the Queensland Christian Soccer Association for seasons 2008 to 2010, and then re-joins Football Brisbane in 2011 (see below).
2006: Bardon Latrobe senior women’s team wins the First Division premiership (Brisbane tier 2).
2010: Bardon Latrobe is named as ‘Brisbane’s Best Junior Club’ for the year by Football Brisbane.
Junior teams win four premierships and four championships.
2011: The Bardon Latrobe senior men’s team rejoins Football Brisbane, entering a team in the (amateur) Metropolitan League Division 4.
2012: Bardon Latrobe senior women’s team wins the First Division premiership again.
2013: The club enters first and reserve teams in Football Brisbane’s newly formed men’s Capital League 4 (the fifth tier in Brisbane football).
2014: The club is officially renamed ‘Bardon Latrobe Football Club’.
2015: The club’s senior men’s first team wins the Capital League 4 premiership and grand final, and is promoted to Capital League 3 for season 2016.
— Bardon (@BardonLatrobeFC) August 15, 2015
2016: The senior men’s team plays in Capital League 3, with additional teams playing in City League divisions. The club also has over 300 registered junior players for the 2016 season.
The club celebrates the dual centenary of the founding of Latrobe Football Club and the official opening of Bowman Park
2017: The senior men’s teams continue in Capital League 3, together with men’s teams playing in the amateur City League. For the first time, the club enters a men’s Over 35 team in the Brisbane northside competition.
Read more here.
Peter Eedy, February 2017