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Lancefield calls for local football sleuths

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Lancefield Football Netball Club is celebrating its 150th anniversary with a reunion on Saturday, and wants help to identify players and officials in a district-wide team from more than a century ago.

Organisers have identified the two Lancefield players in the Gisborne Association combined team from 1909, but are calling on descendants or amateur footy sleuths and historians to put names to the faces of the other people in the photo.

The photo was taken outside the old members’ stand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where the finest from the Gisborne district took on the Victoria Police team.

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The two Lancefield players sitting in the front row were Frank ‘Silver’ Caine, third from left, and Alexander ‘Ike’ Johnston, fourth from right, who both played VFL football for Carlton.

The photo, along with many more unearthed treasures, will be on display at the reunion, at Lancefield Mechanics Hall on Saturday.

The reunion is an opportunity for all players and supporters from Lancefield’s 150-year history to attend – or anyone who has played against the Tigers over the years and respected the never-say-die attitude.


Inquiries about the event can be made via or 0447 364 497.

Anyone who can identify any of the faces in the photo can contact Romsey-Lancefield and District Historical Society on 0402 248 540.

Historian and author Denis Graham has co-authored a book to be launched in May that details Lancefield’s football origins and its success through the ages.

The book details footballers’ letters from the trenches of Gallipoli, those that died on the Western Front, and those like ‘Ike’ Johnston who returned to captain Lancefield’s premierships, play with Carlton and other VFL clubs.

Lancefield’s rivalry with Romsey of the past 150 years has formed a key part of the Tigers’ history, including matches which once required mounted police to chase spectators off the ground.

The book also covers premierships that were celebrated with brass bands greeting the victorious teams’ return to the railway station, steam trains covered in club streamers and reports of street parties from 1910, through to victories of the modern era.

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