A proud Red and White history
There is a strong historical reason for the junior club now playing in the red and white. The former Newtown Australian Football Club, (known as the Angels), were a foundation member of the (senior) NSW AFL and played in the Red & White of the old South Melbourne.
In a history of more than a hundred years, (1903 – 1987), the Blood Stained Angels played in 37 grand finals, winning 19.
The Angels home ground was Erskineville Oval. The club ceased operating in 1987.
Senior Sydney AFL Premierships – 1906, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1932, 1933, 1936, 1939, 1940, 1942, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1967, 1968, 1970.
However, the 19 Senior Premierships won by Newtown FC between 1903 and 1970 does not tell the whole story of the club’s dominance of Sydney Footy. In terms of Premierships and Finals appearances (a final four operated) the record of the club from 1903-1986 is truly staggering, Newtown first made the finals in 1905 finishing third and they last made the finals in 1981 losing in the Grand Final to East Sydney – the other giant of Sydney Footy.
In total the finals record of the club was:
Premierships – 19
Runners up – 19
Third – 21
Fourth – 8
Or to put it another way … 67 finals appearances in 84 years!!!!
Legendary players and identities over the years included Jim Phelan, Bub Phelan, Roger Duffy, Jack Armstrong and his son John Armstong, Dennis Aitken, Gordon Bowman, Ellis Noack, SamKekovich,
boxing guru Johnny Lewis, Alan Joyce and many more. The old home ground was Erskineville Oval and there was a licensed Newtown Rules club on Cleveland Street.
Newtown player who became a Saint.
Reg Garvin A member of New South Wales’ 1933 Sydney carnival team, Reg Garvin won the Phelan Medal with NSWANFL premiers Newtown in 1936 before heading for the ‘big time’ with St Kilda the following year. As a fireman Garvin had little choice but to remain in optimal shape physically and this probably helped him to compensate for any deficiencies in skill resulting from his late start in the game. As a youngster in Sydney he had played soccer and rugby but, in common with most of his compatriots, regarded Australian football as a ‘foreign’ sport. Once exposed to it, however, his determination, toughness and vigour quickly yielded dividends and he ultimately took to the hurly burly of VFL football as though born to it. Indeed, so thoroughgoing was his assimilation that he was appointed captain-coach of the Saints in 1942, a position he held for two years. He was also a VFL interstate representative and winner (in 1944) of St Kilda’s club champion award. After 129 games with the Saints Reg Garvin finished his senior career with Prahan in 1947.
THE AUSTRALIAN GAME-Sydney Morning Herald
Tuesday March 24 1903
The tenth club to play football under the Australian rules was formed at St George’s Hall, Newtown on Friday night last (20th), and a strong team was got together, some 30 names being handed in as players.The club will commence practice at once in preparation for the ensuing season. The outlook for the league and Australian football in this State is most promising, and it is apparent that the game under Australian rules is going to fill a big place in the winter sports of the community,being everywhere taken on with great enthusiasm. The formation of further clubs is engaging the active attention of the league.