The Canterbury Football Club was established in 1881 (just 4 years after the VFA was established) and remains one of the oldest Australian Rules Football Clubs in the country.
Canterbury joined the Box Hill Reporter League in 1903 in the league’s second year, and a few decades later, became one of the prime movers in the formation of the Eastern Suburban Football League. The club’s home ground has not always been at its present location in Chatham Rd. In fact, the club started football on a ground at the back of the Canterbury Hotel (between the Canterbury Railway station and Wattle Valley Rd) which is now home to the popular Maling Road shops.
Now one of the oldest football clubs in Australia (even older than AFL teams including Collingwood and Richmond) the red, black and yellow panels have graced Melbourne’s football ovals for over 130 years, save for something a little more patriotic around World War II, when the club changed its colors to green and gold. In 2006 the Canterbury Football Club celebrated its 125th anniversary, attracting many of its surviving former players and their families. The great history of the club had never been more evident, leaving those that attended with the indelible impression of a proud club that is steeped in both tradition and high community values.
Canterbury Football Club history video from 2013
Video by James Nicolas.
The club has always had strong ties with Canterbury and the surrounding area; being a community based club it has provided an invaluable outlet to many of the children fortunate enough to grow up in the local area, and indeed, has nurtured the development of many talented VFL / AFL footballers, including Bob Pratt (South Melbourne), Peter Curran (Hawthorn) and Luke Penny (St Kilda).
Leading the way off the field, Canterbury became one of the first football clubs in Australia to have an all female executive committee in 2002. In recent times the Canterbury Football Club has won the “best conducted club” while a part of the Southern Football League award six times throughout 2000 to 2008.
After a stint in the Eastern Football League from 2009 to 2013, which started positively though in the end saw limited success, Canterbury FC members opted to move to the Victorian Amateur Football Association at the conclusion of the 2013 season.
The move to the VAFA would prove fruitful, with both the senior and reserves teams winning the 2015 D4 flags in just their second season of competition. In 2017 the league launched it’s women’s competition which the club entered a team in, before expanding to two teams in 2019, resulting in a preliminary final appearance for the seniors and a premiership for the reserves!
It’s fair to say the club has now found it’s home in the VAFA, currently fielding three men’s teams plus a women’s team, with the view to accomodate any player wanting to play our great game.