Football in Brighton is a popular sport. To better understand the sport today, this article will give you a background on how the Brighton Football Club started. It was the Australian rules football club that played during the Victorian Football Association (VFA) and based in the suburb of Brighton, Melbourne. Its nickname was the Penguins. Before the club was moved to Caulfield, their uniform was gold and maroon guernseys and in the early of the 1960s, they wore a white and red.
It was believed that the football club was formed in 1885 and after seven years, it became a member of the Metropolitan Junior Football Association. After sixteen years, they won the premiership in the league and eventually joined the VFA, they were the team that replaced Richmond who happened to transfer to the Victorian Football League. At this time, Brighton played home matches in the oval of Brighton Beach before transferring to Elsternwick Park.
Brighton had its first stint of the final game during the VFA in 1926, they were coached by Gordon Rattray, a former Fitzroy player. In fact, they made it to the grand finals but lost to Cobura, the team that beat them in the following season. In 1938, Brighton became runners-up.
During the World War II, the VFA had a recess and Brighton almost folded but luckily they were able to create a committee and resumed playing in 1945. In 1948, the club won their first and only premiership in the top division under Col Williamson. They finished third and when they defeated Brunswick during the preliminary finals, they became qualified for the game against Williamstown, they won the game by leading nine points.
All throughout the 1950s and in the early 1960s, the club struggled. During the twelve seasons which started in 1952 until 1963, they won only eight wooden spoons. For this, the supporter base of the club was very low and only a small group of committee men tried to keep the club intact but they were unable to manage administrative work, struggled to keep the players and there were seasons when the club operated as an amateur club because of financial constraints.
With the off-field problems that remained unsolved, they lost occupancy at Elsterwick Park, their home ground after 1961. With so many trials along the way, they managed to survive when they merged with the South Caulifield Football Club and they formed a new team, this was the Brighton-Caulifield. However, this merger did not help solve existing problems of the club until in 1964, they hired 12 senior players. After three seasons, the name of the club became Caulifield and became more appealing to suburb fans. Their last season was in 1987.
This is the history of the Brighton Football Club.