This year, one of our Scholarship Students is a keen Australian Rules Football fan from Melbourne so we thought it was a perfect opportunity for our Wagga Tigers collection to finally be organised.
Crispian Winsor is currently completing a Bachelor of Information Studies, specialising in Archive Management, at Charles Sturt University. Cris sorted, listed and rehoused the material, which initially covered 3m of shelving, and consolidated it into 1.52m (4 type one boxes, 1 A3 box, 1 A2 box and 4 photograph albums).
The Wagga Tigers Football Club’s records were deposited with CSU Regional Archives in 2011 and have sat unprocessed on our shelves since then. The collection includes Club minutes, Years in Review (annual reports), correspondence, financial papers, match programmes, coaches notebooks, newsletters, and photographs.
The Wagga Tigers Football Club
The Wagga Tigers began life as the Federals in 1861 with their first recorded game of football occurring against an Albury team in 1881. Wagga did not compete in a specific league until 1897 where they competed for and won the inaugural premiership in what was then called the Murrumbidgee District Football Association.
At this stage, their colours were red and white verticals which were later briefly changed to Blue and White after World War II when jumpers were borrowed from the RAAF. In 1949, the club was able to acquire guernsies from the Richmond Tigers Football Club in the VFL which resulted in the adoption of the black and yellow jumpers and name change to the Wagga Tigers, both of which continue to this day.
The club competed in a league with several different names over the years including the Wagga United Football Association, the Riverina Mainline Competition, the Rock and District Association and the Wagga and District Association before finally settling on the Wagga Football Association in 1927. Although this league did have some changes in this time, it was fairly settled until the end of 1981.
During this time, the Wagga Tigers had periods of great success. They were able to win the seniors premierships in 1957, 1958, 1959, 1961 and 1962. Although they had a 13 year drought following that win, they had more success in 1975, 1977, 1978, 1980 and 1981.
These teams were captain/coached by Doug Priest, Colin Anderson and Gerald Pieper who are considered to be amongst the club’s greatest players. The archive’s collection features many items recognising this exciting period for the club.
1982 saw a major change in football in the Riverina area with several leagues forming into two leagues. The Wagga Tigers became part of the Riverina Football League and continued to have success by winning the Grand Final Replay in 1985 after a tie the week before.
The latter part of the 1980s saw the team lose to rivals Turvey Park 3 out of 4 years but the 1990s saw a major resurgence. This was led by former Essendon captain Terry Daniher who joined the Tigers as Captain/Coach in 1993 after retiring from the AFL club in 1992. This appointment began a dynasty for the club as they were able to win six of seven premierships between 1993 and 1999 with Daniher leading them to the first six of those before his retirement at the end of 1998.
During this time, the Riverina Football League along with the Farrer Football League joined up to come under the Murrumbidgee Valley Australian Football Association. The Tigers continued to have success although not as consistently as previous decades. However, with premierships in 2001, 2007 and 2016, they are still considered to be one of the strongest clubs in the Riverina area.
AFL Riverina. (2016) History. Retrieved from http://aflriverina.com.au/history
Wagga Tigers. (2017) Club History. Retrieved from http://www.waggatigers.com.au/club-history
Wagga Tigers Football Club Collection, CSU Regional Archives, RW2887.