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South Melbourne Football Club

The South Melbourne Football Club resulted from the amalgamation in 1880 of two leading local football clubs originating in the 1860s. A uniform red guernsey with a white sash, worn by Albert Park since 1878, was adopted, giving rise to the team sobriquet, the Bloodstained Angels or Bloods. Variants of the red and white combination remained the team uniform. Home base was the former Southern Club headquarters at South Melbourne Cricket Ground near Albert Park Lake, whence arose the later Swans emblem, according to one version. The other version links the emblem to a 'Foreign Legion' of Western Australian players imported in the early 1930s with the backing of grocer and local politician Archibald Crofts. An original member of the Victorian Football Association in 1877, and five-time champions between 1881 and 1890, South Melbourne was among the Victorian Football League's founding eight in 1896. Premierships came in 1909, 1918 and 1933. In the notorious 'bloodbath' final of 1945, South lost to Carlton. The catchcry 'Up there Cazaly' originated with the famed interwar Cazaly-Fleiter-Tandy trio and is epitomised in Noel Counihan's 1947 painting The high mark. Full-forward Bob Pratt kicked 150 goals in the 1934 season, a league record not equalled until 1977. Bobby Skilton won the Brownlow Medal in 1959, 1963 and 1968. Local South fans, even if by then mostly expatriates of the municipality, were heartbroken when players endorsed the Swans' move to Sydney on 23 December 1981.

Susan Priestley

Taylor, Kevin, The Sydney Swans: the complete history, 1874-1986, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1987. Details