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Fields

Last updated 16 Oct 2023
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Field 2Closed

History

History

In 1966, two families in Brighton started something big. The Sinclairs and the Gees wanted their sons - Russell Sinclair and John Gee - to play football.

But first, let’s step back to 1957 when the old Brighton Soccer Club was formed. The kit was black and gold, and home games were originally played at the Marching Girls Field in Vancouver St (which is now housing). When they introduced a senior team in the early 60’s it was time to move.

So, when the committee heard that some disused land in Wickham Street had been left for playing fields, a working party was organised for Sunday morning, and they began to clear site.

There was just one hitch. Mr Wakefield, from Gloucester Street, Brighton, confronted the working party, and let them know, that is it was his land and that he had no intention of giving it away.

Later, a committee member went to Mr Wakefield’s house to explain and apologies. There was a surprise outcome. Mr Wakefield decided to donate the land to the soccer club – the field now known as Wakefield Park (Field 2)

By 1965 the club had folded, and the field was no longer used for football.

It was then, that the Sinclairs and Gee families started The Brighton District Soccer Club.

The first year they had one team, U12. In 1967 a second team was added – under 10 and, by the third-year season there were four junior teams and one senior team. By the mid 1970’s the club had its first girls’ team, and the emblem was changed from the shamrock to the bulldog.


both emblems

There was no clubhouse until the mid- 70s, just a makeshift canteen near where the score board is now, and the toilets were timber outhouses.

Below is the original canteen which was built with free timber from an old BP servo in Virginia. The current clubhouse was built by volunteers from the club. Even with a lot of volunteering, the building didn’t come cheap – it required a bank loan of around $45,000.

old club house

In those first season, there was only one field. The bottom field (Field 1) was still a swamp back then and the top field (Field 2) wasn’t a whole lot better.

Our current groundsman puts in a lot of volunteer hours to keep the fields looking great. In the early years there were no ride on lawn mowers, so all volunteers, including players had to pitch in.

old mowing pic

The 90s were a tough time for Brighton. By 1955 there were only five junior teams, and no senior team. The club was looking a little run down and money was tight, and there was even talk that the club might close. But – as usual – with hard-working volunteers, the Bulldogs kept going and, by 2000 there were 24 teams, including two senior women’s teams, and one senior men’s team.

In 1966, there was one Brighton team. More than 50 years later there are over 50 teams – boys and girls, women, and men. In the last half century, many Brighton teams have won premierships and grand finals. But, much more importantly, generations of children have learnt to love the game on the fields of Wakefield Park. 


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