As La Trobe University celebrates its 50th anniversary, so too does the University’s beloved football club.
Many of La Trobe University Football Club’s (LTUFC) original members remain closely connected to the club, serving on its committee, attending matches and mentoring a new generation of players and supporters.
To celebrate this milestone anniversary, the LTUFC Alumni Chapter hosted an exhibition game between current LTUFC players and the Monash Blues Football Club, a re-enactment of the club’s first official game in 1967.
Greg Sceney, LTUFC Life Member and former captain and coach, said the game brought back fond memories.
“It showed how much the club has grown these past 50 years,” Greg said. “All we wanted to do back then was form a club so we could play footy – we had no idea it would grow into such a successful side and mean so much to everyone.”
Fellow LTUFC Life Member Andrew Gee said the club quickly became a home away from home, particularly for students arriving at La Trobe’s Melbourne Campus from rural and regional Victoria.
“So many of the players and supporters were from the country, and it was a focal point for us – somewhere we all belonged,” Andrew said. “That’s still the case today which is something we’re all proud of.”
He said many of the club’s early members had to learn the administrative duties involved in running a football club.
“Back then we did so much ourselves, so we had to work out how to order uniforms, buy the footballs, organise the first intervarsity games, book flights – it was all brand new,” Andrew said. “Now it’s all much more professional!”
LTUFC now has a thriving women’s team, and Andrew said the club’s female members had been key to its success. “They were, and still are, the backbone of the club,” Andrew said.
LTUFC’s first female committee member, Glenis Sheldrick (pictured below), said she was proud to have been involved with the club over five decades.
“Most people stay in touch with the club after university because it means so much to them. Part of that is definitely down to Tony Sheehan (LTUFC former captain and coach) who has been the glue. But I do believe that somewhere down the track, it evolved into something more than just football. It was about family, and community involvement, and actually helping develop people into good citizens,” Glenis said.
Glenis was involved with the club’s first women’s game in 1968, and her son Dean played 200 games for the club.
“We all came from football families and were used to playing kick-to-kick with our brothers. It gave us something we were familiar with and we formed life-long friendships. Now we’re seeing our children have the same love for the club which means the world.”
The LTUFC Alumni Chapter will officially celebrate its 50th anniversary at a Gala Dinner in Melbourne on 11 August. To register your interest, email firstname.lastname@example.org.