The Ovens and Murray Football League was formed in 1893, but was known as the Ovens and Murray Football Association until 1926 when it changed to the present name.
Beechworth and Rutherglen were the big powers to be reckoned with during the early years. Up until the O&M went into recess for World War 1, Rutherglen had an outstanding record and won 13 Premierships. The Rutherglen teams were well represented by members of the King family with brothers, Jim, Jack, Bernard, Frank and Chris, all playing in the clubs 1907 premiership team. Another brother Dan also played for Rutherglen. In a remarkable achievement, Jack King played 457 matches for Rutherglen in a career spanning 28 years and figured in no less than 11 premiership teams. Rutherglen regularly played and defeated VFL clubs including South Melbourne, Geelong and Carlton in the early days. The Hiskins family was another prominent part of the Rutherglen tradition with Fred Hiskins going onto play for Essendon, Arthur and Stan Hiskins making their way to South Melbourne and Rupert Hiskins joining Carlton. Beechworth was also prominent and won three premierships along with Albury. During these formative years the O&M also consisted of the following teams: Lake Rovers, Excelsior, Chiltern, Howlong, Corowa, Barnawartha and Border United. During this period gold-mining was extremely active in the district and many of the players were trying to win their fortunes.
After the cessation of hostilities of World War 1, officials had some difficulty re-organising the league and it was not until 1921 that the O&M was back in full swing. Corowa returned to its original name after being known as Border United. St.Patricks was the outstanding team of the 1920s with champion rover Maurie Hunter, who played in four Premiership teams in the decade, later going onto play for Richmond. The club was only in existence for eight years and they won the Premiership on six occasions including four in a row from 1921.
Last Updated (Monday, 10 January 2011 00:36)