Tooborac FC: The Mighty Fighting Blues

The Heathcote District Football League has a long and proud history with many of the great old original clubs now consigned to the pages of history.  One such club is one of the founding members of the original McIvor Association, Tooborac.

It was an original club and when it went into recess in 1987 was the leading premiership club with eleven flags from nineteen grand final appearances. The early years were tough being unable to compete with the mining powerhouse Costerfield and star-studded Heathcote combinations.

After enduring decades without success the twenties saw the club begin to build under the watchful eye of Pat McMahon.  They made it to the grand final in 1929 and after McMahon’s appointment went on to win seven flags in two stints.  Tooborac  won the next three in a row and then looked to have made it four when all hell broke lose.  North Heathcote lodged an appeal about Tooborac playing two indigenous players (one of which was related to the great Doug Nicholls) after their victory.  For the next couple of months the two clubs argued but it could not be resolved by the VFL or any other body.  The HDFL declared a no result and Tooborac was incensed and withdrew from the League in 1934.  Fortunately wise heads prevailed and they returned in 1935 and proceeded to win the next four flags making it seven contested premierships in a row.

After World War 2 there were big families of boys in the district and Tooborac remained strong but could not overcome the power of Rovers and Colbinabbin.  Max Bennett came to teach in the district and with his brilliant play the club returned to flag success.  When Costerfield folded a number of players joined Tooborac which kept them strong over the next decade.

As with many areas it became more difficult for clubs to find players and Tooborac was no different.  After strong performance in the early sixties the club hit rock bottom and became a chopping block for the more powerful clubs.  Extensive recruiting saw the club rise up the ladder with their 1973 and 1974 teams star-studded.  This caused ill will in some areas and the HDFL changed the radius rule.  Tooborac realised that they now had nowhere to recruit and informed the league they were folding..

The club reformed in 1976 but the next ten years were not kind and after a season of thrashings the club folded for the last time.  You can still see the ground across from the turnoff to Seymour.

Their memory lives in the families that have continued to play with Heathcote including the  Dickinson, Tobin, Anderson, Gilmore, Hayes, Tattersall and Harris families.