Saturday, 29 August marks the second instalment of the Wanderers Heritage match to be played against The King’s School at the White Oval in North Parramatta as part of The King’s School Spring Fair.Featuring a King’s School XI and a Wanderers Heritage XI with special guest players Club Ambassador Ian ‘Dicko’ Dickson, Fox Sports pundit Mike Cockerill, former Socceroo Jimmy Fraser and former Wanderers players Adam D’Apuzzo and Catherine Cannuli, the event allows fans to reflect upon the origins of the game in our country while also celebrating our present.
Wanderers Heritage XI captain, Ian ‘Dicko’ Dickson, was excited to make his football return in the Wanderers Red & Black.
“This is a dream come true, one because I get to wear my Red & Black jersey for the first time in a competitive match and two, because it is un-Australian not to plan your football comeback in your 50s; we’ll just have to wait and see if the muscles hold up for two halves,” said Dicko.
“It is a great honour to be given the captain’s armband and while I’m not sure exactly what my skippering style will be just yet, it think it is safe to say it will be somewhere between that of Roy Keane and Mother Teresa.”
Along with the Heritage match, which kicks off at 3:30pm, the Wanderers will be attending The King’s School Spring Fair in a number of ways including player appearances, a junior clinic for 150 local kids and other activities.
Wanderers players attending include Scott Neville and Federico Piovaccari.
The heritage match was first played in 2013 with the 2014 being cancelled due to a wash-out.
A little history
The history of football in Western Sydney is a tale epitomized by character, struggle, passion and persistence.
The 1870's saw Victoria and South Australia form their own foundations, but rugby was very much the major football code along the east coast of Australia, where football was largely dismissed as a 'foreign' game.
But football continued to gather momentum.
Whilst there were occasional football games played in Hyde Park during the mid-1860's, the general belief was that the sport was not yet popular enough to be formalized. According to an 1880 Sydney Morning Herald report, football had not "prospered sufficiently in the colony to justify the introduction of the Association game".
This excerpt comes from a report on a meeting held to establish the game officially in New South Wales.
This meeting of around 40 gentlemen, held on the 3rd of August 1880, took place in Aaron's Exchange Hotel in Sydney where it was decided the game of association football would be played under the English Association rules.
On the same day, English-emigrate John Walter Fletcher founded an XI that would later establish themselves as the first association football club in Australia to last beyond a couple of games - the Wanderers.
The match would be played on the Saturday afternoon of 14 August 1880 between The King's School and The Wanderers. The game was watched by approximately 1000 people at Parramatta Common – by most accounts, the official birth of the beautiful game in New South Wales.