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Stlogo.jpg (10771 bytes)             Club Origin

Saint Marys Football Club was formed in 1952 in the 1952/53 season.

The Club was formed to provide an opportunity for Tiwi Islanders who were working in Darwin for the Armed Services. to play football. With the exception of Wanderers Football Club no other NTFL team would allow "full blood" Aboriginals to play in their team. There were four other teams in the competition at the time (now the competition has seven). Captained by the popular entertainer Ted Egan, and with their first Nichols Medallist Bill Roe in the team, Saint Marys won their first Premiership in 1954/55, the first of 36 Grand Final appearances for the Green & Gold’s to the end of the 1998/99 season.

The Club prides itself on the "locally produced" content of its league teams. Aboriginals have always played an important part in the composition of the Club and have always been in the majority in all grades since formation. Since entering the competition, 17 Saint Marys players have won the NTFL’s highest individual award, the Nichols Medal 18 times with Pat Murphy winning back to back medals in 1971/72 and1972/73. This total exceeds any other Club's tally since 1952/53 and contributes to the Club's reputation of a skilful team.

The first medal winner, Bill Roe in 1954/55 became the first Darwin player to gain State selection when he joined East Perth and represented Western Australia. He was a member of East Perth’s 1956 League Premiership side before a car accident injury cut short his football career. The late David Kantilla from Bathurst Island was another Saints champion to succeed at interstate level when representing South Australia on four occasions in the sixties. David played for South Adelaide in their last Premiership in 1964.

In more recent years Maurice Rioli South Fremantle and Richmond, Benny Vigona, Basil Campbell and Willie Roe have moved to Perth to join South Fremantle and represent Western Australia with distinction. Cyril Rioli has also played league football for South Fremantle, Noel Long for East Perth and West Torrens, Cadji Dunn for South Fremantle. Warren Campbell played for South Fremantle and a couple of games for North Melbourne, Michael Long West Torrens and now Essendon. Peter Burgoyne Port Adelaide and Ronnie Burns West Perth and now Geelong are all products of the skilful Saint Mary teams.

Since joining the competition St Marys have become the NTFL’s most successful club winning 22 League Premierships, 14 Reserve Grade premierships, and 13 U/18’s Premierships. The following competitions didn’t commence until at least 1976/77 season and since then St Marys have won 25 Junior Premierships 12 U/16’s, 6 U/15’s(now disbanded) and 7 U/13’s and U/14’s (wall to wall flags)

Michael Athanasiou is the NTFL and Club games record holder with 313 games. He is currently captain/coach of Darwin and has extended the record to 319.Michael also holds the record of 12 Premiership medallions closely followed by Cyril Rioli and Noel Long with eleven.

The Long Family created history on Saturday 4th December 1999 when Noel ran onto Football Park Mararra and played the families 1000th NTFL’s recognised First Grade Game Although Jack (Snr) played probably in excess of 200 games himself but all his playing records were lost through Cyclone Tracy. He is only recognised as having played 36 first grade games. Jack started with St Marys in 1964/64 and finished his career in 1978/79 and he played in 9 Grand Finals. (3 winning and 6 loosing ones). The family has 43 (Forty - three) NTFL League Premierships between them. The 1000 games do not include Michael’s 159 games with Essendon or the boys 53 first Grade Games in SA or WA or the family’s 37 representative games.

Dennis Dunn holds the NTFL and Club record with a career total of 817. Dennis in one match against Waratahs in 1984/85 kicked 20 goals.

Vic Ludwig O.A.M. our President has been steering the ship for 36 years from 1963/64 – 1998/99. As Vic still has two years to run. He will become as far as we know the longest serving President in Australia if not the World in any sport beating L.A. Adamson who was President of the Victorian Amateur Football Association from 1896 - 1932

John Taylor deserves a special mention as coach. In 13 consecutive season, he coached St Marys to 11 premierships, once R/U (1992/93) and one 3rd. (1988/89). In the preliminary final of 1988/89 the seven Long brothers all played. He coached them for 250 games for 231 wins and 19 losses a winning % ratio of 92.4 (Don Bradman proportions)

One season that deserves a special mention in our history is season 1978/79 when on one glorious Saturday in March 1979 The Gods smiled and The heavens rained premiership flags as St Marys won The League, The Reserves, The senior colts, The Junior Colts and the U14’s Premierships. The only time one club has won all flags in the one season.

For a further comprehensive history please follow this link.