Nortcote Park Football Club
The Northcote Park Football Club was formed in 1952. The Club had been previously known as the Prince of Wales Football Club, and had played in the Methodist Football Association. Between 1947 and 1951, Prince of Wales FC won 5 consecutive premierships in the Methodist Association. In 1952 the Club was renamed Northcote Park and went to play in the Metropolitan League. It is not known if the club made these changes to its name and the league it played in because it sought tougher competition or due to off field restrictions on the club imposed by the Methodist Association.
Northcote Park, nicknamed the Cougars, won their first premiership in the Metropolitan League in 1957. The Club moved on to the Panton Hills League where it won 3 consecutive premierships in 1977, ’78 and ’79 which then led to a move to the Diamond Valley Football League (DVFL). The DVFL is considered one of, if not the, strongest suburban league in Melbourne. Northcote Park captured the premiership in the DVFL’s second division in 1985 but having gained promotion to the first division for 1986, the Cougars were immediately relegated.
In 1987 Northcote Football Club played its final season in the VFA and was wound up. This left the city’s best football ground in Westgarth St without a tenant. So, in 1989 Northcote Park took up tenancy at Westgarth St, moving from its previous ground, McDonell Park. In 1994 Northcote Park won the 2nd division Premiership for the second time and this time the Club stayed in first division the following season and has done ever since. In 1996, in partnership with Darebin City Council, the Club embarked on a major redevelopment of the ground which included extending the club rooms and the viewing area as well as constructing new change rooms and a gymnasium.
With a revamped facility at the premier venue in Northcote, the Cougars started to dominate the Diamond Valley League. This dominance is demonstrated by first division premierships won in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002. The feat of four successive premiership victories is a record for the DVFL. Northcote Park has also had success with its junior teams and with women’s teams. Notable players in the history of the Club include former Carlton and Victorian representative Peter Dean, ex-Sydney Swan Barry Mitchell and a Stawell Gift winner in Glen Crawford.
Lewis, John. Reminiscences of his time as Secretary of The Northcote Park Football Club.