P.O. Box 2110, Dangar, New South Wales 2309
Number One Sports Ground, Newcastle
Black Diamond Australian Football League (BDAFL) since 2000
Navy blue and white
Newcastle Australian Football League (NAFL) - 1950, 1953, 1961, 1963-4-5-6, 1968, 1970-1, 1973, 1975-6, 1981, 1995 (15 total); BDAFL - 2003, 2008-9 (3 total)
Australian football first arrived in the Hunter region of New South Wales during the early 1880s, thanks largely to the proselytising efforts of former Ballarat gold-miners, such as the Duguid Brothers, Jim, John and George. In 1883 these three men established the region’s first Australian football club, Wallsend and Plattsburg, which were quickly joined by others. One of these clubs was known as Newcastle City, and can probably be considered a direct antecedent of today’s club of the same name.\n\nDespite its promising start, football would not really get off the ground in the Newcastle area until after world war two. Even during the 1880s, the game’s grip on the imaginations of the local populace was seldom better than tenuous. There was never any formal league competition at this time, with fixtures being arranged privately between club’s on a purely ad hoc basis. By 1894, the game in and around Newcastle had died, and over the ensuing half a century all attempts to resurrect it failed. Finally, in 1948, a Newcastle Australian Football League spluttered into being, with four clubs, one of which was a reincarnated version of Newcastle City.\n\nKnown as the Blues, the club would go on to enjoy considerable success, especially during the 1960s, when it won no fewer than half a dozen premierships, and the 1970s, which yielded five more. In both 1964 and 1973 the side went through the entire season undefeated, earning the title of champions.\n\nIf premierships have been somewhat thinner on the ground in recent times, the club nevertheless remains one of the biggest and most progressive in the Hunter region. Since the 2000 season the Blues have competed in the Black Diamond AFL, which came about as a result of rationalisation of football in the area, and saw the five NAFL clubs joined by counterparts from the Central Coast Australian Football League. The Blues took a while to find their feet in the new competition, but the 2003 season saw them break through for a first senior grade flag courtesy of a highly impressive 42 point grand final victory over a strong Cardiff combination. Three years later, the same two sides again fought their way through to the grand final, but on this occasion it was the Hawks who prevailed.\n\nThe all round viability of a club is not just shown by its performances at senior level, however, and in 2006 Newcastle City emphasised it strength in depth when both its open age teams and two of its junior sides all contested grand finals, with the reserves and under eighteens both winning.\n\nIn 2007 the Blues topped the ladder prior to the finals before advancing straight to the grand final where they were opposed by Killarney Vale. Having won all three previous encounters between the sides during the year by sizeable margins, Newcastle City was popularly expected to cruise to victory, but the Bombers had other ideas and, playing relentless, high tempo finals football, won deservedly by 23 points. For the Blues there was at least a measure of consolation in the achievements of their reserves and under eighteens sides, both of which won premierships, the under eighteens from fourth place.\n\nNewcastle City’s second senior BDAFL flag was claimed in 2008 at the expense of perennial power club Cardiff whom the Blues defeated in both the second semi final, by a margin of 24 points, and the grand final, by 37 points. A year later the Blues added a third premiership after again accounting for Cardiff on grand final day, this time by the narrow margin of 7 points after a topsy-turvy clash during which the lead changed hands on numerous occasions.
John Devaney - Full Points Publications