In 1890, a Charlton Football Club was among the founder members of the Wycheproof Charlton Football Association, and was successful in annexing the competition’s first premiership. Records of the club’s achievements during the remainder of the nineteenth century are sketchy, however, although it is known that Charlton qualified for a grand final in the Wooroonooke Football Association in 1900, but lost to Corack.
From early in the twentieth century until organised football was suspended because of the war, Charlton spent most of its time in the North Western Football Association, winning a total of four premierships. Between the wars the club took part in several different competitions, and added another three senior grade flags.
Since 1940, the Navy Blues have been affiliated with the North Central Football League, where their record is extremely commendable. Indeed, they claimed a premiership in their very first season after comfortably accounting for Laen Litchfield in the grand final by 63 points, 15.16 (106) to 5.13 (43). Further flags followed in 1946 and 1947, both at the expense of Laen Litchfield, and 1950, when Watchem Corack was defeated in the grand final by 37 points.
Over the ensuing couple of decades the Navy Blues were regular finalists but only once, in 1966, did they manage to "bring home the bacon" after a hard fought 8 point grand final win over Wycheproof Narraport. The 1970s brought half a dozen grand final appearances for wins in 1973 against St. Arnaud and 1974 against Wedderburn. The first of these wins was noteworthy for coming after a replay.
Over the past three decades Charlton’s reputation as one of the NCFL’s leading lights has been maintained, with the 2005 grand final triumph over Wycheproof Narraport giving the club its eleventh senior grade flag in the competition. After that, fourth place in 2006 was slightly disappointing, but the Navy Blues improved in 2007 to reach the grand final, only to lose heavily to Wedderburn. A year later they qualified for the finals in fourth place but lost the first semi final to Birchip Watchem by 25 points. Their twelfth senior grade NCFL premiership arrived in 2009 courtesy of a 2 goal grand final defeat of Donald.
A slight dip in fortunes followed with the Navy Blues failing to contest the finals in each of the next four seasons. In 2014 they made yet another grand final only to go down to Wedderburn by the narrowest possible margin. Another losing grand final followed in 2015, this time at the hands of St. Arnaud by a margin of 8 points. Finally, in 2016 the Navy Blues broke through for their thirteenth NCFL flag when they downed Wycheproof Narraport in the grand final by 7 points, 10.10 (70) to 9.9 (63). A year later they endured a contrasting campaign which produced just three wins from 16 matches, consigning them to seventh place on the eight team premiership ladder, which was where they again finished in 2018, albeit after managing two more wins than the previous year. In 2019 the Navy Blues again qualified for the finals and ultimately finished third.
John Devaney - Full Points Publications