Bute’s early forays were on a purely social basis against teams from such nearby towns as Mundoora, Port Broughton and Snowtown. When the Western Areas Football Association was formed in 1908, Bute Football Club, already sixteen years old by that stage, was among the founder members. The club won its first premiership in the fledgling competition’s second season, and by the time the Association went into recess because of the Great War at the end of the 1915 season it had added three more.
Bute was the WAFA’s pre-eminent force in the 1920s, contesting all but one grand final for the decade, and winning those of 1922, 1923 and 1924 against Mundoora, 1926 against Wokurna, and 1927 and 1929 at the expense of Port Broughton.
Between 1930 and 1934 Bute competed in the Yorke Peninsula Football Association, reaching grand finals in 1930 and 1933 but losing to Kadina on both occasions. The 1935 season saw the club resuming in the WAFA but it would not be successful in claiming another premiership for two decades. During that time it qualified for a total of five grand finals, but lost them all by comparatively narrow margins. There was even a drawn grand final in 1952, which Mundoora won at the second attempt by a couple of points.
The Roosters finally broke through for a premiership in 1956 when they downed Port Broughton by 14 points in a low scoring grand final. Another grand final triumph at the expense of the same opposition, this time by just 5 points, followed two years later. The 1961 season was the Roosters’ last in the WAFA and they went out in style, comfortably defeating Wandearah in that year’s grand final by a 36 point margin, 13.17 (95) to 8.11 (59).
The 1962 season saw Bute transferring to the Yorke Valley Football Association (later League). Over the course of the next thirty-four years the club would compile a fine record in this competition, winning five of the ten senior grade grand finals in which it participated. In 1995 the YVFL merged with the Southern Yorke Peninsula Football League to form the Yorke Peninsula Football League with the Roosters among the new competition’s ten founder members. So far, the closest they have come to adding to their senior grade premiership haul has been a quartet of losing grand finals.
The Roosters looked to have an excellent chance of breaking their premiership drought in 2008 when they topped the ladder heading into the major round but they sustained narrow finals losses at the hands of Moonta (11 points) and eventual premiers Southern Eagles (5 points) leaving them in third place, a result that was repeated in 2009. The 2010 season saw the Roosters qualifying for the grand final but they lost to Kadina by 33 points. Bute again made the grand final in 2011 but once again Kadina proved to have their measure, this time by a 20 point margin. Bute have not contested a senior grade grand final since. In fact, in 2015-16-17 they finished last before improving slightly to end up one place off the bottom in 2018. The 2019 season brought further improvement as the Roosters rose up the ladder to sixth place. Senior football in the YPFL was suspended in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
John Devaney - Full Points Publications