the 1890s : Brisbane and Ipswich teams

The playing gear included knee length or longer shorts, shin pads worn outside the socks. Players fixed strips of leather to the soles of their normal everyday footwear to prevent slipping.

The Queensland British Football Association

Perhaps in deference to the large numbers of Scottish and Welsh migrants playing the game locally, the AQFA re-formed as the Queensland British Football Association (QBFA), at the annual meeting of “the clubs in Brisbane and Ipswich playing under the British Football Association rules …”, held in April 1890

First inter-colonial matches

In August 1890, a Queensland team was sent to play “intercolonial” matches against the New South Wales association. Queensland defeated NSW 3-1 and 1-0, as well as playing a match at Newcastle. Overall, the Queensland team “scored ten goals and lost three” on this tour.

Ipswich teams join the competition

At a general meeting of the QBFA held at the Shamrock Hotel in Fortitude Valley in early 1891, it was reported that “The association is to be strengthened this year by the addition of three clubs from the Ipswich district, besides others from Brisbane.” The names of those teams are not recorded, but were likely to have included Bundamba Rangers, Blackstone Rovers and the Bush Rats. The Bundamba Rangers went on to win ‘the badges’ in 1895 (see photograph) and the Bush Rats team then won several premierships in the late 1890s and early 1900s. This was the beginning of a dominance of the Brisbane/Ipswich competition by Ipswich teams that was to last until the mid-20th century, with Ipswich teams winning a disproportionate number of premierships and producing many State and Australian players. However, by 1896, the competition had dwindled to four teams: Normans, Rangers, Rosebank and the newly formed Ipswich Rovers. Notwithstanding this, 1200 spectators attended the semi-final of the Charity Cup at Queen’s Park, to see Rosebank defeat Rangers 1-0. Rovers won the Challenge Cup (the premiership) and the Charity Cup (defeating Rosebank 3-2 at the “Association Ground, Bowen Bridge Road”). 1896 also saw the introduction of a junior competition.

The Bush Rats and the Rangers


The Rangers team establish at Bundamba, Ipswich would become one of early Queensand football’s great dynasties. 

Their fiercest rivals were Dinmore Bush Rats.