News New Book - Merger: The Fitzroy Lions and the tragedy of 1996

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Roylion

Moderator
Oct 17, 2000
15,652
12,515
Melbourne
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Fitzroy Football Club
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MERGER tells the story of the Fitzroy Football Club's 1996 season in the Australian Football League, a season made infamous by the club's merger with the Brisbane Bears. It was nothing short of the worst year ever experienced by a VFL/AFL club. This book recounts that devastating year, providing a deep understanding of the experience of the players, supporters, club officials and volunteers. Each of these perspectives are vital in understanding Fitzroy's story; it is insufficient merely to understand how and why Fitzroy's merger occurred - one must understand why it mattered

Writing about Fitzroy's demise as an AFL club also allows space for musings on the nature and character of the modern AFL. The Fitzroy/Brisbane merger asked profound questions about the AFL's relationship with the people who love and support Australian rules football - questions that were never satisfactorily answered. Who are the actual custodians of the game? What obligations do the League's governing body owe to the supporters, who make the game what it is? What place do history and tradition have in the modern AFL? At what point do commercial decisions and imperatives detract from the essence of the sport and harm supporters' engagement with the League? In short, how does the AFL Commission fulfil its role as being the 'keeper of the code', not just the entity responsible for ensuring the competition remains financially viable? These questions seemed to fall by the wayside very quickly after the merger, but they remain unanswered and are just as pertinent now as they were in 1996.

Available: 1st June 2021
Number Of Pages: 400
 

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The_Wookie

Queenslander
Jul 2, 2010
34,332
32,066
Scamander
AFL Club
Carlton
my copy arrived today.

Ive read Fitzroy! and The Death of Fitzroy FC, and while the former was a good read, i thought the latter was mediocre. Be interesting to see where this fits in.
 

Roylion

Moderator
Oct 17, 2000
15,652
12,515
Melbourne
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
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Fitzroy Football Club
I've now finished this book. Was a good read. Heavily based on 'Fitzroy' by Dyson Hore-Lacy, Adam Muyt's 'Maroon and Blue', Gary Linnell's 'AFL Limited' and Ross Oakley's work, the book was still well researched, with the media perspective covered well and a good summary of Fitzroy supporter reaction to the situation as well as the media coverage drawn from the various Melbourne media outlets in 1996.

I also liked the coverage of Fitzroy's post AFL existance...which was a major flaw in Russell Holmesby's work 'The Death of Fitzroy FC."
 

FitzroyPete

Senior List
Jan 22, 2018
172
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Perth
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East Perth (WAFL), Fitzroy (VAFA)
Me neither
I have a copy of Will Westerman's book and from what little of it I've read so far, I thoroughly recommend it to buyers.
The thing that frightens me is how quickly the past 25 years have flown since we were unceremoniously dumped from the AFL.
Fitzroy's last 25 years in the VFL-AFL (1972-96) moved at a far more leisurely pace (and weren't there some great moments for our club in that quarter of a century!).
I nominally list Brisbane as my AFL team but, to be honest, I really don't care who wins, preferring instead to watch my beloved East Perth in the WAFL.
 

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