A HISTORY OF IVANHOE’S CLUB COLOURS
By Phil Skeggs
There is no record of what colours Ivanhoe wore when we formed as a social footy team in our first season in 1910. When the Heidelberg District Football Association was formed in 1911, Ivanhoe lacked a home ground and didn’t join the competition.
With the development of Ivanhoe Park, Ivanhoe joined the HDFA in March 1912 and according to a local press report the committee originally planned to field a green and gold strip. But a month later it was reported that the club had adopted the Collingwood colours of black and white stripes. The club may have got hold of a set of old jumpers from Collingwood for those first seasons. We were being referred to as the “Ivanhoe Magpies” by 1912. As evidenced by the premiership team photos from 1913 and 1921, the club wore the black and white stripes until the HDFA disbanded at the end of the 1921 season.
Ivanhoe wasn’t invited to join the newly formed Diamond Valley league in 1922. We joined the Melbourne Districts Football Association, which was later renamed the Sub-District Football League. Ivanhoe were dubbed the “Two Blues”, wearing a dark blue with a pale blue vee in front. There are historic images of Ivanhoe teams wearing these colours on the club’s website under the heading “IAFC Picture Trove” https://ivanhoeafc.com/club-information/history/iafc-picture-trove/
We were still wearing the Two Blues when we joined the VAFA in 1934. We wore those colours for the first three seasons, as can be seen from the 1934, 1935 and 1936 premiership team photos. According to past president, the late Harry Thomas who re-formed the club post-World War II, the colours remained the same until the competition went into recess during the war.
During the war, the jumpers were placed in storage with Heidelberg Council for safe keeping. Club legend Tim Robinson said Harry recalled that the council was unable to locate the jumpers after the war and the coach, who had played at Collingwood pre-war, scrounged a set of old Collingwood jumpers from Victoria Park.
“Ron Dowling had been appointed coach and when the Two Blues jumpers could not be found he went down to Collingwood and got an old set of their jumpers. Thus the Black and white stripes,” said Tim.
“What happened to the jumpers was always a mystery. However, about 15 years ago I came across a photo of a West Heidelberg team in two blue jumpers. On inquiring I was told by a West Heidelberg source that when they re-formed after the war they had no money so the council gave them the Two Blues jumpers. This I suspect is the answer to the missing jumpers mystery.”
Others sources have told me they recalled seeing the club wearing green jumpers in 1946. It’s possible these may have been an emergency set supplied by the VAFA before Dowling obtained the Collingwood jumpers that year.
Being in Collingwood heartland, the black and white strip was popular with many players. Our under 19s won flags wearing the black and white in 1949, 1953 and 1955. The senior club enjoyed some its greatest successes wearing the Collingwood colours. The 1954 B grade premiership, 1956 A grade premiership, and the 1969 B grade flag. There was also a swag of reserves flags in those colours too.
Robinson said the club has never been called “Magpies” by players or supporters. It has always been ‘Hoes’ or ‘Hoers’. But some Amateur Footballer scribes have mistakenly referred to our club as the Magpies over the years.
The Collingwood jumpers remained until the club forged an alliance with Assumption College old boys in 1999. The colours stayed essentially the same but the Assumption school badge was added on the left breast and the club was renamed Ivanhoe Assumption. It stayed like that until the school alliance dissolved at the end of 2006. When the club played in the 2007 D3 grand final, we were back in good ol’ Collingwood colours.
In 2008, club president Chris Tucker redesigned the club’s colours, switching to the all-black that the Ivanhoe Juniors had worn since inception in 1972. This was part of an effort to forge closer ties with the juniors and re-establish an under 19s team. Chris, a graphic designer, added a swooping magpie motif on the front panel as a nod to the club’s historic ties. These colours remained for 10 seasons, despite the junior club switching their jumpers to black with a white vee.
When the Ivies joined the inaugural VAFA women’s comp in 2017, they wore a reverse strip of white with a swooping magpie motif on the front, with black and white stripes below the motif.
The senior club returned to wearing its historic black and white jumpers in 2019 – a decision warmly welcomed by supporters and past and present players.