History of the Rosewater Football Club

The Rosewater Football Club was founded in the early to mid 1880’s (see Photo Gallery / Archives for match report 1887) and played in the Suburban Junior Football Association (where the Junior refers to sub-League rather than as nowadays to age), and local Port Adelaide leagues.  Additional newspaper reports have been found providing descriptions of games played in 1885 and 1886. 

Click here to view other clippings from 1885.

The Club has played under the Rosewater name since forming. It is the only “old” club in the north western suburbs not to have suffered an amalgamation.

The Club was a powerhouse in the local competition winning many premierships. It joined the SA Amateur League in 1949, then playing and continuing to play, at the Eric Sutton Reserve, Newcastle Street, Rosewater.

The halcyon days of the Club (in the SAAFL) were in the 50’s and 60’s, culminating in winning the 1957 A1 Division Premiership. Demographics change and the demise of work at Port Adelaide and the “greying” of the area, with the competition of many nearby clubs, have seen the fortunes of the Club decline (in playing strength).

Still a strength in Division 1 in the mid 70’s the Club’s Captain, John Staker, was named All-Australian captain. Over the years many players have represented the State. The most decorated player is (the late) Kevin Jacquier with five medals. Jim Farr, 1954, and Charles Cawthorne, 1971, are the Division 1 Hone Medallists. There are currently eight players accredited with over 300 SAAFL games, being:  Kevin Thomas, Frank Carbone, Kevin Jacquier, Graham Morris, Malcolm Jorgensen, Peter Tozer, Grant Hure and Adam Rumbelow.

Over the years many former Rosewater juniors have progressed to SANFL and AFL. Players to have been drafted to AFL include:

Bruce Abernethy;   Che, David, and Donald Cockatoo-Collins;   Trent Ormond-Allen; and Jarrad Poulton.

Brian Cunningham the Port Adelaide (AFL) Club first C.E.O. is also a former Rosewater Junior and 1967 Derwent Medallist (best and fairest U16s).

The Club plays an A, B and C Grade in Division 5, 5 Reserve and C4, in the SAAFL; with juniors in the Metro-West Junior League and has an “Old Dogs” team in the South Australian Masters competition.

Eric Sutton Oval

Memorial to Former Councillor

As a tribute to the memory of the late Alderman Eric Sutton, Port Adelaide City Council last night decided to rename Rosewater Reserve the Eric Sutton Oval.   

The late Mr. Sutton, who died while a prisoner-of-war in Thailand - in July, 1943, served as a member of the council from 1930 to 1942.

Advertiser 5 September 1952


Above: Clubrooms, 1962

Clubrooms were erected in the early 1960's with additions in the early 1970's.  By the turn of the century they had significant structural problems.  In depth negotiations with the City of Port Adelaide Enfield commenced in 2003 with success in achieving funding for the replacement at the conclusion of the 2011 season. The PAE approved funding to $1.7M  We were successful in Government, Community Recreation and Sport Facilities to $320K, $150K from the Australian Football League community sport grant, and Club 50 members contributed $30K. 

The annoucement of our success was made:

Thursday 3 February 2011 at 6:00pm saw a well supported function where local member and No 1 Ticket Holder, the Honourable Jay Weatherill, Member for Cheltenham, addressed members regarding the successful outcome of our submission for funding under the Community Recreation and Sport Facilities Program. The Member's Lounge was packed with supporters keen to see the achievement of the Clubs ambition to replace the present outdated and structurally deficient facilities.

Jay announced the grant amount - a substantial $320,000-00 - to the acclaim of members.

Jay further addressed those present on the contribution to achieving the funding made by President John Readon who actively canvassed Ministers regarding the proposal.

John Reardon also thanked those present for making the attainment of the Grant possible:

John thanked:

The City of Port Adelaide Enfield - Brett Hill, Tim Noonan and Lyn Cooke  -   The SA Government via the Community Grants   -     The Club 50 Members   -     The Sub-Committee for the grant submission:     John -  President   Charlie Rumbelow - Secretary   Keith Medhurst - Treasurer    Tyson Jacquier - Architect   Tyson was especially mentioned, as the Vice Captain of the Club, and an architect by profession, his input had been invaluable. 


Grant Sub-Committee with Jay Weatherill MP. From Left, Keith Medhurst, Charlie Rumbelow, Jay Weatherill, John Reardon, Tyson Jacquier.

John commented on the time frame which will see the present Clubrooms demolished after the final game of 2011 with the proposed new facilities available for the opening round in 2012.


Clubrooms 2012
The Clubrooms and names associated

John Dobinson Memorial Honour Board

Words to come and looking for details

Kevin Jacquier Member's Lounge

"Jacky"  Rosewater's most decorated player

A gutsy and courageous ball winner who was rewarded by the umpires

with staggering 5 Association Medal's

A strong clubman, sadly he passed away in 1991

The RFC proudly hangs a shield in the Member's Lounge to honour Jacky's achievement's



Robin Starr Foyer

Named in honour of player, Life Member and long term Secretary, Robin Starr

"Rube" Joined the club in the 1960's where he played and held the Secretary's position for 12 years

Not many player's left Rosie's for other clubs during his reign. They say it was mainly because they had to get Robin to sign the clearance form and that could be an unpleasant expeirence.

Robin sadly passed away in 2003

He was Secretary of the Club when the A1 team came 3rd in 1967, 1968, 1969 and 1970.


Kevin Thomas Change Rooms



Named in Honour of Life Member, player, coach, and Committee President in 1984.

Record games holder with 465 games

Coach 1987, 1999 and 2000.



Ron Penn Bar

The Ron Penn Bar was named after  – Life Member number 61 – for his contribution to the Club.


Mural and other history – From Darryl Penn

When the clubrooms were being prepared for demolition in 2011/2012 the John Dobinson Memorial Honour Board was removed and located behind it was a mural of a country scene.
Life Member Darryl Penn supplies the following information regarding the Ron Penn Bar and various building activities undertaken by the Club.
The Ron Penn Bar was named after my father – Life Member number 61 – for his contribution to the Club.
I think I remember the mural getting done...I thought Robin Starr commissioned it a couple of years after the rooms were built.  It is not of any place in particular - just a country scene. It was covered over by the Dobinson Memorial Board – which would have been circa 1984.
Someone asked me the other day when the club was built and I wasn't sure if it was 1963 or 64, and I haven't been able to locate anything like old photographs to confirm the date.  When the rooms were built, they shifted the scoreboard from the building site to the wing where it stands today. The Council/Coke replaced the scoreboard at a later date (1975?).
The first extension of the main hall (where the pool table is now) would've been done somewhere around 1972.  My memory may be incorrect on the particular date, but I know the following are factual (from old records):

- the bar extensions took place after the end of 1975 season whereby the original bar (northern end) was extended to consume the adjoining Committee Room to the south. The building work and all the fridges/bar equipment cost a bit over $9,000-00. In those days, the current store room was the old trainers’ room.

- the extensive kitchen and home team change room extensions were finished in July 79 at a cost of $30,000-00. The old trainers room became the bar store room.

- the Robin Starr foyer was finished in October 1983 ($4,500-00)

Other activities:

- clubroom newly carpeted in May 1982

- the coaches boxes were built in July 1982 ($1,500-00 for both!)

- Oval Lighting - March 1985 (another $2,200-00 was spent on upgrades in March 1993)

- Air-conditioning upgraded November 1992 for $3,300-00

- New tables and chairs in May 1993 for $7,700-00 (Chairman’s Club contribution by Members and local business – plaque detailing those contributing displayed in Member’s Lounge).


Bollmeyer Lane:

Located to the north of the railway line, which is the northern boundary of Rosewater Oval on Eric Sutton Reserve, is Bollmeyer Lane. This lane is named to commemorate the Bollmeyer Family, and in particular Keith and Jack, for their contribution to the Rosewater Football Club, and the sporting community of the City of Port Adelaide Enfield.
The lane is the entry point to the “railway cottages” which were replaced with medium density housing, catering for mainly older residents. The fact it was unnamed created many problems in locating residents – particularly for emergency vehicles. The City of PAE overcame the problem by providing a name.  The City of PAE accepted the RFC recommendation and submitted Bollmeyer Lane as the prefered name.  This was accepted by the naming authority.
The Rosewater Football Club was contacted in the determination of a suitable name and recommended Bollmeyer Lane name as suitable due to the contribution of the family over many years for their voluntary contribution to sporting activities within Rosewater and surrounding suburbs.
Keith Bollmeyer Life Member No 2 - Secretary 1937 to 1952 and again 1956 to 1961
Jack Bollmeyer Life Member No 66 - President 1991 and 1992, Chairman 1973 and again 1999 until 2001. Secretary 1983, 1987, and 1993 until 1998.
Tony Bollmeyer  Life Member No 81.