The Ararat Rats Football Netball Club will be holding their 150 years celebration on Saturday August 13, proceeding their round 17 clash with the Horsham Demons.
In the lead up to the club's celebrations, we will look back on the history of the countries oldest club's.
In 1871 the Ararat Football Club was formed with Edward Morres named captain, Williams named secretary and treasurer with Cobb, Cook and Grano rounding out the committee.
The following two years the club did not form, for what appears to have been lack of interest.
In 1874 it was decided AFC would return with the opening match played on the 25th of May.
The club's second game of the year came in the form of a friendly match against the inmates of Ararat Lunatic Asylum.
Ararat won the encounter two goals to nil with the patients receiving plaudits for their excellent behaviour in the contest.
In wasn't long before Ararat challenged Stawell to a match with the first encounter between the two sides being played at Stawell Cricket Ground ending in a 15 all draw.
On the 15th of September Ararat lost to Streatham in their next match, which was played in front of the racecourse grandstand.
On Saturday September 19 Ararat faced Stawell for the second time in the year with the Ararat and Pleasant Creek Advertiser describing the match as "pleasant" to the great humor of both teams.
One final match between the neighbouring town was scheduled to take place on the 10th of October, however was cancelled due to the non-attendance of a number of Stawell players.
In 1875 the club was formed, however no matches were reported on in the paper.
The following year AJ Campbell was named captain and players wore a blue guernsey and knicker bockers, a blue and white cap and grey stockings with players expected to attend Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoons for training.
On July 1st 1876 Ararat was defeated by Ballarat in a friendly match two goals to one.
Two weeks later Ararat defeated Asylum one goal to nil, however the Ararat and Pleasant Creek Advertiser reported the match nil. would have been more enjoyable" if some of the players had been better acquainted with the rules of football".
On October 19 Ararat was defeated by Ballarat once again, however this time it was by six goals to nil.
In 1877 Ararat started their season on June 9 where they won two goals to nil. Two weeks later the two teams played once again with Stawell winning the match two goals to one.
On July 21 Ararat hosted Ballarat and defeated the travelling side one goal to nil.
Two weeks later, Ararat played a 12 all draw against Stawell and finished their year with a four goal to nil loss at the hands of Ballarat on August 11.
In 1978 Ararat kicked of their campaign on the road with a four goals to one defeat against Stawell on August 17.
The following Saturday the Ararat footballers defeated Asylum three goals to two with their last game of the year coming on September 1 in a two goal to one defeat against Stawell.
Ararat returned to the field on May 24 1979 against Stawell in a one goal to nil defeat.
On June 7 Ararat came away one goal victors in the first every match played with the club's second sides against Stawell. Ararat's senior side then defeated Stawell two goals to one on June 18.
Tom Calder, Tom Chisolm and Messrs were selected to represent Ararat in the combined Wimmera team to play Carlton on June 21 with Carlton winning three goals to nil.
Ararat then drew with Hamilton in the Henty Challenge Cup, before drawing with Horsham on August 2.
Ararat's first organised match of 1880 was against Horsham on May 22 where they lost 34-8.
The following weekend Ararat defeated Wanderers three goals to one and then in the return game on June 19 they won 27-6.
Contesting the Henty Challenge Cup Ararat lost to Hamilton two goals to nil on JunE 26.
Ararat later drew with Skipton, defeated Albion by two goals and defeated Stawell and Wanderers comfortably.
The club did not form between 1881-85, with a letter to the editor in the Ararat and Pleasant Creek Advertiser suggesting that there was a lack of interest in forming a senior football team despite football being a popular pastime.
For the proceeding years the Ararat Football Club's opponents consisted of various Stawell teams, various Ballarat teams, various Hamilton teams, Rupanyup, Murtoa, Skipton and Lake Bolac. Matches were organised by invitation with a return match on the opponent's ground.
Locally Ararat played against the Asylum Football team, Wanderers Football team, Education Football team and the Albion Football team.
In 1902 Ararat participated in a Wimmera competition, although before joining the newly formed Wimmera Football League 1937 AFC went into the Ballarat League between 1925-28.
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