Stories behind footy club songs

Liam Durkin

CLUB songs are one of the most unique features of football.

As the victors enter their changing room, a minute or so is dedicated to belting out a tune informing all within earshot who the winning team was on that particular day.

It is a tradition almost as old as the game itself.

But where did club songs originate?

Some have an original idea, others develop over time, whilst a lot simply take pre-existing lyrics and insert their own club moniker.

In this series, Liam Durkin looks at how various signature tunes came to be for various local clubs.

The first installment is North Gippsland-Football Netball League club Yarram.

The Yarram Football-Netball Club theme song was introduced in 1954 by a colourful character named Ted Whitfield.

Whitfield was brought to Yarram as captain-coach following a decorated off-field career with South Melbourne.

Although football in the VFL was a lot more amateurish when Whitfield played in the early 1940s, it is likely a number of his ‘rituals’ would have still come as a shock to most people at the time. He religiously drank half a dozen beers before every game, followed by another pot at half-time, and had done so since the age of 16.

Whitfield also wore his football gear under his street clothes to the ground to save time getting changed before the game, and was once forced to get changed in the back of a taxi after losing track of time with a female companion.

Whitfield played 54 games for South Melbourne, with his final appearance being the 1945 grand final, which was to go down in history as ‘The Bloodbath’.

On a day where nine players were reported on 14 charges, Whitfield was the main offender, and entered the umpires book on three separate accounts.

His first offence came when he attempted to strike the goal umpire, which was followed by abusive language and kicking the ball away after a free kick was given against him, and finally, for pulling his jumper over his head and running down the other end of the field to stop the umpire from taking his number.

Whitfield later claimed he thought he had heard the final siren and was running off to swap guernseys with his opponent, as was the custom at the time.

All of Whitfield’s charges happened in the final quarter, meaning his anger was more than likely pent up across the proceeding three quarters.

Despite this, he was adjudged South Melbourne’s best player, although the final result was a 28-point loss.

In a further show of his cavalier attitude, Whitfield was the only reported player that did not appear at the tribunal to defend himself, because he had already bought a ticket to a cabaret ball held the same night.

Not surprisingly, he was suspended for 12 months and two games and was sacked by South Melbourne.

In a further blow, Whitfield was also barred from South Melbourne’s home ground, the Lake Oval, as a spectator.

He was eventually welcomed back to the club, becoming a member of the Past Players’ Association in the 1960s.

In today’s world, Whitfield would probably assume lad-status, although one can only imagine how brief his time in a professional environment would be given his antics.

After his South Melbourne days, Whitfield ventured to Ararat before coming to Yarram, where he brought a club song with him.

Whitfield steered Yarram to premiership success in his first season as captain-coach in 1954, and his flamboyant way of life is evident in most of the lyrics in the Demons’ song.

The Yarram song contains a chorus and two verses, although the verses are not often sung. Given the politically incorrect content of the verses and the fact junior teams sing the same song, the reasons for their usual omission are self explanatory.

Are there any local sporting clubs with a unique song or interesting story as to how they originated? Or perhaps just a local football song request?

Phone Liam Durkin on 0402 556 338 or email with your suggestions.


We are the Demons we are the team,

We won’t be beaten that’s easily seen.

At the end of the season, you’ll know the reason,

Why we are the premier team!

First verse

We’re a mighty bunch of fellows and each one is a star,

And if you want to find us, you’ll find us at the bar.

And if you want to join us, you’ll find that we’re alright,

And you can be a member of the Yarram boys tonight.

Second verse

I was standing on a corner and a policeman said to me,

If you’re one of the Yarram boys you’d better come with me.

He grabbed me by the collar and tried to run me in,

I upped me fist and dropped him stiff and then began to sing.


We are the Demons we are the team,

We won’t be beaten that’s easily seen.

At the end of the season, you’ll know the reason,

Why we are the premier team!