Club Formation


The possibility of formation of the football club for Rye was initially discussed in 1945 and founded in 1946.

  • Wilfred Rowley was appointed President, a position he held for 13 years
  • Vice Presidents were E.B Baker, H Mitchell and Vic Tyler
  • The Secretary was Glen Grey-Smith with Vic Tyler as the Treasurer
  • The Committee consisted of Ted Baker Snr, W Hill Snr, Les Mentiplay, Bruce Armstrong, C.B Cain, G Hill, K Moat, Bob Rowley and H Mitchell
  • Les Mentiplay was appointed the first Captain Coach of the Rye F.C

The football ground at the time was unfenced and covered with tea tree scrub, rabbit holes, etc. However, with the great work done by Bill Jennings and Hugh Mitchell it was cleared and made playable to a degree, there was no boundary fence a very small tin shed for a dressing room, together with a spear pump with hand action to fill a raised 44 gal drum for a shower, which at best was icy cold. The visitor change room was an Army tent and there were no toilets for the players. The reserve as it was then, was purchased by local subscriptions and run by a small committee.

At the time of formation, monies were very much scarce for the football club. Committeemen Hugh Mitchell took it upon himself to approach the shire to fund the development of the reserve. Although successful, funds were limited and subsequently the committee at the time decided that if the ground was see sufficient upgrades it was essential that they put it in the hands of the Flinders Shire.

With the shire now in possession, it would now plan to further develop the ground. By the 1960s the shire purchased a number of adjoining blocks of land and would spend large amounts of money to make the sporting ground one of the best to be found. By 1971 the shire would name the reserve the “R.J Rowley Recreation Reserve”

At the commencement of the 1980s the Rye F.C committee led by club legend and first year President Nick Appleford would form a building company “Ryefoot Constructions”. After tendering successfully to the shire, Nick, Mick O’Rourke, John Moody and John Aldridge and other clubman alike would construct what is still regarded as one of the best club rooms/social rooms in country and metropolitan football. Named in honour of Clarrie Jennings, the pavilion would prove to be not only a great home for the Rye F.C but also an attractive draw card for potential recruits.

In its 70 years of proud history, the Rye Football Club has managed to make it to 20 senior grand finals with success in 8 of those. There have been many great household names to pull on the Rye Guernsey, many of which were there in the beginning and are still apart of it today. Listed in the menu items are a breakdown on team and personal achievements for past and present day players.