South Melbourne United was one of the three clubs which merged to form South Melbourne Hellas. After Hellenic and Yarra Park had merged in August 1959 to form 'Hellas', Hellas amalgamated with South Melbourne United - likely sometime in early 1960 - to complete the formation of South Melbourne Hellas. It was the oldest of the three clubs which formed South Melbourne Hellas. Its home strip was usually a white jersey with a red vee, black shorts, and red and white hooped socks.
The exact origins of South Melbourne United are unclear; a Soccer News article from 1953 claims that the origins of the club date back to 1932 in the guise of a club called South Melbourne Juniors, formed when members of the Middle Park Schoolboys' Soccer Club changed names, and that later on this junior club merged with the pre-existing South Melbourne senior club to form South Melbourne United.
Contemporary sources however seem to locate the club's official founding to 1936 as a junior club formed by former pupils of the Middle Park School and the South Melbourne Technical School. By early 1937, South Melbourne United had decided to field senior teams in the local competition.
World War 2 Edit
Park Rangers split Edit
In 1946 a new club emerged from South Melbourne United, under the name Park Rangers, playing out of Middle Park Oval no. 7. There is however some mystery about how this occurred. In February 1946 it was reported that the South Melbourne United Soccer Club had decided to change its name and colours, in order to field a team in senior ranks. This is somewhat confusing, as South Melbourne United had fielded a senior team during 1945. By mid-March 1946 it was being reported that Park Rangers would be fielding junior sides as well, but that South Melbourne United would also be fielding its strongest senior side in many years. While Park Rangers seemed to take on several ex-South Melbourne United players and committee men, United managed to continue on.
Park Rangers had some early success, winning the Dockerty Cup in 1948 and 1949, and being runner up in 1947. 1949 also saw Park Rangers finish second in Division 1, their best ever finish - albeit a long way back from runaway winner Brighton. Park Rangers were not able to maintain that level of success - their last season in the Victorian top flight was 1953, thereafter spending most of their existence in the middle reaches of Victorian soccer. In 1981 the club moved away from Middle Park to Kew, becoming Kew Park Rangers, eventually merging with Moreland at the end of 1985 to form Moreland Park Rangers.
For its part, South Melbourne United arguably never quite recovered from the split. It never played in the Victorian top flight after 1947 (though it got close to being promoted a couple of times) and while it maintained a strong presence in junior soccer, the split and Park Rangers' short term senior successes probably hastened the club's demise in the long run in comparison to many of United's pre-war contemporaries.
Season by season record Edit
|1937||Victorian Division 2||7||14||4||2||8||28||46||10||1st round|
|1938||Victorian Division 2||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||Semi Final|
|1939||Victorian Division 2||1||14||11||2||1||52||12||24||3rd round|
|1940||Victorian Division 1||2||14||7||1||6||26||29||15||Semi Final|
|1941||Victorian Division 1||3||14||7||5||2||25||21||19||Semi Final|
|1942||Victorian Senior Division||5||10||3||1||6||28||28||7||Semi Final|
|1943||Did not play - went into recess||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1944||Victorian Senior League||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||1st round|
|1945||Victorian Senior League||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||1st round|
|1946||Victorian Division 1||7||14||2||0||12||15||53||4||2nd round|
|1947||Victorian Division 1||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||1st round|
|1948||Victorian Division 2||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||2nd round|
|1949||Victorian Division 2||3||18||12||2||4||63||28||26||3rd round|
|1950||Victorian Division 2||3||18||13||0||5||67||41||26||2nd round|
|1951||Victorian Division 2||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||?||3rd round|
|1952||Victorian Division 2||8||18||6||0||12||37||45||12||3rd round|
|1953||Victorian Division 2||3||18||10||0||8||59||43||20||2nd round|
|1954||Victorian Division 2||6||18||8||2||8||44||45||18||2nd round|
|1955||Victorian Division 2||3||18||9||2||7||61||46||20||3rd round|
|1956||Victorian Division 2||5||18||8||4||6||53||42||20||Quarter Final|
|1957||Victorian Division 2||3||18||12||2||4||42||21||16||2nd round|
|1958||Victorian Division 1 South||2||18||13||4||1||69||19||30||3rd round|
|1959||Victorian Division 1 South||4||18||12||2||4||47||24||26||4th round|
Club records Edit
Player records Edit
- ↑ The Soccer News article also claims, probably erroneously, that South Melbourne Juniors and the pre-existing South Melbourne merged in 1936 - in fact South Melbourne continued to exist independently for some years after that. Why those people who formed South Melbourne United did so independently of the pre-existing South Melbourne club is unknown, as are the reasons why the elder club ceased to exist while South Melbourne United managed to survive World War 2.
- ↑ http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/164473143
- ↑ http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article164473143
- ↑ http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/164478453
- ↑ Oval no.7 was located behind the bowls club, itself located next to Middle Park Station.
- ↑ http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/165033605
- ↑ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/States/VIC/1945D1T.html
- ↑ http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/165036981
- ↑ http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/165037437
- ↑ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/States/VIC/1949D1T.html
- ↑ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/Clubs/P/ParkRangersDH.html
- ↑ Moreland Park Rangers eventually merged with Coburg at the end of 1990 to form Moreland City.
- ↑ In this year Division 1 was split into two sections of ten teams each.
- ↑ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/States/VIC/1937Cup.html
- ↑ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/States/VIC/1938Cup.html
- ↑ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/States/VIC/1939Cup.html
- ↑ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/States/VIC/1940Cup.html
- ↑ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/States/VIC/1941Cup.html
- ↑ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/States/VIC/1942Cup.html
- ↑ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/States/VIC/1944Cup.html
- ↑ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/States/VIC/1945Cup.html
- ↑ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/States/VIC/1946Cup.html
- ↑ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/States/VIC/1947Cup.html
- ↑ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/States/VIC/1948Cup.html
- ↑ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/States/VIC/1949Cup.html
- ↑ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/States/VIC/1950Cup.html
- ↑ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/States/VIC/1951Cup.html
- ↑ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/States/VIC/1952Cup.html
- ↑ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/States/VIC/1953Cup.html
- ↑ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/States/VIC/1954Cup.html
- ↑ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/States/VIC/1955DockertyCup.html
- ↑ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/States/VIC/1956DockertyCup.html
- ↑ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/States/VIC/1957DockertyCup.html
- ↑ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/States/VIC/1958DockertyCup.html
- ↑ http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/States/VIC/1959DockertyCup.html