Britannia Team in 1891 Britannia Team in 1891 - (McFarlane & Roberts, 2005)
William Beazley Mr William Beazley - Collingwood's first president
Source: State Library of Victoria / Photo: Talma

In 1877 a football team called 'Britannia' was formed (Fitzroy City Press, 1891). This side consisted of players from both Fitzroy and Collingwood, who used the ground at Victoria Park. They were highly successful within the junior competition, but the suburb of Collingwood wanted to have their own senior football team in the Victorian Football Association (VFA), given Fitzroy and other neighbouring suburbs already had their own teams.

On the 7th June 1889 a large and influential meeting of the citizens of Collingwood was held at Prydes City Hotel to consider the advisability of starting a Senior Football Club . The motion was passed unanimously, with the council of Collingwood advising that they would do all that they could to support the application for entry into the Victorian Football Association (VFA). To this end, the Britannia club was asked to also support the application and on the following Friday they met with the Collingwood contingent at Grace Darling Hotel pledging their unanimous support in forming a senior football team for Collingwood. (Mercury & Weekly Courier, 1889)

It was not expected that the senior Collingwood football club would be made up of all Britannia players, however the Britannia club were to be the neuclus of the Collingwood Football Club; of which the infrastructure and success of the junior club were considered strong reasons why Collingwood Football club should be granted entry into the VFA (Alf Manfield, 1889). The Collingwood deputation considered that entry to the VFA would be granted for 1890, however the VFA were reluctant to increase the number of teams within the competition, and when clubs did leave there were concerns with ensuring each club would play the minimum number of games to vye for a premiership. It is fair to say, that these hurdles were largely unexpected by the Collingwood deputation who had ticked off each aspect in arguing their case with the VFA.

Nevertheless, on Friday 25th September 1891 the VFA met at Young and Jacksons Hotel for their general meeting, of which all clubs were in attendance. On the discussion of a Collingwood Football Club being granted access to the Victorian Football Association for the 1892 competition, Mr. J. Worrall said that on behalf of the Fitzroy club, who were in the adjoining district, and most likely to be affected by the formation of a new club, he wished to say that the application of the club had their hearty commendation. (Hear, hear.) Collingwood was quite entitled to a team, and he hoped the resolution would be carried. The chairman of the VFA, Mr Best said he was glad to see such a feeling shown. Collingwood was one of the most important centres of population, and he thought were in every way entitled to admission to the association as a senior club. They would not be justified in any further opposition to the request.(The Argus, 1891)

The resolution was unanimously carried and in 1892, the Collingwood Football team officially entered the ranks of senior football becoming arguably the most popular team within Australian football.