Address: 46 City Vista cct , Fraser Rise, VIC, 3336
Founded: 12th March 1947
Phone: 03 7021 0555
Email: [email protected]
Football Club (Soccer) and Bistro
The George Cross football club was established on the 12th March 1947 by the late Danny Gatt. It was his dream for a long time to give Melbourne’s Maltese community a team of their own. Mr. Gatt along with Bill Sandham and Angelo Puli made the dream a reality after numerous meetings in Ascot Vale.
The team began playing at Royal Park near the Burke & Wills Memorial statue and played their first league match on the 8th May 1948 when George Cross defeated Woodlands 2-0. In the 1950s Louis Debono became President and under his reign the club became a power house reaching the top grade of Victorian football within 10 years of being established.
The club attracted huge crowds wherever they played and had a fanatical following including on many trips interstate. Many leading Maltese players were recruited from Malta including the Vella brothers Tony and Lolly, Baldas Calleja, Paul Zammit, Moses Cachia, Joe Borg, Joe Falzon Alfred Falzon, Alfred Abela, Eddie Sacco, Vince Muscat, Franz D’Amato, Billy Dalli, Louis Sacco, Danny and Alfred Catania, Eddie Azzopardi, Joe Debono, Eddie Zammit, Joe Gauci, and many, many more.
The club enjoyed the greatest success in 1964 when George Cross was crowned champions of Australia by defeating A.P.I.A. Leichardt 3-2 in front of 15,000 spectators at Olympic Park. George Cross first ventured to the Western Suburbs of Melbourne in 1966, but it wasn’t until 1983 when the club acquired their first home ground. That season George Cross amalgamated with Sunshine City and the new club was re-named Sunshine George Cross with Chaplin Reserve becoming the home ground. This was very much welcomed after years of roaming from ground to ground in various Melbourne suburbs.
In 1984 Sunshine George Cross joined the National League and played 200 games at the highest level of Australian football in 7 seasons until 1991. It was during this period the club became famous for producing many talented youngsters like, John Markovski, Andrew Marth, Gary Hasler, George Karkeletsis, Wayne Attard, Frank Talia, Lorenz Kindtner, George Alevizos, John Campelj and many others who went on to play overseas.
Between 1986 and 1989 the club’s Youth team won 4 successive Victoria championships, before clinching the National Australian championship in 1989. Current Melbourne Victory captain Kevin Muscat is another product of the Georgie junior nursery and to this day the club continues to focus on youngsters.
The club celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1997 and made the best signing in the history of the club that year when the club bought Chaplin Reserve for $250,000. This made our club one of a very few elite football clubs in Australia who owned their own ground.
In 2010 the club fielded 17 junior teams as well as an open age woman’s team. More attention will be put on attracting more girls to the club as female participation in football continues to soar. The club these days does not attract the kind of following it enjoyed in the 1960s, but still has a good and true band of loyal supporters who want to see this club survive for many years to come. These supporters are second and third generation descendants of Maltese migrants who came here some 50 and 60 years ago. The committee of the club is of similar mould, but all have one desire to ensure their children will follow in their foot steps and ensure George Cross lives on.
From the first year of the club’s existence the door has always been open to all nationalities. This policy is still very much adhered to these days as any visitor to the club can see on any match day. It certainly is a great sight seeing so many players from different backgrounds wearing the famous Red & White colours of the club.
President – Mark Sultana
Vice President – Darren Farrugia
Secretary – Liza Djuric (Calleja)
Treasurer – Leanne Jones
Social – Lewis Cassar