St Kilda Football Club Heritage Museum

Where: St Kilda Football Club, 32-60 Linton St, Moorabbin
Hours: Mon-Fri 10:30am-3:30pm or by appointment
Web: www.saints.com.au
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It’s no secret that St Kilda Football Club has a significant history in the City of Kingston. The historic Moorabbin Oval, also known by its sponsorship name of Linen House Oval, served as St Kilda’s home ground from 1965 to 1992, with the club continuing to use the ground as its predominant training and administrative base until 2011.

St Kilda ceased playing home games at Moorabbin Oval after 1992 and began playing home games at Waverley Park. Today, the grounds are still used for team training sessions as well as games by VFL teams including the Sandringham Zebras Football Club and the Sandringham Dragons junior football club.

Below the pokie machines in the buzzing Gaming Room and away from the green is where pieces of St Kilda’s rich and long history are kept. At the Heritage Museum, every square inch from the floor to the ceiling, is covered with genuine pieces of St Kilda football memorabilia dating back as far as the club’s inception in 1873.

Pointing to a set of frames, Heritage Museum Coordinator Geordie Day points out photographs from the Saints’ first and last home games at the Moorabbin Oval in 1965 and 1992 respectively.

“The oval drew major crowds then, tens of thousands of people came down here to watch the games,”Day says. “The Saints’first home game in Moorabbin drew 51,370 people and that record was never broken. At the time it was the third largest ground by capacity in Melbourne, behind the MCG and the Princes Park Football Ground.”

Displayed in glass frames were team jerseys going as far back as the early 1900s, slightly worn by age but otherwise still in great condition. A Saints historian of sorts, Day attributed the change of colours in a couple of the older jerseys – from black, red and yellow to the current black, red and white to a move by the club to distance themselves from the German flag during World War I.

The many tokens and emblems of the Saints’rich history is a treat to see for die-hard fans and the casual footy spectator alike, as decades worth of team photos, medals, trophies, and other merchandise in mint condition provide a glimpse into the team’s history in Moorabbin. The Heritage Museum is still collecting all kinds of memorabilia, so fans wishing to make a donation are encourage to contact the museum coordinator to allow the club to preserve and present the history of the St Kilda Football Club for years to come.

Words by Delima Shanti

Photos by  Jesse Thompson