The Kew Rovers football Club was established in 1971 by Father Kevin Nicholson who at the time was the Priest at local parish primary school, Sacred Heart to provide his students the opportunity to play football and have some fun. The club commenced with one team, all from the local school and some as young as five years old.
Whilst the team trained at Sacred Heart, match games were always played at Stradbroke Park and the team played in the same guernsey then as it does today - the distinctive royal blue with the white sash.
The team was coached by Bryan “BJ” O’Shaughnessy who together with Father Nicholson founded the club. With no means of funding, the club relied entirely on canteen sales to meet it’s costs. It was very much a family affair as it still is today, with Bryan’s wife, Sally acting as secretary and canteen manager. His sons, Kevin and Tim assisted with the coaching, and even one of the O'Shaughnessy daughters ran the boundary!
The club commenced playing in the Hawthorn District Junior Football League. By 1978, the club had expanded so much and with the desire to play in a higher standard of competition, Kew Rovers joined the larger and more powerful Doncaster and Yarra Junior Football League. By 1981 Kew Rovers was the strongest club in the competition, fielding eight teams from Under 11’s to Under 15’s.
Kew Rovers has had an enormous impact on the football community with many players going on to play at the highest level. For example, James Morrissey, went on to play in 3 premierships with AFL side Hawthorn Football Club.The influence of the club has also been felt in Associated Public Schools football, especially at Xavier College, as well as in the Victorian Amateur Football Association. Currently, the Old Xaverians Football Club train and play at Stradbroke Park.
BJ coached the Kew Rovers team for eleven years and had a significant impact on the development of hundreds of young boys, both on and off the field. The club recognises his pivotal role in the foundation of the Club, and its continued development by honouring in his memory a Perpetual Trophy. This trophy is awarded annually for Outstanding Contributions to the Club.
The Kew Rovers Football Club is a family orientated club. The focus is on having fun, developing some footy skills and reaping the benefits of participating in a team sport.