Our Story

Dunbar Rovers Football Club has become one of the leading clubs in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs Football Association (ESFA). The Club was founded in 1991 with one team and has grown to now field 15 teams in Sydney plus sponsoring two junior teams in Cambodia.

At the highest level Dunbar currently has a unique position with our Premiers team winning the ESFA premier league championship three times since its inception in 2007. The Prems team is supported by eight other all age men’s teams who compete at various levels in ESFA. Over the past ten years Dunbar has consistently been prominent at the top of ESFA’s women’s competition and we have also been competitive in the older version of the game with our two Over 35 teams and for the first time in 2011, an Over 45 team.

We are rightly proud of our on-field record: 35 grand final appearances, 17 club grand final wins and 18 club minor premierships. All achieved in style with Dunbar’s trademark pink collar.

Since its inception, Dunbar has always featured strongly in players’ lives both on and off the field. The Club has become a source of great friendships and business contacts which we regard as an important contribution to our success. We now have over 270 playing members many of whom have played at Dunbar for well over five years.

The on-field success is matched by the numerous events put on by the party spirits on the social committee including various functions with our lead sponsor The Village Inn in Paddington. The end of season Presentation Night is always spectacular and consistently attracts acclaim from many notables in Australian football.

Dunbar is independently operated and run by a dedicated organising committee who have achieved the fine art of running an amateur Club very professionally. The committee is supported by the team managers and coaches who dedicate their time and effort to ensure the teams get on the pitch. The Club is funded by a combination of players’ registrations fees and generous financial support from the Club sponsors. The club attracts players from all over the world with the majority now living in the Eastern Suburbs. A recent survey by The Seed profiled the members to be aged between 23 to 59 mainly 29 to 36 with professional backgrounds in managerial positions.

Community contribution is an important part of Dunbar. We support boys and girls teams of Cambodian children to use football to bring new direction into their lives. We also support local community needs and this has included Lou’s Place, a safehouse for women in Kings Cross, the McGrath Foundation and in 2009 the Victorian Bush Fire Appeal.

 

1991 An Englishman, a Scotsman, and a Welshman walk into a bar. This is not a joke, this is the story of Dunbar Rovers, a football club founded in the rugby heartland of Sydney. The bar was the Old Dunbar Hotel, Paddington, the very first sponsor.
With the name coined, the kit was then designed with the sky blue of NSW and the white quarters of a Rover.   The pink collar added the flare to go faster.  Even Paul Smith would wear the shirt on many occasions in future years.
We registered our lucky band of 12 players with SESFA (now ESFA) and in April 1991, we kicked off in Division 3.  ESFA had only three divisions in those days, so humble origins.
1993 Dunbar Rovers wins the double going undefeated in the league and winning a 17 penalty shootout in the semis.   The Cat purred.
First international tour to Wellington, NZ winning the local curtain raiser 7-1 before the British Lions scored a rare win over the All Blacks 20-7. Memorable weekend.
1994 Some deft footwork secures Reg Bartley as home sweat home.  
Dunbar Rovers doubles in size going from one to two teams.
1996 GODs set up as Gentleman of Dunbar for those coming down from the pinnacle of their playing days.
1997 GODs become a foundation member of ESFA’s new O35 competition.
1998 A Dunbar expands to four teams.  Peter Hennessy joins the Club to be come future President of ESFA.  Serious stuff.
1999 Women get in on the act and start playing in the newly formed ESFA women’s competition. A midtable season laying the foundations for future successes.
Dunbar surprises the punters and wins the Metropolitan Cup as a Division 2 team defeating ESFA’s team of the decade, Pagewood in the final.
2002 Dunbar Women’s first of many ESFA Division 1 Premierships.
2005 Second international tour to Wellington.  We get beaten, so do the Lions.
2006 Hall of Fame established for Life Members of the Club.  Quintin Freeman and subsequently Sean Adams, Phil Muhlbauer, Peter Hennessy, Ken Taylor, Danny Fee and Marc Coughlan all recognised for their Club achievements.
2007 Foundation member of ESFA’s Premier League on Saturdays.  ESFA Premier League Champions.
2008 Dunbar becomes first ESFA team to win NSW Champion of Champions.
Dunbar Cambodia Charity established to fund three Dunbar teams of kids in Battambang.
2009 ESFA Premier League Champions, ESFA Cup winners and Premier League Grand winners at Sydney Football Stadium.
Dunbar plays in World Masters Championship. We didn’t win it.
2011 GODS foundation member of ESFA’s O45 division and win the double.
2012 Dunbar Juniors kick off in ESFA.
NCIE secured as home ground No2.
2014 Dunbar wins NSW Champion of Champions for the second time, another ESFA first.
2015 Dunbar Rovers State League set up to take Dunbar to new heights.  Defying gravity we win the league without losing a game.
2016 Dunbar Rovers SL promoted into National Premier League including youth development teams offering free football to selected talent.