Our Story

Dunbar Rovers Football Club is an incorporated association, which has become one of the leading clubs in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs Football Association (ESFA). The Club was founded in 1991 with just one team and has grown to now be home to more than 800 members who play in one of our 19 senior teams or 18 junior teams. Our members comprise of male and female players, competing in junior and senior competitions, ranging in age from 4 years to 65 plus.  The name originates from the pub the founding members frequented post-match on Sunday afternoon, The Old Dunbar Hotel, 27 Renny Street, Paddington (before its doors closed).

Independently operated and run, the Club has established a reputation for high standards for both it’s on and off field behaviour, success in high-ranking competitions, smart appearance at matches and in the operation of a professionally managed organisation.  Dedicated and passionate volunteers work quietly behind the scenes receiving steer from the Clubs Board of Directors. Our Coaches and Team Managers dedicate their time and effort to ensure our teams are out on the pitch playing football as well as supporting numerous events put on by the party spirits on the social committee.  They also see that no matter what the occasion appropriate attention is given to The Dunbar Way, an invaluable guide to our behaviour.

Since its inception, the Club 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. The ESFA Club is funded by a combination of players’ registrations fees and generous financial support from our Sponsors.

The Clubs first contribution into Junior football commenced in 2008 through an official charitable initiative via a partnership with the Football Project of Indochina Starfish Foundation (ISF), sponsoring a under 14 boys and girls teams in Cambodia.  In 2012, with support from our sponsor Link Market Services, the Club established a fully sponsored weekly program at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence Redfern.  Local girls and boys were provided an introduction into football along with free school holiday programs.  In 2013, the Club entered its first junior team into the ESFA competition and ran a training hub for children aged 5 to 7.  Starting with only one team back in 2012 is now in excess of 18 teams, which includes our: development squad National Premier League (NPL) pathway program; the hub for our youngest members and the Dunbar Community Football after school program.

In 2015, the Club entered its senior men and an under 20 team into State League and won promotion into the FNSW NPL 3 in 2016.  In 2016, expansion continued into representative youth boy’s competitions via FNSW NPL 2.  2018 see’s expansion will be via the FNSW Girls Conference league.  At NPL and Girls Conference Level, the Club have changed the football landscape by providing ‘fee free football’ for all selected players based on a sponsorship-funded model.

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 Dunbar Rovers 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 Rovers surprises the punters and win the Metropolitan Cup as a Division 2 team defeating ESFA’s team of the decade, Pagewood in the final.
2002 Dunbar Rovers 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, Marc Coughlan and John Sweeney all recognised for their Club achievements.
2007 Foundation member of ESFA’s Premier League on Saturdays.  ESFA Premier League Champions.
2008 Dunbar Rovers 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 Rovers 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 Rovers Juniors kick off in ESFA.
NCIE secured as home ground No2.
2014 Dunbar Rovers wins NSW Champion of Champions for the second time, another ESFA first.
2015 Dunbar Rovers Women’s first grade win FNSW State Cup along with the double in the league.  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 again make ESFA history this time becoming the first ESFA Open Womens team to win FNSW Champion of Champions.  Our First grade men’s team, unlucky having taken out the double in the league.  Our Dunbar Rovers State League are promoted into National Premier League including youth teams offering free football to selected talent.
2017 Moore Park Synthetic secured as Saturday home ground No3.
Since the start of the ESFA Mens Championship (Premier League) in 2007, Dunbar Rovers top Sunday Mens team take out the League for the first time.
ESFA Club commenced running 2 Junior development squads, we pride ourselves on being a true football development club with a pathway to NPL.
2018 Dunbar Rovers wins NSW Champion of Champions two more times!!   All Age Women win their second title in three years, another ESFA first.  Over 35 men win the title for the first time, 10 years since some of the squad won the Clubs first Champion of Champions, 

Dunbar Rovers top Sunday Mens league defend their title.

Dunbar Rovers accepted into FNSW Girls Conference League, providing fee free football to players selected.