The history of football in the Salisbury area can be traced back to the early to mid 1880’s. A Salisbury team competed in both local competitions and primarily in the Gawler League. Photographic records of this early period date back to 1907. There is some speculation that a photo from 1899 exists. With the building of a pavilion at Salisbury Oval in 1913 a base was created for the fledgling club. In the 1920’s a club status was created with the keeping of club Committee minutes and financial accounts kept in trust by the current Committee. The first Life Membership of the club was awarded in 1927. During the first half of the 20th Century the club had different variations of names and guernsey designs. In the mid 1950’s the club adopted the Collingwood strip and the nick name “The Magpies”. The club became affiliated with the newly formed Central District Football Association in 1960, hence ending it’s long association with the Gawler League. Until the demise of this Association (which included the Northern Metropolitan Fl) in 1994 the club fielded strong senior and junior sides. In 1995 it was accepted into the SAAFL and has progressed from D7 in 1997 to D5 in 2002. With its 125th approaching the club can be proud of existing over 3 different centuries and can look forward to the future with confidence.
Salisbury historian John Lewis in his book Salisbury S.A.: A History of Town and District writes that the first land purchases in the Salisbury area occurred in the 1840s and settlement took place soon after. It is generally agreed that football was first played in Salisbury in the early 1880s on various ovals depending on the state of the surfaces. It is was not known until recently when the Salisbury Football Club was formed The first photo of the team exists for 1899. In July 2003 the Club was fortunate to acquire 6 team photographs from a deceased estate, the photographs having been found in a garage at Taperoo. One was a photograph of the 1937 premiership team stating that it was the Club’s first premiership, whilst a photo of the 1948 semi finals team states that the Club was founded in 1883.
Salisbury Oval was established in the early part of the 20th century and the pavilion constructed in 1913 with the assistance of the local gymnasium club. During this period the title of the club varied including such names as Salisbury Star and Salisbury Rovers. Business people such as the Heidenreich and Prettejohn families were also involved in club activities. After the Second World War the club joined the Gawler League winning two premierships and changing its colours to vertical black and white stripes and adopting the “Magpies” logo. The club also won four premierships in the C.D.F.A. during the late ’60s/early ’70s and was again successful in the 1980s. When the Northern Metropolitan League folded in 1995 the Club joined the amateurs in A6, then won premierships in Division 7 in 1997 (‘A’s and ‘B’s) and Division 6 in 2001. John Demasi holds the record for games played with 263.
A History of the South Australian Amateur Football League 1911-1994, Fred Bloch © 1995