General Footy Writing: The Roys are back in town

By Adam Muyt
Royboys.  It’s got to be one of the best nicknames in Australian football, conjuring up all sorts of affectionate images of a footy club and the people who followed it, most blessed with a particular (peculiar?) outlook and attitude.  And now it’s the title of a doco having its first airing at this year’s St Kilda Film Festival.
Royboys tells the story of the return of the Fitzroy colours to Brunswick Street Oval.  Using the narrative of the VAFA Fitzroy v South Melbourne “heritage”’ game played in 2008, the film delves into the history of the Fitzroy footy club and the community that supported it, and continues to support it, albeit in the Ammos.
Mick Wannenmacher wrote, produced and directed it, along with Brett Swain.  “We both live near Brunswick Street and Brett rang me on the day of the match, said it sounded interesting and to bring the camera along.  And we just wandered around filming things, the match, the dressing rooms and interviewing all these different Fitzroy people at the ground.”
Mick told me they weren’t interested in bagging the AFL or the politics behind the merger with Brisbane back in ‘96.  “We just wanted to celebrate local footy and where the club’s come from, what it’s become and where it’s going.”
And what it’s become is something we can all marvel at.  Some Royboys say the club lives on in Brisbane, others that it’s in Melbourne, back at its original home.  And many have no problem merging these two realities into one single appreciation for the colours, connections and sense of community, wherever, and however, they emerge.  Yes, the Roys are still a presence in footy, still connecting people.  Go Roys!
Royboys screens twice during the St. Kilda Film Festival, on Thursday 28 May at 6pm and again on Saturday 30 May at 4.30pm.  Details can be found at:  www.stkildafilmfestival.com.au/view_film?filmid=1510
And a short of the film can be found at:  www.vimeo.com/4641436

About Adam Muyt

Born into rugby league, found aussie rules, fell for soccer, flirts a little with union. Author of 'Maroon & Blue - recollections and tales of the Fitzroy Football Club' (Vulgar Press, 2006). Presently working on a history of postwar Dutch migrants and soccer.

Comments

  1. I loved this film. My face was aching from smiling so much by the time it finished. I hope it gets a wider release.

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