The Tykes and the Unicorns- Relegations

The Tykes and the Unicorns


I must be like the “kiss of death” for a couple of football teams. One team represents the school I went to some sixty years ago. The other team represented a town I visited in Yorkshire about thirty years ago.


The clubs are thousands of kilometers apart and they play a different code of footy. The Tykes are the Barnsley Football Club and they play in the English League One, the third level of the English Football Association. The Unicorns are the football club of Melbourne High School Old Boys playing in the Division One of the Victorian Amateur Football Association, the fourth level of the VAFA.


Some dozen years ago both these clubs were in the premier division of their respective competitions.


MHSOB was actually on top of the VAFA A Grade ladder after defeating University Blacks at the University ground and were looking good for a final spot. It was actually noted in the sporting pages of “The Age” at the time, that it was the first time in many years that an old student team from a state school was on top of the A grade VAFA ladder.


The Tykes had made it to the Premier Division after a long battle and for many weeks were holding their own against the might of Manchester, Chelsea, Liverpool etc.


MHSOB suffered a couple of nail biting defeats late in that season and with injuries to key players didn’t make the finals that year,


Barnsley battled gamely in the Premier for two more years before dropping to The Championship.


MHSOB dropped to B Grade a year later and won enough games to stay in for a couple of years.


Barnsley hung in the Championship for a two years, just managing to avoid relegation in their second year by the slimmest of margins, on the last match of the year.


The Old Boys eventually were relegated to C Grade, where it didn’t get any easier for the club. Their wins were few and far between but enough to stay put, which was helped one year when one of the clubs committed some offence and were penalized, allowing MHSOB to stay in C


Barnsley dropped to League One this year and stated the season with two wins and a draw and were up near the top of the ladder. Just as I was dreaming of promotion the Tykes lost the next seven games and are down in the relegation zone again.


MHSOB were relegated to Division One this year and finished mid ladder, so avoided another drop. It would be great to see this football club, which has such a great history becomes a power again in the Ammos. I don’t have any answers but I hope someone down there in Forest Hill, South Yarra does.


As for the Tykes, they face an enormous mountain to climb. Footballers in the Premier get paid money that makes your head spin. Clubs from small communities like Barnsley just can’t compete. I hope all those drinking at The Fitzwilliam keep up chins, I’m thinking of them.


Rod Oaten




  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Rod, perhaps the Unicorns could bring back Daics for another run.

  2. Good idea ‘Swish’, however if my memory serves me correctly, Daics never actually put the boots on in anger, because the commercial radio station he was on threatened him with the sack if he was injured.

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