Main content
We are Port Adelaide

10 things you probably don’t know about the Port Adelaide Football Club…

145 years ago the Port Adelaide Cricket Club became the Port Adelaide Football and Cricket Club.

While the Cricket Club lasted only a couple more years, the footy club grew and grew to eventually help founder the SA Football Association (now the SANFL) and eventually join the AFL.

We celebrate Port Adelaide's 145th birthday with 10 facts about the club you probably didn't know...

1. It took us 32 years to go colourless…

That’s right. Port Adelaide’s first colours were blue and white, pink (often worn as block colour uniforms against local opponents), and then magenta and blue.

Black and white were adopted for the first time in 1902, which is when local supporters started calling us ‘the Magpies’.

2. Speaking of Magpies…

Did you know the white number panel is meant to reflect the back of the local white-backed Magpie species tibicen telonocua, which is also known as the “Piping Shrike”, which appears on the badge of South Australia. Just keeping on the theme of symbolism, while the front of our traditional SANFL guernsey is often called the 'prison bar' or 'picket fence' design, it's actually symbolic of the wharves of Port Adelaide.

3. A few nicknames…

Before being called ‘the Magpies’, Port Adelaide has had a number of different nicknames.

We were known as the seasiders and seasidemen in the early days, along with cockledivers and less complimentary ‘Mudholians’ (probably because of that other affectionate named for Port Adelaide; ‘Port Misery’). We were known as the Magentas from around 1880 through to federation and, as well as the Magpies or ‘Maggies’ after 1902, we’ve been called Port, Ports, the Portonians, the Ports and probably every variation on that theme you can think of. Nowadays we’re the Power in the AFL and have a few younger fans even using a particularly unusual-shaped green fruit as a nickname…

4. This also means…

We won our first premiership wearing rose pink jackets.

Bet the boys are looking forward to that heritage round…

5. In the AFL…

Our first club captain and home guernsey didn’t feature in our first game. Brayden Lyle was acting captain in place of the suspended Gavin Wanganeen and we wore our away guernsey in Round 1, 1997. That's Brayden soaring for a mark above.

6. A sparse utensil cupboard

Port Adelaide has only finished at the bottom of the ladder of any competition in which it participates in colonial football competitions – in 1886, 1896 and 1900. That’s right, Australia didn’t even exist the last time we got the wooden spoon!

7. Common names

Quinn, Robertson, Davis and Williams are the most common surnames on the club’s records. Not all of the men to bear these names are related to each other, though, but many families have played for the club over the last 145 years.

8. Important sites

George Ireland, John Rann and Robert Leicester first met to discuss the formation of the Port Adelaide Football Club on North Parade in April 1870, just near where the current-day British Hotel is located.

9. Talk about rivalry!

Port Adelaide has played more games against Norwood than any other club – 403 to be precise. The ledger is finely balanced as well, with Port narrowly leading the Redlegs 195 to 191.  17 games have been drawn between the two sides.

10. First contact

In 1881, a touring Carlton team visited SA and played Port Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval. Port’s first tour of Victoria occurred later that year, and the Sale Football Club was the first to be played by the club outside of SA’s borders.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs