Lower Murray's century-long soccer history told in book

The Lower Murray's century-long history of soccer - or association football - has been covered in great detail in a recently-released book created by David Trenam.

Mr Trenam has lived in Murray Bridge and been associated with the Murray Bridge United Soccer Club for nearly three decades, and his love for the game and region led to the creation of 100 Years of Football in the Lower Murray.

Working with contacts and conducting research have made this book possible; it covers the last 100 years of football in the Lower Murray and how it reflects football and society in the wider South Australian community.

Four years' worth of work was put into the book's 400-plus pages.

"I've been involved with Murray Bridge United since 1991, and in the first 10 years I would talk to the old guys around the club who played in the 70s and got a real feeling of the good times they had," Mr Trenam said.

"In 2016, they were all starting to get old, in their 80s and 90s, and I thought all these stories would be lost soon.

"I started talking to them and recording stories of what they experienced."

He learned a lot about the history of soccer in the area, including the first recorded time the sport was played locally: in October 1920, two Adelaide teams played at the Murray Bridge Showgrounds as a fundraiser for the hospital.

During the curtain-raiser, one team was made up of 31 local women, the other was local men - and both teams wore skirts.

"A lot of material was sourced through the Murray Bridge and District Historical Society, with help especially from Noeline McLaren, whose husband Harold McLaren was responsible for a sporting column in the Murray Valley Standard, and the collection of newspaper articles relating to football that is held by the Murray Bridge and District Historical Society," Mr Trenam said.

The book features content not only about Murray Bridge United, but also other current and former SAASL clubs including Murray Bridge City, Mannum, and Mobilong, plus other clubs and various international touring teams who played in the Lower Murray.

Anyone who would like to buy a copy can contact David Trenam on 0438 876 435.

All proceeds go towards developing the game at grassroots level in the Lower Murray.

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