HISTORY OF THE LEAGUE
The Mid-Gippsland Football League was formed in 1935 after another minor league in the area folded. The Morwell-Yallourn Football League folded due to a lack of a quorem at their AGM. Mr Jack Sinclair, senior vice-president of the MYFA sought applications to form a new league. On Thursday April 4, 1935 delegates from Boolarra, Brown Coal Mine (Yallourn North), Morwell Reserves, Morwell Bridge, Yallourn Imperials and Yinnar met to lay the foundations of a new league.
The first president was local dentist George Elder-Berwick, who had been President of the Geelong and Queenscliff Football Clubs. When he arrived in Gippsland in 1933 to set up his dental practice he joined local sporting clubs and became involved with them reaching the heights of President at the Morwell Football Club, the Central Gippsland Football League and the Morwell Bowling Club. Elder-Berwick had also donated the Best and Fairest Gold Cup to the Central Gippsland Football League until 1936 but when Morwell footballer Fred Rodda tragically died from injuries received the CGFL decided to rename their B & F award the Rodda Medal. Elder-Berwick agreed to the change and then donated his Cup to the Premiers in the MGFL. The MGFL's best and fairest award was named the Elder-Berwick Medal in 1946 as a mark of respect for one of the founding fathers of the league.
The first matches of the MGFL was held on May 4, 1935 with a ten round season, Morwell Reserves (Seconds) became etched into the history of the MGFL by becoming the league's first premiers when they defeated Boolarra 7-11 to 4-7 at Morwell. Incidentally the gate recorded at the time was 27 pounds.
The league went on from strength to strength with two more teams in 1936 namely Haunted Hills (Moe Seconds) and Thorpdale who had come from the CGFL. Morwell Bridge "retired" in 1937 only to reappear in 1938. The league were reduced to five teams in 1940 due to the advent of WW2 but at the reformation in 1946 there were five new teams (Morwell Remnants, Hazelwood, Brown Coal Mine Youth Club, Brown Coal Mine Imperials and Hill End-Willow Grove Rovers).
Due to the war years club jumpers were difficult to obtain and Thorpdale had to use brown/gold (Hawthorn style) when they won the 1946 flag. The MGFL played their first representative match as a curtain raiser to the 1946 grand final when they played and defeated a combined RAAF team. Proceeds from the match when to the "Food for Britain Fund".
Erica joined the league in 1947 and many colourful stories were told of the exploits of the men and women of Erica. In 1947 the two Brown Coal Mine teams amalgamated and Morwell Remnants disbanded. Over the next couple of years teams from Dumbalk and Mirboo North entered the league and in 1955 a reserve grade was introduced. By the 1950's Hazelwood became the dominant club winning 50 successive games and three flags. Mirboo North became the first club to win seniors and reserves premierships in the one year (1956). The years from 1964 to 1973 belonged to Yinnar, although not once topping the ladder they created a unique record of not missing the finals and winning six flags and being runners-up twice.
Thirds were introduced in 1964 and fourths in 1970 which gave the clubs a breeding ground for future players. Maryvale joined the league in 1966, Trafalgar came across from the LVFL in 1969 as did Mirboo North from the South Gippsland FL. Morwell East, a brand new club were formed as a junior team in the TDJFL but in 1973 entered a senior team in the MGFL. Yarragon, in controversial circumstances joined the MGFL in 1977 and were an instant success taking out the flag in their first year in the league and their first flag in 56 years. THe MGFL lost three clubs to the LVFL namely Newborough, Hazelwood/Churchill and Yallourn/Yallourn North, but after a spell with the "big" boys Newborough and YYN returned. Hazelwood/Churchill joined the North Gippsland FL. Over the league's history 24 teams have played in the MGFL (Boolarra 1935-2009, Brown Coal Mine Youth Club 1946, Brown Coal Mine Rovers 1947, Dumbalk 1955-57, Erica 1947-56, 1958, Haunted Hills/Hernes Oak 1936-1939, Hazelwood (Hazelwood/Churchill, Churchill) 1946-1983, Hill End 1946-2009, Leongatha 1961-1964, Maryvale 1966-1984, Mirboo North 1955-1957, 1969-2009, Morwell Bridge 1935, 1937-1952, 1954, Morwell East 1973-2009, Morwell 1962-1963, Morwell Seconds 1935-1946, Morwell Remnants 1946-1947, Morwell Rovers 1950-1957, Newborough 1957-1978, 2009, Thorpdale 1936-2009, Trafalgar 1969-2009, Yallourn Imperials 1935-1939, Yallourn North 1935-1976, Yallourn/Yallourn North 2009, Yarragon 1976-2009, Yinnar 1935-2009.