Wheeler Sparrow

Victorian Football Association
DOB: 1854 Ashburton?
DOD: 1908 Geelong
Games: 2 - 3
Goals: 1
Career: 1880

Wheeler 'Willie' Sparrow / F. Sparrow.

1876 the Geelong Advertiser reported that W. Sparrow captained the Geelong Second Twenty Side against Geelong Grammar on May 27 on the Argyle Street ground.
(May 29 p3)

1877 to 1879
Wheeler Sparrow was the captain of the Creswick Football Club for three years between 1877 and 1879, after coming from Geelong to work as a junior bank manager for the Australasia Bank. At age 21 he made Creswick into a great side, playing sides like East Melbourne and Geelong and Ballarat. In 1880 the year Wheeler left, Creswick Football Club was admitted into the VFA. His picture is taken from the 1878 Creswick Team photo.

The Ballarat football club who was a senior VFA side challenged Creswick to a match, their 15 against Creswicks 20 which they had just done against Clunes beating them 4-0 and Talbot beating them 6-0 but Creswick refused and would only play them 20 on 20. Ballarat accepted and Creswick beat them 1-0, not happy with the result Ballarat invited Creswick to come to Ballarat and play them on their ground but after Creswick said they could not get their team to travel to Ballarat, another game was organised in Creswick which resulted in a controversial draw 1-1. So now Creswick had to honour Ballarat's invitation and venture into Ballarat and as the Ballarat locals were talking about a six or eight goal to nil win before the game they had changed their tune to the "greatest country team in the colony"  when the half time score was Creswick 2 to Ballarat 0. Ballarat went on to win the match 3-2 in the failing light. Because Creswick had played so well against Ballarat they then had offers to play Essendon, Carlton, Geelong and East Melbourne eventually playing East Melbourne twice at home and Geelong on numerous occasions both home and away. In 1880 the year Wheeler Sparrow left, Creswick was admitted into the VFA.

1880 June 26
The Argus has an F. Sparrow named in the Carlton team to play Norwood at the East Melbourne ground.

1880 July 17
Sparrow played in the victory against Geelong at the East Melbourne Cricket Ground.
In front of a crowd of 10,000, Sparrow kicked one of the five goals the Blues scored, to nil.
The Geelong Advertiser (July 19) reporting on the match against Carlton on the East Melbourne ground said that Sparrow was a former Geelong player.

1880 July 31
Sparrow played in the match against the Hamilton Football Club at the East Melbourne C. G.
Carlton won 5-1.

1880 W. Sparrow played in a few matches now and again throughout the season.
Scored 1 goal during the 1880 season.
(The Footballer, 1880 p23,65)

1881 W. Sparrow went back to Geelong.

1900 April
Wheeler Sparrow of Riddles Creek is suing John Small of Geelong for medical negligence over a shoulder operation.
(Sunbury News April 28 p2)

1908 Wheeler Sparrow interred at New General Cemetery Geelong,
Died 13th October, aged 52 son of late Joseph Wheeler and Jean Sparrow.

Wheeler Sparrow played between 33 - 42 games for Geelong

A player named G. Sparrow was Richmond captain circa 1895.
Blueseum:Pre VFL Players

With thanks to Peter Fontana on the information and picture of Wheeler and his time at Creswick.
Contributors to this page: blueycarlton and Jarusa .
Page last modified on Tuesday 18 of July, 2023 14:35:24 AEST by blueycarlton.

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