Both sources agree however, that members of the BFC were drawn from the working classes - the men who worked in the factories along the Barwon - with finance being provided by those who owned the companies. The GFC by contrast was backed by the establishment - the graziers and various private schools in the district. Not surprisingly, the two clubs were bitter rivals, with several games in the 1870s ending in allegations of poor sportsmanship leveled against BFC and biased umpiring favouring GFC. A final match between the two teams in September, 1878 ended in a riot which continued in the streets of Geelong later in the day.
Regardless, both teams competed well against Melbourne teams and also in the Geelong, Ballarat & Western District Challenge Cup.
In 1876, BFC adopted a guernsey with blue and white hoops, but were forced to wear pink sashes to differentiate them from the GFC who as the holders of the Challenge Cup, had priority, having adopted a similar jumper a month or so after Barwon. BFC later adopted light blue jumpers with a red and white V.
|The frst Geelong Highland Gathering was held on the "plains|
of South Geelong" east of Bellerine St, on or near their eventual
home - the Commun-na-Feinne Reserve, also the home
ground of Barwon Football Club
BFC by contrast began to struggle financially, lasting only a couple of seasons in the VFA. Early records show that they played at the Commun-na-Feinne Reserve (located between Balliang and Fyans Street in South Geelong and bordered on the west by Bellerine Street), as early as 1877 where they beat an undermanned Carlton. They were not allowed to fence the venue, meaning that they could not charge admission to their games - an important source of revenue.
|South Barwon Football|
The club colours are remeniscent of the old Barwon colours - a blue jersey with a red and a white V around the collar. From its beginnings in the 19th century as the club for those who toiled in the factories which lined the banks of the Barwon River, South Barwon today has evolved into one of the strongest teams in the GFL.