The inauguration date of the club is officially 19 June 1874, and it adopted the name "South Melbourne Football Club" four weeks later, on 15 July. In 1880, South Melbourne amalgamated with the nearby Albert Park Football Club.
19 June 1874
Blood Stained Angels
The last VFL match played at Lake Oval was on 29 August 1981, when they were defeated by 33 points by North Melbourne in front of 8484 fans.
The club relocated to Sydney in 1982, making it the first club in the competition to be based outside Victoria.
Cheer, Cheer The Red and The White,
Honour the name by day and by night,
Lift that noble banner high,
Shake down the thunder from the sky
Whether the odds be great or small,
Swans will go in and win over all
While her loyal sons are marching
Onwards to victory!
To the tune of the Victory March, the fight song of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in South Bend, Indiana, USA,
“ Aut Vincere Aut Mori ”
Either to Conquer or to Die
1897 – 1981
In its original oval configuration, the Lake Oval served most prominently as the home ground for South Melbourne, in both the VFA and the VFL.
When electric floodlighting was installed at the venue during the 1950s, it became one of the first venues in Melbourne to regularly host night football matches, including the night premiership series between 1956 and 1971.
Night premiership matches in the VFA in 1957 and 1958 and night interstate matches, including many matches at the 1958 Interstate Carnival were also held here.
The ground record crowd was set on 30 July 1932 when 41,000 turned out to see Carlton defeat South Melbourne by nine points.
The club used the ground, one of the best in the league, for home games until the end of the 1981 VFL season.
Initially playing in the VFA, the club joined seven other clubs in founding the breakaway VFL in 1896. It won premierships in 1909, 1918 and 1933.