In 1975 the Murwillumbah Brothers Football Club committee held a General Meeting of club members to decide to purchase eight acres of vacant land situated at the bottom of Dorothy St, with the vision of developing the land in to football playing fields in the future. The club had previously used the Murwillumbah Showground as it’s home ground, however were keen to establish their own ground and facilities. At the conclusion of the meeting, the members and the committee had decided to purchase the land. Over the following years through voluntary labour, the help and support of several local businesses and the community, the playing field was laid. Soon after came the dressing sheds, toilets and finally a canteen to cater for hungry supporters at the footy.
By the end of 1979, the field was fully prepared for use and regular training and competition games on the weekend commenced, culminating in the club hosting a Group 18 semi-final. The following year, in 1980, a General Meeting was again held to decide whether the club became fully incorporated and an application was made for a liquor license – which was subsequently granted in 1981. Training and competition fixtures continued until trading of the licensed club commenced in 1982, with the Brothers Junior Rugby League Football Club forming and making use of the ground and the facilities.
1989 and the years that followed were a pivotal era in the history of rugby league in Murwillumbah, with the disbanding of several local clubs including Old Boys, Brothers and South Murwillumbah. The decisions made for the progression of rugby league in our town resulted in the amalgamation of the playing groups and the formation of current NRRRL powerhouse the Murwillumbah Mustangs, who subsequently called Stan Sercombe Oval their home.
By the end of the 1990’s and with the Mustangs being the sole senior football club in town, the club decided to change the trading name of the licensed club to Murwillumbah Leagues Club, which remains to this day. In 1992, the Brothers Junior Rugby League Football Club decided they would follow the rationale of the senior club and amalgamated the junior teams in town and establishing the Murwillumbah Colts, with their headquarters at Dorothy St – where they also remain today.
Over the decades, many sports and associations have made use of the facilities at Dorothy St, including touch football, rugby union, soccer, cricket, hockey and an assortment of local schools and community groups. In 2012, the leagues club hosted its thirty-year anniversary celebrations where the playing fields were officially named “Bill Carroll Fields” in recognition of Bill’s tireless efforts as an administrator of rugby league and the leagues club over a forty year period. A leagues club man to the core (and despite calling time on his community service career at the club in late 2019) you can still find him at the club most Saturdays enjoying a pot of beer and a punt in the TAB.
The Murwillumbah Touch Association has been one of the main contributors to the patronage of the Licensed Club during its thirty-eight-year history. The association has been run by a minority of members, ably led by Lionel and Kathy Alexander over many years.
2019 was a watershed year in the history of the club, with four members of the Mustangs and four members of the Colts being elected to an eight-member Board of Directors responsible for ushering in a new era at Dorothy St. It also marked the return of senior football at Bill Carroll Fields, with the Mustangs hosting a pre-season trial game against the Runaway Bay Seagulls in March 2020; the first-time senior footballers had played at Dorothy St in over a decade.
In 2020, the back fields had a sign that read “Lionel Alexander Field” erected in front of them facing the car park, in honour and recognition of one of the founding Director’s service to the club and the game in Murwillumbah. As dedicated a servant of the club you are likely to meet, Lionel can still be spotted in the main bar polishing off a cold schooner of Toohey’s New – if he’s not on call.
In 2021, after significant resources and investment was committed to the downstairs function area, it was officially named “The Stable Bar” and is used frequently for private and club sanctioned functions.
In late 2021, 2020 Smokehouse BBQ took up residence in The Stable Bar, serving lunch to new and old guests every Sunday. Will and Christina are still around and have a much bigger smoker than they did before.
The licensed club has always been regarded as a family club and now, with the seniors and the juniors operating from the premises, the club will continue to prosper. The downstairs function area and upstairs amenities including a fully stocked bar, bistro, gaming, TAB, Foxtel and recently renovated kitchen gives our community and its clubs and associations a true community club to call home.
Our Board of Directors consists of eight representatives who are dedicated to the preservation of our club’s values and its family first culture and committed to the development of the club into the future.
Our Life Members are as important to the history and structure of our club as the literal foundations that support it, it is considered the highest honour the Murwillumbah Leagues Club can bestow on a member. Below are the current Life Members of both the Murwillumbah Leagues Club and Brothers Football Club.
We would like to pay our respects to our fallen life members who made valuable contributions over the years to the Murwillumbah Leagues Club. Without their dedication to their roles and their devotion to our club, we would not be where we are today.