Queanbeyan City FC celebrates it's 50th birthday

Members of the 1968 first grade Queanbeyan City FC squad, shortly before they changed their colours to the current red and yellow. Back from left: Mile Mafilovski, Tane Dukeski, Zlate Kolevski, Chris Martinoski, Trayche Peetkovski, Dande Jovanovski. Front from left: Vane Micev, Jonche Marinceski, Vic Tsakalos, John Vanderhor, Done Dimov and Boris Sarris. Photo: supplied.
Members of the 1968 first grade Queanbeyan City FC squad, shortly before they changed their colours to the current red and yellow. Back from left: Mile Mafilovski, Tane Dukeski, Zlate Kolevski, Chris Martinoski, Trayche Peetkovski, Dande Jovanovski. Front from left: Vane Micev, Jonche Marinceski, Vic Tsakalos, John Vanderhor, Done Dimov and Boris Sarris. Photo: supplied.

Queanbeyan's longest running football club is set to celebrate it's 50th birthday this weekend, and according to Queanbeyan City FC co-founder Done Dimov, it was no easy feat getting the team up and running.

"It was very hard," Dimov said.

"Already the other teams had been here for many years and they had good players, players they were bringing over from Europe."

It was not only the high standard of play coming from the more established clubs in the region, but fiscal and equipment shortages almost toppled efforts to register the Macedonian club with the ACT soccer federation.

"It was not easy because we had no one to support us, just the people from our villages in Macedonia were coming to support us," Dimov said.

"The club also had no shoes, no dresses (kits) and no premises."

A community effort prevailed, and the club raised enough money to purchase equipment and uniforms, and the rent fee of thirty pounds was paid from Dimov's own pocket in order to establish a space for the football team to meet.

This resulted in the team registering itself to the federation's second division on Monday March 17, 1966.

Initially going by the name of Queanbeyan Macedonia, at a time when team names were allowed to reflect the ethnic backgrounds of its followers, the team was quickly elevated to the first division after the Hungarian squad was forced to fold.

Dimov attributed the longevity of the club to it's strong community ties, and he is set to deliver a speech at the Queanbeyan City FC Gala Dinner on Saturday, February 20.

As part of the anniversary celebrations, the club will play host to teams from Sydney, southern NSW and the ACT, who will all take part in a mini tournament.

Tickets to the gala dinner cost $30 and it is open to anyone interested in celebrating the history and heritage of the footballing club.

For more information, please contact club president Zmejko Trajkovski on 0407 921 666.

UPDATE: A previous version of this story incorrectly listed Done Dimov as the inaugural president of Queanbeyan City FC. Mr Dimov was one of three founding members of the club, alongside Vic Tsalakos and Angelo Hadzis.

This story City brings up 50 first appeared on The Queanbeyan Age.