Mac Sparke Oval, Warburton, Victoria

Photos and text by Jeff Lawton

Home of the Warburton-Millgrove Football Club, the Warburton oval is one of the most historic and scenic sporting venues in the Yarra Valley. On the day I visited, the scoreboard was being accurately attended to by a group of cheerful ladies.

The ground is located within a loop of the Yarra River, meaning that the river flows alongside the ground on three sides.

The slopes of Mount Donna Buang rise to the north, while Mount Little Joe lies to the south-west. (I climbed Mount Little Joe last year but the trees rather impeded the view of the ground.)

Mount Little Joe

The old wooden pavilion is the most striking feature of the ground, while the playing surface slopes quite substantially from the eastern goal to the western goal.

Warburton-Millgrove FC was formed by merger in 1967 and is known as the ‘Burras’. The club’s jumper features black, white and royal blue panels.

The club’s website has plenty of football and netball photos and a good history. Mac Sparke Oval is in Dammans Road.

Jeff Lawton is Scoreboard Pressure’s official Yarra Valley correspondent. He has also contributed many invaluable historic photos to other Scoreboard Pressure stories, including Windy Hill, the Albert Ground, Oakleigh and Geelong West.

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  1. Lovely work here once again. I love Warburton, my nana and pa had their caravan permanently parked there and as such we were down there a fair bit…footy ground included.
    The shots of the pavilion with the smoke rising amongst the trees is what footy is all about. And the ladies don’t fit the scoreboard attendee stereotype…was the canteen manned by one man of few words and great powers of concentration?

  2. Thanks Jeff. Mac was my grandfather his father and uncle cleared the original site. Mac was fire captain ( before cfa) in Warburton and is remembered for saving the town during the 39 fires.

    • Thank you, Michael. Clearing the site must have been a massive undertaking in itself. But they certainly picked the right place, didn’t they?

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