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TikTok star raking in millions of views by focussing on country football history and defunct ovals

In short: Andy Munro dives into the history behind defunct football grounds across regional Victoria and South Australia.
An author of a book on football jumpers says the social media age has made collecting much easier.
What’s next? Andy Munro wants more information about local football history online.

When you think about documenting Australian country footy history, you might imagine a hoarder collecting old memorabilia, dusty footy apparel or maybe even an elderly bloke who loves a yarn down at the local pub.

Perhaps you don’t imagine 28-year-old Andy Munro from Naracoorte in south-east South Australia, who creates slick social media videos that have raked in more than four million likes on TikTok and thousands of followers on Instagram.

His content is niche yet incredibly popular.

He dives into the history behind defunct football grounds across regional Victoria and South Australia.

“I just like making videos and telling the history of these clubs that no longer exist,” Mr Munro said.

“There are other people that go around to former football grounds, so I’ve used them as a bit of knowledge to help [me] find where they are because it can be a little bit difficult.”

The 28-year-old’s style is informative, ethnographic and entertaining.

His videos focus on Victoria’s Wimmera, the Mallee, South Australia’s south east, as well as Victoria’s western districts.

“There’s not much information about them, [clubs in these regions], online, so I just really wanted to discover what they’re all about.”

Collecting football jumpers

Mr Munro has also made a habit of collecting football guernseys, some from local clubs and others from the AFL.

He said the 500-odd football jumper collection filled “about three rooms” in his family home.

“Including my mum’s room, which she’s really happy about,” he laughed.

“I post up videos of my adventures on my Instagram and TikTok, and people from those places say, ‘Oh, I’ve got a jumper. Would you like it?’

“I really enjoy being part of the jumpers’ collecting community.”

Mr Munro is somewhat of an aficionado of AFL guernseys, comparing wool blends with newer polyester and contrasting the texture of 1980s jumpers with those of the 90s.

In one video, he identifies the faults of a knock-off Western Bulldogs jumper made in Ukraine.

History behind the jumpers

Tim Rath is a co-author of a first-of-its-kind book chronicling vintage football jumpers.

His book, The Footy Jumper Book — Vintage Guernseys of Australia, takes readers from the big league to the bush and provides a substantial look at design over several decades.

He said there was not a heap of fellow collectors focusing on newer designs and exploring local clubs.

“But they are out there and [Andy] is certainly one of them and he’s sort of taking a more modern look at it,” he said.

“I think it’s terrific.

“I grew up in the country and the jumpers from town to town were really symbols of that area.”

Author Tim Rath says social media has made collecting easier.(Supplied: Tim Rath)

Mr Rath grew up in Nihil, near the Victoria and South Australia border, and remembers when the whole community would gather around the football ground and support the local side.

“[Footy] was the glue that stuck the town together,” he said.

Mr Rath said collecting football jumpers in the past, you would need to scout out all sorts of places around the country.

“Op shops have been a terrific hunting ground over the years,” he said.

“It’s changed a little bit. Everyone’s onto the shops now, so what used to cost $2 for a jumper, you can pay up to $50.”

Mr Rath said the social media age had changed the game.

“There’s a few footy jumper collector [Facebook] groups and footy history buffs,” he said.

“So they were extremely helpful in being able to source jumpers that I didn’t have.”

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Author: Russell White