Learn a bit more about the mighty Sharks, from our Club song through our decades of history.
Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside
Oh, we do like to be beside the sea
Down at Sorrento there’s a football team
And the bloods are really on the beam
So let’s give a cheer for ol’ Sorrento
For this year’s premiers we'll be
Though it's not yet in the bag
We'll win the jolly flag
Beside the seaside
Beside the sea
In over a century of formal competition Sorrento has hoisted 14 senior premiership flags up the flagpole: 1929, 1933, 1935, 1953, 1964, 1969, 1979, 1980, 2004, 2008, 2010-12 and 2014.
The Sorrento Football Club has been an integral part of the local community since 1890.
It was reported in the Mornington Standard of 21 June 1890 that “The Sorrento Football Club will play the Victoria Artillery at Sorrento today, and judging from their victory over Queenscliff last Saturday week should score another win. I think they will make the game too fast for the V.A. though the latter have the advantage in weight”.
Sorrento’s 1890 captain, James Hughes, was a lime burner whose grandfather emigrated from Scotland in 1854. The family ran the Continental Hotel licenced to Isaac Bensilum from 1890-1913. Later the Hughes built and operated the Oriental Guesthouse opposite. When James wife, Julia Cain, died giving birth to their fifth child 1910 he moved to Gippsland never to return.
In 1902 records show results of seven matches – six senior matches against clubs accessible by paddle steamer, Dromana thrice, Rye, Fort Franklin (Portsea camp) and Portsea Barracks once each, and the school boys played Dromana once.
It seems that nothing changes in local politics. A report from 6 June 1903 noted “The quiet of winter was very much disturbed during the week by a material difference of opinion between the trustees of the Sorrento Water Reserve and the Football Club. It appears that a member of the Football Club informed the police that some prohibited weeds under the Thistle Act 1891 were growing on the reserve, with the result that the Trustees were ordered to have them eradicated. When served with the notice by the constable the trust chairman went around the town roaring like a lion, declaring that he would make the members of the football club go down on their knees and tear up the weeds with their teeth."
It is recorded that on 5 August 1905 that “The residents here thought the local footballers very plucky in starting out for Hastings on Saturday in the pouring rain. Some doubt was expressed if they would ever reach there, and great credit is due to Mr. Farnsworth’s turnout for taking them there in under four hours."
During World War One a family moved into Sorrento from Gippsland and their descendants remain today. Harry Redman (1898-1996) and younger brother Keith (1901-76) arrived as teenagers with their family and began a lifetime as builders with the Sorrento State School (1090) a notable work and Redman’s timber and hardware store a longstanding landmark. Harry agitated for a wintertime activity for young local men, around the same time the Southern Peninsula Cricket Association formed in 1922-23, adding impetus to forming a competitive football team.
Harry Redman recommended the club adopt the red & white colours of Trafalgar who in turn copied South Melbourne FC after stalwart and later life member George Munro ended his VFL stint there. Harry played 80 matches between 1924-30, coaching from 1924-1926 before handing over to ex-Melbourne ruckman Les Oram. His lace-up jumper can be seen behind glass inside the club rooms.
In 1924 Sorrento officially joined the Peninsula Football League, then in 1934 merged into the Mornington Peninsula Football League. The club won three premierships over this time.