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Historian questions Marngrook’s influence over AFL

Tom Elliott
Article image for Historian questions Marngrook’s influence over AFL

A debate has ignited over the origin of Australian rules footy and if it’s founder, Tom Wills, was influenced by the indigenous game of Marngrook.

There has long been discussions about the AFL’s link with Marngrook and recently the AFL included a reference to it in its apology to Adam Goodes over the booing affair.

But its influence on the current game has been questioned.

Historian Greg De Moore said there was no evidence of such a link.

“Tom Wills actually grew up in Western Victorian… we know that in that area there were various types of aboriginal ball games,” he told 3AW Drive.

“The difficulty I have as an historian is we don’t know for sure wether Tom Wills observed or played that game at all.

“We don’t have any evidence that he incorporated any elements of the game into the first game of Australian rules football.”

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Tom Elliott
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