On this day (10 July, 1858) Tom Wills wrote a letter to Bell's Life magazine which would create the Melbourne Football club.
Now that cricket has been put aside for some months to come, and cricketers have assumed somewhat of the chrysalis nature (for the time being only, it is true), but at length again will burst forth in all their varied hues, rather than allow this state of torpor to creep over them and stifle their now supple limbs, why cannot they, I say, form a football club, and form a committee of three or more to draw up a code of laws?
If a club of this sort was got up, it would be of vast benefit to any cricket ground to be trampled on, and would make the turf firm and durable, besides which it would help those who are inclined to become stout and having their joints encased in useless superabundant flesh.
If it were not possible to form a football club, why should these young men who have adopted this new country for their motherland - why, I say, do not they form themselves into a rifle club, so at any date they may be some day called upon to aid their adopted land against a tyrant who may some time pop upon us when we least expect a foe at our very own doors. Surely our young cricketers are not afraid of a crack of a rifle when they face so courageously the leather sphere, and it would disgrace no one to learn in time to defend his country and his hearth.
A firm heart and a steady hand and a quick eye are all that are requisite and with practice all these may be attained.
Trusting that someone will take up this matter and form either of the above clubs, or at any rate some athletic games.
You've treated me poorly over my lifetime, but I still love you. Happy 160th birthday Melbourne Football Club!