“It is a state of mind, a system of belief, a way of seeing the world, a deep faith that because you are Carlton you belong to something great”.
- Mike Fitzpatrick
The Carlton Football Club is acknowledged as one of Australia’s pre-eminent sporting institutions. It is also one of the world’s oldest, having been founded in 1864 when a group of prominent Carltonians first convened at the University Hotel on Lygon Street.
Known to the multitudes as “The Mighty Blues”, Carlton is synonymous with success. Its illustrious history is punctuated with Premiership glory – 16 Grand Final victories in all – since its acceptance into the newly-established Victorian Football League (now Australian Football League) way back in 1897.
The Club’s $20 million state-of-the-art training facility, headquartered at Ikon Park (formerly Princes Park), is where the legendary Carlton captain John Gardiner, in proposing a toast to officially open the ground in 1897, boldly and rightly declared “We’re here to stay”.
That sacred field in old Carlton town served some of the greatest-ever exponents of the great Australian game – amongst them Victoria’s most decorated player John Nicholls, the club’s most capped competitor Craig Bradley, and League football’s longest on-field leader Stephen Kernahan.