St Kevin's Old Boys Football Club was admitted to the VAFA in 1947 when its senior team was placed in the third of the competition's four tiers, C Section. It did not remain long at that level, however, for after enduring a miserable debut season it was relegated to D Section, where it spent the next five years.
The 1952 season brought a kind of 'coming of age' for St Kevin's as, captain-coached by Dick O'Neil, the senior side procured its first premiership, thanks to a 10 point grand final win over Caulfield Grammarians, and with it promotion to C Grade. After showing initial promise by reaching the 1st semi-final in 1954, however, the side struggled, and narrowly escaped relegation the following year before succumbing to it in 1956. Apart from single season excursions to B Section in 1962, and 1966, and E Section in 1976 St Kevin's spent the ensuing forty years alternating between what were by this time the VAFA's two intermediate grades, C and D.
With Jack Douglas, the man who in 1970 would become the club's first life member, as captain-coach, the side brought a sequence of undistinguished years to an emphatic end in 1960 by boarding an express train to B Grade, albeit by the somewhat disappointing route of consecutive grand final losses to St Kilda CBOC and State Savings Bank. As intimated above, however, this initial stay in B Section was only fleeting.
Achieving promotion by means of reaching a Grand Final, only to lose, brings a tainted pleasure, but it is one to which St Kevin's supporters of long standing had grown accustomed until recent times. On no fewer than half a dozen occasions between the Club's first senior flag in 1952 and its second in 1996, promotion was attained in this manner. Under Coach Tim Hart, SKOBs enjoyed its most successful period, going from D Grade in 1994 to A Grade in 1998, with the 1996 season finally yielding that long overdue second Premiership flag, thanks to a 12.15 (87) to 9.6 (60) C Grade Grand Final defeat of St Kilda / South Caulfield. As often happens, the Club derived momentum from this achievement and gained immediate promotion to A Grade, for the first time ever, although they were unable to win back-to-back Premierships, going down to Old Brighton Grammarians in the 1997 B Grade Grand Final.
TSt Kevin's enjoyed a prolonged sojourn among the VAFA's elite company, capped by a grand final appearance against Marcellin Old Collegians in 2001. Sadly for St Kevin's, this proved to be one of those games where virtually nothing went right, and a final score of 9.19 (73) to Marcellin's 16.7 (103) tells its own tale. Nevertheless, 2nd position in A Grade was a thoroughly commendable achievement, and until recent times remained the club's highest placed finish.
St Kevin's won its third senior flag, in B Section in 2004 under new Coach – Dave Murray, following its relegation the previous year. This was thanks to a 16.8 (104) to 12.7 (79) grand final victory over Collegians. St Kevin’s reserves side were also victorious in 2004.
Unfortunately, however, on this occasion the club's players and supporters were only granted the briefest of whiffs of the heady atmosphere of A Section, as relegation back to B Grade followed immediately.
After finishing 3rd (2009) 5th (2010) and 3rd (2011) under the helm of Stuart Powell, 2012 saw the Club take a new direction with former Hawthorn great Daniel Harford taking over the reigns as Senior Coach. Under Harford SKOB made the finals, but were unable to progress further than the third week.
In recent times, the Club has found a permanent base at TH King. Thanks to the tireless work of past and current committee's, SKOB finally has a place to call home. A brand new pavilion with state-of-the-art facilites making the once nomadic football club now the envy of the entire competition. SKOB's 'Team's of the Decade' were also announced (see below). The Premier C Thirds won the Premiership in 2014 and the Under 19's had a terrific season reaching the Premier Grand Final.
In 2015, as the Club entered its 69th year, Jon Edgar joined Daniel Harford as senior co-coach and a second Under 19 team was entered. It proved to be SKOBs best year, with all 6 teams playing Finals, with 4 advancing to the Grand Final and giving SKOBs 3 Premierships; Seniors, Premier Thirds and Under 19 Section 4. And so, after 10 years in B Grade, SKOB were once more back in Premier Division and keen to leave their mark!
In 2016, SKOBs increased its number of teams to eight, with the introduction of a Women’s team, the SKOB Saints, and an Over-35 Superules team. But the higher division proved to be a lot tougher than B Grade and SKOBs Senior team faced the prospect of relegation for most of the year. However, they survived, finishing in 8th place. Meanwhile, the U19 Premier and U19 Premier Reserve teams both won Premierships.
Season 2017, SKOBs 70th year in the VAFA, was its most successful year to date. With the addition of a second Women’s team and a third U19 team, SKOBs suddenly became the largest Club in the VAFA. For the record, 9 of the 10 teams played Finals, six progressed to the Grand Final and three, the Seniors, Thirds Gold and U19 Premier Reserve teams won Premierships. So finally SKOBs had won its first ever Premier Division flag!!
Success continued for SKOB in 2018 with the Senior team going “back-to-back” under new coaches Guy Martyn and Tom Williams winning the Premier Division flag and again defeating Collegians by less than a goal. The Thirds Premier Gold team also went “back-to-back” while the Masters team, playing in the Victorian Metro Superules Competition, won their first flag.
Having now emerged victorious in their past four grand final encounters - SKOB Seniors may have finally shaken the tag of perpetual bridesmaid and will continue to strive for further success at the highest level of VAFA competition.