Oh we're a bunch of jolly good blokes and each one is a star
And every Saturday night you'll see us at the bar
For we are the Rovers, we are the team
We can't be beaten, that's easily seen
At the end of the season
You'll know the reason
Why we are the premier team
Once a Rover, always a Rover
Australs were made up of VFL, WA AFL, Rugby and Gaelic footballers and won their inaugural and only premiership in 1958. Rover’s recruitment strategy was uncovering AFL talent at the local railway station and went on to win their inaugural premiership in 1959.
In 1961 a dispute erupted between the Mount Isa Mines (MIM) and their workers concerning pay, hence AFL ceased until it’s recommencement in 1967. After John Cargill drove the Mount Isa AFL recommencement in 1967, the Mount Isa Irish Club was approached to sponsor a team in the competition.
Due to the leagues recommencement, members from the Australs and Rovers football clubs combined to create the Irish Rovers AFC. The newly formed Irish Rovers kept their Rovers name with the “Irish” addition and adopted the Green with a Gold stripe jersey.
The current Mount Isa Rovers A.F.C. was formed in 1967 by the merging of both the Australs and Rovers football clubs. Australs wore a Green with a Gold stripe jersey and their local water hole and main sponsor was the Irish Club. Rovers wore a Red with a Black stripe jersey (left) and their local water hole and main sponsor was the then called Boydies Pub. (Current Red Earth Hotel)
In a dark incident in 1985, Stewart Horwood collapsed at the ground and subsequently passed away a day before his 36th birthday. The clubs most consistent player award has been named in his honor.
Since the clubs beginning (excluding Australs), the Rovers have gone on to play in 43 of the 51 grand finals winning 25 cups. The club has stood the test of time outlasting teams such as Mt Isa Demons (1957), Mary Kathleen Magpies (1958-60, 1976-82), Townview Saints (1967-95), Parkside Harks (1967-76), Healy Cobras (1972-76), Healy Hawks (1977) and Lake Nash Bulldogs (2008).