Australian Wills Families

Thomas Wentworth Wills
Cricketer & joint creator of Australian Rules Football

Thomas Wentworth Wills (commonly known as "Tom" or "Tommy") was born on the 19 August 1835 in an area near present day Canberra. At the age of four his family moved to Western Victoria and at the age of ten he was sent to Melbourne to Brickwood's Academy for further schooling. As was common at the time, at the age of fourteen, he was sent by sailing ship to England where he enrolled at The Rugby School in the midlands. During his stay he excelled in sport, particularly at cricket playing at the county level. He returned to Melbourne in 1856.

This list of web pages tell the story of his involvement in the development of Australian Rules Football and his cricketing career.

Australian Rules Football - Cricket - His family history

  •  A video documentary has been made on the Tom Wills story. This is a short trailer currently on YouTube.
  •  Melbourne Football Club - History
  •  Several of the above football links mention his involvement in cricket.
  •  In 1866, Tom managed/coached this nation's first all Aboriginal cricket team.
  •  A new chapter in the legend of Tom Wills - The Age Newspaper 2008.
  •  A book based on the life of Tom Wills, the man who revolutionised colonial cricket and who, in 1866, coached this nation's first all Aboriginal cricket team. Both a book about cricket and a book about Australian football. "The Call" By Martin Flanagan, Allen & Unwin, 1998. The book is currently under consideration for a re-print. Although Seek Books at   supplied two copies during June 2002.
  •  Tom Wills and a tale of two doctors. - Tom Wills created the game of Australian Rules football and was our first great cricketer.
    This is also a story about two doctors. Two doctors who, in very different ways, influenced the life of Tom Wills.
  •  "The Currency Lad" by T.S. Wills Cooke. A biography of Horatio Spencer Howe Wills, 1811 to 1861 and the story of his immediate family 1797 to 1918, using contemporary letters, documents, daguerreotypes, paintings and photographs. Horatio was Tom's father and the book contains a chapter on Tom, plus comments throughout the remainder.
  •  Eastlink Interchange Honours one of Football's Founders" - Victoria's biggest and busiest motorway interchange, named in honour of one of the founding fathers of Australian Rules football, Tom Wills.
  •  A book titled "Tom Wills: First Wild Man of Australian Sport" by Greg de Moore.
    The definitive biography of the visionary sportsman who brought us Australian Rules football. This is the story of Tom Wills - flawed genius, sporting libertine, fearless leader and agitator, and the man most often credited with creating the game we now know as Australian Rules football.
    Publisher: Allen & Unwin, 27 July 2011, ISBN: 9781742694221.
  •  The introduction of an AFL team into western Sydney is regarded by some as an invasion. But Tom Wills might disagree. Read the story from The University of Sydney
  •  Track 9 on the CD "Dust on my Shoes" is titled Tom Wills and was based on the book "The Call". More details at
  •  The 1998 Radio National transcript of interviews by Amanda Smith, of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, in which she covers the life of Tom Wills.
  •  The suicide of Thomas Wentworth Wills
  •  The parents & siblings of Thomas Wills
  •  Two books provide more information. "Ancestor Treasure Hunt : Edward Wills family" R.Pockley pub 1976 and "Early Pioneer families of Victoria & Riverina" A. Henderson Pub 1936.