Steve was a Gridiron fanatic and started Gridiron in Australia even before regular competitions were introduced. He pioneered the Raiders by convincing his work mates and friends to play. In 1979, the Waverly Raiders were formed and they basically had play offs against themselves and or whomever else they could rally up a challenge to. In the those preliminary days there was no protective equipment available and so most players wore tracksuit pants and old foam pads that were constructed from unused or old couches.
In 1984 the Australian American football Conference was formed, containing 7 teams participating in the first ever American Football competition.
The Raiders have won a total of 7 Championships in NSW:
The SJ55 logo to the right of the screen is in honour of Steve Jones – he was number 55 for the Raiders and he established the club in 1983.
The Foundation Shovel
In 1984, the Sydney University Stormtroopers and the Waverley Raiders (as the clubs were called that year) played in their first AAFC game and a rivalry is born.
Since 1985, the Raiders and arch-rivals the Lions have battled against each other in 6 ChampionshipGames with both teams having won 3 championship victories each:
- Lions – 1985
- Raiders – 1989
- Raiders – 1990
- Raiders – 1991
- Lions – 1992
- Lions – 2005
The Foundation Shovel was started in 2008 and was created in recognition of the Raiders and the Lions being the only two surviving foundation clubs from 1984 Gridiron NSW league.
The Foundation Shovel is held by the winner of each game played between the two teams and therefore each time they meet they battle for ownership of the Foundation Shovel which been held by the Lions for the past 8 years.