James Phelan died at Erskineville on 15 November 1939. He was often referred to as James Edward Phelan, although his birth name was James Edmond Phelan. The 1935 and 1939 electoral rolls record James Edmond Phelan, confectioner, living at 2 Binning Street. He appears to have been born in Victoria, arriving in Sydney from Hotham Victoria in the 1880s. In his bankruptcy paperwork dating to 1907, Phelan stated he had been baptised as James but also used the name Edmond possibly after his father. He stated he had worked for confectioners Dillon Burrowes and Co for 25 years, implying he was in Sydney by 1882. His marriage to Lissiley (or Sissiley) Smith in 1895 was registered at Newtown. There were five children were still living when he died. James Phelan was buried in the Roman Catholic cemetery, Botany.
Occupation & interests
James Phelan was a renowned Australian Rules official who had a significant role ensuring the success of the game. He played with Hotham in Victoria in the late 19th century, and then with West Sydney. He founded the Newtown Club in 1903 when the game was revived in NSW. Phelan was a confectioner, employed by Dillon Burrowes and Co from 1882 through until at least 1907.
James Phelan was a member of the Holy Name Society, Erskineville.
Local government service
James Phelan was an alderman on Erskineville Council in 1929-34, representing North Ward.
28 August 2008, James Edward Phelan – The Father Of Sydney Football, https://webarchive.nla.gov.au/awa/20080828053004/http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/87904/20080821-0952/www.fullpointsfooty.net/james_edward_phelan_-_the_father_of_sydney_football.html
State Archives NSW, NRS 13655, Bankruptcy File, No 17432, 10/23529
‘Jim Phelan Passes’, Sporting Globe, 25 November 1939, p. 5 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article180253886
‘Death of Mr J E Phelan’, Sydney Morning Herald, 16 November 1939, p. 13, http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/17631938