Wednesday, 23 April 2014

2014 Round 7, Half time.

24th April Birthdays.
Neil Chamberlain 1955, Graham Cooper 1938, Tony Haenen 1946,
Fred Johnson 1896, Justin Murphy 1976, Bill Nettlefold 1953,
Ralph Rogerson 1938, Mark Shea 1883.

 PLAYER OF THE DAY. Alan Aylett, born 24th April 1934.
Probably best known as President of North Melbourne and the VFL and National Football League, Dr Aylett also had a prestigious history as a player.
Joining his beloved North Melbourne in 1952 he played until 1964 for a record of 220 games and 311 goals.  He was in the 'colts' (Under 17's) and jumped straight from there to the seniors, making his debut as a 17 year old, and was never dropped to the seconds.
Predominantly playing as a rover he was also called on to play in the centre, on a wing and even as centre half forward as the club struggled during his playing career.
Alan was the Kangaroos best and fairest from 1958-60, captain from 1961-64 and in the Victorian team 15 times.  In 1958 he won the Tassie Medal as the best player in the state carnival and was also  All Australian in 1958 and 1961.
Source: The Encyclopaedia Of AFL Footballers.   

Football 1914-1918.
Australian Rules Football was booming at the start of 1914 but when the First World war broke out attendances fell sharply as did income for the clubs.
In 1915 there was division between those clubs that wanted to keep playing and those that thought competition should be halted for the duration of hostilities.  It came to a head after the Gallipoli landings and a meeting of club delegates was called with the result being that the majority chose to continue.

As the war required more manpower teams started to struggle and at the start of the 1916 season only Carlton, Collingwood, Fitzroy and Richmond were able to field sides.
In 1917 Geelong and South Melbourne returned to the competition followed by St. Kilda and Essendon in 1918 and finally Melbourne in 1919.
Source: The Old Dark Navy Blues by Lionel Frost & Our Game by Jim Main.
University Players That Gave Their All.
There was not a club in the VFL that was not directly affected by the First World War as young men signed up and went to fight for king and country.  The most affected though was University which actually disbanded at the end of 1914.
It is known that at least 14 of their players died during the war, here are just three of their fallen heroes.
Dave Cumming moved to Melbourne from Perth to pursue his medical studies and played 21 games for 34 goals.
In France he was awarded the Military Cross for bravery and died as he led his men on a charge against the enemy at Villers-Brettonneux on 3rd May 1918.
George Elliott had played 1 game for Fitzroy in 1905 before coming to University in 1908 and played 79 games, mainly in defence, and kicked 3 goals.  He captained the club in 1911-12.
On the battle field he was a medical officer and was awarded the Military cross for bravery but was sadly killed by a shell explosion on 25th September 1917 before he heard of the commendation.
Richard Gibbs was the son of a doctor and was studying medicine at the University.  He was with the club from 1912-1914 and played 35 games for 3 goals.
He was awarded the Military cross posthumously as he was killed in his first engagement with the enemy while leading his men over a parapet under heavy machine gun fire.
Source: The Encyclopaedia Of AFL Footballers, Our Game by Jim Main and The Clubs.

An Exhibition Of Aussie Rules In London.
On 28th October 1916 an exhibition match of Australian Rules Football was played at West Kensington in London.  It was an idea thought up by Dan Minogue, a Collingwood great, and others such as Frank Beaurepaire.
They put out a call for the best players in the forces and were inundated with responses to play.  The result was a team from the Third Division and an opposition team from the Combined Training Units.
Around 8000 people attended the game which not only included locals and diggers on leave but also the Prince of Wales (later king Edward VIII) and King Manuel of Portugal.
The Captain of the Third Division team was Bruce Sloss of South Melbourne and the Captain of the Training Team was Rev. Julius Perry who played for Norwood in South Australia.   At the end of the game the scores were Third Division 6.16.52 beating the Training Units team 4.12.36.
Source:  Our Game by Jim Main.

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