Friday, 25 April 2014

2014 Round 7, Three quarter time.

26th April Birthdays.
Sam Chapman 1876, Ken Jones 1934, Keith McKenzie 1922,
 Heinz Tonn 1921.

 PLAYER OF THE DAY. Bruce Williams, born 26th April 1939.
Bruce was born the year the second world war started and played football for Carlton from 1959 to 1964.  He was in 62 games and kicked 56 goals. 

As a rover he was good at finding the ball outside of packs and sneaking goals when around the goals.  He was first rover for the Blues in their losing 1962 grand final team and was much underrated according to John Nicholls.

Source: The Encyclopaedia of  AFL Footballers.

Footy During WWII.
As in the first world war opinion was divided as to whether it was right to keep the competition going while young men and women were away fighting and in some cases losing their lives. Though the VFL did not stop the VFA was suspended from 1942 to 1944 as not many teams could field teams.

The VFL teams were heavily affected as well and quite often had to scrape together teams and sometimes had to wait until Saturday to know if they had the numbers.
Geelong pulled out of the competition from 1942 to 1944 due to travel restrictions and by 1942 Carlton had 34 players on war service, 9 of which had played in their 1938 premiership team.

Melbourne and Collingwood who had been powerhouse clubs in recent years were brought back to the pack during the early forties and other sides such as Essendon and Fitzroy won their first premierships for 20 years.
Source: The Old Dark Navy Blues by Lionel Frost and Our Game by Jim Main.

Three Heroes In The Theatres Of Football And War.
Bill Cosgrove was able to record just 3 games for Richmond but was such a team man that when he was in the air force he had the Tigers motto ‘Eat Em Alive’ paimted on his planes.
His one year with Richmond was in 1940 and he was killed in action in 1943 when his plane crashed into the sea.

Jim Park played 128 games for Carlton from 1932 to 1940 before enlisting in the army.  As he was a solidly built but agile defender he kicked only 5 goals. He was influential in Carlton’s 1938 premiership as he was able to curb the effectiveness of South Melbourne’s champion full forward Ron Todd.
Park died while fighting the Japanese in New Guinea in 1943.

Len Thomas was a travelling man playing for South Melbourne, Hawthorn and North Melbourne before joining the army in 1940.
He played in South Melbourne’s 1933 premiership team, represented Victoria 6 times in all and was South’s Best and Fairest in 1931 and 1938.

Len died while serving as a commando in New Guinea in 1943.
Source: The Old Dark Navy Blues by Lionel Frost, Our Game by Jim Main and The Encyclopaedia of AFL Footballers.  

Another Triple Of Premierships For Melbourne.
In the history of the Melbourne Football Club there have been a number of times where they have won the Premiership 2 or more times in a row.

One such occasion was the first three years of the Second World War (1939-1941).  These wins would have been very important to them as their last flag before that was in 1926.

The results of the games were:
1939 – Melbourne 21:22:148 defeated Collingwood 14:11:95.
1940 – Melbourne 15:17:107 defeated Richmond 10:8:68.
1941 – Melbourne 19:13:127 defeated Essendon 13:20:98.
Source: AFL Record Season Guide 2013.  

Marcus Wheelan ’39 Brownlow.
Marcus started his career at Collingwood in 1933 and finished his first stint with them in 1942 when he joined the military.  He spent three years in the services before returning to the club for 1946 and 1947.  Overall he played 173 games and kicked 31 goals.
His height made him a good mark and he showed great skills as a centre man or defender, being a player who always seemed to have plenty of time to size up his options.
In 1939 he won both the Brownlow Medal and the Copeland Trophy as Collingwood's Best and Fairest.  He also played for Victoria 3 times.
Source: The Encyclopaedia of  AFL Footballers.



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