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Articles - Roger Spaull

Introduction



Charlie Davey -A Forgotten Star Of Interstate Football

Author: Roger Spaull - Published At: 2017-11-10 11:44 - (57 Reads)
Among those Victorian players who have been often overlooked for their significant contribution to interstate football is Carlton’s champion ruckman Charlie Davey. Charlie, who played 143 games for Carlton, represented Victoria on 17 occasions between 1929 and 1935. He is a classic example of a forgotten star of national football; and hopefully this story may serve as a reminder of Charlie’s undoubted ability and achievements in VFL and interstate football.

Stan Spinks - The Gallant Midfielder From Glenferrie

Author: Roger Spaull - Published At: 2017-11-10 09:59 - (32 Reads)
With the resounding recent success of Hawthorn; and the current abundance of Hawks stars, many younger fans may be unaware of the rocky road that Hawthorn travelled in the early years of the club’s history. One of the heroes of Hawthorn during its darkest years was Stan Spinks…this is his story.

Vic Lawrence- The Big Hearted Shinboner

Author: Roger Spaull - Published At: 2017-10-19 12:18 - (254 Reads)
Victor (aka Vic) Lawrence (born: 1928) played more than 100 VFL games; and although a steadfast defender, club captain and Victorian representative, he appears to be another ‘forgotten man’ of VFL football. This story attempts to remind football followers of Vic’s achievements and the key role he played in rebuilding the NMFC during the 1950’s.

James ‘Jimmy ’ Freake - Fitzroy’s Famous Forward

Author: Roger Spaull - Published At: 2017-02-06 18:18 - (2175 Reads)
It is more than 100 years ago since James* ( better known as ‘Jimmy’ ) Freake pulled on a Fitzroy guernsey to play his first VFL game against South Melbourne at the Lake Oval in 1912. *Note: His name is given as ‘Jimmy’ in the AFL records and so it shall be for the purposes of this story.

Athol Webb - The Dashing Demon Decoy

Author: Roger Spaull - Published At: 2016-10-16 13:27 - (2167 Reads)
Athol Webb played in three VFL Grand Finals with Melbourne, at the height of the club’s Golden Era; and was a prominent and popular sporting figure of the 1950’s. It wasn’t just Athol’s break-neck speed and his ability to convert opportunities; but his willingness to sacrifice his own game, for the sake of the team, that made him such an important player with the Demons.

Alan Martin - The Star from Stawell

Author: Roger Spaull - Published At: 2016-08-14 18:59 - (3417 Reads)
Footscray won the club’s VFL first premiership in 1954 and that historic day will live in the hearts of Footscray supporters forever. While Jack Collins led the charge against the Demons with seven goals; it was the ‘close up and personal’ performance of the Bulldogs’ half back line of Gallagher, Whitten and Martin that stopped the Melbourne forwards in their ‘tracks’ that day. This is the story of Alan Martin and his outstanding career in VFL and country football.

Murray Weideman : The Enforcer

Author: Roger Spaull - Published At: 2016-06-18 12:17 - (2893 Reads)
In 1952, Collingwood Football Club officials told 16 year old Murray Weideman to ‘go away and come back’ the following season.........by the end of his career Weideman had played 180 games and coached 45 games for the pies, and yet more at West Adelaide. He was hard hitting and is an Australian Football Hall of Famer. This is his story.

Peter Pianto the Eaglehawk Express

Author: Roger Spaull - Published At: 2016-03-27 17:48 - (2805 Reads)
Eaglehawk Football Club was formed in 1880 and since then more than forty local players have graduated to VFL/AFL ranks including such well-known names as Rod Ashman, Alf Baud, Charlie Clymo, Des English, Ted Esposito, Bill Evely, Jarryn Geary, Ted Jinks, Damian Lock, Doug Palmer and Peter Pianto. This story, for Boyles Football Photos, is about Geelong’s dynamic rover of the 1950’s- Peter Pianto.

Ron Barassi’s First VFL Game

Author: Roger Spaull - Published At: 2016-02-27 17:43 - (2527 Reads)
In 1953, a 17 year old Ronald Dale Barassi entered the M.C.G. for his first ever VFL game, he would later become a legend of the game. The story of how Ron arrived at this first game in 1953, involves war, tragedy, rule changes and help from others. Ron was also not just the only youngster starting in 1953 and others came together to make the 1950's a golden era for the Melbourne Club. This is the story of Ron's first VFL steps.

Eric Zschech - The Minyip Tiger

Author: By Roger Spaull - Published At: 2015-09-12 15:52 - (4913 Reads)
The only thing faster than the speed of thought is the speed of forgetfulness. Vera Narazin’s quote is most applicable in regard to how the football commentators have overlooked the brilliant exploits of former Richmond centre man Eric Zschech.

Hopefully, this story will shed new light on the accomplishments of a young man who left Minyip and became a champion of Victorian and Tasmanian football.

Alex Duncan - The Brilliant Aerialist Of Carlton

Author: Roger Spaull - Published At: 2015-07-02 16:00 - (3165 Reads)
The pity of yesteryear is that it is often lost in the glitz and razzmatazz of modernity. It would be wonderful if there were films to assist in showing the high marking skills of players like Alex Duncan in those earlier days of VFL football. Word pictures can never really do such players justice; however this story tries to shine a light on one of the best overhead marks in the history of the game.

Jock Spencer ‘The Flying Kangaroo’

Author: Roger Spaull - Published At: 2015-04-05 10:18 - (5365 Reads)
When Jock Spencer was selected to play full forward for Victoria in 1952, the news stunned football fans and caused a degree of angst in certain quarters of VFL football.

John Coleman was said to have had a ‘mortgage’ on the position and Jock’s selection was both unexpected and highly controversial. However, time would prove beyond doubt that Jock was a rare talent and would become one of the most celebrated and admired players of his generation. This is Jock’s story…

Bervin Woods - Five Days as Coach of Collingwood

Author: Roger Spaull - Published At: 2015-01-30 12:11 - (9355 Reads)
Jock McHale was the longest serving club coach at one club in the history of VFL-AFL football. He coached Collingwood from 1912 until 1949. When Jock stepped down as coach, at the beginning of the 1950 season, Bervin Woods was named as his successor. Bervin’s appointment caused an upheaval of gigantic proportions at Collingwood FC and he lasted just five days as the Senior Coach.

Bill Stephenson - Another Star From Sale FC

Author: Roger Spaull - Published At: 2014-12-01 16:34 - (5781 Reads)
Football fans never really saw the best of St Kilda’s Bill Stephenson as his career was cut short by cruel injuries. Like the legendary John Coleman, injury struck Bill in his prime and denied VFL followers the chance to see more of this talented champion from the Sale Football Club. This is the story of Bill Stephenson’s eventful football career with the Sale and St Kilda clubs.

The Hero from Orphanage - The Story of Len Johnson

Author: Roger Spaull - Published At: 2014-10-30 14:55 - (5752 Reads)
The story of Leslie Albert Johnson, better known as Len, is a tale of how one determined young man overcame hardship to become a ‘local hero’ with Essendon FC in his short VFL career. Len also left his mark as a country football coach, professional sprinter and a soldier who died on active service in Malaya in 1942.

Len’s story is uplifting but it is not without pathos and tragedy.

Ray Poulter - A Gifted Tiger Forward

Author: Roger Spaull - Published At: 2014-07-16 15:16 - (5346 Reads)
This is a story about Richmond’s star forward Ray Poulter who played 170 VFL games between the years 1945-1956.

It is hoped that that this story will remind football lovers of Ray’s dedicated and whole hearted efforts to lift Richmond FC in some of the toughest and most testing years in the club’s history.

Older readers will have little trouble in remembering Ray’s exploits on the football ground, while younger readers may wonder why they haven’t hear more about this rather gifted Tiger forward. Unfortunately, Ray is another notable footballer whose exploits have been dimmed with the passage of time.

H.V. ‘Vic’. Cumberland ~ A Giant of His Era

Author: Roger Spaull - Published At: 2014-06-15 20:30 - (7547 Reads)
At the time of writing (2014) Dustin Fletcher’s longevity in AFL football continues to amaze the football public. Even at the ripe old of 39 years of age, there are those who believe that Dustin is capable of playing next season. It is a remarkable achievement in modern day football. Time will tell but Dustin has written his name into the record books as one of the oldest players to play AFL football.

This story is about H.V. Cumberland who was 43 years and 50 days when he played his last game for St Kilda in 1920. The following account tells of the times, travels and achievements of the oldest player to have ever played at VFL/AFL level.

The Story of Peter Reville – The Champion of the Brown Coal Mine

Author: Roger Spaull - Published At: 2014-04-16 14:29 - (6228 Reads)
Peter Reville was a tough and colourful South Melbourne vice-captain who played for ten seasons (1925-34) with the Bloodstained Angels, including the 1932 and 1934 Grand Finals. He then moved to Coburg in the VFA, where he won the Recorder Medal. Reville also played two seasons with Fitzroy (1939-40).

Roger Spaull's biography below provides an insight into the life and times of a significant footballer.

Laurie Shipp - Yallourn Football Club

Author: by Roger Spaull - Published At: 2014-03-14 11:43 - (6598 Reads)
For many footballers, their years in the Victorian Football League (VFL) were only one part of their careers. For some, the need to find employment outside the game meant they relocated to regional centres and became part of local football scenes.

This engaging article by Roger Spaull highlights the career of North Melbourne ruckman Laurie Shipp, and the three years (1954-56) Shipp spent with the Yallourn Football Club.

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