Northcote Senior Team 1940 (SLV 122_119)

Charles Boyles Collection SLV

Link to Photo at SLV Website
SLV Accession no. H2008.122/119

Team: Northcote (VFA)
Jack Holden - extreme left of top row
Bill Downie - third from right top row
Bill Libbis - middle row, first person on left
Arthur Mietzcke - first player on left middle row
Ern Hart - third player from left in middle row
Probably George Dower - fourth player from left in middle row
Claude Watt - fifth player from left in middle row
Stan Powell - sixth player from left in middle row
Cecil Hiscox front row, second from left

Location: Westgarth Street (Northcote
Date: Probably 1940


This is a Northcote (VFA) senior team photographed at Westgarth Street in front of the grandstand. Almost certainly the 1940 team.

Ern Hart, Northcote captain in 1940, is at the centre of the photo (fourth person from left in middle row). Hart also captained Northcote in 1941 so this could possibly be the 1941 team. Hart played 196 games for Northcote, including 130 in a row from 1934-40.

Jack Holden played 40 VFL senior games for St Kilda and Geelong. Bill Downie, who played 54 games for Footscray (1929-32) and 15 games for St.Kilda (1933), won the VFA’s Recorder Cup in 1938 playing for Northcote. He was tragically killed by the Japanese while a prisoner of war. See J. Main and D. Allen, Fallen - the Ultimate Heroes, Melbourne, Crown Content, 2002.

The player second from left in front row is rover Cecil Hiscox who was Northcote’s best and fairest in 1940 and 1941 and who went on to an illustrious career as a Northcote player, playing 174 games before retiring at the end of the 1954 season. Hiscox played in the back pocket after 1948. Sitting extreme left of middle row is Bill Libbis, Northcote’s coach 1939-41. Libbis was champion first rover in all four Collingwood premiership teams 1927-30. He played 139 games and kicked 150 goals for the Magpies (1925-33) before switching to Melbourne for 39 games (1933-35). Eighteen players. Black shorts. Probably not match day - only two in grandstand. Note the adoring schoolchildren looking on.

For Northcote’s history, see Marc Fiddian, Gold Threads Among the Green - A History of Northcote Football Club, Raccoon Tail Books, 2007, p. 101. This book enabled me to identify a number of Northcote players.

Further Work Needed

Bill Downie enlisted 24 September 1940 and died as a POW in 1943, so photo likely to be 1940 rather than 1941.

G.E. Dower received a permit to play for Northcote in July 1940.
Football ST. KILDA HOLDS SHARP. (1940, July 4). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 12. Retrieved August 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11318731

Claude Watt is identified in the 1939 Northcote photo and is probably middle row, fifth player from left.

Claude Watt permit to Fitzroy May 1942
LEAGUE PERMITS. (1942, May 14). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 6. Retrieved August 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11976249

Duplicates - Near Identical Photos

Bill Downie

What's New

More Articles

Ken and Michael are proud members of the Australian Football Heritage Group (AFHG)
This site is an independent creation. Site content and views expressed are personal and are not endorsed by the AFHG.

Read our comments regarding Sharing Your Football Memorabilia - Donating Items to your Club


Boyles Photos by Year//Interesting Games
1890s, 1900s, 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

Outside Football

General links to footballers' occupations and links to other sports.
Links to Outside Football