Introduction

Leo Maynes, born on the fifth of June 1911, was a utility player who played in the ruck and in defence. Maynes played for three clubs during his senior career. He started as a 20-year-old with Brunswick in the VFA in 1931, then played in the VFL with Fitzroy (1935-37), and Essendon (1938-40).

By 1940, Essendon had gathered a large group of excellent players to choose from. Maynes was near the end of his career and spent more time playing for Essendon's Second eighteen than in the senior team. Maynes won Essendon Seconds' Best and Fairest award in both 1940 and 1941. He also served as vice-captain of the 1941 Essendon Seconds premiership team. In March 1942 Maynes joined the Army, and played his final season in the tough 1942 inter-services league for the Watsonia White’s, before being moved north as the war progressed.

Brunswick Years

Leo Maynes No:138- 1933 Wills League Footballers - Larger Size Source:Australian Rules Football Cards
Leo Maynes No:138- 1933 Wills League Footballers - Larger Size Source:Australian Rules Football Cards
In the depression years of the early 1930’s, Leo Maynes played with Brunswick in the Victorian Football Association. He joined the club in 1931 and played for Brunswick until the end of the 1934 season. Unfortunately for Leo, Brunswick's senior team took the wooden spoon in 1933, and finished among the bottom three teams in 1934.

In 1933 Maynes was one of only six Brunswick footballers whose images appeared in the popular 1933 Wills Football Card series, identifying him as one of Brunswick's most prominent players. Maynes was Brunswick vice-captain in 1934.

Despite their lack of success in the early thirties, Brunswick as a team had a number of very good players. Hedley Blackmore played 51 games for Carlton (1923-27) before moving to Brunswick, and was captain-coach of the club in 1933. Jim Jenkins was a solid player with the experience of thirteen seasons in the VFL and VFA, having played for St.Kilda (1921-25), then Coburg (1925-33), before becoming Brunswick captain in 1934. Jim Dowling was a star rover for Brunswick through the 1930’s, and in 1934 won the VFA Medal for the Best and Fairest in the Association.

Hedley Blackmore No:124- 1933 Wills League Footballers - Larger Size Source:Australian Rules Football Cards
Hedley Blackmore No:124- 1933 Wills League Footballers - Larger Size Source:Australian Rules Football Cards
Jim Dowling No:150- 1933 Wills League Footballers - Larger Size Source:Australian Rules Football Cards
Jim Dowling No:150- 1933 Wills League Footballers - Larger Size Source:Australian Rules Football Cards
F Fitzgerald No:125- 1933 Wills League Footballers - Larger Size Source:Australian Rules Football Cards
F Fitzgerald No:125- 1933 Wills League Footballers - Larger Size Source:Australian Rules Football Cards
S McNeil No:116- 1933 Wills League Footballers - Larger Size Source:Australian Rules Football Cards
S McNeil No:116- 1933 Wills League Footballers - Larger Size Source:Australian Rules Football Cards
W Reid No:132- 1933 Wills League Footballers - Larger Size Source:Australian Rules Football Cards
W Reid No:132- 1933 Wills League Footballers - Larger Size Source:Australian Rules Football Cards


Photo 1 – Brunswick Senior Team 1934 (at the Brunswick Oval) by Charles Boyles

Brunswick Senior Team 1934 - Source: Maynes Family, Photograoher:Charles Boyles
Brunswick Senior Team 1934 - Source: Maynes Family, Photograoher:Charles Boyles

See Photo Page:Brunswick Senior Team 1934 (Daniel Maynes)

Players identified:
Middle Row - Fourth from left - Jim Jenkins (c)
Middle Row - Fifth from left - Leo Maynes
Middle Row - Sixth from left - Hedley Blackmore
Front Row - Second from left -Jim Dowling

Transfer to the VFL

During the mid-1930’s an agreement governing player transfers existed between the VFL and VFA. In each case that arose, permission of the club was required before a transfer to the other competition could take place.

Like many clubs at the time, Brunswick had severe financial problems. Furthermore, in 1933, Brunswick ended the season in last place. To resolve their financial crisis, Brunswick sold a number of their best players. In 1934, Frank Anderson, Dave Arnol and Wally Mutimer were cleared to Carlton, and in 1935, Bervyn Woods and Harold Jones went to Collingwood.

In 1934 Maynes requested a transfer to Collingwood, but this was rejected. In 1935 however he was cleared to Fitzroy. The circumstances of the transfer to Fitzroy point to the possibility that Maynes was sold by the club as part of a wider process - he may have had little say as to where he went. Regardless, he was now playing in the League.

Fitzroy 1935-1937 (23 Senior Games)

When Leo Maynes joined them in 1935 Fitzroy Football Club had some truly great players. Triple Brownlow medallist Haydn Bunton was the most outstanding, but the Maroons could also boast about 1933 Brownlow medallist 'Chicken' Smallhorn, Dinny Ryan (who was to win the Brownlow the following year), and ruckman Frank Curcio (also later selected in Fitzroy's Team of the Century). Fitzroy, however, was in a similar position to Brunswick. They had become one of the VFL's struggling teams. In 1936 Leo Maynes again was part of a team receiving the wooden spoon.

Photo 2– Fitzroy Senior Team 1935 (at the Brunswick Street Oval) by Charles Boyles.

Fitzroy Senior Team 1935 - Source: Maynes Family, Photographer:Charles Boyles
Fitzroy Senior Team 1935 - Source: Maynes Family, Photographer:Charles Boyles

See Photo Page:Fitzroy Senior Team 1935 (Daniel Maynes)
Round: 14, 1935 Fitzroy v Footscray at Brunswick Street, Sat, 27-Jul-1935
Fitzroy 14.16.100
Footscray 13.15.93

Back Row: Unknown,Unknown,Unknown, Leo Maynes, Unknown, Dinny Ryan, Unknown,Unknown
Middle Row: Maurie Hearn, Haydn Bunton Snr, Wilfred Smallhorn, Frank Curcio, Tommy Williams, Horrie Dawson, Unknown
Front Row: Unknown,Unknown, Wally Gray

1935 Fitzroy End of Season Tour

Barrier Miner 31Oct1935 p7
Barrier Miner 31Oct1935 p7
Player payments were not high during the depression years, and nearly all footballers had full-time jobs in addition to playing football on the weekends. This was also the era before most people had cars, and so travel was a rare and highly anticipated experience.

End of Season tours by Victorian clubs were keenly looked forward to by the players. Offers might even be made for coaching roles at a local club. (On this particular Fitzroy trip, a lucrative coaching offer was made to Fitzroy star Haydn Bunton). Players representing the clubs hosting the visitors also looked forward to the visits, for they offered a rare opportunity to play against a big Melbourne team.

Thankfully, Leo Maynes kept his 1935 tour itinerary. Many of the tourists signed it. The signatures include those of Brownlow Medal winners Bunton and Smallhorn, and the signature of Dinny Ryan, who won the Medal the following year. The itinerary includes day trips, matches, dances and dinners, and is well worth examining.


Scan Set 1– Fitzroy Football Club Tasmania Tour 1935

Fitzroy Tasmania Tour Itinerary - Back
Fitzroy Tasmania Tour Itinerary - Back
Fitzroy Tasmania Tour Itinerary - Front
Fitzroy Tasmania Tour Itinerary - Front
Fitzroy Tasmania Tour Itinerary - inside 1
Fitzroy Tasmania Tour Itinerary - inside 1

Fitzroy Tasmania Tour Itinerary - inside 2
Fitzroy Tasmania Tour Itinerary - inside 2
Fitzroy Tasmania Tour Itinerary - inside 3
Fitzroy Tasmania Tour Itinerary - inside 3


Local Tasmanian newspapers reported the Fitzroy team's arrival, its departure, and the results of games played against local teams.
Hobart Mercury 18Sep1935p9
Hobart Mercury 18Sep1935p9
 Hobart Mercury 23Sep1935p12
Hobart Mercury 23Sep1935p12


Photo 3 – Haydn Bunton in Tasmania

Fitzroy in Tasmania 1935- Haydn Bunton 1935 - Source: Maynes Family
Fitzroy in Tasmania 1935- Haydn Bunton 1935 - Source: Maynes Family


Photo 4 – Fitzroy players enjoying themselves. A few glasses of beer on a boat trip

Fitzroy in Tasmania 1935- Tour Boat Trip - Source: Maynes Family
Fitzroy in Tasmania 1935- Tour Boat Trip - Source: Maynes Family


Photo 5 - Fitzroy players with a bus

Fitzroy in Tasmania 1935- Group Photo - Source: Maynes Family
Fitzroy in Tasmania 1935- Group Photo - Source: Maynes Family


Photo 6 – Fitzroy players - possibly at Port Arthur

Fitzroy in Tasmania 1935- Possibly at Port Arthur - Source: Maynes Family
Fitzroy in Tasmania 1935- Possibly at Port Arthur - Source: Maynes Family


Photo 7 – Fitzroy players relaxing

Relaxing
Relaxing


Scan Set 2– Fitzroy Football Club Dinner 1935

After returning to Melbourne, Fitzroy had their end-of-season Dinner at the Hotel Australia in Collins Street. Awards were handed out, speeches made, and toasts drunk.
Fitzroy Tasmania Tour Dinner - Back
Fitzroy Tasmania Tour Dinner - Back
Fitzroy Tasmania Tour Dinner - Front
Fitzroy Tasmania Tour Dinner - Front
Fitzroy Tasmania Tour Dinner - inside
Fitzroy Tasmania Tour Dinner - inside


A newspaper report on the Dinner is below:
Argus 3-Oct-1935 p15
Argus 3-Oct-1935 p15


In 1936, Leo Maynes was injured in Fitzroy's first game of the season against Carlton, and played only two games with the senior team that year. In 1937, Maynes played one game for Fitzroy before moving to Essendon mid-season.

Essendon Seniors 1937- 1940 (36 Senior Games)

Leo Maynes and Stan Wilson - Crop from Essendon 1938 Team Photo (below)
Leo Maynes and Stan Wilson - Crop from Essendon 1938 Team Photo (below)


At Essendon, Maynes again became a regular starter. Members of his family remember that he claimed to have moved to Essendon after Fitzroy cleared him because he had difficulties getting to training from his workplace in West Brunswick. He also received a £2 increase in match payments at Essendon - he was paid twice as much as he received playing for Fitzroy.

Maynes played eight VFL senior games in 1937. Two of these were against St Kilda (once for Fitzroy, and then later in the season, once for Essendon). Essendon's defeat of his former club Fitzroy in Round 17 was the only occasion (in eight games) when Maynes played in a winning team in 1937.

Apart from life on the football field, the move by Maynes to Essendon also provided friendships. Leo became a close friend of his team mate Stan 'Snowy' Wilson who was later his Best Man. Stan Wilson's career was similar to Leo's. He played for VFA club Northcote before moving to Essendon, and played for the Dons from 1936-1941 before joining the Army in early 1942.

In 1938, Essendon were looking for new players to strengthen their back line, and were pleased to have Maynes join their team. This is evidenced by the awards at the Essendon Reunion in August, prior to the final game of the season. Trophies were awarded on the vote of the Selection Committee to four players, including L. Maynes.

Snippets from the newspapers also provide evidence of Essendon’s issues with defence:
  • Leo Maynes has increased his pace since last year and he should be a tower of strength among the big men. (Argus 28-Mar-1938 p18)
  • Leo Maynes did well as a follower, and is certain to be included for the second ruck. Webster and Torney will comprise the first ruck, with Dick Reynolds as rover. (Argus 19-Apr-1938 p15)
  • In the second quarter Maynes and Luff kept South out, until Thomas and Quinn, breaking through, added goals. (Argus 23-May-1938 p18)
  • Essendon continues to impress as a fast, well-balanced side. The search for a full- back is still proceeding, and, when that man is found, Essendon will be satisfied. Although Standfield was selected for that position on Saturday, Maynes played there, and did well. (Argus 23-May-1938 p16)
  • Maynes did fairly well as full back, but he is of the determined type who is needed in the thick of the fray. (Argus 30-May-1938 p18)

Photo 8 – Maynes playing in defence at Windy Hill against Norm Smith (either 1939 R2 or 1940 R1)

Leo Maynes marking against Norm Smith
Leo Maynes marking against Norm Smith


Photo 9 – Essendon Senior Team 1938 (Leader Newspaper Photo)

Probably Round Four at Arden Street, North Melbourne, 4-May-1938
1938 Essendon Senior Team - Leader Newspaper - Source: Maynes Family
1938 Essendon Senior Team - Leader Newspaper - Source: Maynes Family

Back Row: Unknown, Unknown, Billy Hall, Unknown, Tom Reynolds, Hugh Torney, Unknown, Leo Maynes, Unknown
Middle Row: Arnold Maltby, Bill Luff, Dick Reynolds, Len Webster, Unknown, Stan Wilson, Unknown
Front Row:Ted Bryce, Jack Caesar



Photo 10 – Essendon Senior Team 1938 by Charles Boyles

Essendon 1938 Team Photo - Source: Maynes Family
Essendon 1938 Team Photo - Source: Maynes Family


Back:Ray Watts, Leo Maynes, Hugh Torney, Tom Reynolds, Les Begley, Bob Standfield, Norm Baker, Ted Rippon
Middle: Murray Exelby, Stan Wilson, Harry Lippiatt, Len Webster, Dick Reynolds, Bill Luff, Arnold Maltby
Front: Billy Hall, Jack Caesar, Ted Bryce

Round 5, Windy Hill. Date: Sat, 21-May-1938, 2:45 pm. Attendance: 14,000
Essendon 5.3.33, 8.5.53, 11.11.77, 15.15.105
South Melbourne 2.2.14, 7.10.52, 8.16.64, 11.19.85
Ess by 19, Ess by 1, Ess by 13, Ess by 20

Essendon in Tasmania - July 1938

Coincidently, the very next interstate football trip enjoyed by Leo Maynes was again a trip to Tasmania. This would be a longer trip, and the highlight would be Essendon's match against Fitzroy who were touring Tasmania at the same time.

Examiner Launceston 11-Jul-1938 p6
Examiner Launceston 11-Jul-1938 p6


Essendon played two matches on its 1938 tour - against a combined Northern Tasmanian team on Saturday July 8, and against Fitzroy in Hobart on July 16. Leo Maynes did not play in either of these matches. The Launceston Examiner noted the day before the July 8 game that “L. Maynes, a fast ruck man and full back will probably be out of the side tomorrow with a leg injury.” Essendon defeated the combined team, but were beaten by Fitzroy in the second match, by a single point.


Photo 11 – Essendon tour squad, possibly snapped at training for the Essendon v Combined Northern Tasmania match, July 1938. Photo by Leighton J Hudson Studios (Launceston)

Probably 1938 Essendon Tasmania Trip  - Photographer Leighton Studios - Source: Maynes Family
Probably 1938 Essendon Tasmania Trip - Photographer Leighton Studios - Source: Maynes Family

Twenty-six players in the photo. Note Hugh Torney and Dick Reynolds are wearing their Victorian State jumpers which they conveniently had with them on their Tasmanian trip.

See reports of the July 8 match below:
Advocate Burnie 11-Jul-1938 p5
Advocate Burnie 11-Jul-1938 p5
Advocate Burnie 11-Jul-1938 p8
Advocate Burnie 11-Jul-1938 p8


Photo 12 - Essendon Football Team - Tasmanian Tour (July 6-18, 1938) by Barnett Photo (Hobart)

Essendon Football Team - Tasmanian Tour (July 6-18, 1938) - Source: Maynes Family
Essendon Football Team - Tasmanian Tour (July 6-18, 1938) - Source: Maynes Family


Photo 13 - Essendon players at unnamed memorial

Essendon Tasmania Trip - posed in front of an unidentified memorial - Source: Maynes Family
Essendon Tasmania Trip - posed in front of an unidentified memorial - Source: Maynes Family


Photo 14 - Essendon players at a lake

Essendon Tasmania Trip 1938 group photo - Source: Maynes Family
Essendon Tasmania Trip 1938 group photo - Source: Maynes Family


Photo 15 - Essendon players on bridge

Essendon Tasmania Trip 1938 group photo - Source: Maynes Family
Essendon Tasmania Trip 1938 group photo - Source: Maynes Family


With the Second World War beginning in 1939, there would be no more end of season trips for Leo Maynes.

Injured by Jack Dyer


Jack Dyer - From H2008.122_107 by Charles Boyles - Colourised
Jack Dyer - From H2008.122_107 by Charles Boyles - Colourised
In 1939, Leo Maynes was once again in and out of the team with injuries. This time his trouble included an injury resulting from a clash with the fearsome Richmond follower Jack Dyer, the notorious 'Captain Blood'.

Each week the Argus newspaper featured a column called ''Percy Taylor asks:'Did You See This?' ". One such column included the line 'Did You See....

"The whirlwind charges through the packs of Richmond’s follower Jack Dyer in the game at Essendon. In the first quarter Maynes set himself to stop Dyer. The men met fairly and Maynes like a ninepin crashed to the ground with a fractured shoulder. Dyer unruffled at the impact dashed through and drove toward goal".

Although just another day at the office for ‘Captain Blood’, the outcome for Leo Maynes was a dislocated collarbone. The Argus reported “The X-ray examination of the injuries suffered by Leo Maynes, the Essendon full back, on Saturday shows that his collar-bone has been dislocated and forced up so that it has severely strained the ligaments. It will be about four weeks before he can resume training.” (Argus 9-May-1939 p16)

Essendon Seconds 1941 - 1942


Maynes continued to play occasional senior games for Essendon, although the selectors now had more options. The Dons had recruited strong defenders in Cec Ruddell (1940–43, 1945–49) and Wally Buttsworth (1939-49). Now nearing the end of his football career, Maynes played mainly for Essendon Seconds in 1941-42. He won the Seconds' Best and Fairest in 1940, and in 1941, as the vice-captain of the eventual premiers, he again won the Seconds' Best and Fairest honours.

Photo 16 Essendon Seconds- Probably Premiership Team 1941.

Essendon Seconds - Source: Maynes Family
Essendon Seconds - Source: Maynes Family


In 1941 ex-Collingwood champion Harry Collier coached Essendon Seconds to the premiership. Collier can be seen in the photo above holding the football.

The Argus reported:
Each player in the grand final will receive a trophy, for which £20 has been donated. Regal Theatre Essendon entertained the players on Tuesday night and presented its trophy for the best player in the grand final to P. Bushby. Special trophies were presented to Keddie, Maynes and Dimble.(Argus 9-Oct-1941 p10)

World War Two


In March 1942, with all the signs pointing to an ominous future for the Allies, Leo Maynes joined the Army. Initially he trained in Melbourne, and then moved to northern Australia as the war progressed. In Melbourne he was an obvious choice for Army Football. He was soon involved as a member of the Watsonia team in the 1942 Inter-Services competition.

1942 Inter-Services football was of a high standard. The competing teams were very strong, and included many VFL and VFA players, and also interstate players stationed in Melbourne. For Leo Maynes, this was hardly a step down from the VFL Seconds.

Photo 17 Watsonia Whites / Infantry Team 1942 at Brunswick Street Oval, Fitzroy

Watsonia Whites - Source: Daniel Maynes - Photographer Unknown
Watsonia Whites - Source: Daniel Maynes - Photographer Unknown


Back Row, Unknown, Leo Maynes (Fitzroy, Essendon), Norm Ware (Footscray), Bernie McVeigh (Fitzroy), Unknown, Unknown
Second Back Row: Soldier, Unknown, Len Toyne (Fitzroy, Melbourne), Unknown, Unknown, Unknown, Leo Monaghan (Fitzroy), Unknown, Soldier
Second Front Row: Soldier, Unknown, Soldier, Soldier, Stan Judkins (Richmond) - Captain, Soldier, Soldier, Unknown
Front Row: Unknown, Unknown, Trainer?, Unknown, Unknown, Soldier

Post-War

After the war, Leo Maynes remained involved with the Essendon Football Club. A popular figure among the past and present players at the time, Leo ran the Past Players Association bar at every home game at Windy Hill up until the 1980’s.

He continued his pre-war job at Eastgate Furniture Productions in West Brunswick, working as a wood-machinist from Monday to Friday (and on Saturday mornings before football matches, just as he had done during his playing days).

Leo's son Brian Maynes later played VFA football with Northcote in the 1970’s and trained with some VFL clubs, including Fitzroy. Unfortunately Brian's football career was also marred by injury.

The last photo in Leo’s collection is a photo from a past players game.

Photo 18 Essendon Old Players Team, circa late-1940’s

Old Players Team, circa late-1940’s
Old Players Team, circa late-1940’s


Conclusion

The various photos in the collection of Leo Maynes together provide an insight into the absorbing history of a footballer from the thirties and forties - his clubs, his team mates, his whole football life. Leo played alongside some of the all-time greats (Brownlow Medallists Haydn Bunton and Dick Reynolds for instance). He clashed with Jack Dyer, and lined up on goal sneak Norm Smith at the MCG. He played in the VFA, and the VFL , and with the Army. He won wooden spoons and premierships. He also travelled, made friends, and built memories for a lifetime. We can only feel very grateful Leo preserved for posterity his wonderful photographs from that bygone era. They are now a valuable part of our football legacy.




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