Northcote Senior Team 1939 (SLV 122_117)

Charles Boyles Collection SLV

Link to Photo at SLV Website
SLV Accession no. H2008.122/117

Team: Northcote (VFA
Location: Westgarth Street (Northcote
Date: 1939

Back row: Jack Holden, Bill Downie, Ern Hart, Unknown, Unknown, Unknown, Unknown
Middle row: Unknown, Unknown, Cec Ruddell, Arthur Mietzcke, Harry Honig, Claude Watt, Les Smith
Front Row: Stan Powell


This is Northcote’s 1939 VFA senior team photographed in front of the grandstand at Westgarth Street.

Northcote in 1939 was able to make the semi-final but it was all downhill after this for the once dominant VFA club.

Players recognised are: Jack Holden (extreme left back row), Bill Downie (second from left in back row), Ern Hart (fourth from left in back row), Cec Ruddell (third from left in middle row), Harry Honig (fifth from left in middle row), Claude Watt (sixth from left in middle row), Les Smith (seventh from left in middle row), Stan Powell (third from left in front row). The player fourth from left in middle row is possibly 1939 captain Arthur Mietzcke (originally from Koondrook;18 games for South Melbourne 1931-33). Holden had played 40 VFL senior games for St Kilda and Geelong.

Ruddell, who finished equal second in the VFA’s Recorder Cup in 1939, went on to play at full-back in Essendon’s 1942 VFL premiership side and later coached Camberwell (VFA). 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.

Northcote’s coach in 1939 was Bill Libbis (ex-Collingwood and Melbourne) but he is not in this photo. Slight emulsion damage lower right-hand side. Grandstand half-full. Black shorts. The very same photo is reproduced in 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

One can probably be confident about the above identification of Arthur Mietzcke. He appears in a number of Northcote photos.

Back row far right is possibly Jack Burke (Hawthorn). But Burke played for Hawthorn in 1939, playing seven games from Round 1 through to Round 18.
Burke played for Caulfield (Federal League) in 1938.
FOOTBALL RULE CRITICISED. (1939, March 21). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 20. Retrieved August 8, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12109495

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