Blueseum - Online Carlton Football Club Museum
Loading...
 
Season 1896 - Our last year in the VFA

1896

PLUS: CLUB BY CLUB WIN - LOSS - DRAW, & CARLTON'S WIN - LOSS - DRAW 1864-1896

show_image.php?id=353


1896.
Carlton Captain. T. Blake.
Vice Captain. J. Aitken.
President. Arthur Hewitt Shaw.
Secretary. J. Balharry.
VFA Delegates: Theophilis S. Marshall & Harold W. Balharry.
Home Ground. Various; University C.G., E.M.C.G., M.C.G.
Premiership Matches Played. 18. Won 2. Lost 14. Drew 2.


The gentleman pictured (above & below) in the top hat is Carlton President Arthur Shaw. Next to him could be H. Mackay, and Secretary W. C. Donaldson is holding the child.
Bill Weir standing to our left of Arthur Shaw
Carlton captain Tom Blake is holding the ball.
Brook Hannah, wearing a cap is next to Tom Blake.
Other possible (not verified) players are, from the left;
Jimmy Aitken, back far left of the "Original" picture. (see below)
E. (Ernie) Ashton, next to Aitken wearing a cap.
Ernie Walton, back row next to and on our right of the child.
Bill Casey, crouching, front row far left.
Wally O'Cock front row third from left.
Jim Balharry to the right, is partly obscured behind a player.
Fred Rolfe our left of Jim Balharry
Former Blue, umpire Henry 'Ivo' Crapp far right, see "Original" picture.

If the umpire is 'Ivo' Crapp then this photo is of the team that played Geelong on June 20.

Original 1896 Team Photo

Image


Image

Image

Vice captain Jimmy Aitken

Image

Image

Image



Carlton would finish 12th. of 13 teams in 1896, sharing the foot of the ladder with Richmond.

It would be our last season in the V.F.A., with the Blues joining 7 other Clubs in a breakaway competition called the Victorian Football League or V.F.L.

The other 7 Clubs would be St Kilda, Essendon, Fitzroy, Melbourne, South Melbourne, Geelong and Collingwood.

Senior clubs in the V.F.A. had become disgruntled in having to travel to sub standard outer suburban grounds with the inherent difficulties of transport.

The loss in revenue from these games coupled with the V.F.A.’s amateur only stance, frustrated clubs.

Former Carlton Captain now V.F.A. Secretary, Theophilis S. Marshall proposed that the V.F.A. take over the complete handling of clubs' finances and donate the excess profits to charity!

Geelong urged Essendon to sound out inner city clubs about breaking away to form a separate competition.

Before the season commenced Carlton lost stalwarts in Jack Leith, Bill Walton, James Ingram, Breese (Breeze), and G. Smith.

A sign of desperate times current player Balharry becomes Carlton secretary.

Better Carlton players for the year; Hannah, Blake, Woodhouse, Patterson, Aitken, O'Cock, Balharry, Ernie Walton, Reekie, and Heffernan.


----

1896 V.F.A. Ladder

Pos TeamPlayed WinsLosses DrawsGoals ForGoals AgainstPoints
1Collingwood181431865558
2South Melbourne181431865558
3Essendon1814401226456
4Melbourne1812601197448
5Fitzroy181260805948
6North Melbourne18891928034
7Port Melbourne18783706534
8Williamstown18783649334
9St.Kilda186111698826
10Footscray185103698426
11Geelong184113879322
12Carlton182142469012
13Richmond1831505213112


Image
Image: Free Lance May 21 1896


1896 Carlton V.F.A. Fixture.


May
02 Bye, played Ballarat Imperial at Ballarat.
09 Essendon, at East Melbourne.
16 North Melbourne, at the University Ground.
23 Richmond, at Punt Road.
30 Collingwood, at the University Ground.

June
06 VFA Charity Day, no premiership matches.
13 St.Kilda, at StKilda.
20 Geelong, at the M.C.G. moved from the University Ground.
27 Port Melbourne, at the University Ground.

July
04 Fitzroy, at the M.C.G.
11 Footscray, at the University Ground.
18 South Melbourne, at South Melbourne.
25 Melbourne, at the M.C.G.

August
01 Williamstown, at the University Ground.
08 Bye:
15 Footscray, at Footscray.
22 St.Kilda, at the University Ground.
29 North Melbourne. Rain had made all grounds unplayable.

September
05 North Melbourne, at North Melbourne.
12 Collingwood, at Victoria Park.
19 Richmond, at the Richmond City Reserve.
26 Williamstown, at the Williamstown Cricket Ground.
-------


1896 Season


Some details are mising, teams,reserves/second twenty, goals scorers, etc. If anyone has these could they please contact Blueseum.

March 31

CARLTON AGM

Carlton F. C. AGM held at Carlton Hall 8pm.
The President Mr. Bromley MLA occupied the chair, and was supported by Messrs.
A. H. Shaw, Lanyon, Melville (secretary), M. B. Hearne (treasurer) and Cr. Cook.
The President called on the secretary, Mr. Melville, to read the report, which was as follows;

The committee, in presenting their annual report for the past season, do so with a feeling of disappointment, as they were sanguine at the early part of the season that the club would come out in a more improved position on the premiership list.
The team deserves every consideration. They gave great promise in most of the matches, and some capital games were played.
It is encouraging to find that with a falling revenue your committee has been able to reduce the club's liabilities, although not to any large extent. With the exercise of great economy we have been able to reduce our liabilites to the extent of some £30 ($60)
The question of a playing ground is one of...(text unreadable)..........matches once more played at Princes Park, the scene of many a hard fought battle in the past.
Illuminated addresses will be presented to Messrs. T. Blake, F. Rolfe, and J. Aitken the last mentioned being presented by the president Mr. Bromley.
It is with extreme regret we have to refer to the serious injury which happened to Mr. George Smith, one of our most sterling players. He was severely injured in a mine accident, and will be maimed for life. We give our heartfelt sympathy for himself and his family, and trust the fund being raised for their benefit will be of substantial help.
It was announced, amid cheering, that this morning Mr. Bloomfield had donated £8 ($16) to the Smith fund.
We hope our successors will be able to chronicle better results than we have been able to do.
The statement of accounts showed that the receipts from all sources last season, including a balance from the previous year of 14s4d ($1.45), amounted to £177 17s 2d ($355.71). The expenditure totalled £143 2s 9d ($286.29), including a sum which had been paid off a loan negotiated previously.
The balance sheet shows a balance in hand of £11 14s 5d. ($23.45)
Mr. Bromley moved that the report and balance sheet be adopted. He congratulated the club upon the state of it's finances.

Club membership had dramatically dropped off.
A few years ago it was 900 now it was down to 195.
The bad results of last year were put down solely to the total absence of professionalism in the Carlton team.
Every man in it played soley for the love of the game. Not a shilling had been voted last year to any player.
A reference was made to Princes Park which the club had now just secured.
The late Cr. William Ievers some 16 years ago first brought this matter up with the City Council and then he only had one supporter.
A hard fought battle ensued and there was much opposition, and Cr. Cook had taken up the fight which was eventually won.
It is believed that the ground will be ready in twelve months to play on.
It remained for the people of Carlton to rally round and support the old club.
A special appreciation for the hard work the out going secretary Mr. John Melville had done over the years was well received.
For a full report see the John 'Jack' Melville page.
Mr. Shaw was elected President, defeating Mr. Bromley.
Vice Presidents; J. Gardiner, Lanyon, Bailey, W. C. Donaldson, G. Ievers.
Patrons of the club;
Lieut.Col. Robertson, Messrs. S. Quirk, Theophilis S. Marshall, A. Gillespie the Mayor, Cr. Strong, Alderman Pigdon, Cr. Cook, Cr. Brenan, Dr. Fletcher.
Drs. Mailer, Coles and Griffiths were added to the patrons list.
Mr. Hearne re-elected as treasurer.
Mr. Balharry elected at secretary.
The committee was elected;
J. Roberts, J. Harrington, F. W. Bennett, H. Darke, J. Frost, E. W. Camm, R. Lewis, A. Kemp, A. Youl.

SILENCE IS GOLDEN

April 02 Thursday
"With charming naivete several speakers at the annual meeting of the Carlton Football Club "expressed the opinion that the poor form shown by the club recently was due to the fact that not a shilling had been expended for professionalism."
The inference is that last season Carlton played a team consisting of legitimate, if comparatively weak, amateurs, but that in the former time of the club's prosperity its success was achieved by means which, if exposed, would have rendered the club and all the paid players liable to disqualification under the laws of the Victorian Football Association.
The only detail, however, in which Carlton has differed from other clubs in this respect is in having amongst its members some ingenious enough to let the cat out of the bag. These, however, appear to have hit the right nail on the head in accounting for the falling off in the club's strength.
If all the other clubs would follow suit, and "not spend a shilling for professionalism," there might be a chance for football to regain the enviable position which it once occupied, but from which it fell with a bump when the revenues derived from playing on enclosed grounds, for which there was no legitimate outlet, began to be expended in enticing players away from other clubs. Whatever may be the success or failure of the Carlton players this year, they will at least retain the respect of the best supporters of the game, so long as it can be openly said without fear of contradiction that "not a shilling has been spent on professionalism."
(Age p6)

NEW PLAYERS FOR THE BLUES THIS YEAR

Muirhead, - Fitzroy Juniors.
O'Cock, - Albion United.
Orford, a forward/centreman - Brighton.
Hewitt, a fine mark and kick - Cheltenham.
H. Howard, - Fitzroy Juniors.
D. Ferguson, a half back - Williamstown.
F. Blackham, & J. Reekie - Albion United.
Joe Birch, - Coburg.
Robinson, - Collingwood Imperials.
Hastings, - Essendon districts.
Heffernan, - returning former Blue.
Bill Weir, - Fitzroy F.C.
Casey - Brunswick
Ernie Ashton - Collingwood

April 18
Carlton played Royal Park Crescent (juniors)
Carlton lost; 2 - 3

April 24
VFA Meeting
Carlton's delegate to the Association is M. J. Balharry (a misprint or a relation of H. W. Balharry and J. F. Balharry)
(Sportsman April 28 p6)

April 25
Carlton played Brunswick on the Brunswick C. G.
Players met at the Sarah Sands Hotel at 2.30pm

NECESSARY REFORMS

April 25
"Markwell" (John Healy former cricketer) from the Australasian writes about the deterioration of the game, the problems with little marks, over umpiring of games, "useless" behinds, undesirable players, and the inactivity of the VFA to act to improve the game.
To read click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139724643

May 01 V.F.A. Permit Committee.
J. Walsh (B. J. Walsh) granted a tranfer from Footscray to Carlton.
Leith transfer from Carlton to Essendon denied as the Committee was not satisfied that the clearance was bona-fide. (see July 25)

May 02
The Blues have lost a quarter of last year's team for various reasons.
Experienced players in Walton, Breeze, James Ingram, Leith and G. Smith are gone. The Blues are hoping the new recruits will fill the void.

Commenting on this year's fixture The Australasian mentions that the VFA has endeavoured to even up the draw with last year's top teams to play each other twice and the bottom teams like wise.
However there will always be anomalies.
"It will suffice to say that if there is any disparity at all in the programmes set for the first half dozen clubs, the advantage would appear to lie with Collingwood."
Fast forward one hundred plus years, and nothing has changed.

May 02

THE COMING SEASON: by "Follower" - The Leader Newspaper

"Owning to various causes there were distinct indications last year of football losing, in a very marked degree, its previously firm hold on the public generally, and many of the game's best and most enthusiastic supporters in the past made no secret of football having no longer any charm for them. As the discontented ones were in many instances men whose personal patronage and support had been greatly instrumental in keeping the game prominent amongst the most successful and popular of Australian sports, their undisguised expressions of dissatisfaction could only be recognised as a menace to the continued popularity of the game, which could ill afford to lose any of those whose desire and endeavor were to preserve it as a wholesome recreation in which young fellows in any grade of society might indulge without jeopardising their respectability.
There was no humbug about the fault-finding of last season, for it was done in sorrow rather than in anger by men who were as fond as ever of the game which had for years been their greatest delight, but who had become annoyed and disgusted with the altered system of conducting and playing it. So far as the actual play was concerned, its deterioration was but the inevitable realisation of warnings which had passed unheeded.
The crowding of a horde of players upon the ball, and the consequent substitution of "bullocking" for the free and open game which once delighted thousands, was deliberately encouraged and brought about by the obstinacy, stupidity or indifference of those who were supposed to regulate the game and watch over its interests. It is useless for members to the Victorian Football Association to attempt to shift the responsibility from their shoulders. They were persistently warned that the abuse of "little marking" was ruining the game, but, ignoring the advice whose sole and disinterested object was to see the game flourish, they were content to complacently look on as long as the gate receipts kept up to the mark. At last these fell off, leaving the culpable authorities face to face with the dire result of their neglect of duty and undischarged responsibilities.
I pointed out in these columns long ago that the proper time for the association delegates to meet and discuss the best means of improving the game was during the summer recess, so that the opening of a season might find the faults and abuses of the previous season removed or legislated for; but the same old policy of utter indifference has been observed, and with the most disastrous results. Delegates who must have seen for themselves in every match played that no umpire - not even Trait - could prevent the injury the game was suffering through the illegitimate practice of unfair "little marking" had not sufficient energy or interest in the game to pass a simple law which everybody but themselves could see was necessary to save it from going to the dogs. Nor is this the only matter in connection with which the laches of the so-called authorities has been apparent.
The absurd anomaly of recognising and adjudicating as at present for "behinds" has been for years urged, but to no purpose. The perpetuation of a farce which must have originated at the conference of delegates from Yarra Bend and Kew (Melbourne's insane asylums - Blueseum) is incomprehensible, but still neither players, secretaries not committeemen have agitated for its discontinuance. If any advantage should attach to so overpowering the enemy as to work the ball past all his forces from one end of the ground to the other, and eventually, after beating his defence, drive it over his goal line, any sane man would expect the benefit to accrue to the achiever of the feat. Under the intelligent laws which govern the great Australian game of football, however, the advantage which should be gained by the overpowering side is not only nullified, should the last kick be an inch wide of the mark, but the side which has been unable to resist the attack is positively rewarded by an order for the siege to be raised while one of the beaten side is allowed first to encroach unmolested 7 yards into the ground that his team has been unable to hold possession of, and then without interference to kick the ball away to relieve the attack upon his goal. All would be well enough if behinds had value as part of the score, but while the attainment of a behind by superior play so far from adding to the score positively involves a distinct advantage to the other side, the laws of the Australian game cannot be expect to command universal support.
The opening of a new season is not the occasion one would prefer to choose for fault finding, but so long as the dancers refuse to dance all the piper can do is to pipe away persistently in hope of eventually infusing some life into the laggards. No task would be more congenial on the eve of an opening day than to refer in pleasant retrospective terms to the success of the past season, and to paint in roseate hues the prospects of the next, but on the present occasion that is a forbidden privilege unless one would whitewash abuses and condone culpable neglect at the sacrifice of candor at the best interests of the game. Unfortunately it cannot be denied that football has gradually drifted into the wrong hands, and that consequently it has become more a business than a recreation. The position of things is lamentable, and particularly to those who remember it as a splendid sport, the most ardent and skilful early exponents of which have in later life achieved the greatest social and public distinctions attainable. Supporters of amateur sport genuinely lament the existing state of affairs, but hopelessly resign themselves to the position, under the altogether erroneous impression that it cannot be improved. What honest supporters and admirers of football as a pure and unadulterated sport wish to see is the game played by the stamp of young fellows who played it -(?) illegitimate traffic in players came into - (?) causing the rules which are supposed to g-(?) govern? the game to be openly laughed at. At th(?) sent present? time if you want to see for yourself -(?) who? are the successors of the genuine amateurs -(?) who? once graced the game of football, you will -(?) find? them in the harriers' clubs, which, happ-(?) the rising generation, have sprung into existence? all round the suburbs to encourage -(?) genuine of all amateur sports, and -(?) clubs, it is gratifying to note, are reason -(?) season experiencing increased prosperity."

(?) - The quality of reproduction of the newspaper in the latter part of the article is unreadable. One would need to source the original edition of the Australasian which is held by the State Library of Victoria in storage in Ballarat.
blueseum's guess?

May 02
Opening round of the 1896 Premiership season.
Carlton had the bye.

Carlton played Ballarat Imperial at Saxon Paddock, Ballarat.
The Blues departed on the 6.30am train for Ballarat.
To avoid a guernsey clash, the Imps wore Ballarat jumpers.
Many of the Blues' players were from the metropolitan junior clubs and it was one of the lightest teams ever to visit the city.
The junior players in the side made too many mistakes and turned the ball over.
The weather was fine, but the wind favoured the the end the Imps kicked to in the first quarter.

O'Cock and Dobbin scored the first two goals.
Carlton team; (28 named)
Aitkin, Tom Blake (Capt.), Balharry, Hannah, Patterson, Patterson, Frost, Walton, Woodhouse, Rolfe, Giles, Dobbin, Jack Reekie, Paton, Power, O'Cock, +Ryan, Casey, Heffernan, Howard, Walsh, Weir, Sammy Grey, Blackham, Joe Birch, Dowling, Dowling, Montgomery.
Umpire; C. Herbert
Carlton lost;
Carl. 0.0 2.2 2.2 4.5
B.Imp.1.2 2.2 4.4 6.5
Goal scorers; O'Cock, Dobbin, Joe Birch, Gray
Best; Ernie Walton, Howard (on the back line), and Tom Blake.
Players mentioned; (7) Walton, Gray, Tom Blake, O'Cock, Dobbin, Joe Birch, Howard.

May 08
V.F.A. Permit Committee.
Permits granted for,
H. Howard to transfer from Fitzroy to Carlton.
W. Casey to transfer from South Tasmania to Carlton.
Bill Weir Fitzroy to Carlton.

May 08
V.F.A. meeting at Young and Jackson's Hotel.
The Age Saturday 9, published T. S. Marshall's address to the Association.

THE WEAKNESESS OF THE GAME - INTERESTING PAPER BY MR. MARSHALL.

Mr. Theophilis S. Marshall, secretary, then read a paper on Football, dwelling at length on the history of the game since 1858, when the Australian rules became established in Victoria. His object was to contrast the past with the present, and see whether there was any need for amendment of the game. There was now no matches to equal some of those witnessed in the past, when there was no suspicion of billets being required by players. Unsparing criticism had been passed in the press regarding weak points in the game, and there was no doubt blemishes do exist.
Little marking was one of the most attractive features of the game, but owing to the alteration of the rule regarding little marks the open character of the play had been destroyed, and many of the games were really a farce and an eyesore to the public. (Hear, hear) Players also were guilty of nasty, spiteful and unmanly tricks. The association should promptly check these objectionable features, and not allow the game to degenerate into a scramble. Bullocking play was unscientific, and, combined with petty meannesses in the field, was a great factor in the deterioration of the game; while the bad and coarse language used by some of the players was calculated (?) to drive the best stamp of men from the field. There was no doubt that the game would benefit if certain players were to discontinue playing.
It has become a serious question as to how the vast sums of money obtained by the clubs should be disposed of. He found that in 1891 Essendon's revenue was £1060, Carlton's £935, Geelong's £658, Fitzroy's £741, and South Melbourne's £681, making a total of £4,075; while in the following season Carlton received £965, Essendon £935, Geelong's £766, Fitzroy £653, and South Melbourne £557, making a total of £3760 and a gross total for two years of £7835. What had these clubs to show for that money? (Hear, hear) Next to nothing. Could those clubs not do something more with the money in the future than they had in the past? Surely a little more could be put aside than had been for unselfish objects. (Hear, hear) His proposal was that the gross receipts of all clubs should be paid into the association, clubs to receive £5 per week, excepting Geelong and clubs journeying there, who would be entitled to more. That would give the association £500, which could be distributed amongst the charities, and the clubs would thereby would render valuable services to needy persons and at the same time enlist increased patronage from the public (Applause.)
The Chairman congratulated Mr. Marshall upon the excellence of his paper, and urged clubs and members of the association to stand firm in the interests of the game.
It was decided to postpone discussion until next meeting, and in the meantime the paper was ordered to be printed.
Mr. W. H. Williams, in proposing a vote of thanks to Mr. Marshall , thought that the press, instead of crying the game down, should give the association suggestions for it's improvement. The critical question to settle was whether the game should be amateur or professional. (Hear, hear.) At present the worst form of professionalism prevailed, because, under existing conditions, clubs felt constrained to hide their actions and act in a way that was not fair and aboveboard. (Hear, hear.)
Mr. Mitchell seconded the motion, which was carried, and after Mr. Marshall had returned thanks the meeting closed.

May 08 Friday

FOOTBALL NOTES

"FOOTBALL - is once more with us. The game that is planted deep down in the hearts of all loyal Australian sports - from the infant tugging at his mother's skirts to the grizzled old grey-beard, who has watched the various changes wrought by successive generations in raising the game to that pre-eminence which it now enjoys. What visions of bliss it brings to the mind of those of us who have been compelled by advancing years to beat a retreat, and assist in swelling the hordes of "barrackers," who - notwithstanding the recent bicycle craze - are still to be found crowding the respective football arenas every Saturday afternoon. Good old "barracker!" - for, however ever much you may be maligned, what would the game be without you?
What inseparable surroundings there are permeating the atmosphere of the different dressing-rooms - eucalyptus oil and frizzled epidermis the prominent ones - that attracts the nostrils of those preparing for the coming fray. And yet they exist upon it - live upon it, as it were - nauseating though its fumes may be to the puzzled onlooker.
What's that? The bell ringing? Well, I ought to have known from the muffled sounds of impatience that were beginning to be heard from the spectators that it must be near to time for starting. Your ordinary "barracker," though he will stand for two hours in a drizzling rain watching his side playing, has a most pronounced objection to unnecessary delay."
(North Melbourne Courier and West Melbourne Advertiser 08 May p3)

PLAYER TURNOVER

The change over of Carlton players in the Brendan Bolton era 2015 - 2017 has so far been quite remarkable. 39 players gained senior selection in 2017, the most in the AFL.
However, 121 years ago in 1896, 50 players would be selected for Carlton senior games this season.

May 09
Carlton played Essendon at the East Melbourne C.G.
The 1896 season got off to a disastrous start for the young, inexperienced Blues.
This game was virtually a walk over for "the same old", they were never extended.
Against a powerful Essendon team the Blues failed to score a goal.
O'Cock's snap shot was going through the goals when the bell to end the first quarter sounded. The goal did not count. However, Essendon's last goal was kicked after the final bell. A kick from a mark was allowed to be taken, but if it was in the air when the bell rang it was declared "dead."
Many new players in the Blues side.
Aitken did not play.
Carlton team; (29 named)
Ashton, Balharry, Bennett, Joe Birch, Blake, Casey, Dobbin, Dunn, Frost, Giles, Grey, Hannah, Heffernan, Howard, Melville, O'Cock, Park, Paton, Patterson, Patterson, Power, Reekie, Rolfe, Ryan, Stewart, Walsh, Walton, Weir, Woodhouse
Umpire; McCoy.
Carlton lost;
Carl. 0.3 0.3 0.7 0.7
Ess. 1.0 5.8 7.9 11.17
Best; Hannah, Blake, Balharry, Patterson.
Players mentioned; (12) Hannah, he took over Aitken's roving duties, Blake, Balharry, Reekie, Frost, Woodhouse, Patterson, Walsh, Rolfe, Weir, and best of the new players were Wally O'Cock, and Bill Casey.
V.F.A. ladder; Carlton eleventh.
Played 1 Won 0 Lost 1 Goals For 0 Against 11 Points 0.

May 16
Carlton played North Melbourne at the University Ground.
The weather was splendid and there was a good attendance at the ground.
A very unslightly, rough, scrambling type of game, with the occasional passage of fast open play.
Carris a junior umpire, failed to penalise the most flagrant breaches of the rules.
The Blues were overwhelmed by North, but in the final quarter they managed to hold the Northerners and out score them.
O'Cock's second goal came from a free kick just one yard out in front of the goal.
"Ernie Ashton- great acquistion for the Carlton team."
"E. Launder a bit too good for O'Cockalorum, though the latter managed to score twice."
"Tommy Blake - appeared to run amuck. What's wrong Tommy?"
Beaten by the Northerners in most departments. The forward line is Carlton's weakest link.
Carlton team; (24 named, plus two other names unreadable)
E. Ashton, Armstrong, Balharry, Tom Blake, Joe Birch, Cameron, Casey, Dobbin, Dunn, Finley, Frost, Giles, Sammy Grey, Hannah, Heffernan, Melville, O'Cock, William Patterson, James Patterson, Jack Reekie, Fred Rolfe, Walsh, Weir, Bill Woodhouse.
Umpire; Carris
Carlton lost;
Carl. 0.3 0.3 1.4 2.6
N.M. 2.2 3.3 6.4 6.4
Goals; O'Cock 2
Players mentioned; (12) Armstrong (best for the Blues on a wing), Hannah (roving), Blake, Paton, Ashton (these three on the ball), O'Cock, Balharry (forwards), Rolfe, Reekie (backs), Patterson, Walton, Woodhouse.
V.F.A. ladder; Carlton thirteenth.
Played 2 Won 0 Lost 2 Goals For 2 Against 17 Points 0.

May 22 Friday

ROVING ROVER?

Jimmy Aitken asked the VFA for a permit to transfer, but played for the Blues on Saturday.
(Sportsman May 27 p6)
He would remain and become Carlton captain in 1897

May 23
Carlton played Richmond at the Richmond Cricket Ground, Punt Road.
A split round Queen's Birthday long weekend.
The ground was in poor condition.
The Blues kicked with the breeze which abated after quarter time.
Richmond played as individuals rather than as a team.
Aitken returned for his first game this season, and "roved in rare style for the winners."
The Blues defence was solid with Reekie/Reckie, Dunn, and Frost playing well.
Wingers Casey, and Armstrong (who gave away unnecessary free kicks), and the forwards in Hannah and Dobbin also played well.
The Argus said defender Rolfe was Carlton's best player.
Playing positions mentioned in reports;
Defenders; Dunn, Frost, Rolfe, Reckie
Wings; Armstrong, Casey
Forwards; Hannah, Heffernan, Dobbin, O'Cock
Followers; Blake, Woodhouse, Balharry, Paton
Rover; Aitken
Possible team line-up (Blueseum)
Backs; W. Weir, H. Dunne, J. Burns
Half backs; J. Reekie, F. Rolfe, R. Frost
Centre; R. Armstrong, W. Patterson, W. Casey
Half forwards; B. Hannah, E. Walton, W. O'Cock
Forwards; S. Grey, E. Heffernan, Dobbin
Followers; T. Blake, W. Woodhouse, J. Balharry, J. Paton
Rover; J. Aitken
Carlton team; (28 named)
Armstrong, Ashton, Balharry, Bennent, Blake, Joe Birch, Burns, Cameron, Casey, Dobbin, Dunn, Finlay, Frost, Giles, Hannah, Heffernan, Howard, O'Cock, Paton, Patterson, Patterson, Reekie, Rolfe, Ryan, Walsh, Walton, Weir, Woodhouse.
(8) Bennent, J. Birch, Cameron, Finlay, Giles, Howard, Ryan and Walsh did not play.
Carlton's Starting 20 (Mark Pennings)
J. Aitken, R. Armstrong, J. Balharry, T. Blake, J. Burns, W. Casey, Dobbin, H. Dunne, R. Frost, S. Grey, B. Hannah, E. Heffernan, W. O'Cock, J. Paton, W. Patterson, J. Reekie, F. Rolfe, E. Walton, W. Weir, W. Woodhouse.
Umpire; McCoy.
Carlton won;
Carl. 3.4 5.4 6.4 6.5
Rich. 1.0 2.0 3.1 3.2
Goals; Aitken 2, Hannah, Heffernan, Frost, Balharry.
Best: Rolfe, Reckie, Armstrong, Aitken, Hannah, Heffernan.
Players mentioned; (14) Aitken, Armstrong, Balharry, Blake, Casey, Dobbin, Dunn, Frost, Hannah, Ted Heffernan, John "Joe" Paton, Reekie, Rolfe, Woodhouse.
Plus; (6) J. Burns, S. Grey, W. O'Cock, W. Patterson, E. Walton, W. Weir.
V.F.A. ladder; Carlton tenth.
Played 3 Won 1 Lost 2 Goals For 8 Against 20 Points 4.

May 25 Monday
1896: The Age;

PROFESSIONALISM IN FOOTBALL

A Demoralised Association.
Ten days ago members of the Victorian Football Association warmly applauded an address delivered by Mr. Theophilis S. Marshall, the secretary of the association, having for it's primary object the reformation of football
Approval of Mr. Marshall's sentiments was expressed, and it was received that it should be printed, but it was pointed out at the time in these columns that the public would wait somewhat impatiently for practical proof that the desire which had been expressed viva voce* to improve the morale of the game was genuine.
The opportunity for that proof to be given occurred last Friday night, with the disappointing result that members of the association showed themselves to be utterly indifferent to the reputation of the game, and quite unfit to any longer pose as the custodians thereof.
L. Webb who alleges that the Essendon Football Club paid him to play - contrary to the rules - made a specific statement in writing to that effect, which was published in The Leader last Thursday, and came before the association on the following evening. Nobody sympathises with Webb, who, if his own statement be correct, has informed against the club with which he entered into an arrangement to break the laws which are supposed to govern the game.In his apparent desire to get the Essendon club into trouble Webb has probably settled his chance of being allowed to play for any club under the Victorian rules; but that is his business.
It is the cool complacency of the association in taking no notice of the first distinct charge which has ever yet been made against a club of paying a player, which the football public resents (?)
It needs hardly be said that on Saturday the subject was freely discussed, the unanimous verdict being that the Victorian Football Association had been untrue to it's responsibilities, that its supineness in this matter would be more to injure the game than all the rough play recorded in a year, and that constituted as it is the association is an incapable insitutuion, the existence of which is inimical to the best interests of the game which is erroneously supposed to foster and protect.
Whether Webb's charges can be substantiated or not does not in the least degree bear upon the question. He made it without any reservation, and it seems incredible in the first place that the Essendon's club representatives allowed the slur to be cast upon their club without any attempt at refutation, or any expressed desire for an inquiry. In the second place it will be asked, What do the other delegates mean by quietly allowing the first distinct charge on record of encouraging illicit professionalism to pass without even a word of comment?
The game for some time has been floundering in the mire, but it might surely have been supposed that the last people to trample it down beyond the probability of resuscitation would be the members of the Victorian Football Association. It need not, however, be imagined that delegates with no backbone will be allowed to thus negatively administer the coup de grace to what is in itself a fine manly pastime, through being frightened to grasp the nettle.
In the emergency the football public, recognising Mr. Marshall as a genuine reformer whose honest desire is to purify and re-establish the game, will no doubt look; to him for the proper handling of this unpleasant but important subject, which cannot escape searching inquiry. Possibly some delegates who would have made allusion to it last Friday for decency's sake were hampered by doubts concerning the completeness of their justification in "casting the first stone" ; but as the veteran secretary is not likely to be affected by any such secret into giving the football public will be glad to hear from him, and the sooner the better.
Until the Essendon - Webb episode is cleared up it will be difficult - especially in face of Mr. Marshall's recently published statistics - to convince any reasoning person that the management of football in Victoria has been anything better than a huge and contemptible sham, to which a final e might appropriately be affixed.
-* (By word of mouth.)
At the VFA meeting on May 8, the Richmond secretary had written asking why a transfer been refused to an L. Webb to play with the club.
"The letter had been ruled out of order on the ground that the application must be made by Webb himself."

May 27 Wednesday
The Sportsman (p6) reported that VFA hon sec. Theopilis S. Marshall has been asked to write a complete history of Australian Football. He has agreed.

May 30
Carlton played Collingwood at the University C. G.
The Blues kicked with the wind and should have had at least two more goals on the board at quarter time. Carlton played well against the wind in the second, but could not prevent the opposition scoring two goals.
The Blues held the lead with eight minutes remaining in the last quarter, when the Woods equalised.
A (disputed) goal was kicked as the final bell rang, giving the visitors a hard fought victory.
The final bell was rung four minutes after proper time and Colingwood scored the winning goal while the bell rung. Carlton have lodged a protest with the Association. (If the ball is is the air when the bell rings then the ball is declared "dead," however, if a free kick is awarded and the bell rings then the kick is allowed.)
"The Carlton club have lodged a protest, on the grounds that Collingwood's winning goal was kicked during the extra time during which the match was played. The secretary (Mr. J. Balharry), in his letter, states - 'The timekeepers admit their mistake, and their excuse is that they made an error in their calculation."
The protest will be considered at the next VFA meeting.
Carlton skipper Tom Blake played well in the ruck, Aitken roving, and Hannah completely outclassed Pannam (Lou Richards' grand father) on the wing.
Ex Blue champion, W. Strickland (a foot injury) did not play against his former club.
Carlton team; (26 named)
Armstrong, Ashton, Aitken, Blake, Balharry, Casey, Dunn, Dobson, Frost, Grey, Hannah, Heffernan, Howard, Leach, O'Cock, Patterson, Patterson, Paton, Reekie, Rolfe, Ryan, Walton, Weir, Woodhouse, Walsh, Finlay.
Did not play; (6) Dobson, Finlay, Grey, Leach, Ryan, Walsh,
Umpire; J. Shaw.
Carlton lost;
Carl. 1.7 1.7 3.10 3.10
Coll. 0.0 2.3 2.5 4.8
Goals; Frost 2, O'Cock.
Players mentioned; (12) J. Aitken, R. Armstrong, E. Ashton, Balharry, T. Blake, W. Casey, Dick Frost, B. Hannah, W. O'Cock, Fred Rolfe, E. Walton, Bill Weir.
Others that played; Dobbin, H. Dunne, E. Heffernan, H. Howard, J. Paton, J. Patterson, W. Patterson, J. Reekie.
V.F.A. ladder; Carlton twelfth.
Played 4 Won 1 lost 3 Goals For 11 Against 24 points 4.

June 01
V.F.A. Meeting.
Carlton brought to the attention of the committee that the time-keepers at the Carlton-Collingwood match admitted they had made a mistake.
They had allowed the final quarter to run for 30 minutes instead of the usual 25 minutes.
In that extra time Collingwood scored the winning goal.
The V.F.A. will look into it. (See June 20)

V.F.A. APATHY

June 04 Thursday
"V.F.A. now in the throes of the professionalism trouble, seem helpless as a moon-struck cod-fish on the seashore. Vague suspicions, ugly rumors, open avowal, and formal complaint followed each other with dull regularity. So far the Ass. has not stirred, and if it cannot see how injurious is its apathy to football, then some kind of friend - say, for instance, Tommy Bent - should get it send in its resignation and sit on the directorate of some Collins-street or Chinese Bank, where its apparent sympathy with sport would be truly appreciated."
(Free Lance June 04 p16)

June 06

V.F.A. CHARITY DAY.

Only the top four teams will take part.
£182 ($364) was donated to various hospitals.
No premiership matches.
M.C.G. will host a base ball game and then football matches between Essendon and Collingwood, followed by South Melbourne and Port Melbourne.
Boundary umpires will be used.
No marks under 10 yards.
A crossbar 10 feet from the ground between the goal posts. To score a goal the ball has to go over the cross bar.
A £10 trophy will be competed for.
J. Shaw, Molyneux, and Crapp will be the field umpires.
Three games of 40 minutes duration.
Essendon defeated Collingwood and Port Melbourne defeated South Melbourne.
Essendon 2.4 defeated Port Melbourne 1.1

As in the charity match last year boundary umpires were trialled again.
Former umpire J.J. Trait was is in favour of boundary umpires, he had seen them in operation last season in the Ballarat competition.
From a boundary throw in the ball was in play when it was in the air. The VFA has been urged for sometime to bring in this rule as it opens up the play.
The Age;
"When this is done, the enforced bounce from the throw in abolished, and some sensible legislation adopted respecting the scoring of behinds (which under existing regulations are almost unanimously admitted to be positively ridiculous) the Australian game of football will deserve and command public support. It is impossible that members of the association can be blind to the desirability and feasibility of making these alterations, and unless they rouse themselves, and promptly make improvements which can be so easily effected, they must expect the blame that will inevitably continue to fall upon them."
The V.F.A. reacted to the boundary throw in, see June 27.

June 13
Carlton played St.Kilda at St.Kilda.
The Blues kicked with the wind. The wind kept the play bottled up at one end of the ground for most of the day.
This was a disappointing match considering the Blues encouraging effort last week. Carlton only displayed occasional glimpses of brilliant play.
The Saints' four goals to none in the second quarter decided the match.
After the Saints' third goal, a spectator grabbed the ball, put it under his arm and made off with the ball with three St.Kilda barrackers giving chase.
Four Carlton players Aitken, Balharry, O'Cock and Ashton reported by umpire Carter for misconduct. (see July 2)
A scrambling type of game in which the umpire was the hardest working man.
Aitken kicked the ball out of the ground during the last term which caused considerable delay.
Carlton team; (24 named)
J. Aitken, R. Armstrong, Ashton, Balharry, Joe Birch, T. Blake, Casey, Dobbin, H. Dunn, Finley, Frost, B. Hannah, E. Heffernan, Howard, W. O'Cock, J. Paton, J. Patterson, W. Patterson, J. Reekie, F. Rolfe, E. Walton, Warne, Weir, Bill Woodhouse.
Finley, Paton, E. Walton, Warne and Bill Woodhouse did not play.
Logan played.
Umpire; Carter.
Carlton lost;
Carl. 2.1 2.1 3.2 3.2
St.K. 0.0 4.5 4.5 5.11
Goals; Heffernan, O'Cock, Paton.
Players mentioned; (14) W. Patterson (Blues best), Aitken (rover), Ashton, Balharry (follower), Rolfe (back), Blake (follower), Armstrong, O'Cock (forward), Dunn, Reekie, Howard, Hannah (wing), Heffernan, Weir .
Others that played; (6) J. Birch, W. Casey, Dobbin, Frost, Logan, J. Patterson.
Note: Pennings has named J. Paton as playing, but not E. Ashton. Ashton was reported by the field umpire Carter in this match. Paton may have played as well, but then that leaves 21 Carlton players.
V.F.A. ladder; Carlton twelfth.
Played 5 Won 1 Lost 4 Drawn 0 Goals For 14 Against 29 Points 4.

June 20

'WOODS GAIN THE EXTRA 2 POINTS

Reported in Saturday's Argus that the V.F.A. committee has considered the Carlton claim that Collingwood kicked a goal after time (May 30), and that the result should be changed to a draw.
The V.F.A. has dismissed the protest, and the match stands in Collingwood's favour.
The significance of this decision would have ramifications.
As both Collingwood and South Melbourne finished the season locked on 58 premierships points, this necessitated a play off for the premiership. Collingwood went on to win the play off.


The Bairnsdale Advertiser June 23 reported;
"The protest entered by the Carlton Football Club against the Collingwood club on the ground that the winning goal of the match played by them was kicked five minutes after time was dealt with by a committee of the V.F.A. on Friday. The evidence was somewhat contradictory, but as the Collingwood timekeeper produced notes taken by him at the match, giving details of the time at every stage of the game, and the Carlton timekeeper relied on his memory, which proved rather deficient, the former naturally received the more credence. After due consideration the committee decided that the match had finished in proper time, and accordingly dismissed the protest."

Image


June 20
Carlton played Geelong at the M.C.G. (moved from the University Ground.)
"For years the game has not been played under conditions so disagreeable as prevailed last Saturday. When the proceedings opened, although no rain had fallen from early morning, the grounds were one and all were little better than slush-ponds, and in every match players were heavily handicapped. Up to half-time however, there was a possibility of showing a semblance of football; and this possibility was turned to good account. But the rain came down in torrents during the interval, and was incessant for the remainder of the afternoon. Slush-ponds were speedily turned into lakes, and during the latter stages of the games there was to be seen nothing better than painfully ludicrous exhibitions, in which, though the boots were furnished with studs that might almost have been termed stilts, participants in the fray were much more frequently on their backs than on their feet. It was simply a case of "no man standing," and afforded a striking instance of the unwisdom of the gentlemen whose duty it is to legislate for the game. The matches had a right to be stopped at half-time in the interest of not only the play, but also, and more, for the sake of the players, many of whom will, I have no doubt, be rewarded for their foolhardy patriotism with rheumatics, colds, or other troublesome disorders." (Australasian June 27 p18)
The Blues won the toss but there was no wind advantage.
The M.C.G. was cut-up due to the schools' match played on it mid-week. The Australasian said that at the commencement, it was in worse condition than most other grounds.
When it rained, the slippery ball made handling very difficult and the game resembled a soccer match.
The Pivots would be rueing their lost chances, the Blues would have seen themselves as being very fortunate. (See Monday June 23)
The Blues rallied in the final term and O'Cock from a little mark, scored a goal with an excellent drop kick, and equalised the score late in the game.
Geelong had 19 shots at goal compared with the Blues' 4 (some kicks failed to score)
The ludicrous scoring system where behinds are not counted was clearly illustrated in this match and the Blues drew the game.
Carlton team; (25 named)
Robert Armstrong, James 'Jim' Aitken, Ernie Ashton, Tom Blake, Harold Balharry, Joe Birch, Robert 'Chic' Breeze, Burns, J. H. Burns, Bill Casey, Dobbin, Henry Dunne, Finlay, Robert 'Jack' Frost, Ted Heffernan, 'Brook' Hannah, Harry Howard, McGrath, 'Wally' O'Cock, 'Jim' Patterson, 'Joe' Paton, Fred Rolfe, Jack Reekie, William 'Wink' Weir, 'Ernie' Walton
Breeze, Burns, Burns, Finlay and McGrath did not play.
Carlton team line-up (Mark Pennings)
Backs; Weir, Howard, Dobbin
Half backs; Reekie, Rolfe, Hannah
Centre; Casey, W. Patterson, R. Armstrong
Half forwards; O'Cock, Walton, Dunne
Forwards; Frost, Heffernan, Birch
Followers; Blake, Balharry, Ashton, Paton
Rover; Aitken
Umpire; Crapp.
Match drawn.
Carl. 0.0 0.1 0.1 1.1
Geel. 0.0 1.6 1.11 1.13
Goal; O'Cock 1.0 Dunn 0.1
Players mentioned; (15) O'Cock, Dunn, Blake (follower), Balharry, E. (Ernie) Ashton, Armstrong (wing), Patterson (centre), Weir (defender), Hannah, Casey, Aitken, Harry Howard (defender), Reekie, Paton, Rolfe
V.F.A. ladder; Carlton twelfth.
Played 6 Won 1 Lost 4 Drawn 1 Goals For 15 Against 30 Points 6.

June 23 Monday
In it's review review of the Carlton vs Geelong match, The Age said;
"It is to hoped the the members of the Victorian Football Association, who have been told year after year that the game has been brought into ridicule by their senseless refusal to either abolish behinds or give them a value, were assembled in goodly numbers on the Melbourne cricket ground to witness the absurd farce of a recorded "draw" between Geelong and Carlton.
The former forced the ball over their opponents goal line fourteen times, the latter twice, and that constitutes a draw under the intelligently complied rules and regulations which continue to misgovern football as it is played in this and other colonies."

June 27
The V.F.A. decided on a rule change as from this day.
Prior to today, when the umpire threw the ball in the ball had to hit the ground before it was in play.
Now the ball will be in play as soon as it leaves the umpire's hands.

TIMEKEEPERS

"In recommending that the protest Carlton v Collingwood be dismissed, the committee suggested that timekeepers should enter in a book the start and finish of each quarter. (Sportsman June 30 p6)

June 27
Carlton played Port Melbourne at the University Ground.
This would be the last meeting between these clubs.
A new rule introduced, when the ball is thrown in, the ball now does not have to touch the ground before it can be played.
This made the game faster with less scrimmages.
A splendid, fast even game played on the open spaces of one of Melbourne's better football grounds.
When one team got an advantage the other would respond, and this continued all day.
High marking was a feature of the day's play.
The Blues wasted their opportunities in the first quarter.
Tom Blake is a first class player, but he can't kick goals.
Carlton team; (26 named)
Aitken, Armstrong, Ashton, Balharry, Blake, Joe Birch, Breene or Breeze?, Burns, Burns, Casey, Dobbin, Dunn, Frost, Hannah, Heffernan, Howard, McGrath, Lannan, Melville, O'Cock, Paton, Patterson, Rolfe, Reekie, Walton, Weir.
Umpire; McCoy.
Match Drawn.
Carl. 1.3 3.4 3.5 3.5
Port. 1.0 2.1 3.3 3.6
Goals; Dunn, Paton, O'Cock.
Players mentioned; (13) Armstrong, Aitken, Hannah, Howard, Casey, Balharry, O'Cock, Blake, Paton, Rolfe, Weir, Dunn, Patterson.
V.F.A. ladder; Carlton twelfth.
Played 7 Won 1 Lost 4 Drawn 2 Goals For 18 Against 33 Points 8.

July 02
The V.F.A. charged Aitken, Balharry, O'Cock and Ashton with misconduct with using obscene language towards umpire Carter in the St.Kilda match.
Aitken said he only used foul language only after the umpire had used it against him.
O'Cock was charged with kicking O'Grady (St.Kilda) in the head while both lay on the ground.
Both Aitken and O'Cock said that the umpire's statements were untrue.
Balharry admitted using a forcible expression.
Aitken and Balharry received a two week suspension.
Ashton and O'Cock received a one week suspension.
As the VFA only took the umpire word and did not allow evidence from the players, this decision was suspended until the players defence could be heard.
(The suspensions did not start until July 25)

July 03
The Argus published a letter from J. M. Aitken of the Carlton Football Club about the charges of misconduct against him.
Aitken had a number of people who were present at the game and witnessed the events. These witnesses were prevented by the V.F.A. from speaking in his defence.
"If I had been allowed to call my witnesses, they would have no doubt proved my innocence." wrote Aitken.

July 04
J. O'Cock also wrote to The Argus about his suspension and the fact that he was also prevented from providing witnesses that would have proved his innocence.

July 04

MISCONDUCT OF PLAYERS

The Evening News Sydney (p6) wrote about the St. Kilda match;
"Four members of the Carlton Club, Messrs. Aiken, Balharry, O'Cock, and Aston, were charged before a committee of the Victorian Football Association on Wednesday night with having misconducted themselves during the progress of a match between Carlton and St.Kilda by using bad language. Carter the central umpire on the occasion, who made the charge, stated that Aitken was the first to swear at him. The Carlton men accused him of being incompetent and partial to St.Kilda, and got worse in their conduct as the game went on, one player whose name he has been unable to discover putting up his hands and expressing his desire to fight the umpire.
Cater stated that he looked upon Aitken as the chief offender. O'Cock was charged with kicking O'Grady, a St.Kilda player, on the head as they lay on the ground, and also with using bad language. On being asked for their versions of the occurrence Aitken and O'Cock simply denied that any one of the statements made by the umpire concerning them were true.
Balharry admitted using a forcible expression on one occasion when appealing to the umpire to give them a chance. He stated that the umpire had instructed the St.Kilda men before the game as the new reading of the rules, but said nothing to Carlton, who were "free-kicked" right through. This exasperated the Carlton team.
Ashton admitted using bad language towards the umpire, but said he only repeated an expression the umpire had just previously used to him.
The committee found the charges in all cases sustained, and will recommend that all four players be reprimanded by the chairman of the association, and that in addition Balharry and Aitken be disqualified for two Saturdays' play, and O'Cock and Ashton for one, the committee, in consideration of the weakness of the Carlton Club, fixing the disqualification for a shorter term than would otherwise have been the case."

Image
Rear: McArthur B. Hearne sansbeard?(Tres), A. H. Shaw (Pres), Charlie Letcher?, H. Mackay (Trainer/Property Manager), G. Ievers (Vice President).
Back: Hooke?, E. (Ernie) Ashton, Ernie Walton, unknown, Jimmy Aitken, unknown, Fred Rolfe, unknown, unknown .
Centre: Bill Casey, Bill Weir, unknown, Tom Blake (capt), Harry Balharry, unknown, Brooke Hannah, unknown.
Front: Goal Umpire James or Joe Rickards?, unknown, Wally O'Cock, Umpire Joe Shaw?, unknown.
Probably the Carlton v Fitzroy team. 1896 is marked on the flag at bottom left.
Image: Courtesy State Library of Victoria


July 04
Carlton played Fitzroy at the M.C.G.
The fixture in the Weekly Times had this match scheduled at the University ground. Perhaps the Uni ground was unsuitable.
Balharry and Aitken played, suspensions not taking effect until a later date.
Both clubs fielded weak teams.
Game fairly even until half time.
Carlton had the better of Fitzroy up until the long break, although the Blues had failed to capitalize on the forward line.
"Balharry and Williams (?) were very good in the ruck, and Rolfe marked beautifully down back."
Williams has been mentioned in one report, perhaps it was E. (Ernie) Ashton?
Carlton team; (25 named)
Armstrong, Aitken, Ashton, Blake, Balharry, Bruche, Casey, Dobbin, Dunn, Frost, Heffernan, Howard, Hannah, Lannan, O'Cock, Paton, Patterson, Rolfe, Reekie, Weir, Walton, Warne, Woodhouse, Finlay, Hooke.
Bruche, Dobbin, Finlay, Lannan, Warne, & Woodhouse did not play
Logan played.
Umpire; Joe Shaw.
Goal Umpires; Rickards & Wallace
Carlton team line-up (Mark Pennings)
Backs; Frost, Howard, Weir
Half backs; Reekie, Rolfe, Walton
Centre; Casey W. Patterson, Hannah
Half forwards; O'Cock, Dunne, Logan
Forwards; F. Armstrong, Heffernan, Hooke
Followers; Blake (Capt), Balharry, Ashton, Paton
Rover; Aitken
Carlton lost;
Carl. 0.2 0.2 1.2 1.2
Fitz. 1.2 1.5 3.5 3.9
Goal; Heffernan.
Players mentioned; (14) Aitken, Ashton, Balharry, Blake, Casey, Hannah, Heffernan, Howard, O'Cock, Patterson/Paterson, Rolfe, Reekie, Walton, Weir.
Other that played; (6) F. Armstrong, H. Dunne, R. 'Jack' Frost, Hooke, Logan, J. Paton
V.F.A. ladder; Carlton twelfth.
Played 8 Won 1 Lost 5 Drawn 2 Goals For 19 Against 36 Points 8.

July 04

DONS 2.4 TIGERS NIL

Richmond had it's score nullified against Essendon when it was found to be playing with 21 players.
The yellow and blacks had scored 3.3 to the Don's 2.4 at half time, when the count was made.
Essendon won the match 9.9 - 1.1

YELLOW AND BLACK IN RED

July 09
"Richmond's 'gates' for the past three matches: - At South Melbourne, £2 11s ($5.10) ; at Footscray 13s. 6d. ($1.35); at Richmond, £1 12s ($3.20).
After that who will say money is scarce!"
(Free Lance July 09)

July 11
Carlton played Footscray at the University Ground.
The Blues were inaccurate as Footscray was accurate.
Tom Ennis scored a goal with his first kick in senior football.
Patterson did not arrive until nearly quarter time.
The Footscray Independant said Carlton were weakened by the compulsory standing down of four of their best players.
Carlton team; (26 named)
Aitken, Armstrong, Ashton, Blake, Balharry, Burns, Dowling, Dobbin, Dunn, Frost, Heffernan, Howard, Hannah, Curtis, O'Cock, Paton, Patterson, Rolfe, Reekie, Weir, Walton, Ennis, Woodhouse, Logan, Stewart, Hooke.
Umpire; Crapp.
Carlton lost;
Carl. 1.3 2.5 3.6 3.10
Foots. 1.1 4.1 4.2 5.2
Goals; Ennis, Hannah, O'Cock.
Players mentioned; (17) Hannah, Blake, O'Cock, Ennis, Armstrong, Frost, Paton, Heffernan, Stewart, Reekie, Weir, Aitken, Balharry, Patterson, Howard, Rolfe, Walton.
V.F.A. ladder; Carlton twelfth.
Played 9 Won 1 Lost 6 Drawn 2 Goals For 22 Against 41 Points 8.

July 18
Carlton played South Melbourne at South Melbourne.
The Blues were in it up until the half time break, although the defence was constantly under siege.
Only South's inaccurate kicking saved the Blues from an annihilation.
Described as a "shocking incident", Aitken was injured in a clash when he was thrown against a fence when the ball was out of bounds.
He had to be carried off, and he took no further part in the game.
"Secretary Balharry, of the Carlton club, besides wielding the pen for his team, shows them how to play a good game. He wielded his boot well on Saturday, and scored their only goal." (Sportsman July 21 p6)
Is the Carlton secretary H. W. Balharry, J.F. Balharry? or M. J. Balharry?
Carlton team; (24 named)
Armstrong, Aitken, Ashton, Blake, Balharry, Casey, Dowling, Dobbin, Dunn, Ennis, Frost, Hannah, Heffernan, Hooke, Howard, McCarthy, O'Cock, Paton, Patterson, Reekie, Rolfe, Stewart, Walton, Weir.
Umpire; Carris.
Carlton lost;
Carl. 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.3
S.M. 0.1 1.4 2.11 3.16
Goal; Balharry.
Best; Patterson, Balharry, Heffernan, Dunne, Hannah, Aitken, Blake
V.F.A. ladder; Carlton twelfth.
Played 10 Won 1 Lost 7 Drawn 2 Goals For 23 Against 44 Points 8.

July 24
V.F.A. meeting;
Theophilis S. Marshall suggested the Association with hold all gate takings and give £5 ($10) to each club.
Some the financially weaker clubs were in favour of this proposal.
It was pointed out that there was very little professionalism in the game and that if push came to shove, then the stronger teams would break away and form their own competition.
It was said that the public would prefer to see the stronger teams playing more often.
"Balharry, Ashton, O'Cock and Aitken have been disqualified by the association committee for bad language.
Balharry and Aitken have been ordered to stand down for two Saturdays, and the others for one." (Sportsman July 28 p6)

July 25
Carlton player Jack Roberts umpired the North Melbourne vs Collingwood match at Arden Street, he was attacked by irate North supporters after the game.
To read a very interesting article from The Argus on the incident, the crowd behaviour, and possibly why North was not included in the V.F.L. click on Roberts name highlighted above, and then on his page, go down to 1896.

Also, the Perth newspaper the Inquirer and Commercial News August 14, published a piece on the Roberts affair.
To read click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66540961

July 25
Carlton played Melbourne at the M.C.G.
The Sportsman newspaper lists Melbourne as the M.C.C. in the match report and the V.F.A. ladder. (the football club had been taken over by the cricket club)
Once this match was the highlight of the season with crowds of 25,000 common.
The Blues fielded a weakened team.
The Australasian in its match report on August 01 said Aitken, Balharry, O'Cock, and Ashton did not play, all suspended. (See July 02-04)
Like last week, Melbourne's inaccurate kicking prevented a blowout.
Former Blue Jack Leith played for Melbourne.
The photo of the Carlton team at the top of this page is possibly from this match.
This was the last game played on the M.C.G. by the Blues this year.
Carlton team; (28 named)
Armstrong, Armstrong, Aitken, Ashton, Balharry, Blake, Casey, Dowling, Dobbin, Dunn, Frost, Hannah, Heffernan, Howard, Logan, O'Cock, Paton, Patterson, Reekie, Rolfe, Walton, Weir, Ennis, Stewart, Hooke, Bock, Melville, Oliver.
Umpire; McCoy.
Goal Umpires; Rickards & Jones
Carlton team line-up (Mark Pennings)
Backs; Minetti/Minnotti, Kidney, Dobbin
Half backs; Reekie, Walton, Weir
Centre; Casey, Patterson, R. Armstrong
Half forwards; Hooke, Rolfe*, Dowling
Forwards; Ennis, F. Armstrong, Burns
Followers; Blake (Capt), Heffernan, Paton, Logan
Rover; Hannah
.* Likely that Rolfe was Walsh.
Still some confusion as both Rolfe and Walsh are mentioned the same Sportsman's match report. The numbering of players would have solved a lot of these problems.
Carlton lost;
Carl. 0.0 1.1 2.1 3.1
Melb. 4.2 5.5 6.8 7.11
Goals; Walsh, Hannah, F. Armstrong.
Best;
"Few players in the match did better work than Blake, the captain of Carlton. If a limitless expenditure of energy, added to a great ability on his part had been sufficient to save his side it certainly would have been saved, for he never once hesitated to plunge into the thick of the encounter, and he rarely failed to make his presence evident. His faculty for picking out and kicking to his man was deservedly applauded.
Little Hannah is another Carlton representative to whom praise is due. His display roving was hardly second to that to anyone save McGiniss in the ranks of the enemy.
Casey and Armstrong were worthy triers on the wings, and Walton battled gallantly in defence."
(Australasian August 01 p18)
Players mentioned; (9) Blake, Hannah, Patterson, F. Armstrong, Casey, Hannah, Rolfe, Walton, Walsh.
V.F.A. ladder; Carlton twelfth.
Played 11 Won 1 Lost 8 Drawn 2 goals For 26 Against 54 Points 8.

August 01
Carlton played Williamstown at the University ground.
A poor, scrambling type of game, mostly confined to one side of the ground.
An unusual game, with the Blues dominating the first half, and Willy the second.
During the last quarter a count of players was called.
Both sides were lined up, but the correct number of players was found on each side.
Carlton team; (23 named)
Armstrong, Armstrong, Ashton, Blake, Casey, Dillon, Dobbin, Dowling, Dunn, Ennis, Hannah, Heffernan, Hooke, Kidney, Oliver, O'Cock, Paton, Patterson, Reekie, Rolfe, Stewart, Walton, Weir.
Umpire; Carris.
Carlton lost;
Carl. 2.2 2.3 2.3 2.3
Will. 0.0 0.0 1.6 3.7
Goals; O'Cock 2.
Players mentioned; (15) Walton, Casey, Reekie, Rolfe, Patterson, Armstrong, Heffernan, Weir, Walsh, Blake, Paton, Ennis, Ashton, Hannah, O'Cock.
From The Carlton Gazette review;
"The umpiring of Carris was very unsatisfactory for both sides, being very erratic in his decisions.
Casey stood out head and shoulders above his fellows and has fairly surprised himself, although he can always be reckoned on for a good game. The manner in which he handled the ball was worthy of the best exponent of the game.
Tom Blake was most conspicious among the followers and the good, solid games he plays has become as notable as Carlton's failures to score points.
Wally O'Cock made the best of his opportunities and scored twice, besides being useful in play.
"Wink" Weir was equal to any back man on the ground and put in sterling defensive work. Reekie and Walton were also good in that department.
Fred Rolfe was at his best which is saying a great deal, following on recent poor performances. He was playing against his old town and divided the honors equally with Walter Warren for marking and kicking.
Patterson was in good nick in the centre, and Armstrong on the wing gave some regular electric dashes. After half time he handled the ball quite as much as anyone on the ground.
Paton and Heffernan greatly aided Blake in the ruck, and up until the interval more than held their own with the opposing side.
Hannah only occasionally came out brilliantly, but he cannot always be expected to play a marvellous game.
Ennis had a couple of shots but could not score.
Ashton resumed his place in the ruck after an absence of three Saturdays and his inclusion greatly strengthened the ruck.
Carlton supporters will be sorry to hear that Jimmy Aitken is still laid up from the effects of a toss received at South Melbourne."
V.F.A. ladder; Carlton twelfth.
Played 12 Won 1 Lost 9 Drawn 2 Goals For 28 Against 57 Points 8.

August 08
Carlton had the bye.

August 15
Carlton played Footscray at Footscray.
This was the last meeting between these clubs until Footscray's admittance into the V.F.L. in 1925.
The brief report in The Australasian under the heading "Uninteresting Games" said if Blake and other regulars had not been missing, Carlton may well have won.
No team details.
"Hockey" Roberts formerly of Footscray, and "Jim" Hatt, of a Yarraville Junior club played with Carlton against Footscray last Saturday. (The Independent, Footscray)
The newspaper said the attendance was the poorest at Footscray this season. Gate takings were £7 9s ($14.90), and expenses £6 11s ($13.10), which left only 5/10 (58c) to split between the two clubs!
At sixpence (5c) entry this would equate to an attendance of approx. 298, not counting people holding memberships and extra charges for grandstand seating.
Umpire; Carris.
Carlton lost;
Carl. 1.1 1.1 4.2 4.2
Foot. 1.0 4.4 4.4 7.8
Goals; O'Cock 2, Hook, Dunn.
Players mentioned, (7) Jim Aitken, O'Cock, Hooke, Dunn, Rolfe, Hannah, Balharry.
V.F.A. ladder; Carlton twelfth.
Played 13 Won 1 Lost 10 Drawn 2 Goals For 32 Against 64 Points 8.

August 22
Carlton played St.Kilda at the University Ground
Blake and Woodhouse returned adding much needed strength to the Blues.
Armstrong, Hannah and Patterson across the centre "were irrepressible."
The Prahran Chronicle in its match report bemoans the uselessness of scoring behinds, but mentions the rule is to be altered next year.
(the newly formed VFL counted behinds in its scoring in 1897)
"Dillon is fast improving. Is now one of Carlton's best." "Carlton played with great judgment in the last three quarters against St.Kilda." "Reekie and Armstrong did great work for Carlton." "Dobbin and Reekie best defenders." "All the forward men O'Cock, Heffernan, Frost and Dunn doing great deeds."(Sportsman August 25 p6)
Carlton team; (26 named)
Aitken, Armstrong, Armstrong, Ashton, Balharry, Blake, Casey, Curtis, Dillon, Dobbin, Dowling, Dunn, Ennis, Frost, Hannah, Heffernan, Hooke, Kidney, O'Cock, Paton, Patterson, Reekie, Rolfe, Walton, Weir, Woodhouse.
Carlton team line-up (Mark Pennings)
Backs; Dobbin, C. Curtis, Kidney
Half backs; Reekie, Walton, Weir
Centre; R. Armstrong, W. Patterson, Hannah
Half forwards; Dunne, Rolfe ("Walsh"), O'Cock
Forwards; Paton, Heffernan, Frost
Followers; Blake, Balharry, Woodhouse, Dillon.
Rover; Aitken
Umpire; Molyneux.
Carlton won;
Carl. 0.1 2.3 5.4 5.4
St.K. 2.3 2.3 2.3 3.7
Goals; O'Cock, Aitken, Heffernan, Balharry, Woodhouse.
Players mentioned; (17) Tom Blake, Woodhouse, Reekie, R. Armstrong, Hannah (BOG), W. Patterson, Balharry, Rolfe, Heffernan, Walton, Weir, Aitken, O'Cock, Frost, Dunn, Dillon, Dobbin. ( plus C. Curtis, Kidney, Paton)
V.F.A. ladder; Carlton twelfth.
Played 14 Won 2 Lost 10 Drawn 2 Goals For 37 Against 67 Points 8.

August 28 Friday
VFA Meeting
"As naive an excuse as I have for many a day was that given on Friday night as a reason why Jim Aitken, of Carlton, should not attend to be reprimanded by the chairman in accordance with a recent recommendation of the committee. He could not attend owing to the 'inclemency of the weather.' But the association will not allow him to play until he get the dressing down which has been prescribed.
Carltonians are indignant." (Sportsman September 01 p6)

August 29
Although Saturday was fine, all of this round's matches were postponed to next week due to heavy rain which had made the grounds unplayable, and would have reduced some important games to a farce.

September 05
Carlton played North Melbourne at Arden Street North Melbourne.
This was the last meeting between these clubs until North Melbourne's admittance into the V.F.L. in 1925.
The attendance was poor, there was very little interest shown in the game. (According to the N.M.F.C. annual report April 1897, their proceeds from this match amounted to a paltry 3/5 (35c) compared to £8/8/1 ($16.80) for the earlier Carlton match. However, three other North games in 1896 amounted to zero takings!)
The Blues' kicking was off target and they missed quite a few easy goals.
"The dark-blues' most capable henchman - certainly the best placeman in the match, was Hannah, whose meteor-like dashes from half-back down the centre fairly astonished his opponents at times; not far behind him was little Bobby Armstrong."
"Bobby Armstrong showed capital form against North."
"Young Hannah a tower of strength to his side."
"Where were the old Carltonians last Saturday - Donaldson, Robertson and Co.?"
"That good old "has been" Jack Gardiner, never deserts his old club."
"You should hear them "chin" about old times - No followers now-a-days like Sam Wallace and Billy Lacey on one side, and Joe Traynor and Jim Gardiner on the other - No sprinters equal to Billy Monie, of Carlton, or Jimmy Robertson, of North Melbourne - and so on." (North Melbourne Courier)
Carlton team; (27 named)
Aitken, Armstrong, Balharry, Blake, Casey, Curtis, Dillion, Dobbin, Dowling, Dunne, Ennis, Frost, Gilbert, Graham, Hannah, Heffernan, Howard, Hooke, Kidney, O'Cock, Paton, Patterson, Reekie, Rolfe, Walton, Weir, Woodhouse.
Blues' captain Tom Blake, Dowling, Henry Dunne, Ian Gilbert, Graham, J. Hooke and Bill Woodhouse did not play.
Carlton team line-up (Mark Pennings)
Backs; C. Curtis, Howard, Dobbin
Half backs; Reekie, Walton, Weir
Centre; Casey, W. Patterson, R. (Bobby) Armstrong
Half forwards; Ennis, Rolfe ("Walsh") O'Cock
Forwards; Burns, A. Curtis, Frost
Followers; Dillon, Paton, Balharry, Heffernan
Rover; Hannah
Umpire; Joe Shaw.
Carlton lost;
Carl. 0.0 0.2 0.4 1.9
N.M. 3.4 4.4 6.5 6.6
Goal; Balharry.
Players mentioned; (7) Bobby Armstrong, Balharry, Casey, Hannah, Paton, William Patterson, Walton, (others that played, Burns, Arthur Curtis, Charlie Curtis, Dobbin, Dillon, Ennis, Frost, Heffernan, Howard, O'Cock, Reekie, Rolfe, Weir,
V.F.A. ladder; Carlton twelfth.
Played 15 Won 2 Lost 11 Drawn 2 Goals For 38 Against 73 Points 12.

September 11 Friday
V.F.A. Meeting.
Carlton's Jim Aitken was reprimanded for obscene language in the August 22 match against St.Kilda.
"It would be far better for a man to give up the game altogether if he cannot keep his temper while playing. Mr. W. D. Bleazley." (Sportsman)
The Sportsman Sept 15 (p6) has reported at the VFA meeting;
"Secretary Balharry one of the Carlton delegates has resigned his seat on the V.F.A. Mr. A. H. Shaw appointed in his place."

September 12
Carlton played Collingwood at Victoria Park.
A large crowd attended.
This was a Carlton home game as the match was fixtured for the University ground.
The game was as good as over after the first 15 minutes.
Such was their dominance that in the last quarter former Carlton champion Strickland moved his Collingwood players around so they weren't in their usual positions.
The 'Woods had eight individual goal scorers.
About the only "highlight" in this game was that in the final quarter the ball burst.
Carlton team; (24 named)
Aitken, Armstrong, Ashton, Blake, Balharry, Casey, Dillon, Dunn, Dobbin, Frost, Hannah, Hewitt, Howard, Heffernan, O'Cock, Paton, Patterson, Reekie, Rolfe, Weir, Walton, Woodhouse, Ennis, C. Curtis.
Umpire; Joe Shaw.
Carlton lost;
Carl. 0.2 0.3 1.3 1.3
Coll. 2.2 3.7 5.9 9.15
Goal; Paton.
Players mentioned; (11) Paton, Howard, Walton, Armstrong, Hannah, Hewitt, Graham, Frost, Balharry, Walsh, Aitken.
V.F.A. Ladder; Carlton twelfth.
Played 16 Won 2 Lost 12 Drawn 2 Goals For 39 Against 82 Points 12.

September 19
Carlton played Richmond on the Richmond City Reserve. (behind the town hall)
The V.F.A. fixture printed at the start of the season had this match scheduled for the University Ground.
This was a Carlton home game.
The match was moved to the Richmond Reserve as the grounds were being prepared for cricket pitches.
This would be the last meeting between these two clubs until Richmond's entry into the V.F.L in 1908.
Captain Tom Blake and Bill Woodhouse were again absent, due to cross country running. Tom Blake ran a dead heat for second place in the 10 Mile Cross Country Championship.
The City Reserve is a rough, but, never the less a suitable football ground.
Unfortunately the Blues hit the post twice.
The excitement in Swan Street and Bridge Road after the match had not been seen in Richmond for many years.
"Gilbert, from Royal Park Crescent, who now plays for Carlton, should be the makings of a good footballer, judging by his performance on Saturday." (Sportsman September 22 p6)
Carlton protested at the appointment of Carter as umpire and Tiernan replaced him. Carter umpired the St.Kilda - N. Melb game. (Sportsman)
The Sportsman mentions,
"The Walton brothers stick to Carlton. Billy played for them in 1890. Ted from 1892-1895, and Ernie now battles for them."
Carlton team (20)
F. Armstrong, R. Armstrong, J. Balharry, J. Burns, C. Curtis, Dillon, Dobbin, T. Ennis, R. Frost, I. Gilbert, B. Hannah, E. Heffernan, W. O'Cock, J. Paton, J. Patterson, J. Reekie, Rischial*/Risehead?, F. Rolfe, E. Walton, W. Weir.
The name Rischial* does not appear as a name in Trove or Google, next week a player named Risehead is in the Carlton squad.
Umpire; Tiernan.
Carlton lost;
Carl. 0.2 1.4 1.6 2.6
Rich. 3.3 4.3 5.5 5.5
Goals; Balharry, J. Patterson.
Players mentioned; (11) Hannah, Aitken, Armstrong, H. Balharry, Rolfe, Patterson, Ian Gilbert, Reekie, Frost, Paton, Ernie Walton .
V.F.A. ladder; Carlton twelfth.
Played 17 Won 2 Lost 13 Drawn 2 Goals For 41 Against 87 Points 12.
O'Cock is Carlton's leading goal kicker with 12 goals, 14 behind the leader former Blue Jack Leith of Melbourne.

September 21
The Age;
"The sub-committee appointed to revise the rules will submit their report to the association, next Friday, when it is hoped that provision will be at last be made either for the abolition of behinds or for giving them a value.
The former course will probably be adopted, and it is in truth about time that something was done in this respect, the long neglect of past years being quite inexcusable.
Some day, when wiser counsels prevail, the teams will be reduced to 15 aside and the game thereby improved, but the Victorian Football Association being a low pressure body a drastic change like that may require a few years consideration."

September 26
Carlton played Williamstown at the Williamstown Cricket Ground.
After 20 seasons this was to be the last Association match that the Carlton Football Club would play, and the final time they would play Williamstown.
The next game would be the following year in 1897 in the newly formed Victorian Football League competition.
The Carlton team departed Flinders Street on the 1.55pm train.
The Blues were gallant in a hard fought game. However the did not possess a forward who could match the Villager's W. Warren for accuracy.
Carlton team; (27 named)
J. Aitken, Armstrong, H. Balharry, Tom Blake, W. Casey, Dillon, Duddin/Dobbin, Dunn, T. Ennis, Finn, R. Frost, Ian Gilbert, Brook Hannah, E. Heffernan, J. Hooke, H. Howard, J. Kidney, W. O'Cock, J. Paton, J. Patterson, W. Patterson, J. Reekie, Risehead, F. Rolfe, E. Walton, W. Weir, W. 'Bill' Woodhouse
Carlton lost;
Carl. 2.3 3.3 4.3 5.3
Will. 0.1 3.2 3.2 6.4
Goals; Ennis 2, Balharry, J. Patterson, Ian Gilbert.
Players mentioned; (9) Blake, Woodhouse, Aitken, Hannah, Patterson, Heffernan, Ennis, Balharry, Gilbert.
Played 18 Won 2 Lost 14 Drawn 2 Goals For 46 Against 93 points 12.

September 29

BREAKAWAY

"There has been a lot of interest centred in the movement towards forming a new association next year. The affair is being kept very quiet, but a meeting will be held shortly. Many think that Fitzroy, Melbourne, South, Essendon, Collingwood, Geelong, Carlton, and St.Kilda will comprise the charmed circle."
(Sportsman page 6)

1896 GOAL SCORERS*

O'Cock 12, Balharry 5, Heffernan 4, Aitken 3, Frost 3, Hannah 3, Paton 3, Dunne 2, Armstrong, Ennis, Hook, Patterson, Woodhouse
.* (Total 40) Some details missing

October 02 Friday

VFA PROPOSED RULE CHANGES - BEHINDS, CROSS BAR, LINE-UPS, LITTLE MARKS.

"For sometime past a special committee of the Victorian Football Association have been considering the proposal to considerably alter the rules of football, and have now submitted their report to the association.
The alterations include the abolition of behinds, and recommend a cross bar like in the Rugby game, fixed at a height of 10ft., over which the ball must be lodged before a goal can be counted. Should the ball strike the posts or bar it must be thrown in from the present behind posts.
Little marks are limited to 10 yards. On the umpire bouncing the ball in the centre to commence play, or after a goal has been kicked, no player must approach nearer than 10 yards until it has left his hands; and on commencing a game each team must keep its own ground, as was practised some time ago, until the ball had been bounced.
No one shall be allowed closer than 10 yards to a player when he has received a mark until he has kicked. In the practice of players wilfully wasting time the umpire is given the power to punish him with a free kick, and allow the time wasted to be added to the playing time, the offender also being liable to be reported to the association. Punishment shall be meted out to players who unduly interfere with an opponent who has received a mark, and in the event of the ball not being dropped when the player is held a free kick shall be given to the one who holds him, but if the ball is dropped and the players is held or thrown a free kick shall be allowed him. The rules regarding the touching and pushing of a player lightly are greatly relaxed, and the powers of the umpire to inflict certain penalties is moderated. The number of men to play on each side is reduced to 18, instead of 20, and each quarter's play shall be 30 minutes instead of 25. The ball has to bounced every 10 yards instead of 7, as before, and the punishment for throwing a man will only be given when the player is thrown. In kicking for goal from a free kick or mark the player must kick over his mark.
Other amendments are also recommended. It was explained that the introduction of several rules was made especially to stop the players from crowding on the ball, for which the cross-bar is also intended. Several amendments were also made relating to professionalism and permits."
Albury Banner and Wodonga Express p19

October 02 Friday

BRING BACK THE BIFF

The Colac Herald p2;
"The Victorian Football Association has come to the conclusion that the loss of interest (so noticeable of late years) in the game is attributable to the quietness and delicacy of manner in which it has been played. This sounds like corrosive irony, but it isn't. The Association is in dead earnest, and has, it seems, decided to revive the slogging, rabbiting, and collar-bone cracking tactics of the good old times when footballl was football, sir. This will be glad news (Punch) to the surgeons - and the undertakers."

October 02 Friday

NEW FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION

Meeting of Collingwood, South Melbourne, Essendon, Melbourne, Fitzroy and Geelong clubs.
They planned to (A) revamp the V.F.A. into two divisions with the stronger clubs in one section,
or (B) to breakaway and form a new competition.
They chose the latter, with Carlton included because of it's supporter base and her past glories.
This left one spot open for another team and the unanimous choice was St. Kilda.
To read The Argus article on the formation of the League, click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article9161096

October 6 Tuesday
A letter to The Age about the formation of the V.F.L.

FOOTBALL REFORM

Sir,- In Saturday's issue appeared a report showing what had been done towards forming a new association.
The meeting was comprised of delegates to the old association, and the result is yet to come before the committees of the various clubs.
The information you give is as much surprise to me as to the majority of your readers. I am very thankful that Collingwood is not near the bottom of the list this year, or I suppose we would have been quietly ignored, and with a debt of £650 on the stand the committee would have been in a very uncomfortable position.
Thinking of what might have been our experience, I can sympathise with those clubs who have been practically extinguished. I believe Footscray has a debt of £200 and Port Melbourne £90, and there is little chance of these being liquidated if the clubs are left out of senior ranks.
If the number of clubs contesting is to be reduced, why not have two divisions, as in cricket; or, I think, better still, an amalgamation of adjacent clubs?
Richmond could join with Collingwood, Carlton combine with North Melbourne, Footscray with Williamstown, St. Kilda with South Melbourne. These with Fitzroy, Port Melbourne, Essendon, M.C.C. and Geelong would make 9 instead of 13 clubs.
There may be financial difficulties in the way, but a percentage could be deducted from the receipts of all matches for the purpose of paying the debts of the club joining the other.
I have no doubt you will receive other correspondance on this matter, so leave my suggestions, hoping that some abler pen may devise a scheme in which justice will be shown to all.
Yours, &c
E. W. Copeland, Hon. Sec Collingwood F. C.
5th. October

October 20
The Argus (p5)

THE FOOTBALL REORGANISATION - T. S. Marshall's Proposals.

A Last Word.

To read click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article9151289

Marshall's Scheme.

1. Divide the association into two classes, A and B.
The eight clubs mentioned in the press (viz Melbourne, South Melbourne, Collingwood, Fitzroy, Geelong, Carlton, Essendon, and St. Kilda) to form Class A.
The five remaining clubs, together with three from our prominent district junior clubs, to form Class B.
2. To admit of three junior clubs joining Class B, the entrance fee of £25 now required by the association should be suspended for the time being. This, or any other sum that may be decided on, might be paid by these juniors when they have been three years in Class B, or immediately on entering Class A.
3. Clubs in Class A to be represented by two delegates, those in Class B by one. Should Class A have only one delegate for each club, Class B to have not more than four delegates in all.
4. Clubs in Class A to pay a 5 per cent. levy, those in Class B 2 1/2 (2.5) per cent. or less.
5. Class B to have one representative on the permit and match committee.
6. Each class to arrange it's own matches, manage it's own disputes, protests, inquiries, &c.
The secretary of the association to act for both classes. (The number and arrangement of matches in Class B might be modelled on the scheme already set out by Class A.)
7. Towards the end of each season the lower club in Class A shall play the B Class premiers.
Should the match be won by the B Class premiers, they shall take the place of the beaten club in A division, and this club shall drop back into B division.
8. The constitution rules of the association, and those relating to permits and players, to be equally binding on each class.

SEASON REVIEW

The Australasian's 1896 season review had this to say of Carlton's season;
"Poor old Carlton have wound up on even terms with Richmond for last place.
Lack of energy in the management is understood to account for their failure. Too much chopping and changing of players has been noted, and new and capable men have frequently been shunted without proper trial.
The days of the Robertsons and the Donaldsons, when a good man could be spotted miles away, have gone by for the old club and inexperienced officers feebly control affairs. There is still the nucleus of a fine team in the club, as players like, Hannah, Blake, Woodhouse, Aitken, Patterson, E. Walton, O'Cock, Balharry, Reekie, and Heffernan are not to be picked up every year."

Another season of disappointment for the Blues.
They finished twelfth on the same number of points as Richmond (thirteenth)
If percentage is taken into account then Richmond are the wooden spooners.
Now in the newly formed V.F.L. Carlton looked forward to having for the first time their very own ground at Princes Park, but on field, little would change in the coming years.
In their last four years in the V.F.A. the Blues had,
Won 13 Lost 57 Drawn 5

1896 GRAND FINAL

Collingwood won the 1896 Premiership. They played South Melbourne in the first V.F.A. Grand Final (or test match) as both teams finished on the same number of points and remarkably the same number of Goals For and Against.
If scores had been tied at the end of the game an extra 20 minutes would have been played.
However, this was not the first ever Grand Final as a Grand Final had been played in Adelaide some years before in 1889. This occurred on October 07 when Norwood and Port Adelaide finished the season on equal wins and goals. Norwood won the decider.
"The following years saw two more Grand Finals necessitated by ties at the top of the ladder. In 1894 Norwood played South Adelaide, the game was drawn 4.8 (32) apiece, leading to the first of only five Grand Final replays in senior Australian football history. Norwood won the replay 4.7 (31) to South Adelaide 3.5 (23)" (wikipedia)

NICK NAME

A match report of a Geelong - Fitzroy game on August 15 referred to the 'Roys as the Cardinals.

1897 March 19 Friday

A North Melbourne newspaper's opinion on the breakaway V.F.L.

THE VICTORIAN FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION

"Some eight or nine years since, several of the leading clubs of the above body, chafing under the knowledge that they were being out-voted by their weaker brethern, assisted by the Ballarat delegates, held caucus meetings for the purpose of considering in what way this imaginery evil could be met.
Ultimately it was suggested that eight of the leading clubs should secede from the parent body, and form themselves into a new organisation. However, wiser councils prevailed, and matters remained in status quo until a portion of the season 1896 had been gone through, when, owing to the very pronounced expression of opinion by some of the smaller clubs' delegates, in favor of Mr. Marshall's proposal that the whole of the takings of the different clubs should be "pooled," and, after taking out ordinary expenses, divided equally, gave the malcontents another opportunity of working out their previously-conceived scheme.
This time, however, no hesitation marked the doings of those who had taken the matter in hand, and the public were soon in possession of the facts that six clubs - Collingwood, Essendon, South Melbourne, Melbourne, Fitzroy, and Geelong - had several meetings, and inviting St. Kilda and Carlton to join their ranks, became what is now termed the Victorian Football League. That the "whirligig of time brings it revenges," was never more strikingly exemplified than in the case under notice, for, of the five clubs left out in the cold on this occasion, three of them were amongst the original eight who proposed to do then what they are now so eager to condemn. That a great injustice has been done is without saying, more especially as regards the North Melbourne Football Club. For considerably over a score of years have the wearers of the Royal Blue and White been an integral part of the football world. Though never premiers, they have been so near to it at times that the coveted honor was almost looked upon as a foregone conclusion; but the fates were not kind, and just when victory appeared in their grasp, that "something" always managed to come in and spoil the certainty. In addition, although the North Melbourne Recreation Reserve has not been altogether the "thing of beauty" it's most ardent admirers would have chosen it to be, hundreds of pounds have been spent on improvements; and several of the gentlemen composing the Reserve committee have given time and attention, which, had it been paid for, would have cost several hundreds more.
Yet, - in face of this, the Collingwood Club - for that club's delegate, Mr. Beasley, M.L.A. - had persistently been trotted out as the League's champion in all matters where a breadth of oratorical powers was necessary to squelch the unfortunate five clubs out of existence - and this the avowed representative of a democratic constituency sees no injustice in lending himself to a project which should be abhorrent to him - the exercise of the power of might over right - the Collingwood Club, whose members, two seasons ago, kept the North Melbourne players barricaded in their dressing rooms until the arrival of a large reinforcement of the local police, under whose escort they were eventually enabled to reach the cabs awaiting them. The Collingwood delegates are credited - rightfully or wrongfully - with being the main instigators in the position the North Melbourne Football Club now occupies. But "virtue has its own reward." Mr. Beasley is president of the League; and the other Collingwood delegate, Mr. E. L. Wilson, is secretary.
Further comment is needless. To add insult to injury, the League generously proffered to take the five clubs under their protecting wing; would arrange all their matches; settle all their disputes, etc. - the ostracised clubs, however, to have no representation at the League's board. But the delegates now composing the Victorian Football Association were "not taking any;" they are determined to carry on the Association, notwithstanding the difficult position in which the League persists in keeping them; for, be it known that, although the facts as stated above are public property, the seceders refuse to tender their resignations to the parent body; and by this means trying to cripple them in their efforts to induce other clubs to join. Further, two clubs - Hawksburn and Essendon District - who were considered certainties to join the Association, are now hanging off - the former, being of injury they might do to the St. Kilda Football Club; and the District - ask the powers that rule the Essendon Football Club? Great though their difficulties, the old delegates are sanguine of ultimate success.
Out Brunswick way - for the Brunswick Football Club has decided on joining the association - things are humming. Great improvements are being made in their ground, more space has been granted to the club, and in addition to having a picket fence right round the reserve, the playing area is also to be enclosed.
The annual meeting of the association will be held on Friday evening, April 2nd, when a programme of matches for the season will be submitted by the committee appointed for that purpose."
(North Melbourne Courier and West Melbourne Advertiser 19 March 1897 p3)



Club by Club; Win, Loss, Draws. 1864 - 1896.
Against all Clubs, in Practice, Exhibition, & Premiership Matches.
Some details & early years incomplete.


ClubYearsPlayedWonLostDrawn
Adelaide (Sth Aust)18871100
Adelaide Suburban Association18841001
Alberton18951---
Albert Park 1864 - 1879 ----
Albert Park-North Melbourne Combined18762101
Ballarat 1878 - 1891 310 2
Ballarat Imperials 1896 1010
Barwon1876, 1877, 18883210
Bendigo/Sandhurst 1876,1886,1893 3300
Britannia1889, 18902110
Brunswick1886,1891,1892,18934400
Canning & Battery United1879 1100
Carlton District18931100
Carlton Imperial1875, 18764202
Carlton Juniors1894, 18952011
Carlton United18712011
City (Hobart Tas.)18881100
Clifton Union1883-1100
Collingwood (original) 1873 1100
Collingwood 1892 - 1896 11380
Combined Juniors1891,18942110
East Melbourne 1875 - 1876 4400
Elgin Union18871100
Emerald Hill 1865-1864- 2011
England (Great Britain)18881100
Essendon 1878 - 1896 3520114
Excelsior1878 1100
Fitzroy 1884 - 1896 2610133
Footscray 1886 - 1896 10550
Geelong* 1867-96 1864 - 1896 4515237
Hamilton (Western District Vic)18801100
Hawthorn1876-18783300
Hawthorn & Clifton Combined18751100
H. M. 14th. Regiment1868 -----
Hobson's Bay Railway Company18701100
Hotham (Sth. Aust) 1887 1100
Hotham Hill1879 1100
Hotham United18781100
Kyneton18851100
Maryborough1875, 1881, 18834400
Melbourne* 1866-96 (one 1872 result unknown) 1864 - 1896 89422620
Melbourne Grammar School18651001
New South Wales18901100
New South Wales (Northern Districts)18891100
New Zealand18891100
North Melbourne-Hotham-North Melbourne 1873-1875 1877-1896382477
North Williamstown18931100
Norwood (Sth Aust)1884,1887,18913111
North Park18871010
Port Adelaide (Sth Aust)1884,18872200
Port Melbourne 1887 - 1896 17971
Prahran 1886 - 1887 2200
Richmond (original)18721100
Richmond 1885 - 1896 161141
Royal Park 1865 - 2110
Sale 1883 1100
South Adelaide (Sth Aust)1884,18922200
South Ballarat 1889,1892 2200
South Melbourne 1879 - 1896 3711206
South Williamstown 1887 2110
South Yarra (1865) 1864- 1010
South Yarra Standard & Fawkner Park Club Combined1878 1100
St.Kilda 1886 - 1896 16961
St.Kilda & University Combined18751100
Star of Carlton1884,18852200
Toorak18801100
University 1885 - 18885500
Victorian Artillery (Local Forces) 18732101
Victorian Railways18762200
Waratah (Sydney, N.S.W.) Also played 2 games of Rugby1877 , 18782200
Warehousemen 1865-1864-4211
Waverley18841100
West Melbourne 1878 - 18805500
Western District Combined18761100
Williamstown* 1884 - 1896 191360


* Melbourne 1864-1865, Geelong 1864-1866 details as yet not available.
Williamstown details incomplete.


Carlton Football Club: 1864-1896. Win-Loss-Draw.

YearPlayedWonLostDrewYearPlayedWonLostDrewYearPlayedWonLostDrew
1864 101-- 1875 171214 1886 221561 1865 633- 1876 201523 1887 181512 1866 5113 1877 211434 1888 191153 1867 7223 1878 241752 1889 221750 1868 11515 1879 221642 1890 191342 1869 7511 1880 221624 1891 211443 1870 9225 1881 241833 1892 201271 1871 8503 1882 211245 1893 214161 1872 13607 1883 241473 1894 182160 1873 12507 1884 241194 1895 185112 1874 171205 1885 231382 1896 182142 Played 563; Won 315; Lost 147; Drawn 95.
(Note: Early years stats. incomplete.)


At the C.F.C. Annual Meeting on 26th. April 1878,
it was stated that "...club now arrived at it's 14th anniversary",
Carlton had, "since the club's formation the grand total of";
Played 165 matches; Won 84, Lost 17, Drawn 64, Goals For; 259, Against; 69.
(The Argus, 27th April 1878, p8)

On the M.C.G. 1877-96 Carlton Played 106, Won 60, Lost 35, Drawn 11.

-----


Well over 700 players had worn the colours, and proudly represented the Carlton Football Club from 1864-1896 in the seniors and reserves.
Another 1,100 (plus), players would follow in their footsteps to the present day.
The club was instrumental in the drafting of changes to the rules of football.
Without the intense Melbourne - Carlton rivalry, and the interest it created in the city, it is doubtful if Australian Football would have taken off as it did in the mid 1800's.
The Carlton football club was a pioneer of interstate football, first senior club to play a night game under electric light, and played the first international match against a visiting England team.

Carlton had won the first Victorian Football Association (V.F.A.) flag in 1877 and again in 1887, and now in their last V.F.A. season finished twelfth, equal last with Richmond.
Despite Carlton’s indifferent season, the Blues were asked to join the Victorian Football League (V.F.L.) along with Geelong, Essendon, Melbourne, South Melbourne, Collingwood, Fitzroy and St.Kilda.

Carlton were invited because of their history and supporter base, and on the proviso that they could secure a home ground.
St.Kilda, although success had eluded them, had a good ground in the southern suburb.
(Success still eludes them, except for one year, 1966 )
With the loss of so many clubs the Victorian Football Association was left with just five teams, Richmond, Footscray, North Melbourne, Port Melbourne, and Williamstown.

The V.F.A. in 1897 invited junior clubs Brunswick, and Prahran to join. West Melbourne was admitted a few years later.
The V.F.A. was never to be again the controlling body of football in Victoria.

After the formation of the V.F.L. the commentator "Follower" for the Melbourne Leader said:-

After a long, and it must be confessed, not very glorious career, the Victorian Football Association has practically ceased to exist, and those who hope to see the game reestablished may fervently say "For this relief much thanks!" The members of this fossilised body had year after year turned a deaf ear to increasing demands for reform in the game...


Carlton’s 1890’s Slide

By 1890 most clubs had enclosed grounds.
They represented their local communities and had the backing of their local councils.
They could raise much needed revenue for ground improvements such as training facilities, stands and embankments.
Carlton never had secure tenure over any of its home grounds.
It was hamstrung by the Melbourne City Council's attitude for providing a permanent enclosed home ground.
Up until 1897 and the opening of Princes Park, Carlton had played home games at,
Royal Park, Madeline Street, Princes Oval, The Triangle, The Albert Ground in St.Kilda Road, The M.C.G., East Melbourne C.G., Victoria Park, The Lake Oval, Friendly Societies Ground (near Olympic Park) and the University Cricket Ground.

Power clubs of the 1880’s and 1890’s, South Melbourne, Essendon, Geelong, and the emerging Fitzroy and Collingwood had the facilities to attract players and the crowds, and therefore the revenue.
Many of these clubs had the full support of their local councils.
Carlton lost many good players to other clubs.
With the loss of these players, and retirements, inexperienced players were used, resulting in a loss of morale, and most importantly the losing of matches.

Sometimes Carlton did not have the required numbers to field a team and retired players were called on to fill the gap.
Carlton’s Captain Peter Williams even failed to turn up for a match against Collingwood in 1894.
Opposition clubs now disliked playing the Blues because of poor crowd attendance and the lack of revenue from an enclosed ground.

With the formation of the V.F.L., it is amazing that Carlton was invited to join at all.
Carlton had been instrumental in Collingwood joining the V.F.A. and was on good terms with the Woods and most of the other clubs, perhaps with the exception of North Melbourne.
Carlton had never taken sides with the "strong" or the "weak" clubs of the competition.

Carlton’s past as a pioneer club, it's role in the development of the game, the club's past success and the fact that it had the largest supporter base, stood it in good stead; and the granting of a permanent home gave the club a much needed lifeline.
In it's 33 years of competitive Pre VFL/AFL Football at the elite level, 1864 - 1896 Carlton had won 7 Premierships and finished second on 6 occasions.
The Carlton Football Club had greatly contributed to the development of Australian Football, and had witnessed the game from humble beginnings to then world record 30,000+ crowds.

1897. Victorian Football League season began.
Eight clubs, Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Fitzroy, Geelong, Melbourne, South Melbourne and St. Kilda formed the V.F.L.
It would take another ten years, but by 1906 Carlton was back as a powerhouse in Australian Football.

WATCHING FOOTBALL IN MARVELLOUS MELBOURNE: spectators, barrackers, and working class rituals.

By Mark W. Pennings & Robert Pascoe (2011)
"A study of crowds drawn to Australian football matches in colonial Victoria illuminates key aspects of the codes's genesis, development and popularity."
To read click here> www.eprints.qut.edu.au/46878/
Then click on submitted version (PDF 287kb)


Sources.
The Carlton Story. Hugh Buggy and Harry Bell. Pages. 76, 77,78, 260.
Mullin’s Footballers Australian Almanac of 1951. Page 66.
The Rivalry. Michael Roberts. Page 52.
The History of the Carlton Football Club. B.Hansen.
The Blues. Tim Hewat, P31.
The Old Dark Navy Blues, Lionel Frost. p29
Kevin Taylor Footy Stats Book 2000ed. p71.
The Argus, 1896 editions.
The Sportsman, 1896 editions.
The Carlton Gazette, 1896 editions.
The Herald, 1896 editions.
The Australasian, 1896 editions.
The Age, 1896 editions.
Ballarat Courier, 1896 editions.
Ballarat Star, 1896 editions.
North Melbourne Courier & West Melbourne Advertiser, 1896 editions.
Free Lance, 1896 editions.
Origins of Australian Football Volume 4, 1891 - 1896 - Mark Pennings
Origins of Australian Football Volume 5, 1858 - 1896 - Mark Pennings

Pre VFL Players | Pre VFL Captains | Pre VFL Vice Captains | Formation of the Club | The Guernsey | Pre VFL Venues | Pre VFL Rules of Football | Pre VFL Administrators | Blueseum Index | Pre VFL Fixtures
Melbourne Rules Years: 1864 |Challenge Cup Competition: 1865 | 1866 | 1867 | 1868 | 1869 | 1870 | 1871 | 1872 | 1873 | 1874 | 1875 | 1876
VFA Years: 1877 | 1878 | 1879 | 1880 | 1881 | 1882 | 1883 | 1884 | 1885 | 1886 | 1887 | 1888 | 1889 | 1890 | 1891 | 1892 | 1893 | 1894 | 1895 | 1896