Career : 1928
Debut : Round 1, 1928 vs Fitzroy, aged 28 years, 359 days
Carlton Player No. 447
Games : 9
Goals : 10
Last Game : Round 13, 1928 vs Richmond, aged 29 years, 77 days
Guernsey No. 9
Height : 165 cm (5 ft. 5 in.)
Weight : 69 kg (10 stone, 12 lbs.)
DOB : 28 April, 1899
Hector John ‘Wingy’ Ross was a week short of his 29th birthday when he played his debut game for the Carlton Football Club against Fitzroy on Saturday, April 21, 1928. A slightly-built, clever rover who had made his name at Northcote in the VFA, he had joined the Blues after a brief stay at Collingwood in 1927.
Ross was born in Fairfield, and by 1926 was one of Northcote’s stars. After resisting earlier overtures, he was eventually lured to Collingwood the following year in 1927, but found the going tough trying to break into their senior side. After just two games for the Magpies, he found his way to Princes Park, where he was reunited with three other ex-Brickfielders in Tommy Downs, George Gough and Billy Wood.
When Carlton’s 1928 season got underway with that clash against Fitzroy at Brunswick St, all four of the ex-Northcote boys were part of the Blues’ line-up. Wearing guernsey number 9, Wingy shared the roving duties with Tommy Downs, and his three excellent goals won him a Brownlow Medal vote from the field umpire as he sparked the Blues to a 38-point win.
From then on, however, Ross was unable to have the same influence. Tried as a winger and at half-forward, he kicked another 7 goals in eight games, but by mid-season he was a regularly playing with the Reserves – where at least he was in good company.
On the Melbourne Show Day holiday (Thursday, September 2, 1928) Carlton defeated Geelong by 31 points in an entertaining Reserve Grade Grand Final at the MCG. Ross and Billy Wood were in that side, as were three of Carlton’s greats; Harry Vallence, Charlie Davey and Ansell Clarke. Clarke booted six goals, Vallence three, and Ross added another as the Blues celebrated an unprecedented third consecutive flag at seconds level, under captain-coach Jimmy Goonan.
On that bright note, Wingy departed from Princes Park to play out his career back at Northcote, including the Brickfielders' 1929 Premiership. He passed away on the 10th January, 1978, aged 78.