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Tommy Leydin


Victorian Football Associaton
DOB: 1865
DOD: 12 April 1936
Height: 5ft 10ins. 178cm. (1891)
Weight: 13 st. 82.5kg (1891)
Carlton Captain: 1887,1888,1889.
1886: Leading Goalkicker 22 goals.
Games: 88 - 91
Goals: 40
Career: 1885-1889


Sometimes spelt Leyden.

Leydin was Captain of the Carlton Football Club in the pre-VFL era, between 1887 and 1889.

Tommy Leydin a backman, recruited to Carlton 1885 from The Avenue.
In 1890 he crossed to the Fitzroy F. C. where he played 62 games and scored 44 goals between 1890 - 1893.

1886 September 19
The Blues demolished Richmond 12.18 to 4.7 at Princes Oval.
Leydin scored 6 goals.

1886 Topped the Carlton goal kicking with 22 goals (from 131 goals) singled out for special mention in 1886.

1887 T. Leydin (captain) - Excellent all-round player; half back, very cool.
"The captain (T. Leydin) plays centre back. He is particularly fitted for this post, being very cool and safe, and hard to pass. He invariably goes straight for the ball, having the happy knack of evading his opponents, and getting away with the sphere without touching the man marking him."

1887 At the Carlton general meeting Friday 1st. April, T. Leyden was presented with a gold locket for "excellent play".

1887 Carlton Captain.
The Australasian named him as amongst the pick of the Victorian players as a back during the 1887 season.

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Tom Leydin 1888

1888 Carlton Captain.
Played in the Carlton vs England match at the M.C.G. June 23.

1888 July 28
Carlton were undefeated prior to travelling to Tasmania in June for a series of matches.
They lost their first match of the tour, and won the other two.
On returning to Melbourne they managed to scrape a draw with North Melbourne, then they were thrashed by South Melbourne by nine goals, then an unprecedented loss to Williamstown who kicked the last four unanswered goals.
Carlton's form on return was pathetic to say the least, and the alarm bells were ringing.
Tommy Leydin issued a lengthy statement to the press which was picked up by the Launceston Examiner.

"Why Are We Beaten?" by Tommy Leydin

July 28
Carlton's dramatic form slump has forced the Blues' skipper Tommy Leydin to issue the following statement which was picked up by the Launceston Examiner.
"Why are we beaten?
Because the fellows have all turned careless and neglected their training. That is the secret of it all.
Ever since we came back from Tasmania the men have nearly all kept away from the training we have at night at the pavilion.
Why, last week there were six who turned up on Tuesday night, and four on Thursday. Well, that sort of thing pretty soon takes the life out of a club, and now we have have found out to our cost what this neglect means.
Training is absolutely essential to a good footballer. Without it he does not keep his eyes about him-he gets tired, and, in fact does not care whether he plays well or badly. If the other side gets hold of the ball he makes no effort to take it back, and generally plays in a dull and listless fashion that makes you sick, whereas if a man looks after himself and keeps himself always up to a fair pitch, he never tires, and in every department of the game he is better.
He runs quicker, marks with more certainty, dodges more surely, and plays in the last quarter with the same life and spirit that he did in the first.
Now take our match with South Melbourne. We played a fine game in the first quarter, but I saw at once that our men would never last, and so it proved, for South Melbourne did just as they pleased.
The same thing happened at Williamstown. After the first quarter they simply walked over us and in the last quarter actually kicked four goals, without our scarcely having a word to say.
We had the whole twenty up before the committee, and they were given very plainly to understand that any man who neglected to properly carry out his training would not be picked to play, even though we had to draw upon the second twenty, for I would very much rather have an inferior man who trains properly than a first class man who does not train at all.
Although we have been beaten twice-and pretty bad beatings they were-in succession, I never expected to go the season carrying everything before us, and indeed we have looked upon two or three defeats as inevitable. The club which could win every match would be a very remarkable one in these days, for the improvement in football has been so general that we never can tell what we are likely to do.
With the season as yet only half over, I do not see that we have any reason to be exactly heart-broken. At all events, we are going to leave no stone unturned to make up the ground we have lost, and though it is perhaps a little foolish to prophesy, yet I fancy we are able to do it. In any case, we mean to have a big try.
Men who do not train will not play, and from now no team will represent us that is not in the very best form and throughly fit in every particular. Each man knows that if he wishes to keep his place in the club, he will have to work for it, and if there be any who fancy they are good enough without, well, they will find that the committee hold different ideas.
That is how we are taking our thrashing, and even though we are 20 sad and sorry men, we, at all events, know there is time left to make up the ground we have lost."

1889
At the Carlton AGM, Leydin was presented with an illuminated address along with Billy Strickland and William H. Crapp

1889 Carlton Captain and among the best players as a back in the 1889 season and kicked 12 goals from 118.
(Centenary Souvenir of Carlton football Club p19)

1889 August 17
"There was a sound of revelry by night - Saturday night - at Tom Leydin's hostelry, the Rose of Carlton Hotel.
And no wonder! It was not so much the fact of beating Essendon as winning such a game that pleased the cognoscenti."
(Melbourne Punch)
Tommy Leydin's Rose of Carlton Hotel was on the corner of Palmerston Street & Canning Street.
In 1907 there was an effort to reduce the number of hotels in Victoria. At a sitting of the Licences Reduction Board, it was mentioned in the case of the Rose of Carlton Hotel, that there were 10 other hotels within 300 paces! (Age October 02 p10)

1890 Leydin lost the Carlton captaincy to Billy Strickland.
Leydin resigned from the club. He said he did this for private reasons.
It caused a certain amount of regret at the time, though it is generally regarded that last season that Tommy Leydin was not the Tommy Leydin of previous years.
(Carlton Gazette)

1890 April 01
J. Leydin, ex captain of the Carlton footballers team, joins Fitzroy this season. It is rumoured he is piqued at not being re-elected Captain.
(Colac Herald April 01 p3)

1890 April 03

Tommy Leydin dumped as Captain & quits, Vice Captain W. H. 'Bill' Moloney retires, & Billy Strickland made Captain.

"The members of the Carlton Football Club cannot be complimented on their sense of gratitude - far from it.
Else most assuredly they would never have allowed Tommy Leydin to have fallen from his high estate as Captain without at least tendering him a hearty vote of thanks for the eminent services he rendered his club during the three years he led the C.F.C. first twenty on to the field. His record was a marvellously good one, too - a first, a third and a second. There's one flattering unction he can lay to his soul, though, that being the fact that he was the only Captain since the inception of the club to be elected three seasons in succession.
But King Leydin died on Friday night, and the universal acclaim rent the air in the Hibernian Hall - "Long live King Strickland!" And as the night wore on, and gazing at the hundreds in the room failed to hear one kind word said of the deposed hero, I could not help remembering the lines -

"Thou many-headed, monster thing
Oh, who could wish to be a King!"

As a matter of fact I would have liked to have seen Tommy Leydin to retire from the position of captain at the beginning of last season; only for the simple reason that I considered he cramped his own play whilst acting in that position. However, those who were best able to judge preferred him to Strickland, and, as the latter player had the misfortune to get placed hors d' combat through an injury to the kneecap early in the season, perhaps it was all the better that they did so.
But then W. Moloney was appointed Vice Captain, and what I want to know is - How comes it that he was not elected to fill the position of captain, when it was thought requisite to make a change? It strikes me that the oversight was a Terrible Blunder; because if once you begin to establish such a turn-about-and wheel-about-and-jump-Jim-Crow-system-farewell to allespirit de corps in a club!
Unless he has shown himself to be incompetent, I maintain a Vice Captain of a football team is entitled - as a Matter of Right - to the higher position as soon as it becomes vacant. And as Moloney accquitted himself more than creditably as a Lieutenant there was no loop or hinge to hang a doubt on as to his fitness to be a Commander.
Pray do not misunderstand me. No one holds Billy Strickland in higher esteem whether as a Footballer or a Man, than I do. providing his leg stands next to him, and his team work together as the true Carlton boys have always worked together (and never more so than when it looked as some friction was likely to disorganise them), I say, providing both these things to happen, then I am certain Strickland will not be found wanting in any one particular.
But, still it's a Bad Precedent to establish - the ignoring of a vice-captain's claims; ableit I am satisfied that W. H. Moloney has the interest of his club far too much at heart to allow the apparent insult to do aught else than pass by him as the idle wind, which he respects not. The very fact of his refusing to make "one of four" in a game for the captaincy proved that to demonstration.

The gentlemen who insisted on having the item of "training expenses' on the Carlton balance sheet fully explained last Friday night could never have been prepared for the pit-pat manner in which Secretary Donaldson had provided an answer to the query. "Gymnasium expenses, £53; cab hire to and from training (three cabs, three nights a week, at 10 bob a cab), so much more," and hey presto! the Mountain became delivered of a Mouse! I have been thinking over that matter ever since, and, between you and me and Jack Gardiner, I have come to the conclusion that the whole thing was a Put-up Job! There, now!
But, whether that be so or not, there certainly was no put up job about Messrs. Gillespie and Donaldson being again returned, as President and Secretary respectively,WITHOUT OPPOSITION! There is one thing that all the money of the Rothschilds could not buy, and that is - Respect.

The many, many friends and acquaintances of Tom Leydin will doubtless be surprised in the extreme on learning that he had severed his connection with Carlton Football Club and thrown his lot in with Fitzroy, Leydin is grand football player, and a decided acquisition to any club. Carlton's loss will therefore be Fitzroy's gain; but whether that will reverse the positions of the two clubs on the premiership list at the end of the season of 1890 is an open question. It is extremely probable that Leydin's defection will cause three or four other erstwhile Carltonians to join the Maroons; and at present the outlook for "t'ould club" is as deeply indigo as it's colours. But ableit

"Than Tommy Leydin no better, I ween, (think, (Blueseum))
Has ever stepped on a football green,"

Still it will be a very cold day for any team of players when it's fortunes rest upon the fads and fancies of any one man; and although personallyI would have liked to have seen Tom Leydin act up to the spirit of the Moslem leader, who said

"Whate'er my fate,
I am no changelling - 'tis too late;"

yet if he is a Sinner, the bald-headed fact remains that he is far more of a Publican than a Sinner."
Olympus - The Melbourne Punch, April 03 1890 (p219)

1890 Transferred to the Fitzroy Football Club and played for the 'Roys 1890-93.

1933 November 24
The Argus reported that Carlton Football Club president D. H. Crone visited Tommy Leydin (Friday Nov. 23) in the Melbourne Hospital.

Death of Tommy Leydin

1936 The Argus reports the death of Tommy Leydin at St. Vincents Hospital Sunday 12 April. He was 71.
He also played cricket with both Carlton and Fitzroy.
The Age April 13;
"To many friends of the former champion, Tom Leydin, will regret to learn of his death early yesterday morning. Old-timers still refer to his excellent play and leadership when captained the famous Carlton side that won the Jubilee premiership. Mr. Leydin, who was aged 71 years, was one of the best and fairest players ever to don a uniform, and played with both Carlton and Fitzroy in his time. The funeral will leave St. Johns, Clifton Hill for the Melbourne General Cemetery this morning (Easter Monday) at 10.45 o'clock."

Tommy Leydin's residence was 73 Hodgkinson Street Clifton Hill.

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Articles: 1888: Carlton v England

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