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Les Marden        

Les Marden

Career : 1944
Debut : Round 9, 1944 vs North Melbourne, aged 24 years, 282 days
Carlton Player No. 593
Games : 2
Goals : Nil
Last Game : Round 10, 1944 vs Fitzroy, aged 24 years, 289 days
Guernsey No. 34
Height : 170 cm (5 ft. 10 in.)
Weight : 64 kg (10 stone, 1 lb.)
DOB : 23 September, 1919


Les Marden who was born in Brighton, was a tall, lightly-framed wingman who played two matches for Carlton while serving with the Royal Australian Navy Reserve during World War II.

Originally from Ormond, Marden joined the RAN only days after Australia joined Great Britain in declaring war on Nazi Germany in 1939. While serving in various shore-based establishments around Port Phillip Bay over the next four years, he honed his football skills in naval and service competitions.

The war years were a lean time for all VFL clubs, and there was always an opportunity on hand for any young man with football ability. In July 1944, Les was given his first chance to play at the highest level, when Carlton coach Percy Bentley named him on centre wing in the round nine clash against North Melbourne at Arden St.

Marden took to the field in guernsey number 34 that afternoon, supporting Vin Brown in the centre, and with Fred Fitzgibbon patrolling the opposite side of the ground. The Blueboys started warm favourites against the Shinboners, but never clicked into top gear and were well beaten by five goals.

Marden was relegated to 19th man for the following week’s game, when Carlton bounced back to beat Fitzroy by 30 points at Princes Park, but then he lost his place in the team to a rising star in Doug Williams, and unfortunately for him, never regained it.

Marden passed away on the 20th January, 2002 aged 82.

Footnote

There was a Leslie Keith Marden born Brighton September 21 1919 who enlisted in the Royal Australian Naval Reserve at Port Melbourne on September 20 1939. Service Number: PM2275. Able Seaman, Demob.November 01 1945.
Les was sent to Cerebus for training and then based at HMAS Lonsdale Depot in Port Melbourne. Les received the Award of Volunteer Long Service and Good Conduct Medal on June 22 1945. (Commonwealth Gazette No.224 p2519 November 22 1945)
His service record says his height was 5ft 5 ins. (1.65cm)

Blueseum: Summary of playing statistics for Les Marden | Marden's Blueseum Image Gallery

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1984 - Mark Naley article.
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1987 Rd 5 - Rhys-Jones cleared at the tribunal.

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