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Single Gamer

Tom Hanson

Career : 1911
Debut and Only Game : Round 1, 1911 vs Essendon, aged 19 years, 301 days
Carlton Player No. 247
Goals : 0
Height : 178 cm (5 ft. 10 in.)
Weight : 75.5 kg (11 stone, 12 lbs.)
DOB : July 2, 1891


Tom Hanson was born in St Kilda, and played only game for Carlton, but it was a memorable one. When he ran out onto the East Melbourne Football Ground on Saturday, April 29, 1911 to play for Carlton against Essendon, he joined the first generation of openly professional VFL players. Earlier, Carlton had been at the forefront of moves by eight of the ten league clubs to end the sham of amateurism in Victoria’s most popular sport, and eventually, a resolution was passed that declared , ‘from this time onward, all players shall play as open and undisguised professionals.’

Twenty year-old Hanson was a well-built apprentice wood machinist who had been recruited by the Blues from Grosvenor, a local amateur side. Named in the senior team for the first time against Essendon, he was assigned to a half-forward flank alongside our stalwart Jim Marchbank, and another tyro, Roy Johnson.

Coaching Essendon that day was Jack Worrall, the visionary former coach of the Blues, who had taken Carlton to our glorious 1906-07-08 hat-trick of flags, before being dumped by the club in acrimonious circumstances. In his debut in charge of of the Same Old, Worrall’s men matched the Blues in a willing contest, and the game ended in a draw.

The circumstances of Hanson’s association with the Blues after that day have not been recorded, but it is known that he was living in Elsternwick in August 1914, when Germany invaded Belgium and the tensions that had been simmering in Europe for months exploded into World War 1. Tom volunteered for active service, and after training as an infantryman in Australia, transferred to the Australian Army Medical Corps soon after his arrival in France in August, 1916.

He proved to be an outstanding medic and a born leader. He progressed rapidly through the ranks, and was eventually commissioned as a Lieutenant in May, 1918. Despite a bout of trench fever (a virulent form of influenza) and a broken nose suffered in training for an exhibition game of Australian football in London, Tom survived the war and returned home in December, 1919.

Blueseum: Summary of playing statistics for Tom Hanson | Hanson's Blueseum Image Gallery