Career : 1926 - 1937
Debut : Round 16, 1926 vs Fitzroy, aged 18 years, 295 days
Carlton Player No. 431
Games : 179
Goals : 4
Guernsey No. 6
Last Game : Round 18, 1937 vs Footscray, aged 29 years, 295 days
Height : 175 cm (5' 9")
Weight : 80 kgs (12 stone, 8 lbs.)
DOB : June 11, 1907
Fred Gilby, that solid half-back who is known to his supporters as "Safety First" (Sporting Globe Feb 07 p6 1931)
Born Frederick William Gilby at South Melbourne in 1907, Fred Gilby grew up in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, and began his senior football career with VFA newcomers Coburg at the age of 17 in 1925. By early the following year, Fred had been drawn to Princes Park, where he became an automatic selection in Carlton’s senior team for the next 12 seasons.
Gilby’s cherubic features and solid build masked a fierce competitor with pace, steely concentration and a real appetite for the contest. Cool under pressure, he was a natural defender who backed his judgement and relished the physical clashes. The Navy Blues were consistent finalists throughout Fred’s career, and although he wore his number 6 guernsey into finals matches on twelve occasions, he faced off just once for Premiership glory – in the classic 1932 Grand Final against Richmond.
Carlton went into that game – our club’s first flag decider since 1921 – as slight favourites against a Richmond combination that was rapidly becoming Carlton’s bogey team. The Blues clung to a four-point lead with five minutes to play, but couldn’t withstand Richmond’s last-ditch desperation and were beaten by 11 points - despite five goals from our champion full-forward ‘Soapy’ Vallence, and the tireless efforts of our half-back line of Gilby, Gordon Mackie and Eric Huxtable.
Gilby’s career was marked by consistency - he played 76 consecutive matches between round 6, 1927 and round 4, 1931 - and coincidence. Both his first and last games were played on August 28, and both had the same result, with Carlton winning by 22 points.
And on June 11, 1991, Fred passed away on his 84th birthday.
Life MembershipFred was awarded Life Membership at the 1934 AGM Thursday February 01.
(Age February 02 p6)
Milestones50 Games: Round 12, 1929 Vs Essendon
100 Games: Round 8, 1932 Vs North Melbourne
150 Games: Round 14, 1935 Vs Richmond
Career Highlights1926 Reserves (2nds) Premiership Player
LinksArticles: Every Picture tells a story - Signatures from 1935 | Simpson overtakes Gilby
Blueseum: Summary of playing statistics for Fred Gilby | Gilby's Blueseum Image Gallery