Career : 1919
Debut : Round 1, 1919 vs Fitzroy, aged 27 years, 223 days
Carlton Player No. 339
Games : 11
Goals : 0
Last Game : Semi Final, 1919 vs Collingwood, aged 28 years, 5 days
Guernsey No. 18
Height : 178 cm (5 ft. 10 in.)
Weight : 82.5 kg (13 stone, 0 lbs.)
DOB : 22 September, 1891
John Richmond ‘Jack’ Scobie was a well-travelled and well-credentialed defender who played in Premiership teams on both sides of the country before joining the Blues for one brief season in 1919. An excellent high mark and remarkably agile for his stocky build, Jack battled weight problems throughout his career, yet often embarrassed opponents who made the mistake of assuming that he wasn’t fit.
Scobie was born in inner-suburban Richmond in 1891. He played his early football with the Rose of Northcote club, and was still just 17 when he was recruited by South Melbourne in 1909. In September of that year, he stood tall at full-back against Carlton in the VFL Grand Final, and was one of his team’s best in an upset 2 point win that brought the Bloods their first-ever flag.
Three years later, Jack played across half-back in his second Grand Final, when South Melbourne met Essendon and lost by 14 points. Then in 1913, after 75 games and 4 goals in red and white, he accepted a lucrative offer from WA club East Fremantle.
Throughout the grim years of World War 1, Jack was a star for Old Easts and a vital member of their 1914 and 1918 WAFL Premiership sides. One respected commentator, Dolph Heinrichs, wrote; "Of all the splendid exponents in East Fremantle's colours during its (first) 50 years, I made Jack Scobie as absolutely its most fully-equipped and fully accomplished player."
In 1919, Jack returned to Victoria and joined the Navy Blues. Wearing the number 18 guernsey previously carried by the controversial Alex ‘Bongo’ Lang, he lined up for round 1 against Fitzroy, and completed a stellar half-back line alongside Paddy O'Brien and Newton Chandler. Carlton’s 43-point win was an encouraging start, but the team was plagued by inconsistency throughout the rest of the year. After winning five of their last six matches, the Blues’ season ended with an 18-point Semi Final loss to bitter rivals Collingwood.
Scobie held down both key defensive posts during the season, and was also thrown into a follower’s role at times. Although he was consistent more than brilliant throughout, it still came as a surprise at year’s end when he told the club that he was moving on again to take up the role of captain-coach with VFA club Essendon Town.
Unknown at that time however, was the fact that Essendon Town had only a short time to live. Two years later, their much bigger cousins in the VFL were forced to relocate from the East Melbourne Cricket Ground, and a ‘merger’ between clubs that shared the same colours and similar names was agreed upon. ‘Same Old’ Essendon took root at the ground that would later become Windy Hill, while Jack Scobie retired from the game and went into the history books as the last captain-coach of the Dreadnoughts.
Some 50 years after those events, Jack passed away on the 23rd April, 1974 at Hawthorn, aged 82.
Fine All-Round PlayerThe Daily News (Perth) June 24 1919 (p2) carried a write up on Jack Scobie's career.
To read click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article81397042
MemoriesEast Fremantle's first trainer Tommy "Pop" Lewis claims Jack Scobie was the greatest footballer in East's history.
To read the West Australian article from September 21 1951 (p16) click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48991277