Carlton's first full-forward...

Wally O'Cock

Career: 1897 - 1899, 1901
Debut : Inception Blue - Round 1, 1897 vs Fitzroy, aged 21 years, 325 days.
Carlton Player No. 15
Games : 41 (Plus at least 10 V.F.A. games)
Goals : 25 (Plus 11 V.F.A. goals)
Last Game : Round 7, 1901 vs Essendon, aged 25 years, 351 days.
Height : 175 cm (5 ft. 9 in.)
Weight : 74 kg (11 stone, 9 lbs.)
DOB : 17 June, 1875
Leading Goalkicker: 1897

The grandly-named Alfred Richard Wallace ‘Wally’ O’Cock was Carlton’s first VFL full-forward, and the winner of the Blues’ goal-kicking award in our inaugural season. Although he was just 175 cm tall, Wally wasn't short of courage or enthusiasm on the field. He was a sometimes spectacular mark, and a reliable place-kick for goal.

O’Cock was already established in Carlton’s team when the first four matches of the fledgling Victorian Football League were held on Saturday, May 8, 1897. Carlton was drawn to meet Fitzroy at the Brunswick Street Oval. Neither side scored a goal in the first quarter, but in the second term, O’Cock lined up a place kick and sent it sailing through the posts. Sadly, Carlton kicked just one more goal for the match and lost by 33 points.

Later that year, an incident occurred that demonstrates how long the road to professionalism in Australian football has been. Carlton was due to play Melbourne at Princes Park in late July, but incessant heavy rain had turned the playing field into a bog, so the match was transferred to the MCG. The Blues had hoped to include O’Cock in the team on his return from injury, only to be told that he couldn’t play because he was unable to obtain a medical clearance. So what did they do? Easy – they registered him under the name of Alfred Wallace, and sent him out to play! Wally kicked Carlton’s only two goals for the match, while the Fuchsias proved too good by almost five goals.

O’Cock’s 15 goals from ten matches in his debut season ensured a niche for him in Carlton’s history. He went on to play another 31 games over the next four years, although he did miss the entire 1900 season for undisclosed reasons. From 1898 he was often played further up the ground as a half-forward flanker or winger, and rarely missed being mentioned among Carlton’s best players.

Wally was only a few days short of his 26th birthday when he played his last game, against Essendon at the East Melbourne Football Ground in June 1901. The battling Blues may have lost another match to Essendon by 80 points, but brighter days lay ahead.

Wally never became a household name (and perhaps just as well) at Preston, but on May 2, 1903, he had the honour of kicking the the club's first goal in V.F.A. football just before half-time in the opening game against the 1902 premiers, Richmond at Punt Road. OCock was first sighted playing against Preston with Carlton Juniors back in 1894 and would almost certainly have played for Carlton in the Association up until 1896. Six clubs broke away to form the Victorian Football League in 1897, and later Carlton (along with St. Kilda) were invited to join the new competition provided they could guarantee improvements to the rather ramshackle Princes Park of the time. OCock played 41 games with Carlton between 1897 and 1899 and in 1901 and led the club's goalkicking in 1897 with 13 goals. Just where OCock resided during his time at Carlton is not known, but he captained the fledgling Preston Cricket Club from 1902 to 1905, indicating that at least by then he was probably a resident of the district. 1903 was his only year of football at Preston Park.

Victorian Football Association
Games: 10; (possibly played 17 games)
Goals: 11
Career: 1896

Leading Goal Kicker: 1896

Born in Melbourne, and recruited from the northern suburbs club, Albion United.

O'Cock passed away 14 June, 1951 aged 76.

1896 May 2
Round one of the season.
O'Cock named in the squad that played Ballarat Imperials in Ballarat.
The Blues had the bye this week.

1896 May 9
Wally O'Cock debuted for the Carlton F. C. (aged 20 years, 325 days) in The Blues' first game for the season, the round two clash against Essendon.
The Argus reported that he was one of the prominent new recruits for the Blues.

1896 May 15
O'Cock named in the 24 man squad to play North Melbourne at Carlton.
Wally kicked the only two goals that his side scored that day. The Blues going down by 4 goals. The North Melbourne Courier's report on this match said O'Cocks second goal came from a free kick only one yard out from the goal.
The newspaper also said of Wally's opponent; "E. Launder a bit too good for O'Cockalorum, though the latter managed to score twice."

1896 May 23
O'Cock named in the 28 man Carlton squad to play Richmond at Punt Road.

1896 May 30
O'Cock scored a goal in the match against Collingwood at the University Ground.

1896 June 13
O'Cock scored one of Carlton's 3 goals against St.Kilda at St.Kilda.
O'Cock was one of four Carlton players charged with misconduct (obscene language) arising from the match against St.Kilda.

1896 June 20
O'Cock scored Carlton's only goal in the drawn match against Geelong at the M.C.G.

1896 June 27
O'Cock scored a goal in the drawn match against Port Melbourne at the University ground.

1896 July 02
The V.F.A. tribunal suspended the four players from the St.Kilda game, the others Ashton, Balharry and Aitken.
Wally O'Cock copped a one week suspension.

O'Cock wrote a letter to The Argus on July 4 stating that he was prevented from using witnesses who could have proved his innocence.
The letter is signed J. O'Cock. (A printer's error?)

1896 July 04
O'Cock played against Fitzroy at the M.C.G.

1896 July 11
O'Cock scored one of Carlton's 3 goals in the match against Footscray at the University ground.

1896 July 18
O'Cock is named in Carlton's 24 man squad to play South Melbourne at South Melbourne.

1896 July 25
O'Cock is named in the 28 man Carlton squad to play Melbourne at the M.C.G.

1896 August 01
Wally O'Cock scored 2 goals in the match against Williamstown at the University Ground.

1896 August 15
Carlton played Footscray at Footscray.
Wally kicked 2 of his side's 4 goals

1896 August 22
O'Cock scored 1 goal in the win over St. Kilda at the University Ground

1896 September 05
O'cock is named in the 27 man squad to play North Melbourne at North Melbourne.

1896 September 12
O'Cock is named in the 24 man squad to play Collingwood at Victoria Park.

1896 September 19
Carlton played Richmond on the Richmond City Reserve.
No team details available.

1896 September 26
O'Cock is named in the 27 man squad to play Williamstown at Williamstown.

1896 CFC Annual report, O'Cock scored 11 goals during the season.

1896 Was among the remaining group of players who formed a strong combination.
(The Carlton Story, H.Buggy and H.Bell. P77)

Articles: Here's Wally!

Blueseum: Summary of playing statistics for Wally O'Cock | Pre VFL Players | O'Cock's Blueseum Image Gallery
Contributors to this page: Bombasheldon , Jarusa , blueycarlton , molsey , PatsFitztrick , tmd1 , p(12)terg , BlueWorld , true_blue24 , nikki and admin .
Page last modified on Tuesday 04 of September, 2018 22:19:55 AEST by Bombasheldon.

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