In taking to the field for the seniors for the first time against Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium, Portlaoise’s Zach Tuohy not only becomes Carlton’s 1134th man to achieve the feat since the VFL’s inception in 1897, but also the club’s first Irish-born footballer to break through in 109 years.
Given that Setanta Ó hAilpín is Sydney-born, and Irish natives Colin Corkery and Michael Shields failed to make the cut at senior level, one must turn back the hands of time to the early 1900s, to when the Blues’ only Irish-born footballer (until Sunday) completed his senior debut.
It happened in the fourth round of 1902, in what was Jack Worrall’s maiden season as Carlton coach, against Melbourne at Princes Park. The player was Fred Scott, who was named at centre half-forward for the first of 17 senior appearances for the Blues through to the season opener against Fitzroy in May 1904.

Frederick Charles Scott, son of John and Lucinda Scott, was born in the county of Monaghan in the province of Ulster on April 11, 1874. Scott’s granddaughter Robyn (nee Scott) Price, the wife of the 158-game former Collingwood best and fairest Barry Price, remembered “Freddie” with the utmost affection. “Freddy was what you would call one of nature’s gentlemen. He had such a self-effacing personality. He always wore a tie and I never saw him in an open-necked shirt,” Robyn said.

“He was an Orangeman, but he hailed from a large family of about seven or eight siblings. He was very young when his family migrated to Australia. His father was a farmer in Ireland, life there at the time was pretty harsh, and Australia offered opportunity. As a young man he lived in Park Street South Yarra, and it was during that time that he attended Scotch College. His cousin, FWW Scott was an outstanding athlete at Scotch, whereas Freddy obviously participated in team sports."

“I know he obtained a scholarship to the University of Melbourne but had to forgo that as his parents unfortunately couldn’t afford to keep him in his studies. He later worked for an insurance company and remained in the insurance industry for the rest of his life.”
Scott was recruited to Carlton from Essendon, having previously represented Essendon VFA, Essendon District, Parkville and Scotch College. His granddaughter was mindful of the Scotch College links, but had no real inkling of the Carlton connection. “I remember my uncle telling me that Freddy played football in Carlton, but I thought it was for one of the Carlton district teams rather than the Carlton Football Club itself.”

Following his marriage in early 1911, Scott and his wife Catherine May settled in the south-eastern suburb of Caulfield. In later years they relocated to Ferntree Gully, where he died in a respite home at the age of 95, on July 8, 1969.

Scott’s love for Carlton prevailed throughout his life. And while the ravages of Parkinson’s Disease slowed him down a little, he remained active until the end. As Robyn explained: “I remember him riding his pushbike everywhere, and when he couldn’t ride he walked . . . he would always take us for rides around the Dandenongs”.

Footnote: For a list of all players born overseas to play with Carlton, please click here...

Blueseum: Tuohy's Blueseum Biography | Freddy's Blueseum Biography