Almanac Footy: Four generations of Spargos


When Charlie Spargo debuted for Melbourne in Round Six, 2018, he created a small piece of history; the Spargos were the first family to have four consecutive generations to have played in the VFL/AFL.




Bob Spargo senior – Footscray 1934-41 (65 games, 6 goals), Melbourne 1942 (2 games, 0 goals), Victoria (1 game, 0 goals)





(Sons of Bob Spargo senior)


Bob Spargo junior – Footscray 1958-63 (80 games, 43 goals).


Ricky Spargo – Footscray 1966-71 (64 games, 65 goals).






Paul Spargo (son of Bob Spargo junior) – North Melbourne 1985-92 (81 games, 109 goals), Brisbane Bears 1993 (9 games, 9 goals),






Charlie (son of Paul) – Melbourne



Source AFL


In addition to 213 games, Bob Senior and his two sons were also accomplished runners, with five Stawell Gift finals between them. Bob Senior finished third in 1936 and 1940, Ricky ran a place. Three members of one family to make the final of the famous foot race might not be a record, but is very impressive alongside their football accomplishments!


With this lineage it’s no wonder the pint-sized 173 centimetre small forward has some intrinsic football talent, with his uncanny ability to hit the scoreboard and apply defensive pressure being vital in the Dees now-tantalising look at a drought-breaking premiership. The youngster is often reminded by his father that he has “good roots”.


Paul Spargo debuted in a Semi Final for the Kangaroos, kicking a goal and collected 10 possessions in a losing team. He was probably a better player than his 90 league games might suggest, with highlights being a second placing in the Roos’ 1988 Best and Fairest, and a six goal haul in Round 22 at Princes Park against the Hawks that same year. Incidentally, The Shinboners lost that game by a massive 95 points, Jason Dunstall got the three Brownlow votes with 10 goals straight, and the Hawks went on to be Premiers.


The Spargos moved across the country from Perth to Albury where Bob was appointed coach of the Albury Tigers in the Ovens and Murray Football League. Albury is on the Murray River and, although on the NSW side of the border, it is an Aussie Rules stronghold with the O and M representing teams from northern Victoria and Albury. The Albury Sporting Hall of Fame includes a Wimbledon Singles Champion (Margaret Court), an Australian wicketkeeper (Steve Rixon), a women’s basketball star (Lauren Jackson) and a Cox Plate-winning racehorse (Better Loosen Up).  Throw in a triple Brownlow Medallist (Haydn Bunton) and an AFL Premiership captain (Brett Kirk) and you start to realise Albury has a knack of producing great sportspeople (and horses).




The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in 2021. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order HERE.


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  1. Bob Spargo senior was a Victorian Firefighter based at the Footscray station; he was great to have a yarn with. He also had another son who was a great player and on Footscray player list, Raymond J Spargo. I would ofter watch Ray play for Redan in the Ballarat League and his football skills were typically Spargoish, brilliant.
    Jon Symes

  2. Anyone knowing of Ray Spargo’s current contact details, please advise; as we’re all getting on

  3. Good stuff Dan.

    I just remember Ricky playing for Footscray, though have much clearer memories of Paul’s career . I do recall Ricky was in the 1970 Football Cards.

    Yep Dan, Albury has produced many great sporting names, but…In my recollection Better Loosen Up was trained by Les Theodore in Berrigan having his first few starts, including his first win, under Les’s tutelage. He then moved to the ‘big smoke’ firstly with Bart Cummings in Sydney, then down to Colin Hayes in Melbourne. As we know he won the Japan Cup in 1990 the first, and so far, only Australian horse to do so.


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