Almanac Footy History: A team of Peters v a team of Jacks

Jacks are back, but where have all the Peters gone?


In the opening round of 1980, seventeen Peters lined up to start the VFL season. Six of them played in the Collingwood v Carlton game at Victoria Park – Moore, McCormack, Daicos, McConville, Brown, Francis.


Jack Hawkins was the only Jack who played in Round 1, 1980.


In the opening round of 2017, a solitary Peter Wright from the Suns represented one of the most popular footballing names of the 1970s and 80s.


Nineteen Jacks lined up for Round 1, 2017.


Peter seemed to be a favoured post-WW2 name bestowed upon numerous male baby boomers. Was it an homage to St Peter, guardian of the pearly gates in Christian mythology? Perhaps he would look favourably on a namesake and sneak him through.


In 50-60 years time St Peter’s notebook will be thick on the J page. Seems parents liked to tighten their jaws the when naming their kids in the 1990s. As Gary Ayres might say: “Now you’ve got your Jarrods, Jakes, Joshs, Jacks, Jesses, Jaspers (when did it become ok to name your kid after a cartoon character?) and your Joels.”


They have replaced: “Your Garys, Barrys, Ians, Rodneys, Alans, Bruces , Waynes , Kevins and Darrels.” At least these names were from an even spread of the alphabet.


I can picture an exasperated St Peter trying to make sense of the 43 variations of Jarrod: “Not another fucking Jarryd !!”


Jack was popular as a nickname for John (another biblical name gone by the wayside in footy) between the wars. Of course one can argue that the most famous name in footy is Jack Dyer, especially with the events of the last week or so bringing memories of old Tiger greats back to the surface.


So I will put it to the test Almanackers: a team of Peters versus a team of Jacks. Who would win and who were/are your favourites and why?


Perhaps we can have your views on what names need to brought back for the sake of variety and the sanity of St Peter.









B:             Giles                  McCormack        Schwab


HB:          McConville        Knights               Dean


C:               German             Bedford               Matera


HF:             Daicos               Hudson            Bosustow


F:                Bell                                  McKenna                     Curran


R:               Jones                   Featherby                    Crimmins


IC:     Moore         Russo       Kiel          Sumich


Coach: Pianto


Executive Consultant, Ministry of Nomenclature: Peter Baulderstone





B:                    Edwards                     Regan              Howell


HB:                     Bisset                Hawkins                       Hamilton


C:                         Symons                Clarke                       Williams


HF:                       Baggott                    Mueller                    Collins


F:                         Riewoldt                      Titus                     Gunston


R:                Dyer         Oatey          Ziebell


IC:            Viney        Metherell           Hale             Wrout


Coach:            Worrall


About Phillip Dimitriadis

Carer/Teacher/Writer. Author of Fandemic: Travels in Footy Mythology. World view influenced by Johnny Cash, Krishnamurti, Larry David, Toni Morrison and Billy Picken.


  1. Lord Bogan, I immediately thought of Brownlow medalist Peter Box whi, they say, was a great player.

    Peter Johnston was a superb overhead mark and a less than stellar kick – as you can attest from his games against your Pies.

  2. Jennifer Muirden says

    What a ripper piece Phil!

    Hopefully, the Saints Jacks comprising Jack Sinclair (Jeff), Jack Steele (Jack or Steelo), Jack Steven (Stuv), Jack Lonie (mini Schneider or Lones), Jack Newnes (Jill) and Jack Billings (JB) will all figure in the Saints long-awaited success in 2018.

    Go St Jacks!!! Go Saints!

  3. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Peter Motley

    Peter Jonas

  4. Thought the same Swish. Can think of quite a few SANFL to line up too.
    Phil, a team of Bobs next?

  5. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    ‘Jack’ Harms – Box a beauty, 1956 Brownlow. Johnston – 1980 Prelim shocker in front of goal. Peter Walker was a handy Cat. What has happened to all the Johns? A few Jonathans, but that’s not the same. Yeah, nah I’ll name my son after a type of apple than some headless bloke from the Bible…

    Jennifer – Is there a collective noun for Jacks? We might have to find one if the Saints take it out next year !!

    Swish – Motley definitely. Jonas ? Meh. Vardy and Caven?

    Rabid – Team of Bobs would be worth assembling. Bob Murphy as Skipper ?

  6. Triple Brownlow medalist Bob Skilton.

  7. Cat from the Country says

    Peter Ricardi was also very handy

  8. Thanks Lord Bogan for acknowledging my role as President in Perpetuity of the Peter Perfect Premiers.
    Using my Presidential prerogative to place Peter Spencer on the wing. Dual Sandover Medallist and played 2 injury crueled seasons with North Melbourne in the early 80’s. Peter German can Assistant Coach as a dual flag winning coach at Subiaco.
    In answer to your question as to where all the Peters have gone? Spain. Greetings from Granada. The Mezquite in Cordoba is the most beautiful building I have ever been in. Ornate gothic cathedral built inside a mosque where 40,000 could pray 800 years ago. One of the few that the Catholic kings preserved. Plus ca change………..

  9. Jennifer Muirden says

    How about Peter Pianto who was an Italian-Australian Aussie Rules player and coach with Geelong FC in the VFL? He was one of my late mother’s favourites with her beloved Cats!

  10. What of the man who in the ’98 GF rendered ineffective the greatest player of the last few decades? Caven, P.

  11. How about a team of Germans playing a team of Italians next pls Phil. Carl Dietrich first ruck for The Huns, and Steven Silvagni at full back for the Eyeties. A Tonly Ongarello placekick to be worth seven points. Nine points if it actually reaches the goal line.

  12. Collective nouns for Jack:
    a box of Jacks
    a lantern of Jacks
    an all-trades of Jacks
    a sparrow of Jacks
    a daniels of Jacks

  13. Jennifer Muirden says

    Ah…good old Smokie to the rescue! I like the lantern of Jacks best.

  14. Wouldn’t that be a lantern’o’jacks?

  15. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    A Lumber of Jacks?

  16. Lord Bogan, I can’t believe I forgot the greatest Peter of them all, Peter Burns. A genuine legend of football.

  17. Peter warrington says

    Peter Woosha Welsh. A diamond in the rough

    Love my namesake forward line.

    A team of Royces -well, I have 2, and my mate’s dog who he painted a yellow stripe on for the 93 GF

    PB, if you have never been I recommend the Alpajuras out the back of Granada. Awesome!

  18. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Peter Carey and Jack Hylton to umpire

    Peter ‘Super’ Carey and Jack Cahill

  19. A russell of Jacks maybe? Or a spade of Jacks even?

    And certainly a principal of Peters.

    And Mr B, we stayed at the hotel opposite the Mesquite. We were first in the door that morning. An amazing experience — to walk around the empty building; to grasp the hugeness of the space.

  20. Dave Brown says

    Not enough Dougs in the footy world anymore either. I think Dougal Howard should be referred to as Doug by all commentators

  21. Spot on with the lack of Peter’s playing AFL, Phil. Bell is the last champion to stand out from my memory. Jack’s are everywhere these days, just need to look at St Kilda’s playing list. I am loving these concept teams too. Look forward to the next instalment.

  22. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Sounds like you having a great time PB (San Pietro) – Peter Spencer definitely came over with huge expectations in 1981. He was a decorated Croweater dogged by injuries. Peter Worsfold?

    JTH – Peter Burns, great old timer who played over 300 games for South and the Cats in the pioneering years of the game. Super get.

    PW – Woosha, 1980 Premiership wingman who also played in Hawthorn’s losing 1975 GF side. Excellent nomination.

    Swish – Umpires Peter Cameron and Jack McMurray both umpired a total of 304 games. And of course, Jack Elder who according to Digger : “Absolutely crucified Collingwood in the 1911 GF”

    Wrap – Past Perfect Principal of Peters I reckon

    Dave – Surely there’s a handy 22 of Dougs waiting to be composed? Agree about Dougal – Irish pretentiousness !!

    Matthew – Bell was one of the champs. 286 class games for North and Freo. St Kilda are in danger of becoming the St Jacks, as Jennifer mentioned above, the way they are going. Need to recruit a couple of Peters pronto !!

  23. Jennifer Muirden says

    A dear friend of mine recently astutely remarked having that having six Jacks in the Saints squad is amazing – you only get four Jacks in a pack of cards!

  24. Jennifer Muirden says

    Excuse the typo there! ; )

  25. Paul Young says

    Thanks Phil – great effort. A lot of research has gone into this.

    I assume Jack Williams on the wing was the Geelong player and not Jack “Basher” Williams who played CHB for South Melbourne in the infamous 1945 bloodbath GF.

    Reading the bio for Jack Symons – obviously a pretty good player who ended up a Richmond life member.

    Essendon had a wingman named Jack Garden who won the best & fairest in 1920 and played in the Dons’ 1923 and 1924 premiership teams. He missed four years because of WW1 otherwise he’d have been a genuine chance for the starting eighteen. Might have been worthy of a place on the bench?

    I’ve always been a fan of the wing position, hence my interest.

    An interesting point about my wing obsession – two of favourite players of all time were Keith Greig & Wayne Schimmelbusch – both made their name on the wing in the VFL yet were recruited from the VFA at a time when the VFA did not have wings.

    PS: Peter Jones ahead of Peter Moore as first ruck? Percy was a great player but in my view Moore was much better. Certainly worthy of forward pocket.

  26. John Butler says

    Peter Brown – played for the Blues in the ’79 flag (you remember ’79, don’t you Phil?)

    Peter Rhode (Blues & Dees)

    Aren’t the new, upwardly mobile Collingwood due to have another Tarkyn on the list?

  27. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    A quick search of my collection unearthed a Centrals team from 1978 that had six Peters.

  28. Colin Ritchie says

    Peter Sommerville, Essendon.

  29. DBalassone says

    Does Kieren Jack count?

  30. Would a Pickled Pepper of Peters fit Phil? Or a Pickled Peck of Peters? Or should it be a Piper of Pickled Peters? Or a ….. I think I’ll just go and get pickled.

    And if Kieran Jack gets through, how about son of Jack? As in Mark Jacko Jackson? Then for the photo, they could all be attired by Peter jackson. In fact, would a Jackson of Peters make it to the short list of collective Peter nouns?

    Liked the Wayne Schimmelbusch reference; any chance of a team of Waynes & Dwaynes when we exhaust the Peters & Jacks?

  31. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Six Jacks Jennifer? A Flush of Jacks?
    Paul – Geelong Jack Williams 1925 – 1934. Jack Garden a great nomination. From the same era, Fitzroy goalsneak Jack Moriarty (157 games for 626 goals. Not bad for the time). Peter Jones in ruck by virtue of the fact that he played in 4 Carlton Premiership sides.

    JB – I had forgotten about Peter Brown until I had to come up with this team !! Low centre of gravity made him handy in ’79 GF, along with the 3 other Peters – Francis, McConville and Jones. 4 Peters in one premiership side must be a record? Did I mention Jack Shorten from 1910?

    Who are they Swish? SANFL team of Peters? Why not?

    Colin – Somerville a good nomination. Got better as his career went on. Peter Bradbury?

    Damo, sorry mate cant pay that. Have to come up with a team who’s surnames are also first names. Good try, though.

  32. This is great stuff Lord Bogan, BUT Peter Spencer is a proud Sandgroper not a Croweater! Still doing special comments on the WAFL on ABC Radio. There is life west of Kaniva and north of Wodonga!
    Peter Worsfold is not fit to tie Peter Spencer’s bootlaces. Woosha Lite (or Fright) played 26 AFL games for the Bad News Bears and his claim to fame was getting a 6 match suspension for thumping Ken Hinkley. Came back to Perth and ended up breaking a bloke’s jaw in the country leagues. Lucky to get off a GBH charge. ‘Nuf said.
    Swish – lay off the “pickled” jibes.

  33. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Oops, sorry PB. Must have gotten confused with that other ‘expensive’ Sandgroper Peter Eakins !!
    I wouldn’t get too excited about Sandover Medalists. I mean Murray Wrensted won it in 1985 and we all know how that ended.

    Jennifer – A Flash of Jacks !!

    Wrap – Inspired by your escapades in the Wrap Cave and your travels in the Wrap Mobile, the next team might battle it out for the Bruce/Wayne Cup.

  34. Jennifer Muirden says

    Hey Phil, I’m not much of a card player but I thought a flush related to a poker hand containing five cards all of the same suit. But that’s not six Jacks! A flush of Jacks sounds kind of cute though.

  35. Jennifer Muirden says

    A ha yes… a Flash of Jacks is more like it!

  36. Jennifer Muirden says

    Or perhaps Jumpin’ Jack Flashes?!

  37. There is only one Jack song worth singing. Cue Elvis.
    “From a jack to a king
    From loneliness to a wedding ring
    I’ve played a ace and I won the queen
    I walked away with your heart”
    Hope to hear Jack sing it soon instead of this Mr Brightside rubbish. More our vintage, eh Mr Wrap.

  38. Jennifer Muirden says

    Hey Peter B, I’m also partial to AC/DC’s song The Jack. However one of my all time favourite Jack songs is Captain Jack from
    Billy Joel’s The Piano Man album (1973) … and before you ask yes, I know exactly to what the song refers!!!

    But Captain Jack can get you high tonight
    And take you to your special island
    Aw Captain Jack will get you by tonight
    Just a little push and you’ll be smilin’

  39. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    A Flap of Jacks?
    Love Elvis and AC/DC (Bon Scott era), but surely Ray Charles trumps them with this classic:

  40. Dave Nadel says

    Peters are always Peters but Jacks vary. I would bet that every Jack mentioned in this thread born before 1970 would be listed as John on his birth certificate whereas the majority of Jacks born after1980 would be listed as Jack on their birth certificate. But it isn’t just Johns. In the 50s and 60s I went to Sunday School and a Jewish Youth Group with loads of Jacks. Every last one of them was originally named Jacob. The same thing happened in the USA. In Phillip Roth’s novel Portnoy’s Complaint Portnoy is nervous about visiting his non-Jewish girlfriend’s family where she will have relatives named Jack as in John rather than Jacob.

    Of course, when old testament names became fashionable again for Christians from the early 70s onward (think Benjamin, Nathan, and later Isaac and Levi) suddenly you got Christian Jacobs who were all Jakes. Then the Jewish Jacobs became Jakes, too.

    The only footballer I can think of with a Jewish first name that is unlikely to be given to a non-Jew is Mordi (short for Mordecai) Bromberg. Mordi was far from my favourite footballer but he has been my favourite judge ever since he ruled against Andrew Bolt on the racial vilification case.

  41. Jennifer Muirden says

    Hey Dave, Mordecai “Mordy” Bromberg is certainly an extremely fair judge of the Federal Court of Australia but for me he stands out as the long haired Saints defender who played on Yom Kippur on the special Saturday in September in the 1966 Grand Final when St.Kilda FC won their one and only Premiership beating Collingwood by just 1 point before an impressive crowd of 102,055 spectators. In fact Ian Synman was the other Jewish footballer who played in the ’66 Grand Final and claimed that he was given a special dispensation by ‘the Jewish church’ to play that game. A significant day in history not only for the St.Kilda Football Club but also for Jewish footballers in VFL.

  42. Peter Fitzpatrick says

    Probably he doesn’t command a place in the Peters’ Hall of Fame, but I want to put in a word for Peter Zychla, who played a modest number of games for Geelong in the early 80s. He must surely have been the finest wearer of the Cats’ number 38 until the almost legendary Austin McCrabb cycled his way to Kardinia Park. But – even more significantly – his claim on last spot in the all-time alphabetical list of League footballers surely has never been matched. And surely never will …

  43. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Dave – Yes, I can see how Jacob morphs into Jack in the Jewish world. Greeks named Jack are also generally Jacobs. In Greek Iakovos – Jacob -Jack. Sometimes Jake in the modern era.

    Peter – Zychla as a ripper nomination. Certainly an anchor for the footy alphabet.
    Peter Fitzpatrick – brother of Mike, played 9 games for Carlton in 1978 and 1980. Finished up playing 4 games for the Saints in 1980, then disappeared into the football wilderness. It’s not you is it?

  44. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Latter Day Peters
    Wilson Rich/Wce
    Berbakov Ess
    Filandia Ess (Hard Nut)

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