Almanac Footy Teams: A team of Jeffs/Geoffs

 

Jeff or Geoff ?

 

In the 1970s and `80s every football club around Australia had a Jeff or a Geoff on its list. Sometimes both Jeff and Geoff. Sadly, this is another name that has lost favour.

 

Geoff Ablett predated his feted brother Gary and was an integral part of Hawthorn’s 1976 and 1978 premiership sides. However, when we think of the name Ablett the first association is primarily with Gary.

 

There was also a Kevin, but he was more famous for upsetting Bruce Doull in a night game at VFL Park in 1977. I guess we all leave a mark in different ways.

 

Collingwood’s spiritual fan leader ‘Joffa’ is also a Jeff.

 

The Coodabeen Champions have Jeff Richardson as their facilitator and Jeff (Torch) McGee as their talkback aficionado. Torch was good enough to play 7 games for South Melbourne in 1967 and 68 and kick 7 goals. He gets a spot on the bench in this team.

 

St Kilda’s star winger, Geoff Cunningham was also known as ‘Joffa’ and had enough skill to be a multiple Victorian State Rep through the 1980s. A time when the Saints were at their lowest ebb.

 

I have often wondered why there are two distinct variations to Jeff/Geoff. I’ll leave it up to readers to enlighten me on this one. Bonus points to whoever can answer that question.

 

Great Jeffs/Geoffs abounded in the cricket world of my childhood. Jeff Thomson bowled to Geoff Boycott and Geoff Lawson bowled to Jeff Dujon. I’ll leave the rest to Luke Reynolds.

 

Jeff Gartlett flies the flag for the J’s but who was the last Geoff to grace a VFL/AFL arena?

 

I’ve tried to get an even spread across the 22. Over to you Knackers. Who was your favourite Jeff/Geoff ?

 

 

B:     Jeff Dunne (StK)                          Geoff Southby (Carl)                           Jeff Clifton (Coll)

 

HB:      Geoff Rosenow (Geel)          Geoff Miles (Coll/WCE)                      Jeff Berry (Rich/Foots)

 

C:     Geoff Cunningham (StK)       Geoff Raines (Rich/Coll)                     Geoff Ablett (Haw)

 

HF:      Jeff Farmer (Melb/Freo)       Jeff Hogg (Rich/Fitz)                           Geoff Jennings (Foots)

 

F:      Jeff White (Melb/Freo)         Geoff Blethyn (Ess)                             Jeff Gartlett (Carl/Melb)

 

Ruck:            Jeff Sarau (StK)            Geoff Moriarty (Fitz)               Geoff Gosper (Ess)

 

IC:        Geoff Leek (Ess)   Jeff ‘Torch’ McGee (SthM) Jeff Chandler (NthM) Geoff Ainsworth (Geel)

 

Coach: Jeff Gieschen (Rich)

 

Umpires:      Jeff Crouch, Geoff Robinson, Jeff Dalgliesh

 

For more novelty teams click HERE

 

Entertainment: Jeff Buckley (Hallelujah)

 

 

Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Comments

  1. The late Jeff Fehring the long kicking ruckman who kicked that goal for St Kilda from the centre square at
    Moorabbin

  2. Colin Ritchie says

    Jeff Kennett would have to be president!
    Geoff Burdett was a very handy forward for the Bombers in the late 70s.

  3. Phil

    From Wikipedia if you really need to know:

    Geoffrey (/?d??fri/) is a French and English masculine given name. It is the Anglo-Norman form of the Germanic compound *gud? ‘god’ and *friþuz ‘peace’.[1] It is a cognate of Dutch Godfried and German Gottfried.

    It was introduced to Norman England alongside the form Godfrey. It was also Anglicised as Jeffrey from an early time. Popularity of the name declined after the medieval period, but it was revived in the 20th century. Modern hypocorisms include Geoff, Jeff, or Geof.

    Jeffrey and its variants are found as surnames, usually as a patronymic ending in -s (eg Jefferies, Jaffrays); The surname Jefferson is also a patronymic version of the given name.

  4. G’day Phil,

    Unfortunately Jeff or Geoff in the playlist isn’t heard while following footy in my life. You have been doing good team elections for more than a year.

    Can I suggest you to appoint Jeff Kennett as the president of the Team Jeff/Geoff?

    Cheers

    Yoshi

  5. Howdy Phil, I’m most disappointed. I’d hoped your latest team would be a team of Freds. I would have nominated Fred Nurke as the number 1 ticket holder. Freddo Frogs would be the team’s sponsor. In the meantime’ i’ll put my thinking cap on for some Jeffs although, come to think of it, I seem to remember Nathan Lyon had a special delivery he called Jeff. Cheers

  6. I almost forgot, I have a friend who is a very good painter, Geoff Biddle. Geoff paints the logos on the ovals here in Adelaide for the footy games. He recently turned 65 so he may well have now retired.

  7. Geof Motley (yep 1 “f”) is in a team of his own.

  8. Completely agree Budge

  9. Geoff Feehan was a handy second ruckman to Big Bill Wedding in the ’60s for Norwood

  10. Well played, LB. Cracking team

  11. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Jeff Pash, legendary SA player and footy historian

  12. My late Grandpa’s cousin Jeff Bray was a star for West Adelaide in the SANFL, runner up in the Margarey Medal and was a member of the famous 1963 SA state team to beat Victoria at the MCG. He also spent three years at South Melbourne from 1964 – 1966. Ironically his grandson is current Swans player Tom Papley

  13. Jeff Bray was indeed a superlative player. He played with distinction at full back, centre half back, centre half forward or full forward. If Westies were not scoring enough, it was quite common for Coach Jack Oatey to switch Bray from the key defensive position to the goal front where he invariably swung the game – a truly magnificent and versatile player., I often wished he was a Norwood man.

  14. Greig Norman says

    Great line up Phil. Up to your usual high standards. Team song to be performed by Jefferson Airplene. or Jeff Buckley.

  15. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Fantastic contributions. Thanks all. Still trying to figure out who the last ‘Geoff’ (Not Jeff) to play a VFL/AFL game. I reckon it might be Geoff Miles for Geelong in 1992. Please feel free to correct me on that one. Cheers

  16. As reminded on Twitter: Geoff Pryor. Apart from being a fine key backman, he is one of the most influential characters in footy history. Geoff was one of the main instigators of the VFLPA. He was also a district cricketer.

  17. Geoff Sara was a dashing wingman for the West Adelaide Football club. Was a brilliant centre half forward for Sacred heart College before becoming a speedy wing man under neil Kerley and later Doug Thomas’ coaching. Geoff worked with me in the Reserve Bank. When playing billiards he was nicknamed “Jagger”.

  18. Great pick Phil.

    Good seeing Geoff Ainsworth get a spot. He and Gareth Andrews went of on a ski trip to Europe, after the 1970 season. Ainsworth returned late in 1971 to play the R22 clash with Richmond @ the G. Gareth Andrews returned to playing ranks in 1972,

    Even better with out that vile Jeff Kennett. Keep the team Kennett free.

    Glen!

  19. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    South Adelaide’s Geoff Linke also played a couple of games for the Saints in 1982

  20. Luke Reynolds says

    The Geoff/Jeff cricketing XI (finally get to pick a member of the Marsh family!)

    Geoff Boycott (England)
    Geoff Marsh (Australia)
    Geoff Greenidge (West Indies)
    Jeff Crowe (New Zealand)
    Geoff Howarth (New Zealand) (c)
    Jeff Moss (Australia)
    Jeff Dujon (West Indies) WK
    Geoff Lawson (Australia)
    Jeff Thomson (Australia)
    Geoff Arnold (England)
    Geoff Allott (New Zealand)

    Geoff Greenidge (no relation to Gordon) was an intersting player, played in 1971 & 1972, was the last white player to represent the Windies until Brendan Nash in 2008.

  21. SA’s Jeff Hammond was also a bloody good pace bowler

  22. Jeff Kline played for Geelong in the early 70’s.

    Glen!

  23. Second Swish’s Jeff Pash nomination – a very good player by all reports and probably the best writer on the game SA has produced (have spent an evening or two on Trove just reading his columns). And, yes, Geof Motley has to get a guernsey for his spelling uniqueness alone (that, and his 9 SANFL premierships as a player, including one as playing coach, and the 1964 Magarey Medal)

  24. Still have nightmares of Jeff Hogg’s ten on the Mother’s Day Massacre.

    Good work Lord B.

  25. Luke would you consider Geoff Dymock as the drinks carrier?

    Glen!

  26. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Brilliant work Luke.
    Like Glen ! I also thought of Geoff Dymock
    Geoff Miller was a handy offy and late order bat for England.
    JTH – Geoff Pryor deserves a spot. Good call.
    Dave – Geof Motley. Unique contender. Why waste an F ?
    Damo – Was at the Mother’s Day Massacre in 1991. That day it dawned on me that we wouldn’t be able to defend the title ! Hogg , Weightman and Lambert tore us to pieces. Bad memory that…
    Thanks again for your comments and suggestions folks. Appreciated !

  27. Luke, your mention of Geoff and Gordon Greenidge reminds me of the 1973 tour of the Windies, when Tony Cozier told Alan McGilvray that they were brothers, leading to Alan announcing them as such when they walked out to open the innings for Barbados in the tour match. Geoff was a) white and b) about a yard shorter than Gordon, so they were about as likely to be related as the Thompson Twins. McGilvray, whose sense of humor was always much less evident than his encyclopedic cricket knowledge, was a long way short of impressed.

    Still he was not the last. Eddie once called Nick Davis as handballing to ‘brother Leon’.

  28. No room for Jeff Ferring? (designate kicker perhaps)

    How about team doctor – Geoff Allen.

  29. Back on Feb 10th Rulebook nominated Jeff Ferring

  30. Stik, anybody except the dreaded Doctor Geoff Edelsten (who as I recall it detests being called Geoff)

  31. I agree Rick N

  32. Geoff Woolcock says

    Love the Geoffers team Phil, although turning 50 last year was a stark reminder that the ‘G’ Geoffs name virtually disappeared for anyone born after 1970 (personally I blame the Solvol tv ad in the early 70s)……….. go on expectant Almanackers, give it a revival!

  33. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Geoff – Solvol washed away many a Jeffery and a Geoffrey. “Wash your hands..” Kids can be cruel.
    Hope this doesn’t bring back too many painful memories !

  34. A good team needs to be mindful of its diet, eating plenty of fibre etc. To that end, i suggest our team reads the books on foodstuffs by Professor Geoffrey Skurray. Growing up in the fifties Geoff and his big brother Peter were personal friends of mine.Geoff was a great bloke and sometimes went fishing with me.

  35. Of course Jeffrey Deaver would be the logical choice to write the book about the team. You could be sure of multiple twists in the yarn.

Leave a Comment

*