Almanac Memories : ‘ave a good weekend.

Amidst the excitement of grand final week another sporting headline has impacted upon Melbourne. The sad death of former Melbourne (VFL) footballer, Victorian/Australian, cricketer Max Walker. Max was certainly one of a kind excelling at the nation’s two most popular sports. It made me think, casting my mind back a long time, of players who combined their  VFL  career, with first class cricket. There were chaps who played first class cricket after their VFL career, such as Simon O’Donnell, but here i thought i’d put together an XI who simultaneously played  both sports


I can recall some of these chaps playing. The South Melbourne, that football club did exist once, pair of Russell Cook and Peter Bedford are fresh in my mind along with chaps like John Scholes from North Melbourne, and John Stephens St Kilda. I could not work out a wicketkeeper; any suggestions? OK, here we go, VFL side in brackets.


Percy Beams (Melbourne)

Des Fothergill (Collingwood)

John Schols ( North Melbourne)

Alan Aylett (North Melbourne)

Les Stillman (Essendon/Footscray)

John Stephens (St Kilda)

Charlie Baker (St Kilda)

Peter Bedford (South Melbourne)

Warwick Armstrong (South Melbourne)

Doug Gott (Collingwood)

Russell Cook (South Melbourne)


12th man Jim Baird (Carlton)




  1. chris bracher says

    Laurie Nash (South Melbourne)

  2. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Craig Bradley

  3. Sam Loxton, Keith Miller

  4. and of course Robert Rose

  5. Thanks for the feedback.

    Re Max Walker his last year in the VFL was 1972 making his test debut in January 1973, never to return to VFL ranks.

    Do we k now of any wicket keepers?


  6. Ray ‘Slug’ Jordan would be a good keeper (230 dismissals in the Sheffield Shield and 283 for all first-class matches) and played almost 100 games for Coburg in the VFA.

  7. Bruce Duperouzel, Jamie Siddons & Graeme Watson are others who come to mind. Darrel Baldock also represented Tasmania before it got into the Shield comp.

  8. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Gil Langley may go close here as keeper Glen, some of the timings may not align with your criteria.

  9. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    RIP Mr Walker.
    Great question Glen !
    First would be Tom Wills – Melbourne/Geelong and Victoria
    Harry Frei played 6 games for Footscray in 1973, bowled left arm medium for QLD. Born in Germany.

  10. charlie brown says

    Barrie Robran, Vic Richardson, Lindsay Head (a very slight South Australian bias)
    George Tribe (Australia and Footscray)(from another post)

  11. Eric (Fritzy) Freeman was a champion footballer for Port Adelaide in the SANFL. Fos Williams got him to line up at Centre Half Forward in the 68 Grand Final a week after returning from the Bill Lawry captained Ashes tour. Fos reckoned he was fit enough having opened the bowling in a couple of Tests, even though he hadn’t touched a footy for 4 months.
    Also Neil Hawke – East Perth, West Torrens (had to get that in) and Port Adelaide. Opened the bowling for Australia in the mid 60’s and bowled in a similar style to Max with big in-dippers but was several yards quicker. From memory a car accident crueller his sporting career along the same lines as Robert Rose. Not as serious but he had multiple surgeries and was a semi invalid.
    Hawke and Freeman were CHF and FF for Port Adelaide at the same time as opening the bowling for SA and both played Tests.
    Well played Mr Walker.

  12. Warwick Nolan says

    Fantastic feedback – hard to beat Freeman & Hawke I would think. (Thanks Peter B)

    Adrian Gallagher didn’t paly first class cricket but was a ‘keeper who played in a District Cricket Premiership and a VFL Premiership in the same year.

    Blair Campbell played for Melbourne in the VFL in 1969 and made his debut in cricket for Victoria later that year.

  13. Jim Wilkinson played three First Class matches for Tasmania ( before it was admitted to the Shield ) and fifteen senior games for South Melbourne,.

  14. Peter Crossing says

    Jack Blackham
    Wicketkeeper. Played in First Test 1877.
    Captained Australia
    Played football for Fitzroy FC

    George Giffen
    South Australia, Australia
    Played football for Norwood FC

  15. Attempting to balance up the outrageously Victorian-centric Almanac.
    You want an all-round sportsman? Try Ken McGregor – not the boofy CHF from the Crows – the bloke who won the Australian tennis open in 1952 and the Doubles Grand Slam with Frank Sedgeman. Then retired home to SA to play 5 seasons in the SANFL with West Adelaide. Maybe Rafa could go round for Barca, or Roger could turn out for FC Basel?
    And while I am only 20 years in WA I can remember Bruce “Super Duper”ouzel as a handy state cricketer for WA who turned out for Claremont in the WAFL before going east in the 70’s as a tough rover for St Kilda and then Footscray.
    The best all round WA sportsman I can think of is Ken McAullay who opened the batting for WA in 22 Shield matches in the early 70’s. East Perth and WA full back who won the Tassie Medal in the 72 interstate carnival and the Simpson Medal for BOG in the 72 flag.
    Mick Malone was a very fine fast medium swing bowler for WA who played one test for Australia before moving over to World Series Cricket, Played 104 games as full forward for Claremont including their 73 flag. Perhaps his greatest sporting achievement is dating the Avenging Eagle!

  16. Snowy from Lonny says

    Mick Malone played for Subi.

  17. The last South Australian I can think of (other than Craig Bradley) is James Pyke (Don’s older brother). Played with SA from 1985-88 and Norwood from 1986-90. Was drafted by Footscray and Collingwood but did not play a game of V/AFL. Also a member of the ‘goal with his first kick in league footy’ club. From memory he was a batting all rounder, good for a tonk in one day games.

  18. Thanks Snowy. To paraphrase Tom Waits – “the keyboard has been drinking “.

  19. The last south aussie to do both is Ben Higgins league footy for the Eagles and left hand middle order batsman ( won the A 1 medal playing footy for the Blacks ) and I think Nick Jewell is the latest Vic played one game for the tigers and had a good shield career opening the batting.

  20. The greatest south Aussie sportsman is arguably,Vic Richardson test cricketer( Inc 5 as Captain) league footy Inc winning the 1920 Magarey medal captained the state,captain coach of Sturt premiership side
    represented the country in baseball and the state in golf,basketball and lacrosse and of course his grandsons the Chappells of which Ian besides being a legend re cricket was a fine baseballer

  21. Ken McAullay, he’s a chap i’ve forgotten. I remember seeing him on TV in the early 1970’s, in the state games. mighty fine player.

    Jim Wilkinson, i recall him playing for South Melbourne, the long gone South Melbourne, circa 1971-1972. A dark haired wingman, back–pocket to my memory.

    Warwick i mixed myself up with Blair Campbell. I recall him playing for Tasmania in the late 1970’s, but i can’t recall his cricket career with Victoria. I read he played VFL with Richmond and Melbourne, though never saw him.


  22. Shane John Backx says

    Against the Poms for Victoria in Nov 1970, I saw Wheels Bedford and Scholesy run a 5 at the MCG.

  23. Shane John Backx says

    George Young made 125 on debut for WA before coming to Victoria and StKilda.

  24. George Young finished the 1975 VFL season in style. I saw him kick 9 @ the Western Oval, then he kicked a bag a few weeks later against Collingwood. Back in WA too soon. Good footballer.


  25. In the last match of the 72-73 Shield season, which was a virtual Shield final with WA and SA locked together at the top of the table, WA’s top 7 was McAullay, Watson, (Inverarity), Young, Brayshaw, Duperouzel.

  26. GD Watson was the allrounder allrounder. My first bona fide hero in white, with Royce in Y and B.

    They say in the Ryan book that Kim Hughes could have been anything as a footballer. Fast and nimble but hard as hell.


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