Almanac Teams: A team of Dougs



With the celebration of Sir Doug Nicholls for Indigenous Round, I thought it would be a good idea to remember the great Dougs that have graced our game over the journey.


Doug was a fairly popular name in the 1950s, 60s and 70s as this team indicates. It started to die out in the early 1980s.


Who was the last great Doug to play VFL/AFL ?


Doug Heywood and Doug Bigelow were two voices I grew up with while listening to the footy on the ABC. Heywood the measured, well-enunciated commentator was great foil for the more emotionally susceptible types like Drew Morphett, Graham ‘Smokey’ Dawson and Peter ‘Smooth’ Booth. Doug Bigelow was usually the special comments man with a keen, observant eye and a droll comment.


Few could spruik the qualities of orange juice, cheese and suitcases like ‘Uncle’ Doug Elliott from Channel Seven’s ‘World of Sport’. I wonder how much money ‘Patra’ , ‘Ballantyne’ and ‘Tosca’ made thanks to Uncle Doug’s enthusiastic sales pitches?


Uncle Doug’s voice was the first you’d hear on ‘World of Sport’ every Sunday morning. It resonated through so many childhoods of the era.


Almanackers, here is your chance to nominate your favourite Dougs from Australian Football. Nominations outside the VFL/AFL are always welcome and encouraged.




Team Line-Up:


B: Gott (Coll)                                             Cox (Rich/StK)                                             Smith (NthM)


HB: Bigelow (Ess)                                    Priest (SthM)                                                Rayment (StK)


C: Hawkins (Foot/Fitz)                             Brown (Geel)                                                 Nicholls (Fitz)


HF: Barwick (Fitz/Coll)                            Searl (Fitz/Coll)                                           Menzies (Foot)


F:  Strang (Rich)                                      Wade (Geel/NthM)                                      Beasy (Carl)


Ruck: Long (Geel)                                    Booth (Stk)                                                 Gillespie (Carl)



Inter:  Heywood (Melb)       Reynolds (Foot)        Hellings (Fitz)       Tazell (Ess)



Coach: Ringrose (Fitz)


Umpires:  Lamb, Oldfield




Entertainment: ‘Uncle’ Doug Elliott ‘World of Sport’ Intro






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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. No Doug Koop ???

    One the more receent (if not most recent) Dougs to grace our fields.

  2. citrus bob says

    Uncle Doug Elliott was the World of Sport Leather Lungs Phil!
    Not sure whether he barracked for Carlton or Essendon.
    Doug Koop was a pretty good policeman.

  3. Doug Drage was a brilliant Norwood footballer in the forties and fifties, sharing roving duties with Jack Oatey.

    Richard Douglas (Dougie) is a fine on baller for the Crows (coming back from injury at present).

    I know you Almanacas would be most disappointed if I didn’t include a baseballer, so here is the outstanding Goodwood Indians first sacker and power hitter DOUG OTHAMS who died last year aged 91. Othams won 2 Shipway Medals (night baseball) and 2 Capps Medals (Winter Baseball). Many good judges(former players and umpires) regarded Othams one of SA’s most outstanding baseballers.

  4. Dave Brown says

    A great thing about Norwood is in the 1950s they had a Doug Young and Doug Olds in the same team. Olds is a legend of the club being the first to play 200 games, winning three premierships, 3 B&Fs and played 11 state games, all as a 5’4″ wingman. He also coached the club for a couple of seasons in the ’60s

  5. Doug Tassell had a sad end to his career.

    He was killed in a car crash just prior to Essendon’s R12 clash with Carlton in 1970.

    Coming up to 49 years.


  6. Andrew Fithall says


    I had a catch-up with Doug Gott on Saturday night. He is married to my mother’s cousin Paula and it was an infrequent catch-up with a bunch of cousins. Doug is in very good nick being in his late 60s. Very fit.Still coaches cricket at Melbourne Grammar as has been doing for the last 20 years.

    We were all commiserating the poor performance on Saturday afternoon.


  7. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Uncle Doug Elliott of course. Not Hillier. Is there a famous Doug Hillier that I got confused with? Editors have been notified ! Cheers Phil
    Sorted – ed

  8. Dave, Fancy me not thinking of Doug Young or Doug Olds. I well remember the Legs bringing Young back from the country to play in finals for them – so good was he.

    As for Doug Olds, he was appointed Norwood’s coach after Killigrew resigned and was in charge in ’63 and ’64 whilst the club awaited Bunton’s return from the West. Olds had the team playing a fast open style – much different than Killa’s crash through way. Bob “Rabbs” Martin (who played wide at half forward)was a player in point that he introduced to the club.

    Interestingly, an example of Killa’s style occurred at the start of the ’60 Grand Final between Norwood and North Adelaide. Norwood’s Ian “Buster” Gordon and North’s Ray Trenorden shook hands – result a broken thumb for Trenorden.

  9. Doug Stephenson was a forward/pocket rover who played 10 games for Geelong between 1970 & 1972.

    He played alongside Doug Wade.

    Who is Doug Hillier ?


  10. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Dave- Can’t believe that you left out Melrose’s Doug Smart

  11. Dave Brown says

    Look, Swish, I was sorely tempted. One more mention of the Smarts from Melrose and I’m eligible for sponsorship from Bartagunyah Estate

  12. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Is Doug Thomas still running West Adelaide?

    And there is another entertaining Doug Heywood, who bobs up on Carols By Candlelight each year.

    Have we run out of names yet Phil?

  13. Luke Reynolds says

    Loved watching Dougie Barwick power through half forward. A great 1990 finals series from him. Kicked that goal in the last quarter of the GF that made us truly believe we were home.

    Not enough Doug’s for a Doug Test cricket XI. The only batsman of note are the great Doug Walters, England bodyline captain Jardine and Zimbawean Doug Marillier, while notable bowlers include New Zealand’s Doug Bracewell, Zimbabwe’s Douglas Hondo, Australian off-spinner Doug Ring (who was a part of World of Sport?) and Doug “The Rug” Bollinger.

  14. Doug Quaid (big Arnie, from the film Total Recall, would make a handy enforcer.

    Doug Holker, to the best of my knowledge not a sportsman, was a champion fisherman and could have fed the team.

    Out team could, of course, fly around Australia in a DOUGLAS aircraft.

  15. Dave Nadel says

    Uncle Doug Elliott could MC but the entertainment should surely be Doug Parkinson.

  16. Correct Luke, Doug Ring was on World Of Sport for many years.


  17. Rough, tough DOUG LONG was a Glenelg ruckman in the sixties as Norwood champion ruckman Big Bill Wedding would confirm. Many Norwood players told me that after a match against the Bays, Bill’s body would be a mass of cuts, bruises and sprig marks, compliments of a LONG FELLOW serenade.

    A gentle giant, Wedding took his punishment without retaliating (he received little or no protection from the umpires, obviously thinking he was big enough to look after himself). Anyhow on 1 such day, Bill finally snapped. After receiving a beauty from Long, the normally placid Big Bill lost his cool and aimed a kick at his antagonist – he missed.

    The umpire, only 1 in those days, duly reported Wedding. At his hearing, Ian Day, who had been calling the match on radio, came to give evidence as a witness for Bill. He wasn’t needed as the tribunal took approximately 16 seconds to throw the case out. Justice had been done.

  18. DBalassone says

    Good work Phil. Used to love those long bombs by Doug Barwick from outside 50. Doug Cox is a blast from the past. Did he actually ever play for Richmond? I know he was zoned to them, but chose the Saints instead, and got a nice 1980s greeting when the Saints played the Tigers.

  19. Hey Swish, Doug Thomas is a living legend at West Adelaide. He was known as a hard nosed full back before becoming a traffic cop style centre half forward. In ’63 Westies sensationally sacked Neil Kerley as their coach and appointed Doug Thomas as coach. Kerley stayed on as a player berfore transferring to South Adelaide in ’64 taking that team top from bottom. Thomas went on to become the face of Westies even enticing Kerley back to the club years later.

  20. Les Everett says

    The 1979 East Fremantle premiership team got together at the derby yesterday. The centre half back Doug Green would fit into this team. He played a few games for South Melbourne… after retiring from from the WAFL.

    And by “fit into this team” I mean just about first picked.

  21. Andrew Starkie says

    Doug. A real man’s name.

  22. Love it, LB!

    Doug Smith (#19 from memory) was a lanky left-footed half-forward type who played at North Melbourne in the 1980’s. He was a late inclusion into the team that infamously beat your Magpies after the siren in the 1980 Escort Cup Grand Final.

  23. Doug “Ace” Mace was an excellent carpet bowls player and, I suspect, a competent soccer player in his youth. Doug, unfortunately met his maker in ’74 when a bee landed on his chrome dome and stung him. Being allergic to bee stings Doug didn’t survive. Doug was a very popular messenger in the Reserve Bank when I worked there.

  24. Doug Thomas will be running West Adelaide from beyond the grave I would think. Probably is, seem to recall he died a while back.

  25. Rulebook says

    Payneham had a cricket side called the olds and bolds,I am filling in,Doug Olds is keeping I am like a little kid in the lollies shop fielding in the slips.Elizabeth are going to win I tell the batsman to get his head down and get red ink,he gives me a bemused look he did the right thing I got another twenty odd minutes extra of listening to the legend

  26. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Terrific responses folks. Thanks.
    Mark and Citrus – Doug Koop a fine nomination. Pretty sure Uncle Doug barracked for the Bombers.

    Dave B – Young passes to Old. Brilliant.

    Fisho – wonderful responses as always. Appreciate your input with the SA Dougs.

    Swish – Probably a handful of names left until supply is thoroughly exhausted. Where have all the ‘Marks’ gone? Not many now compared to 70s,80s,90s. That would be a handy team.

    Glen ! Stephenson next to Wade. Talk about being cold in a shadow.

    Luke – Doug Barwick was a fave when he crossed from Fitzroy. His goal in the 1990 GF with 6 minutes to go confirmed that the Collywobbles were finally over as Sandy Roberts exclaimed: “Collingwood are home !”

    Dave N – Doug Parkinson was considered but the song: ‘Potential New Girlfriend’ killed it for me.

    AF – Glad to hear that Doug Gott is still up and about. If he didn’t get injured in ’77 who knows what might have been.

    DB – Loved Barwicks roosts from outside 50 and the crowd at Vic Park would always get excited when he had 60 out. Dougie Barwick had that ex-factor that was crucial to us clinching the flag in 1990. Tough cookie, too.

    Les – WA nominations always appreciated. Doug Green and Doug Brown would go well in Autumn.

    Starkers – Yes, a few ‘men’s men’ in this team. Whatever that means.

    Smokie – You had to remind me of that 1980 Escort Cup didn’t you? Doug Smith started as number 19 and graduated to 5 before career petered out in 1983.

    Bucko and Book – Thanks for the comments and suggestions. Cheers

  27. Dave Nadel says

    In defense of Doug Parkinson, I hadn’t even heard Potential New Girlfriend till you mentioned it Phil and I found it on the net. It was originally written by Steve Kipner for Dolly Parton under the title Potential New Boyfriend. Steve Kipner has written a large number of songs (including Olivia Newton-John’s Physical) most of them are crap. Doug Parkinson is not always that discriminating in his choice of material, in the 70s he recorded political jingles for both Labor and Liberal but give him a good song and you can see how good his voice is, even at 70. The following song is from the Some Lonesome Picker album, which was a tribute album for the Greg Quill of Country Radio performed by some of the greats of Australian music. Greg Quill wrote Always to the Light after seeing Rabbit Proof Fence.

  28. Greg Quill, what a blast from the past.

    Gypsy Queen, classic from the 1970’s.


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