Almanac Teams: A team of great No. 2s



The Great No. 2s


B:              Chris Johnson (Fitz/Bris)                   Tom Harley (Geel)                       Danny Frawley (StK)



HB:                 Bob Murphy (WB)                          Chris Mew (Haw)                             Kevin Murray (Fitz)



C:                  Dean Kemp (WCE)                            Greg Williams (Syd/Carl)              Robert Flower (Melb)



HF:                Mark Mercuri (Ess)                       Jarryd Roughhead (Haw)                    Mark Le Cras (WCE)



F:                     Josh Carr (Port/Freo)                        Bernie Quinlan (Foots)                     Gilbert McAdam (Bris)



R:                      John Nicholls (Carl)                     Wayne Schwass (NM/Syd)                 Tony Francis (Coll)



IC:                Darren Gaspar (Rich)                        Darryl Wakelin (Port)                     Brad Crouch (Adel)                     Nathan Jones (Melb)


Coach: Stan Alves


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. Jennifer Muirden says

    Hey Phil, another great fantasy side from you.
    Bernie Quinlan, Spud Frawley, Robbie Flower and Bob Murphy now there’s some classic No. 2s and all from seemingly underdog teams!

    I was always impressed with the Saints Tony Brown … and Aaron Hamill – had he not been so riddled with injuries he may just have become an outright champion. Fingers crossed you’ll be adding Jake Carlisle to that classic No. 2 list before too long. I’m also a keen fan of recently annointed RFC Premiership player Dylan Grimes! Let’s hope he gives us joy for many years to come.

  2. Darren Gaspar wasn’t as good as he thought he was Phil, nor as good as the Richmond Brains’ Trust thought he was for that matter. Drop him for, Roy Wright, and put The Gentle Giant in the first ruck with Big Nick on the pine. Where he can contemplate costing Neville Crow a Premiership Captaincy.

  3. For those born after 1960 – Roy Wright was a Richmond ruckman of the 50s and dual Brownlow medallist.

  4. bob.speechley says




  5. Kevan Carroll says

    No.2 has appeared in all but one of Hawthorn’s flags. Geoff Ablett (1976, 1978) and Bob Keddie (hero of 1971) would vie for places with those selected but the great Graham Arthur “the footballer’s footballer”, captain of Hawthorn’s Team of the Century and its first premiership captain should definitely be in any team of No.2s.

  6. Shane John Backx says

    A side full of number twos. Does that mean its a shit side?

  7. G’day Phil.

    I’m really enjoying this series.
    I love the number 2 (I wore #2 for 200+ games with Williamstown CYMS in the VAFA).

    I reckon Doug Wade wore #2 at north Melbourne in 1974-75.

  8. Jennifer Muirden says

    Agreed Smokie! Totally loving this ongoing theme. Can’t wait for 7, 12 and 35 in particular. Keep up the great work Phil!

  9. I’m betting that #13 will pull it up a bit. The only one I can recall at Tigerland is Phil Egan.

  10. steve todorovic says

    Like the team, Phil. One player who was a personal favourite of mine at Tigerland in the early 80’s was Rob Wiley.

  11. Peter warrington says

    Ian Stewart was a rather handy #2 at Punt Road.

  12. Good team once again Phil.

    I’m glad you put the word “Great’ in the headline.

    I was a tad worried.

    A team of “Number Two’s” throws up the potential for a side, not based on the number on the players’ back; but those you considered were very, very, ordinary.

  13. PS: I now see Shane beat me to it, although I was being a little more diplomatic.

  14. If you’re looking to add a bit more on-field quality (even if his achievements were in another number), Wayne Carey wore no. 2 for the Crows

  15. Stephen Tingay was the ‘next Robbie Flower’. Great player cruelled by injury

  16. Leigh Colbert was a handy number 2 @ Geelong before injuries sidelined him.

    Unsure what number he wore at North Melbourne.


  17. Denis Marshall.

  18. Glen,
    Leigh Colbert wore #2 at North Melbourne.

  19. Another ripper Phil, take a bow.

    One of my all time favourite players – Jim Sewell 76 games for the Dogs (1983-1986). Debuted Rd1 1983 and didn’t miss a game for the next three seasons and a bit. Reliable, versatile, durable. Played a major role in the Footscray renaissance under Bluey & Mick playing both ends of the field.

    Five goals away to the Bombers in May 1984 ended a pretty deplorable run at Windy Hill, the ‘Scray had lost their previous three visits by an average 111 points.

    His goal inside the first sixty seconds of the ’85 PF got the boys off to a flyer.Wonderful memories.

    Thank you Mr D, more please.


  20. Mic, which No 2 Scragger took that classic mark which was celebrated for decades?

  21. Good afternoon John.

    Merv Hobbs – 61 PF.


  22. Merv Hobbs ran/owned High Mark printing for many years.

    Kicked two goals for Brunswick in the1973 Second Division GF, the ‘Wick going down to Tony Jewell’s Caulfield (14.20-104 to 18.20-128)

    Coached Williamstown (1979 and 1980)


  23. Correction – Caulfield 18.20-128 defeated Brunswick 14.22 (3XY) – 106.

    Roll over Rocktober.


  24. Mic
    Merv Hobbs was also a publican at the Crown Hotel, Williamstown for some years (mid-late 70’s).
    Alas, the Crown has gone the way of many pubs and is now an apartment block.

  25. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Hi Jen, Aaron Hamill cruelled by injury at St Kilda, Great nomination. Tony Brown played in the 1996 Pre-Season Premiership !! Gary and Alan Sidebottom also wore number 2 for the Saints late 1970s/early1980s.Probably the stiffest No2 was Bryan Mynott who wore the number in the 1966 GF and until 1975.
    Wrap – Gaspar was overpaid, but he became a reliable defender for the Tigers. Roy Wright a very bad oversight. Apologies sir. Bert Edwards?

    Thanks Bob. Terrific Half-Back line isn’t it?

    Kevan – Considered Graham Arthur and Geoff Ablett. Mew and Roughead at either end of the square are pretty handy. Trying to get an even spread from all teams, if possible. Nick Holland wore the number for 12 seasons, too. Cyril Nott was the first to wear it in first VFL year of 1925.

    Onya Smokie. Distinguished career at Willy CYMS by the looks of it. Doug Wade yes. Kevin Dynon, Leigh Colbert , John Holt – beautiful left footer who destroyed Carlton in 1985 Elimination Final. George Jerram from the 1930s

    Steve – Indeed, Robert Wiley a worthy nomination. Great get.

    Peter – Ian Stewart wore it for five season at Tiger land. Will probably be more in contention for the number 5 worn as a Premiership player for the Saints. Solid nomination, though.

    Thanks Paul – Hopefully the ability of the team negates any comparisons with failure or excreta !!

    Dave – The King another Pre-Season Premiership player !! I had to be there that night too… Andrew Jarman ?? 110 games in the number to 1996.

    Grapevine – Good call on ‘Stinger’ Played some great footy in the early/mid 1990s. Thought Nathan Jones just shaded him for this team. Robert Flower peerless on a wing.

    JTH – Yes, Bobby Davis’ all time favourite !! Bruce Lindner, Glen Middlemiss??

    Cheers Mic – I was actually talking about Jim Sewell to Gigs at Yoshi’s do on Friday night. Fine player as the dogs were emerging into a competitive unit in the mid 1980s. Jack Collins was another. In retrospect should be at Full-Forward in Bernie’s place. 84 Goals in 1954 super effort, including a then record equalling 7 in the GF. Merv Hobbs? That mark !! Shane Loveless?
    Great stuff folks.

  26. Hello Smokie.

    Whilst it already has too many apartment blocks, Williamstown can never have too many public houses.


  27. Thanks Mic. Caulfield were once Brighton/Caulfield. the original Brighton used to play on the Elsternwick Park and were part of the post-war VFA before the 2 divisions were set up. I had a Kornies footy card of Tom New, their captain. (I shudder when I think what would those Kornies Footy Albums would be worth today) They won a Flag in 1948, around the time I was beginning to understand a bit about the game. They were my VFA side. Our school played their senior XVIII matches there. The Park was a bleak ground in a winter northerly. But at a later time — during the temperance league liquor trading laws of the time — it became a very pleasant Sunday Morning.

    You’re right — this thread is bringing back some memories.

  28. What Kevan Carroll said.

    Other than that PD, great work.


  29. BTW – Keith Warburton, who played for Carlton came from Brighton. He was heralded as the new Soapy Vallance. He was totally spectacular in the air — probably even more aerobatic than Coleman — but took a bad knock his second season at Princes Park and was never the same. I had his Kornies footy card too.

  30. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Song 2 by Blur didn’t get much love. Maybe this one might fit the spirit of the thread. How can you not like Jackie Trent and Tony Hatch?

  31. Hey, LB, how about the Beatles’ “Two of Us”?
    A wonderful track by the Fab Four.

  32. 2 good, Phil!

  33. Jennifer Muirden says

    Hey Phil, perhaps I am going slightly on another tangent from football greats who wore No. 2 however you understandably feature and refer to Song 2 by Blur. I’m wondering if you and Smokie agree with me that one of Blur’s best tracks would have to be ‘Coffee and TV”? Memorable video clip to boot!

  34. You can’t beat Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston. Listen to the Motown studio rhythm section the Funk Brothers doing the backing.

  35. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Smokie, never mind the Beatles. I totally forgot about Noel Teasdale !! Surely a spot for him in the best 22/2s
    Gigs to quote Tony the Yugoslav from ‘Wog Boy’ – “2 Good…Fucken”
    I can’t believe Blur is over 20 years old. Crickey !!

  36. Andrew jarman for Crouch?
    Here’s another song for you:

  37. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Great version PB. Enjoyed that. Happy with Kemp and Le Cras in this team.
    Nice one RD. Old Blue Eyes and Dinah.
    I do have a bit of thing for the patron saint of addicts, Jim Morrison. Hence:

  38. Phil – Shane Loveless was a very confident young man. Kicked a few bags in 1980, mind you the bloke playing in front of him was the best player I ever saw in Red, White and Blue.

    Mr Wrap – TJ’s Bears were mighty fine side. In 1972 Billy Goggin’s Geelong West went through the season undefeated, yet three of their four wins against Caulfield were by a goal or less – 4pts Rd 9 @ Western Oval, 5pts in the Second Semi and a 6 pt win in the decider.

    Music nomination: Bobbie Gentry – Ode TO Billie Joe.

    Non footy nomination: The late great Moses Malone, both regular season and Finals MVP for the 1982/83 NBA championship winning Philadelphia 76ers – “Fo, Fo, Fo”


  39. Yes Phil,
    I knew about Noel Teasdale but forgot to mention it earlier!

    “Tender” is my favourite Blur song.

  40. Jennifer Muirden says

    Yeah ok, you die-hard romantic you, Smokie! I’ll admit I do also rate “Tender” highly. Love the vocal range and harmonising. But for me it may be just a tad too long. “Coffee and Tea” is succinct and oh so very sweet not to mention the quirky music video!!

  41. Blur song 2 is brilliant. We were focussed on the homework you set Mr Lord Bogan. With all songs suggested here I don’t think you can go past PBs suggestion. Classic.

    However considering this is a footy discussion may I submit Meatloaf, Two out of Three Aint Bad.


  42. Good work Phil though Dale Woodhall was a bit stiff to miss out.

  43. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    JD – I really wanted to include Dale Woodhall. Was it a Red Ferrari that he was flashing after his second game?
    Pies haven’t had many great number 2s as evidenced by: Bill Valli, John Annear, Shane Woewodin, Mark Orchard, Jordan Russell and David Robertson.
    Sean Rusling stiff with injuries. Let’s hope De Goey makes a success of it.
    Tony Francis streets ahead as our best number 2.
    A bloke named Bill Buck wore the number between 1920-22 and Elvin Barr wore it in 1930 and 1932- Cue Tarantino.

  44. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Dale Woodhall ended up at West Adelaide, wasn’t quite in the same league as David ‘Tickets’ Twomey was over there. One day I’ll get crackin’ on my blow-ins lists again.

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