Almanac Teams: Cheaper by the dozen (1980- )

Fitzroy’s Darren ‘Doc’ Wheildon [Source: Author]


A team of more obscure/lesser known players to wear the Number 12 jumper since 1980.



Here’s my second team of players to wear the Number 12, mostly from 1980 onwards but I have made exceptions, such as Ross Oakley.


It is a light-hearted team based on cult figures, forgotten/lesser known players or stats/cameos associated with them, players known for other deeds, sons, fathers and brothers and forgotten players.



My criteria, similar to my previous efforts was:


  • Attempt to include one player per club
  • I have  tried to create as balanced a side as possible but this was not a priority


Stats are based on their time in that number





FB:         Scott Howell (Carl)               Scott Bassett (WB)                 Ross Oakley (St.K)


CHB:     Cameron Clayton (Ess)        Robbie McGhie (Rich)          Robb Hawkins (Geel)


C:           Alan Mangels (Geel)             Neville Fields (Syd)               Blaine Boekhurst (Carl)


CHF:     Denis Banks (Coll)                Ian Paton (Haw)                    Michael Stevens (NM)


FF:         Darren Wheildon (Fitz)       Mark Jackson (St.K)             David Williams (Melb)


Ruck:     Matthew Primus (Fitz)        Tom Green (GWS)                 Jason Akermanis (Bris)


Interchange: John Blakey (NM),  James Cook (WB),  Dale Kickett (Fitz),  Jason McCartney (Coll)



No players from Adelaide, Fremantle, Gold Coast, Port Adelaide or West Coast.




Games in Number 12 (Years played)

Scott Howell 13 (1983-1985)

Scott Bassett 15 (2003-2004)

Ross Oakley 62 (1962-1966)

Cameron Clayton 17 (1983)

Robbie McGhie 81 (1973-1978)

Robb Hawkins 3 (1984)

Alan Mangels 13 (1981-1983)

Neville Fields 60 (1978-1981)

Blaine Boekhurst 25 (2015-2017)

Denis Banks 166 (1979-1991)

Ian Paton 76 (1981-1985)

Michael Stevens 44 (2003-2006)

Darren Wheildon 57 (1991-1994)

Mark Jackson 10 (1983)

David Williams 27 (1983-1985)

Matthew Primus 20 (1996)

Tom Green 11 (2020- )

Jason Akermanis 210 (1997-2006)

John Blakey 224 (1993-2002)

James Cook 49 (1996-1999)

Dale Kickett 15 (1990)

Jason McCartney 36 (1992-1994)




Scott Howell – Started his career in jumper number 40, Howell made his 1980 debut in Carlton’s Semi Final loss against Collingwood. The next year in his 15th game Howell would become a premiership player for Carlton. This meant he joined his father Jack (1947 Carlton) and grandfather Jack ‘Chooka’ (1918 South Melbourne) as a third generation premiership player, the only time this has been achieved so far in VFL/AFL history.



Scott Bassett – Brother of champion Adelaide defender Nathan, Scott played 30 games over four seasons at Port Adelaide for 15 games and two years at the Western Bulldogs for 15 games. Was an assistant coach to his brother Nathan when Norwood won the SANFL premiership in 2012.



Ross Oakley – Oakley was AFL CEO from 1986 to 1996, a time which saw the introduction of five new teams, sadly the demise of Fitzroy at AFL level and almost mergers featuring Footscray, Fitzroy, Hawthorn and Melbourne. Oakley’s playing career saw him miss the 1965 and 1966 Grand Finals due to knee injuries in the semi-final, Oakley did not play another game after the 1966 Semi Final.



Cameron Clayton Clayton was a premiership player for Richmond in 1974 in just his eighth game. Clayton played 57 games over four years for Richmond, he then played 44 games in four seasons at Melbourne. In 1983 he joined former teammate Kevin Sheedy at Essendon where he played one season including the Grand Final. He is best remembered at Essendon for stealing Bruce Doull’s headband and giving it to Tony Buhagiar against Carlton in 1983.



Robert McGhie – McGhie started his career at Footscray before being traded to Richmond, then back to Footscray for one year in 1979, finishing up with two years at South Melbourne. McGhie played in two premierships with Richmond but is best remembered for playing with tattoos, when only a couple of players had visible tatts and for a photo of him enjoying a cigarette on the ground at the 1973 Grand Final.



Robb Hawkins – Hawkins made his debut Round 1, 1984 alongside Greg Williams, Gary Ablett and Mark Jackson for Geelong. Hawkins only played three games and is better known as the brother of Geelong champion Jack Hawkins and uncle of Tom.



Alan Mangels – Nicknamed ‘Alby’ after Australian documentary maker, Mangels played 88 games over seven years with Carlton. Mangels played little league for Carlton in 1967, later that year his family moved house from Carlton’s zone in Merlynston to Oak Park which was in North Melbourne’s zone. Carlton thought so much of Mangels they signed him up as an Under 19 player aged 10 years and 314 days. Carlton offered Mangels up for trade for Melbourne’s Greg Wells in 1980, Mangels didn’t want to go and chose Geelong instead. Mangels was struck down by injuries at Geelong and would play only 13 games in three seasons, though he did play in two reserves premierships.



Neville Fields – Fields played 135 games over nine years for Essendon before being swapped to South Melbourne in 1978 aged 26 for both Terry and Neale Daniher. While Fields would play four years at South Melbourne, it looked a failed trade compared to the Danihers’ success at Essendon. Fields played 60 games and got to play for Victoria before re-joining Essendon in 1981 for five more games.



Blaine Boekhurst – Boekhurst was a first round draft selection for Carlton in 2014. Boekhurst was in and out of the seniors and was delisted after three years and 25 games. He is known for a tweet mid-2014 before he was drafted saying ‘How can Carlton kick 1.5 in a half?, Disgusting display of footy, the whole Carlton team need to go or Mick does’. Later that year Mick Malthouse would be his coach at Carlton.



Denis Banks – Was a very good Collingwood player who could play forward or back; he beat Peter Daicos to win best first year player in 1979. Banks though missed approximately 100 games through injuries to his knee, groin and neck. Banks is best remembered for taking Mark of the Year in 1984 and a big hit on David Rhys-Jones in 1986. Rhys-Jones had hit Banks earlier in the quarter but Banks stayed on the ground and was quick to get retribution after Rhys-Jones dropped a mark in front of Banks, Banks hit Rhys-Jones with a right hook breaking his jaw and knocking him out. Banks received a three-week suspension for the hit.



Ian Paton – Paton was a small ruck at 193cm, but he could also play as a tall forward or defender. Paton started off in the number 42 jumper before switching to 12. Paton played 155 games and was a premiership player in 1978 and 1983. In 1984 Paton played eight games including the Qualifying Final, but was dropped for the Semi Final and named an emergency for the Grand Final. Paton was told early in the week he would be a surprise selection that not even his family knew about. Paton was sitting with his wife in the stands, when he told her he was ducking down to the rooms to see the players. Once there he changed and did his warm ups in a separate room to the rest of the team and when the players were ready to come out, Paton emerged and Allan Jeans tapped Chris Langford on the shoulder to tell him he was not playing. No doubt Paton’s wife was shocked to see her husband on the ground!



Michael Stevens – Younger brother of champion North player Anthony and Swan Gary, Michael was drafted by Port Adelaide after being voted Best on Ground in the 1998 TAC Cup Grand Final. Michael played 17 games over four seasons and joined his brother at North in 2003 after being traded for Stuart Cochrane. Stevens played 44 games in three years at North Melbourne.



Darren Wheildon – Wheildon was arguably one of the most unfulfilled talents of the AFL in the 1990s; his career was finished by the age of 24 with just 70 games and 160 goals. ‘Doc’ Wheildon could play and was a dangerous forward on his day who played tall at 184cm. Wheildon is best known for his crazy haircuts, flying speckies, talent near goal and bizarre incidents like being reported for shaking a post and ultimately having his career ended after Essendon picked him up, due to being run over by a taxi on King Street and badly injuring both of his legs. Wheildon kicked six goals or more seven times, including seven in his third game in 1989 against Brisbane, seven in his eleventh game in 1990, six goals (and six behinds) in 1992 against Hawthorn. Eight goals against Sydney in 1993 was his personal best game, while 1992 was his best year: 20 games and 41 goals.



Mark Jackson – ‘Wacko Jacko’ wore number 25 at Melbourne and Geelong but at St Kilda in 1983 he wore 12. Jackson’s stint at St Kilda was short, playing 10 games for 41 goals including a bag of ten, but after Round 11 Jackson was sacked by the Saints. Jackson was sacked for disciplinary reasons, legend has it for chucking a lit cigarette in Lindsay Fox’s pocket in the social club.



David Williams – A small key forward at 182cm, Williams often played Full Forward as a lead up forward. Williams kicked 39 goals in 1987 and 33 goals in 1988, his personal best haul was nine against North Melbourne in 1986. Williams missed all of 1989 with a knee reconstruction and injured his knee again in 1990’s preseason. Melbourne delisted Williams to create space on the list but were surprised when Richmond drafted Williams in the preseason draft –  he did not play another game due to injuries.



Matthew Primus – Primus was the grandson of Geelong great and coach Reg Hickey and spent time at Geelong Under 19s and on their list but never played a senior game there. Primus then played for Norwood and his good form got him drafted with Pick 2 as a 20-year-old by Fitzroy. Primus had a great year in Fitzroy’s last AFL season, he played 20 games and came second in their best and fairest. Primus chose not to go to Brisbane and requested a trade to Port Adelaide where he played 137 games and captained the club from 2001-2005 but sadly missed the 2004 Premiership due to a knee injury.



Tom Green – Tom is the grandson of Richmond’s four time premiership player Michael Green. Tom lived in Canberra and was zoned to the GWS Academy. Despite knowing he was likely to be drafted by GWS (he was Pick 10 in the 2019 draft), Tom still spent the 2019 Grand Final barracking for Richmond over GWS.



Jason Akermanis – Akermanis wore number 35 in his first year at Brisbane and number 20 in his second year, before settling on 12 from 1997-2006. Akermanis was a brilliant player who won a Brownlow in 2001, played in three premierships, was a four-time All Australian, two-time Best & Fairest winner and Hall of Fame inductee. Akermanis though courted controversy and fell out with Brisbane mid-2006, he was then sacked by the club due to rifts with Leigh Matthews and the leadership group.



John Blakey – One of the most underrated players of the game, Blakey played 359 games for Fitzroy and North Melbourne. He was a two-time premiership player at North Melbourne and represented Victoria. Blakey coached Brisbane for one game in Round 8, 2005 due to Leigh Matthews’ absence for his mother’s passing. Blakey then spent 14 years at Sydney as assistant coach then coaching director before joining North Melbourne in same role in 2021. Blakey’s son Nick was drafted in 2018 by Sydney and has become a regular player over three seasons.



James Cook – Another cult figure at the Bulldogs, ‘Captain’ Cook came to the Bulldogs after 25 games with the Blues after being picked second overall in 1990. Cook played 49 games in four seasons and kicked 96 goals. Cook was in peak form in 1997 with seven goals in Round 22 and six goals in the 1997 Preliminary Final loss against Adelaide.



Dale Kickett – Kickett was drafted in 1989 to Fitzroy with Pick 9. This started his AFL record career of playing for five clubs (Fitzroy 1990, West Coast 1991, St Kilda 1992, Essendon 1994 and Fremantle 1995-2002) Kickett played 15 games and kicked 13 goals in 1990 but left Fitzroy due to homesickness and was traded to West Coast for Pick 78. Kickett played just two games in a strong West Coast outfit before being delisted. St Kilda drafted Kickett with Pick 38 in the Preseason Draft. Despite playing 21 games Kickett was a surprise delisting, in 1993 he went back to Claremont and won a Best and Fairest, he was then drafted in the next Midseason Draft by Essendon. Kickett had another try with Essendon in 1994 and played eight games before finally he was traded to Fremantle to play under his old Claremont coach Gerard Neesham. He went on to win a Best and Fairest and became a life member of the club.



Jason McCartney – McCartney was drafted by Collingwood in 1990 with Pick 4 in the National Draft which the reigning premiers obtained from Richmond for Terry Keays. McCartney played 38 games in four seasons at Collingwood and while he looked promising, never settled into the side at either forward or back. Despite having played 19 games in 1994, he was traded to Adelaide for Picks 9 and 53 (Ben Wilson & Mark Orchard). McCartney was a regular in Adelaide’s side 1995-1996 but in 1997 he played just six games and was traded to North Melbourne. In 1998 McCartney played in the losing Grand Final side against his old team Adelaide and 1999 missed their premiership due to suspension. McCartney was seriously injured in the 2002 Bali Bombings but bravely recovered to play one more game against Richmond. In an emotional win for the Roos, McCartney kicked a goal and helped set up the match-winner. Since retirement McCartney has continued to work in footy as a recruiter for the Western Bulldogs and list manager at GWS.





The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in 2021. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order HERE




To return to our Footy Almanac home page click HERE.




Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.




Do you enjoy the Almanac concept?

And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help things keep ticking over please consider making your own contribution.




Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE.

One-off financial contribution – CLICK HERE.

Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE.




  1. Rodney, Robb Hawkins was one of three brothers from Finley who played at the ‘Cattery’. Robb and Jacks’ brother Michael played 2 games in 1973, that of course being the year Jack debuted.

    Michael debuted in the R10 clash a loss to Melbourne, then in his final game the following week he played in a victory over Fitzroy. Jack Hawkins played in both games. That’s the only time two Hawkins played in the Geelong senior side at the same time.


  2. Thanks Glen for that, must have being a age difference in the brothers.
    Don’t remember Jack playing too much, except heard he was a good mark like Knights and Picken at CHB in that era.

  3. Mick Conlan

  4. Hey Tim
    Michael Conlan made the best of Number 12 team

  5. Rulebook says

    Neville Fields son Tom was on Carlton’s list in 85 – played 1 game can be found if you you tube re enormous kicks.Tom played for South Adelaide I did a lot of coaching clinics with him ripper bloke and is currently playing for Southport in the somehow called,Vfl competition

  6. Thanks Malcolm
    Tom is a chance for Number 37 team

Leave a Comment