Almanac Teams: Dick Lee Medalists – A Team of 13s

Dick Lee Medalists: A Team of 13s


Like number 12 in the previous installment, the number 13 is infused with symbolism and superstition.


With Friday the 13th looming this week, I wonder how Almanackers feel about the notion of bad luck with regards to certain numbers?


As rational and evolved as we think we are, would we still tempt fate and walk under a ladder on Friday the 13th?


Dick Lee was one of Collingwood’s early legends. Lee was a high flier as indicated by this iconic pic, but he was also a prolific goal-kicker (707 goals) and durable (230 games between 1906 to 1922).



13 can be lucky for some. Michael Long changed from number 4 to number 13 in 1991 and became an Essendon champion, while more importantly taking a stand against racial sledging on and off the field. His legacy has changed the way we think about the game and how we think about ourselves, our game and our history.


Over to you Knackers: Who are your favourite number 13s and why?



B: Brett Voss (Bris/StK)                     Rod Carter (Syd)                     Tendai Mzungu (Freo)


HB: Mil Hanna (Carl)                    Tom Lonergan (Geel)                  John Law (Nth Melb)


C: Martin Pike (Bris)                   Daniel Giansiracusa(WB)                   Adem Yze (Melb)


HF: Adam Schneider (Syd/Stk)         Jack Howell (Carl)                     Paul Dear (Haw)


F: Taylor Walker (Adel)                     Dick Lee (Coll)                        Alex Ruscuklic (Fitz/Carl)


RUCK: Gary Cowton (Nth Melb)      Michael Long (Ess)                        Phil Egan (Rich)


IC: Dale Thomas (Coll) Luke Shuey (WC) Leo Little (University) Darren Williams (Ess)


Coach: Alan Richardson


Entertainment: Skyhooks: Horror Movie







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. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Scott Lee – Adelaide via Centrals via Hawks Magoos via Yallourn

  2. Well played, LB.
    Great to see the under-rated John Law in the team. Not the most skilled player, but selfless, tough, hard, fearless. Not sure about Crazy Horse in the ruck, though!!

  3. Allen Jakovich, just for being different as well as a highly-skilled goalkicker we probably didn’t see the best of.

    Bernie Harris for his last quarter goal in the 1986 first-semi v Sydney

    Billy Swan for his match-winning goal in the 1990 VFA GF for Williamstown

  4. Rick Kane says

    Leon Rice?

  5. McAlmanac says

    Phil Maylin – 13 at both Woodville and Carlton!

  6. Phil Egan – very good player; think the Tigers erred by leaving him out of 1982 GF team.

  7. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    Just want to say that in the carnage that is the Round 16/17 Sydney Swans, our current 13 is the shining light. And he looks about 13 to boot!

  8. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Swish – Scott Lee a good early Crow. Ben Hudson and of course the mighty Shane Ellen !

    Smokie – John Law was steady throughout the 80s for North. Teamed well with Ross Glendinning. Crazy Horse got a gig cos I couldn’t find a decent number 13 ruck ! He did pinch hit occasionally.

    Gerry – Allen Jakovich was an audacious talent. Saw him take my Pies apart at Vic Park in late ’92 which ultimately cost us the double chance that year. Bernie Harris played some great cameos for the Roys including a 2 goal effort against us in 1985 when the Roys prevailed by 79 points at Vic Park. There that day and the Roy fans were singing the theme song early in the last quarter as bedraggled Pie fans went off to get their parking tickets.

    Slim – Two-time premiership player, Leon Rice a great get. Put him on the bench for Leo Little. Not many outstanding 13s for Hawthorn, although Paul Dear’s 1991 season was incredible. Dual premiership coach Allan Joyce wore 13 between 1963-65. Cheers

    McAlmanac – Didn’t know Blighty wore 13 at Woodville. Great nom. Was at Phil Maylin’s first game for Carlton, opening round of 1980 when they thumped us (again). Maylin was prominent on the outer wing.

    Noelmc – Phil Egan was an excellent player in many ordinary Tiger teams after 1982. Could have been the difference in ’82 GF.

    MdH – Oliver is goin’ alright. Looks like a good prospect. Daniel McPherson was handy late 90s/early 2000s. Toby Nankervis the one that got away.

  9. Tim Dimitriadis says

    Hey Pip.

    Great side. Sad you left out Laurie Hill and the late Wayne Gordon.
    Go Pies.


  10. Stone Cold Steve Baker says

    Daisy Williams *wipes nostalgic, emotional tears from eyes* … Uber-mensch

  11. Dave Nadel says

    Ray Gabelich has to be at least as worthy a choice for ruckman as Gary Cowton.

    For most of the thirty-five years between the retirement of Laurie Hill and the recruitment of Daisy Thomas 13 was an unlucky number at Collingwood. The only two Pies players to die young from ill-health rather than misadventure in the last fifty years, Wayne Gordon and Jamie Tape, both wore number 13. The only player from any club stupid enough to kick an umpire in a televised game, John Bourke, also wore #13.

    The best player to wear #13 at Collingwood during those years was Alan Richardson (who you have rightly nominated as coach). Richo played most of the games in the 1990 season and the early finals matches only to break his collarbone and miss the Grand Final and his only chance to win a Premiership.

  12. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Hey Brother, Laurie Hill stiff to miss. Great half-back nomination. Wayne Gordon? Not after his effort in the 1977 GF when Stan Alves dominated his wing.
    As Dave says, Ray Gabelich wore 13 from 1956 to 1960 and should be in the ruck in this team. Let’s hope Taylor Adams can be the pick of the Pies 13 crop in a few years.

    Stone Cold – Daisy Williams a class rover in powerful sides. That makes two ‘Daisies’ in this team with Daisy Thomas. I can’t think of any others nicknamed ‘Daisy’. Only at the Footy Almanac.

    Dave – In retrospect, Gabbo should take the first ruck. Eerie circumstances around number 13 at Collingwood as you say. Before John Bourke there was Brett Cooper who played one game in 1983. He struggled with heroin addiction and did some time before bouncing back for Preston in the VFA. Richo was desperately unlucky in 1990, as he had a consistent year. Shane Kerrison took the opportunity and did a great job in the GF.

  13. John Butler says

    A significant legacy of 13’s at Carlton, LB.

    Vin Gardiner – leading league goal-kicker in 1911 (inc. finals)
    Mil Hanna – already mentioned
    Phil Maylin – ditto
    “Chooka” Howell – premiership player and father of Scott, another Blues premiership player.
    Bert Thornley – the man who made way for Ted Hopkins at half time in the 1970 GF
    Chris Yarran – an elegant adornment to the field through several ordinary years for Carlton in recent times

  14. Luke Reynolds says

    What a player Dick Lee must have been. 8 time league leading goal-kicker. Incredible. Probably should have legend status in the AFL Hall of Fame. That wonderful photo of his mark is quite possibly my favourite football photo ever.

  15. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    JB, ‘Chooka’ is at CHF and Vin Gardiner was considered. Wish Bert Thornley had stayed on and maybe he would be the first picked in this team ! Do you remember Eric Pascoe? Wore 13 for the Blues between 1972-76.

    Luke – For his era the figures are incredible. Also one of my favourite photos. He is perched and making it look easy. Definitely deserves legend status, but you know how much the AFL hates us, Team of the Century snub to Jock McHale and Gordon Coventry an outrage !!

  16. Rulebook says

    John Clarke from Norwood is a footy tradegy re knee injuries recruited to the parade from,Darwin
    rookie of the year was designed for a vfl career but we were were robbed a genuine gun and thanks to
    Taylor Walker re being dunked on Saturday a genuine bloke thanks,Phil

  17. Is that the same Pascoe that played for north?

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