Almanac Teams: Harolds


Harold Martin being interview pre-match in 1981. Image courtesy of Youtube – Gezza1967.




In the halcyon period of the VFA back in the late 1970s Preston strongman Harold Martin was a legend. He’d had a brief stint in VFL ranks with Fitzroy; this consisted of playing one game against Carlton at Princes Park in 1968.


Fitzroy then dropped Harold.  It was probably the last time Harold was ever dropped as he set out on a new football path. He spent time in the VFA 2nd Division, Captain-Coaching Sunshine just after they’d been relegated from 1st division.  He then found himself coaching Preston in the 1st division.


In an illustrious career at Preston, Harold led the Bullants up the ladder. However, despite being regular finalists, they could not snare a flag as firstly Prahran, then Port Melbourne, bettered them on the big day.  Following this he spent time coaching at Coburg, after the return of Ray Shaw to Preston. There was also time in the DVFL before he returned to the VFA once more to coach Box Hill. During his time with Box Hill he was suspended, one of quite a few times he fell foul of the umpires. Being the coach and unable to step onto the ground, he found himself having to deliver his speech from the heights of a cherry picker! Harold Martin was certainly a presence in the VFA during this period.


This team of Harolds was inspired by memories of Harold Martin, though being a Port Melbourne supporter, I was never enamored by him. It appears Harold Martin’s sole VFL game in 1968 may have been the last time a Harold played at the highest level, though I often miss the obvious ones in these name teams!


Other notable Harold’s are Harold Hanton, also called Hal, a twin who played two games for Carlton. His brother Alex also played for Carlton, though in only half as many games. There was Harold Shillinglaw who also saw action on the cricket field for Victoria, playing three first class matches, taking 8 wickets and scoring 88 runs.


Anyhow in the great Almanac tradition of “name” teams, here’s a team of Harolds.


B:    Albiston (Haw)             Craven (Geel)                        Rumney (Coll)

HB:  Davies (St.K)              Rosewarne (SM)                    Lambert (Ess)

C:     Brown (Ess)                   Bray (St.K)                           McLennan (Fitz)

HF:    Powell (Coll/Fitz)         Gainger (St.K)                   Robertson (SM)

F:      Carter (Fitz/Carl)           Alexander (SM)                Johnston (NM)

Foll:    Ball (Melb)            Shilinglaw (Fitz)                        Comte (St.K)

Int:      Martin (Fitz)       Boyd (Fitz)      Feehan (Ess)     Hanton (Carl)

Emer: Booth (StK)            Hay (Melb)                     Parker (StK)


Now, may I ask: Where have all the Herbies, & Hughies gone?





  1. Rabid Dog says

    So long as they don’t undertake aquarobics at the Harold Holt swimming pool.

  2. Wally from Williamstown says

    Is Harry Taylor a Harold?

  3. Jarrod_L says

    As far as I know, he’s just “Harry” – but I might be wrong.

  4. Howard Craven should be able to find plenty of space, after all, he played SPEED KING in SPEED KING – KING OF SPACE in that old Australian radio series.

    Silent movie star Harold Lloyd could supply the laughs.

    A character i worked with years ago was nick named ‘Arold – short for araldite, obviously he was a little tight with his money.

  5. Oops my mistake – it was HOWARD CRAVEN and not Harold Craven – silly me. Even Norwood supporters get it wrong sometimes.

  6. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Nice work Glen ! You beat me to it this week. Have a team of Colins lined up.
    I wish I was a fan when Harold Rumney was playing. 5 flags between 1927 and 1935 = Pies Glory years.
    Rumney started off at Carlton and then saw the light, thankfully.
    Can’t believe University’s Harold Bennett didn’t get a game !!

  7. Dave Nadel says

    Entertainment could also be provided by Australian vaudeville and radio comedian Hal (Harold) Lashwood who was very popular when most of Glen’s Harolds were playing VFL.

    Harold seems to have lasted longer in politics than football. In the 1960s Britain had Harold Macmillan and Harold Wilson as Prime Ministers while Australia had the aquatic American puppet Harold Holt (“All the Way with LBJ”)

  8. Young Harold Steptoe (only 37 at time of series) of STEPTOE AND SON could be an interesting recruit for the side.

  9. Ta Knackers.

    Can we pick a side of players called Alf ? Alf Beus played a few games for South Melbourne back in the 1970’s then had a, um, interesting carer with Sandringham.
    Not too many others of that name come to mind.


  10. Could we fit KING HAROLD into our side? I believe he was that king that copped an arrow in the the eye in 1066, the year HALLEY’S COMET appeared.

    Hey Glen, I believe Alf stands for Alien Life Form.

    One of my father’s many cousins, Alf Payze (the father of Travis Payze) designed the bodies of several Holden motor cars. He would make a driving force to your team.

  11. Wally from Williamstown says

    Glen, Alfie Beus not only had a colourful career at Sandringham, but had the honour of the toilet block at the Nick Saunter end of the ground being named after him. At last reports, Alf was running a servo in Langwarrin.

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