Almanac Teams: Three-letter surnames

Mark Bos

The best of the three letter surnames
In the 2018 Grand Final Elliot Yeo saluted as a premiership player for the Eagles. Mason Cox represented the Pies as the inevitable runners-up. Their names stood out as the only three letter names out of the 44 players and 2 coaches who participated in the game.
With the Pies chasing GCS’s Steven May to fill in a defensive key position, it got me thinking about assembling a team of three letter surname stars.
The trick is not to double-up on popular names like Cox/Day/Law/Low/Lee/May. For example, Dean Cox gets the nod in front of Mason Cox due to his superior record. I also tried to get an even representations across all teams. Almanackers are encouraged to challenge selections and nominations from state leagues are always welcome.
Over to you Knackers. Who belongs in the best of 3s?
B: E.Hug (Coll) J.Hay (Haw) M.Bos (Geel)
HB: J.Law (Nth) S.May (GCS) P.Foy (Syd)
C: E.Yeo (WCE) P.Box (Foots) M.Dea (Ess)
HF: S.Dew (Port) R.Fry (Fitz) G.Ion (Foots)
F: D.Don (Rich) D.Lee (Coll) F.Way (Sth)
Ruck: D.Cox (WCE) A.Yze (Melb) B.Day (Ess)
IC: I.Low (Foots) L.Pye (Fitz) M.Kol (Geel) S.Rae (StK)
Coach: E. Guy (StK)
Entertainment: Ben Lee (Catch My Disease)


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

    Another ripper Phil.

    Graham Ion had a younger brother Barry, better known in the chicken salt state as Baz from “Baz and Pilko”. He played for Footscray and Woodville.

    Some SA flavour would include Greg Rix (Norwood), Garry Gum (North), Gary Rae (Centrals), Eddie Fry (South and Sturt), Ian Dry (South), Phil Cox (South) – all from Round 1, 1978

  2. I think that M.Kol should be N.Kol (Nigel) or his twin brother Steven !?

    Surely Chris Mew deserves a spot !?

  3. What about the great Lachlan Sim of Brisbane Bears fame?

  4. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    The 1961 VFL Grand Final had six three-letter surnamed players

    Hawthorn – 2xHay 1xLaw
    Footscray – 2xIon 1xLee

  5. Graeme Graham says

    Chris Mew
    Mark Lee

  6. G’day Phil.

    There was the best ever ruckman to come out of Berrigan, Fred Way,who played for South Melbourne.

    Mark , there were the two Kol’s , Nigel and Michael.

    There is also Peter Yeo who played a few games for Melbourne in 1972.

    There’s also a few more Day’s & Hay’s we could add to this team.


  7. Great stuff Phil, although I’m just a *little* bit disappointed that you said ‘nix’ to Richmond’s John Nix. 95 games for the Tigers in the ’50s.

  8. G’day Phil.

    Stephen Rae also played with Richmond. He played in their 1973 flag side.

    No room for Michael Jez ?


  9. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Out: Ben Lee
    In: Brian Eno

  10. Swish- if only the entertainment could’ve be provided by bands with three-letter acronyms: REM, ELO, LRB, BTO, ELP, CCR, GNR, OMD, PIL etc. Actually, most of these wouldn’t be much chop!

    Great job, Phil. Another worthy addition to the genre.

  11. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Swish opens the batting with Garry Gum ! What a great name. Ian Dry? Hope he had a sense of humour. Great stuff Swish !

    Mark – Yes, Chris Mew a glaring omission. Slot him in at CHB. Sim a good get, though career was a bit dim.

    1961 GF must be a record Swish. 6? Incredible.

    Graeme – Mark ‘The General’ Lee was considered, but lost out to Dean Cox in the ruck and Dick Lee at full-forward. Excellent nomination.

    Glen ! Peter Yeo and Fred Way fine, obscure gets. John Fox also played for the Cats between 1960-65.

    Great get Gigs ! I reckon Sedat Sir would also nix Nix in this team.

    Glen ! Good point re: S.Rae and must have missed Michael Jez. Jeez…

    Swish – Fair call re: Eno. Vance Joy ? Johnny Ray ? Athol Guy? Midge Ure?

  12. Michael and Nigel Kol initially from Geelong is my only contribution

  13. The first ruckman at West Torrens in the early 1960’s was Eric Dix. Universally known as “Dorothy”.
    Elliot Yeo is now a better footballer than Patrick Dangerfield. Discuss.

  14. Wally May (N’Ord) could play ruck or commentate. Comment?
    Robert Day (Westies) in the pivot.

  15. Colin Ritchie says

    Barry Day, arrived at Essendon in a blaze of glory, was going to be a world beater. Kicked 6 goals in a practice match and fans were salivating, a new champion in the making. Although extremely skillful and a polished looking player, unfortunately he was unable to live up his reputation and the hype. Later cleared to Collingwood.

  16. If he’d been strategically placed, Adem YZE could have racked up the highest Scrabble
    score of any player in any era.

  17. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Mickey – REM and PIL went okay early on. No XTC, ABC or TMG ? Jump in My Car is a classic song and clip.
    Cheers Zac – Michael Kol is on the bench.
    Peter B – Big call. Would Danger trade his Brownlow for a Premiership Medallion ? Yeo da man !
    Rabid – Love the term ‘in the pivot’.
    Colin – Barry Day played 11 games in 1979 and 4 in 1980 for the Bombers. Didn’t manage to crack a senior game for the Pies. Was he any relation to Bert Day who played 68 games for the Dons between 1914 to 1921. Bert incidentally also played in the opening round of 1915 against Collingwood on the 24th of April. What a difference a day makes…
    Ken – Yze would be a beauty for scrabble if it counted !

  18. Great team, LB.

    I vote for Noosha Fox – “S-s-s-single bed”

  19. John Law was so under-rated – and as hard as nails

  20. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    There’s a stocking filler book in these, Phil!
    I’d gift it. On and on and on …

  21. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Cheers Smokie. Noosha? Just watched and heard on youtube. Can’t unsee or unhear now. Thanks mate !

    Thanks MdH. I got a feeling that you may be the Writer in Residence for the next team. Or would you prefer the half-back flank? Le La De Da on the way.

  22. How about Farren Ray. He played a total of 209 AFL games. Farren Ray, he’s OK!

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