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Bobby Skilton immortalised at Lakeside Oval

I was honoured to attend the unveiling of the Bob Skilton statue at Lakeside Oval yesterday.

Skilts was the reason we went to the footy. He was our hero, our idol, and our Superman! He gave us hope and something to look forward to every Saturday. What a champ!

And I got a photo!



Bobby Skilton and me at Lakeside Oval low res.jpg

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About Jan Courtin

A Bloods tragic since first game at Lake Oval in 1948. Moved interstate to Sydney to be closer to beloved Swans in 1998. My book "My Lifelong Love Affair with the Swans" was launched by the Swans at their headquarters at the SCG in August 2016.


  1. Legend, hard to believe he’s 79yo …

  2. I saw Skilton play at Lakeside Oval in the mid 60’s on my first trip to Melbourne from SA. Dad had a mate who was a mad Swans fan. Skilton’s two sidedness and ball skills stood out on a muddy day. He was a ballerina among the elephants.
    After the relative gentility of SANFL games my lasting memory is the smell and noise of the Melbourne crowds. Feral maniacs. Plus’ ce change………….

  3. Rod Gillett says

    Good work Jan.

    Great to see Dick Colless, Barass, Wheels Bedford, Roosey, Horse et al and you! All there.

    The Swans really are a real football club now.

    Cheer cheer.

  4. E.regnans says

    Love it, PB. A “ballerina among the elephants”!
    Well done Jan.

    Congratulations to Bob Skilton.

  5. Jarrod_L says

    Who doesn’t love Chimp? Wonderful photo too!

  6. Bob Skilton’s first two years at South Melbourne were coached by the Great Herb Matthews. At sixteen years old I played as Herb’s first rover in the Ringwood First Eighteen of 1950. In this 1950 year I also played for the Melbourne High School first Eighteen. At Ringwood in this year I played the first three games with the Seconds and the rest of the season as Herb’s first rover in his first eighteen. In this year at Ringwood I won a trophy for the most improved player ahead of Frank Slater who later played 19 games for the Richmond First Eighteen of 1953/55. The Melbourne High School team of this year had two players who later played for Hawthorn. In 1949 I played the first three games for the Mt Evelyn Second Eighteen before playing the rest of the season in the First Eighteen. I won the second best and fairest trophy with just these three games.
    In the one season that I played with Herb Matthews the only thing he taut me was when he took me aside after a game and asked me why I didn’t kick a particular goal instead of a point and I replied because I had to turn and kick. He advised me I should have been in front of the pack and then I would not have had to turn to kick at goal. At this time I had been told Herb was ex South Melbourne though I did not know just how great a player he had been. At the end of this 1950 season a Ringwood committee person asked would I play the next season with Ringwood. My answer was yes but I did not want to play as a rover because I just took too much out of myself playing as hard as I did as a rover. It was reported to me that Herb, who was replaced by Alec Albiston as Ringwood’s coach in 1951, said he would never play me any where else but on the ball. Bob Skilton was to me a really great player and his ability to stab kick accurately with either foot just added to his brilliant courageous play.
    Neither Herb Matthews or Alec Albiston, ex Captain and Coach of Hawthorn, recognised that I kicked my Stab Punts and Drop Punts before the ball hit the ground.
    Stab Punt Jim Johnson.

  7. Thanks for comments, one and all.

  8. Luke Reynolds says

    That’s a wonderful photo Jan.

    I’m all for these statues being placed at the old suburban venues. Not every statue needs to be on the MCG surrounds. Bring on the Peter Daicos statue at Victoria Park!

  9. Thanks Luke. Might have to wait a while for the Daicos statue at Victoria Park. It took the Skilts one until he was 79 years of age. Basil Sellers, who sponsored the Skilton one, is a big Swans man – hence ones of Roosy and Paul Kelly at the SCG. Does Collingwood have a sponsor/benefactor such as Basil?

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