Almanac Teams: Footballing Wallys

I had a grand uncle Wally Larsson. He was my nan’s brother. He lived in Newport, Williamstown. I remember his name from my really early years. However I really can’t recall him. Did he die before I was born? Did I meet him? I need to sharpen up my genealogy on my Deutsch line.


There was the Western Suburbs sporting legend Wally Hopkins OAM, a man who spent a life time involved in sporting activities. He umpired well over 350 games of footy as well as participating in other local sport including hockey, table tennis and athletics. A true legend of the West.


I remember back in Footscray we had another chap called Wally. This character introduced himself as the  ‘Sheriff of Ryan street’. Bizarre.


Anyhow Wally is a name no longer in vogue. It reflects a bygone period. To add emphasis to that, looking at the clubs who had Wallys in their playing list, Fitzroy, South Melbourne, University are but memories.


Wally Koochew who played for Carlton has an interesting story.  He’s apparently the first VFL/AFL player of Asian descent. He was born in Carlton back in 1887. His father, like so many of his compatriots, came from China in search of gold, before making career a market gardener. Wally himself had moved up to Woodend in his youth so during his career for Carlton he’d make the long train trip into town. He played 4 games, kicking 2 goals, but wasn’t part of the Blues wining flag side.  Interesting tale.


OK, here we go. Don’t be a wally, pick a footballing wally. I have here.


B:                                   Haysom (Coll),   Donald (Foot), Williamson (Haw)

HB:                             Raleigh (Coll/Carl),  May (Ess),    Lock (Mel)

C:                                 Sowden(Melb),  Shearer (Foot),    Gillard (Coll)

HF:                             Lovett (Coll/Rich),  Johnson (Fitz),  Sykes, (Coll/Melb)

F :                                 Matera (WC/Fitz),   Culpitt, (Haw),   Buhaj (Ess)

Foll:                            Ware (Haw),  Chalmers (Ess),   Clark (Fitz)

Inter:                   Southern (Geel/SM/StK),  Koochew (Carl), Naismith (Fitz/Mel), Bristowe (Haw/Fitz)

Emerg:                     Steele ( Melb), Don (Univ), O’Brien (Foot/Fitz)



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  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Sponsored by Wally Beaver, “For all of your doubles betting needs, get set with this Wally”

  2. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Wally Miller (Norwood) – a giant of the game off the field. I’ll leave Rulebook and Dave Brown to elaborate.

  3. Wally Foreman to call the game.

  4. The original owner of Adelaide’s comic shop was the “Phantom” himself, Wally Bratasiuk (hope I’ve spelled it correctly), a legend in his own lunch time. Wally Hearne was a very popular Redlegs seconds player that played a handful of league games Swish is quite correct about Wally Miller, a great servant of both Norwood and the SANFL Thanks Swish.

  5. PS I forgot Wally B, of comic shop fame, is a devout Port Power and Port Magpies fan. However, I forgive him for that – after all nobodies perfect, not even us Almanac comments persons.

  6. Drugs supplied by Walter White?

  7. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    I think you have most of the Wallys covered Glen ! Grand old name now associated with being a tad idiotic (Don’t be a Wally with water) and Maurie Fields’ ad with Wally the monkey for Walpamur circa 1983:

  8. What’s the old Aussie saying about when it’s your turn to buy a drink ? Your Wally (Grout!)


  9. With respect Glen! what about Walter Francis “Wally” Buttsworth ? West Perth and Essendon . West Perth Premiership 1935 West Perth Fairest and Best 1937 Essendon Fairest and Best 1941,1945 & 1946 Essendon Premiership 1942 & 1946 Essendon Team of Century (C.H.B.)

  10. Ta Steve.

    I knew there was an Essendon Wally from days of yore, but i couldn’t get the right name.

    A welcome addition to any side of Wally’s. If i ever meet you,it’s my Wally !


  11. Luke Reynolds says

    Wally Matera the last of the Wally’s? He’s the only one I can remember playing.

    A cricketing Wally team was impossible, just 3 Test cricketers and a handful of First-Class players. 3 fairly handy players though, Wally Edwards, the aforementioned Wally Grout and the great Wally Hammond.

  12. It probably tells you how archaic the name Wally has become that despite having followed VFL/AFL for nearly seventy years, the only two players on Glen’s list that I am sure that I have seen play are Wally Lovett and Wally Matera. I remember hearing Wally Donald’s name in radio coverage of matches when I was in primary school. In my own life I can remember a couple of Wallys (Walters) who were sons of German or Polish immigrants. Most Wallys that I have met were men whose surnames were either Wallace or Walters who were nicknamed Wally.

    Glen, if you are going to make teams of players with archaic name, can you make a team of Cecils, Cedrics and Cyrils?

  13. Dave i’ll take up your challenge. I’ll put my historic posting on hold, endeavouring to pick a team drawn from the 3 C’s.

    “Wally Hammond wore his felt hat like a chief, through the summer of 28-29 the green caps had no relief, some reputations came to grief”. Only 3 Wally’s in the cricketing world. I didn’t see any in the Sri Lanka V South Africa test match.


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