Funny Teams: Almanac All-time Alliteration Alumni

Mademoiselle Mathilde, your wish is our command.  In your comment on Lord Bogan’s team of charmers you said you fancied a Cockatoo and a Steele Sidebottom.  (How did you know that I had filled a whole page of my “work” book from a particularly tedious training session with alliterative footballer’s names?)

In our adolescence we drooled over Bridget Bardot, Marilyn Monroe and the most seductive of all – Ursula Undress (or at least that’s how we fantasised her name).

Alliterative names always sounded more dashing, more daring, more dangerous.  My comic books were full of Roy of the Rovers and Dan Dare of the Spacefleet.

Deciding on an All-time Alliteration Alumni is not a simple matter.  Is alliteration a matter of sound or spelling?  Kevin Coughlan and Fred Phillis and Roy Wright sound alliterative, but Colin Churchett doesn’t.  

As lovers of the sound of the spoken word we’re going with names that sound alliterative, and Stephen stretching the spelling boundaries.

The team is a mix of footballing abilities; a spread of clubs; unforgettable names; historical as well as modern players; and some WA and SA greats from the pre-AFL era.


  • Che Cockatoo Collins (Port Adelaide/Essendon – MDH’s darling)
  • Fred Phillis (Glenelg – 869 career goals – 1969 Magarey Medal – kicked ‘ton’ 5 times)
  • Marc Murphy (Carlton)

Half Forwards:

  • Barry Breen (St Kilda’s legendary 1966 flag point kicker)
  • Fred Flanagan (Geelong)
  • Russell Robertson (Melbourne)


  • Steele Sidebottom (Collingwood)
  • Bustling Billy Barrot (Richmond and forgettably my West Torrens – his coaching sprays enlarged my adolescent vocabulary but did little for the team)
  • Steven Stretch (Melbourne and more gratefully West Torrens)

Half Backs:

  • John James (Carlton 1961 Brownlow Medal)
  • Jim Jess (Richmond)
  • Wayne Weidemann (Adelaide)


  • Stephen Silvagni (Carlton)
  • David Dench (North Melbourne)
  • Herb Henderson (Bulldogs)


  • Nic Naitanui (Eagles – of course)
  • Roy Wright (Richmond – Mr Wrap insisted)
  • Alan Aylett (North Melbourne)


  • Merv McIntosh (Perth – triple Sandover Medallist – 1953 Tassie Medal as Interstate Carnival best player) 
  • Michael Moncrieff (Hawthorn)
  • Mark Mickan – Adelaide and Brisbane)
  • Ron Richards (Collingwood)


Don’t hire an alliterative coach, they seem to be disproportionately diabolical duds – Damian Drum; Chris Connolly; Brendon Bolton(?)

A humble Richmond premiership player nominated himself on the basis of coaching 718 games and 3 flags at 2 different clubs, but there can only be one winner:

Charlie Clymo – coached Geelong for one season to win the 1931 flag before returning to Ballarat.


The WA legendary lair and mug punter George Grjlusich; backed up by Footscray and South Adelaide star David Darcy (father of Luke) who had a long career at Channel 9 in Adelaide.

Legendary SA commentator Kn Cnnnghm (the man that vowels forgot) could umpire and do a live call from the centre of the ground.  Ken umpired 4 SANFL Grand Finals in the 1960’s (when it was one umpire) and was an outstanding Sheffield Shield cricketer.


Beach Boys


  1. Charlie Brown says

    Great post.
    Sally Saywell, Dirk De Jong, Roger Rigney and Rodney Robran must have all been considered closely!!

  2. Great gets Charlie. Roger Rigney was a dipsianly diminutive,
    dashing, ‘digenous rover in the great Jack Oatey coached Sturt teams of the mid 60’s. Hadn’t thought about alliterative nicknames at all, so David “Sally” Saywell stephens out the options considerably. Left footed, stylish sharp shooter from Central Districts in the 60’s/70’s.
    Hope to see other nickname nominees.

  3. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Wilbur Wilson !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (who was actually Wilfred)

    Sally Saywell, surely the only SANFL player ever to be born in Kidderminster.

    Further to Roger Rigney, I had Chocka Bloch in stitches at training when he introduced a newcomer to the club by the name of Wigney. “What’s his nickname gonna be?”, he asked. The answer just had to be “Woger”

  4. Russell Robertson omitted for the wonderful Wilbur Wilson. Legendary left legged half forward who kicked 331 goals for the SA Bulldogs in the 70’s and 80’s.
    Do yourself a favour – watch Wilbur.
    (Kn Cnnn & DD cmmnttng).
    Swish – watching the video reminded me – does Peter Philippou qualify?

  5. Colin Ritchie says

    Jason Johnson from Essendon must nearly get a crack!
    Mark Mercuri is another worth considering. Gary Grainger

  6. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Fritzy Freeman Full Forward
    Anthony ‘Angry Ant’ Antrobus
    Brenton Bills (brother of Fred)
    Charlie Cameron
    Craig Cock
    David David
    Micky Martyn
    Micky Malthouse

    and recently in the new overseas
    David Dennison
    Peggy Peterson

  7. Excellent PB.

    Of course, alliterative allure goes beyond footy to the dogs. If I ever own a greyhound it will be named after Pulp Fiction gangster Vincent Vega. But, I suspect the name’s been taken and the dog had a disappointing career, mostly in Dapto.

  8. DBalassone says

    Magnificant team and concept PB. Fred Fanning springs to mind for me, but I reckon you’ve got it well covered – a truly All-Australian feel.

    And thanks for the Ursula video.

    Pure gold!

  9. Dave Brown says

    Wonderful work! Mark MacLure unlucky and Rocky Roberts if we’re counting nicknames (knowing how much you love him, PB). Consider Sturt back to back premiership coach Marty Mattner for the coaching gig, too.

  10. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    Merci et ‘Chapeau!’ as we say, PB. So swift and excellent!

    Just to be clear to all, the wish came to me only after reading Mickey’s last week’s piece and enjoying his original observation of Adelaide’s ‘alliteratives’. Language nerd’s joy!

    If only all my wishes were acted on so promptly and completely! And if only Anita was Akberg!

  11. Donald McDonald

  12. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Love it PB and kudos to Magic Mickey and Mighty Mathilde for the inspiration !

    3 V’s – Viv Valentine and Vasil Varmalos (Carlton) Umpire Vas Vasilou.
    So many great cartoon characters with alliterated names: Peter Perfect, Penelope Pitstop, Porky Pig.
    Also popular in the wrestling game: Hulk Hogan, Rick Rude, Sergeant Slaughter, Mario Milano.
    Great stuff.

  13. Dominic De van der scheuren St Kilda 1970s

  14. E.regnans says

    Love it, all.
    Mal Michael could headlock a selector for a position.
    Micky McGuane yap at the selectors
    Michael Mansfield of Geelong and Carlton could comb the selectors’ hair.

    Could there be a full team of M&Ms?

  15. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    Mal Michel, yes!
    The M&Ms … there’s a gauntlet.

  16. Paul Mitchell says

    Sergio Silvagni
    Peter Pianto
    Alier Alier

    Roger Rogerson for president? He’d get stuff done.

  17. Hear hear for Aliir Aliir.

  18. Swish makes reference to Craig Cock, the much underrated South Adelaide fullback from the 1970s, an era of little success for Souths. I might be a rugby league man, but a 14 year stint in Adelaide in the 70s and early 80s gave me an appreciation for Australian football. My team was Sturt but an incident involving Craig Cock from that time looms large in my memory for the grace and sportsmanship show by the Souths man. In the first half of the 70s, the mercurial Ken ‘Wheels’ Whelan was Sturt’s full forward, a high flyer rivaled only by team-mate Rick Davies. Late in the season, Rulebook can provide the fine details, Whelan’s Sturt encountered Souths on a miserable, wet afternoon at Unley Oval. ‘Wheels’ was sitting on 97 goals for the season. His direct opponent was Craig Cock. In the first quarter, Whelan quickly bagged a couple to get to 99. Inevitably, the ball came into Sturt’s forward line and Whelan marked in front of Cock on the left half-forward flank. Cock stood the mark. ‘Wheels’ kicked straight to bring up his century for the season. Cock’s reaction? He walked forward to Whelan, shook his hand and congratulated him! One of the more beautiful moments in sport I have been privileged to see. Yes, it was another era, the game was semi-professional – but wouldn’t you like to see more of it even today? After all, it’s only a game.

  19. Danny Dickfoss!

  20. Dave Nadel says

    I can’t believe that Mick Malthouse doesn’t get a gig as the most successful alliterative coach in the AFL.

  21. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Peter Parker – Green Goblin – J. Jonah Jameson (Spiderman)
    Clark Kent – Lois Lane – (Superman)
    Wonder Woman
    Betty Boop
    Groovy Ghoulies
    Flick Flanagan

    Back to the footy: Collingwood high fliers Alan Atkinson and Brett Burton, along with triple threat, ‘Delicate’ Des Dickson

  22. Luke Reynolds says

    Great team. Love the line about the “humble Richmond premiership player who nominated himself on the basis of coaching 718 games and 3 flags at 2 different clubs”. No doubt he did! Glad you went with Charlie Clymo! 
    If nicknames are allowed, the Macedonian Marvel is first picked.

    A few of my favourites who missed out-
    Danny Del-Re, Danny Dickfos, Donald Dickie, Kent Kingsley, Relton Roberts.

    As good as Marilyn, Bridget and Ursula are, it’s Lois Lane lane who gets my alliterative lady votes….

  23. Luke Reynolds says

    Phil- also on the comics theme-

    From Superman: Lex Luthor, Lana Lang

    Fantastic Four- Reed Richards, Sue Storm plus villain Victor Von Doom

    Bruce Banner aka the Hulk

    Matt Murdoch aka Daredevil

    Steven Strange aka Dr Strange

    Plus plenty more.

    May have just outed myself as a comic book nerd on the Almanac….

  24. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Hey Ian, that day you refer to was Round 21, 1973. Sturt 14.24 (108) def SA 1.4 (10), so despite his dirty day, Cock was certainly a good sport.

  25. Joe De Petro says

    Kn Cnnnghm, the man that vowels forgot. Love it.

    Luke, don’t forget Millie the Model, Pepper Potts and Lori Lemaris.

  26. Luke Reynolds says

    Joe- Pepper and especially Lori are favourites. Had to google Millie. She seems like fun.

  27. Great stuff folks. How could I forget Mal Michael? There is a team in the m’s. Mark Merenda was a favourite of mine when he came to the Eagles at the end of his career from the Tigers. Wonderfully skilful half forward with terrible hamstrings.
    A couple of old time names I came across in research were Geelong’s George Goninon who topped the VFL goal kicking in 1951 and played in the Cats 51 and 52 flags. Stab Punt Jimmy Johnson (any relation to the 3x Melbourne Cup winning jockey?) told us how GG couldn’t get a game at Essendon because of John Coleman but pioneered the drop punt.
    Hawthorn’s Alec Albiston played for the Mayblooms (Hawthorn) when they struggled in the 30’s and 40’s but was their leading goal kicker 5 times as a rover; won the B&F twice; and was captain coach for 3 seasons from 1947-49.
    In other sports there has never been a more elegant, graceful and powerful golf swing than Slammin’ Sammy Snead.
    Mickey Mantle in baseball and of course “Cassius Clay” in boxing.

  28. Peter Warrington says

    Richmond had few players in the 80s and 90’s with surname F, to go with the common first name F***ing

  29. Gordon Greenidge, Malcolm Marshall, Patrick Patterson, Colin Croft, Richie Richardson.

    (This lot alone would have you shoving the 60-grit paper down your creams)

  30. Mark Duffett says

    Slightly surprised you left out Steven Sims, Peter, since he started with your West Torrens (though mostly played at North). Kyms Klomp and Kinnear were also contemporaries of considerable class.

  31. Kim Kershaw

  32. Penelope Pitstop

  33. Peter Perfect

  34. Rulebook says
    Also to add a Redlegs flavour Andrew Aish ( father of James )
    Ian you nailed it re Craig Cock as Swish confirms and yep Swish Chocka loved Woger Wigney nickname

  35. Roger Ramjet. Boris Badunov.

  36. Dave Brown says

    Of course, the real challenge now is an assonance alumni

  37. Rabid Dog says

    Who’s going to tell Micky Martin that he’s not playing this week?

  38. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Mad Men
    Don Draper
    Bourbon Breakfast

  39. In addition to the afore mentioned P Pitstop & P Perfect:
    Captain Caveman
    Pepe Le Pew
    Boo-Boo Bear (Yogi’s off-sider)
    Pink Panther
    Mickey Mouse
    Minnie Mouse
    Donald Duck
    Road Runner
    Atom Ant
    Charlie Chan
    Roger Rabbit

  40. Dave Brown- Assonance? Just read of the Oslo Crows.

  41. For the old-timers.

    From Geelong: Russell Renfrey (200+ games – passed away recently in his 90’s); Percy Parratt (1935 coach) – would have enjoyed coaching Nakia and Che you’d reckon.

    Comedy relief: Captain Carlton

    Tackling/wrestling coaches: Killer Kowalski; Brute Bernard; Hulk Hogan

    Adult entertainment: Gra-Gra ‘King’ Kennedy; Rodney Rude

    Kids entertainment: Happy Hammond; Princess Panda; King Corkie; Stan Stafford; Sylvester Sock; Ossie Ostrich; Gerry Gee

    Actually Gerry might still make a good rugby dummy half. With the recent passing of his mate Ron Blaskett he just needs someone to put their hand up and pull a few strings to make it happen. (Sorry)

    Cheers, Burkie

  42. Burkie – Percy Parratt is one of the great names. Bobby Davis said his most difficult coaching decision in the 63 GF was where to play Happy Hammond in the run through, and what tunes the piano accordionist should play in the warm up.

    Rabs – I picked Dench over Silvagni at full back because Micky Martyn couldn’t argue with a North champion.

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