Old Autograph Books: Rod Oaten


Robyn Lloyd’s autograph book.




I have really enjoyed the ‘Autograph Books’ series in the Footy Almanac, but it did bring a touch of sadness to me.


As a young kid I took over Mum’s autograph book and it went with me every time we headed to the Essendon footy ground in the late 1940s through to the late 1950s.  I never took it to an away game.  I had all the Essendon players on the playing list, famous ones like Dick Reynolds, John Coleman, Bill Hutchison, Norm McDonald, Jack Clarke and the not so well known ones like Wally May, Ron McEwan and Bert Harper.


Back in 2009 I had a story in the Almanac about getting Bert Harper’s autograph and the joy it gave me.  [Read the story HERE]


Seeing Max Oaten’s autograph reminded me of another great memory which I wrote about in 2014.  Talk about a “dud” very distant relation, me, to this famous South Melbourne footballer!  [Read the story HERE]


The sad bit about the autograph book is that it must have been lost many years ago.  Boy would I like to flip through the pages and relive the joy and happiness of those happy memories at the Essendon footy ground.




Read the series (by various contributors, including photos of pages) on old autograph books HERE


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Hey Rod, Wally May is more well known west of Kaniva for his time at Sturt and as the Channel Nine special comments man. In fact, the phrase “Comment, Wally May” is as South Australian as finishing last in the Sheffield Shield.

  2. “Comment Wally May?”
    “No comment”.
    “Fair comment”.
    Some kids mimicked Elvis or the Beatles. At our school we mimicked Wally May and Ted Langridge’s unique double act on the Ch9 commentary. Ted was Stan Laurel to Wally’s Oliver Hardy.

  3. G’day Rod.

    Now where did Max Oaten finish up ? He played fo the Vics, lead his club’s goal kicking twice, but after 133 goals, in 80 games,he left the VFL ranks. Did he go to Moorabbin,or Willi; somewhere in the VFA?

    Then there’s Michael. I have some memory of him. Two games with South Melbourne, followed by four with Sydney. I noticed in his second game with Sydney he kicked 4 against Footscray, followed by 3 against Collingwood the week after. However only one other game and he was gone from the big league.

    Keep the Oaten flag flying, Rod.


  4. Rod Oaten says

    Sorry Peter B and “Swish”, I didn’t know “Chooka” May was famous the other side of the state line.i loved Wally May and the other 30 odd players on the lists,. Wally was one of the few players who had a sleeveless jumper, and he was tough!!!
    Glen, I think Max Oaten played for Ormond in the VAFA for many years,and I think Michael did too.
    Apart from autographs of The Don players that I collected over the years, my Mum’s collection were all family and friends dating back to her school days and up to me taking over.

  5. Here’s a bit of information on Max Oaten and his son’s truncated VFL career


  6. It would appear Max Oaten played for Nar Nar Goon in 1964


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