Players who leave and come home

It seems the Dockers have a relatively high incidence of players who return to the club, as players, after leaving.

Peter Bell, Brad Wira, Heath Black, Adam McPhee.

And then there’s Trent Croad, Josh Carr and Chris Tarrant, who went back to their original clubs.

I know John Barnes did it with Essendon and Geelong. Can anyone think of other incidences, particularly in the past 20 years?


About Les Everett

A Footy Almanac veteran, Les Everett is the author of Gravel Rash: 100 Years of Goldfields Football and Fremantle Dockers: An Illustrated History. He is the WAFL correspondent and uses the money he makes from that role to pay for his expensive websites and and fund the extravagant Vin Maskell at


  1. Aaron Lord went Geelong -> Hawthorn -> Geelong.

    Justin Murphy went Carlton -> Geelong -> Carlton (ending up at Essendon and starting with Richmond)

  2. A few off the top of my head, going a little further back;

    Carl Ditterich; St K – Melb – St K – Melb
    David Cloke; Rich – Coll – RIch
    Billy Picken; Coll – Syd – Coll

  3. Nifty Neville Fields was traded to the Swans for Terry and Neale Daniher in 1978. Then he came back in ’81. Pretty sure I know who got the best out of that deal.

  4. Phil Baker had nine games at Geelong in ’75 (while Doug Wade was strutting his stuff at North) before going back to play in North’s ’77 flag.

  5. Also, McKernan went from North to Carlton and back again – both times to escape Denis Pagan!

  6. Kenny Newland, Geelong, Footscray, Geelong,

    Graeme Landy, Geelong, Richmond, Geelong.

    There are others, but i’ll leave it open to other Knackers to mention them.


  7. Don’t be shy, Glen – we might never get them!

    Here’s one I didn’t know about. Wayne Walsh played 5 games for Richmond in 1968 before being cleared to South. He went back to the Tigers in mid-’72 and played in their ’73 and ’74 flags.

    I only ever remembered him as a Richmond player. I blame Scanlen’s footy cards for that.

  8. DBalassone says

    Mark Orchard Coll – Syd – Coll
    Diesel Williams Carl (reserves) – Geel – Syd – Carl
    Ian McMullin Coll – Ess – Coll
    Ruud Gullit AC Milan – Sampdoria- AC Milan – Sampdoria

  9. McMullin’s an interesting one. His last game for Essendon was against Collingwood in R4, 1992 and his next game, which was his first back at Collingwood, was against Essendon in R19 of that year.

  10. Gareth Andrews – Geelong, Richmond, Geelong (in spirit).

  11. Paul Salmon; Ess – Haw – Ess

  12. Marty Clarke

    Coll – County Down – Coll

  13. Me: Richmond – Footscray – Richmond … shit, don’t tell my Doggie mates

  14. daniel flesch says

    Trent Croad : Hawthorn – Freo – Hawthorn… i think Hawks got Luke Hodge for Croad first up , and then got him back…. @JD 5pm- did Salmon really go back to Essendon ?
    I read Hawks had little trouble getting him , not realising he was a Ringwood boy who had barracked for Hawthorn as a kid. Not that it stopped him destroying Hawthorn in the ’85 G.F.

  15. daniel flesch says

    Whoops ! Just checked ..sorry JD – quite right about Salmon going back to Bombers in 2002 . Was in Qld. that year – only aussie rules news freely available was about those Lions.

  16. Hawks getting Croad back to the club from Freo was a masterstroke. It reminded me of Kerry Packer selling Channel Nine to Alan Bond before buying it back off him for half the price. Sheedy getting Salmon back to Essendon to “win a flag” was not.

  17. Thanks everyone.

    Just shut up about Croad.

    T Bone: Was that evolution?

  18. Les

    Richmond – Footscray – Richmond is not evolution: it’s a sick joke my heart’s played on me.

    Truth is it’s actually Richmond – Footscray, with a torrid love affair with Richmond om the side (well this year anyway!) I went for the Tigers as a kid – as kids go for glamour teams – but coming from St Albans, I always felt betrothed to the Dogs. I started going them in 1983, and man, it was just as well, seeing what the Tigers have gone through. All the same, being my childhood sweetheart, I’ve always kept a flame burning for the Tigers, and this year its flared like a mofo.

    On evolution, Footscray – Western Bulldogs is a clear case of it, ain’t it??!!

  19. No’s 2, 3 & 4 on the MLB all time home run list.

    Hank Aaron – Milwaukee Braves/Atlanta Braves/Milwaukee Brewers

    George Herman “Babe” Ruth – Boston Red Sox/NYY/Boston Braves

    Willie Mays – NY Giants/SF Giants/NY Mets


  20. Luke Reynolds says

    Darren Lehmann: South Australia-Victoria-South Australia

  21. Similar to T Bones journey involving the Tiges and the Bullies, Robert “Skinny” McGhie, did Footscray, Richmond, Footscray, with a spell at South Melbourne to add to the mixture.

    In the cricketing sphere both Gary Cosier, and Rodney Hogg first appeared in Melbourne district ranks, before making their first class debuts elsewhere, then returning to Victoria at the end of their careers. Is my memory still working?


  22. Phil baker north Geelong north
    Gary cowtown north footcray south Melbourne north
    Roy Ramsay north Essendon north
    Peter Keenan Melbourne north Essendon Melbourne
    Norm smith Melbourne fitzroy Melbourne as coach
    Warwick capper Sydney Brisbane sydney

  23. terry Barnstable says

    Ron Barassi, Melbourne, Carlton, Nth.Melbourne then back to Melbourne then to Sydney

  24. Luke Reynolds says

    Glen your memory is spot on. Given that criteria Colin “Funky” Miller started in Victorian Premier Cricket before playing for South Australia and Tasmania before finishing his First Class career with Victoria.

    Paul Nobes: South Australia, Victoria, South Australia

    Nathan Hauritz: Queensland, New South Wales, Queensland.

  25. Luke Reynolds says

    Possible future one-
    Gary Ablett jnr- Geelong, Gold Coast, Geelong??

  26. Mic Rees says


    Gary Cosier & Colin Miller made their first class debuts for the Vics.

    Cosier’s came in a late November 1971 at the Adelaide Oval, making 18 & 34, the Vics losing the match by 199 runs. The great Barrie Robran made the first of his two Shield appearances for SA in this match, KG Cunningham scored a double century (203) for the home side. Cosier played in the Vics next game, against WA at the MCG (Robert Rose’s state debut).

    Colin Miller made a couple of Shield appearances for the Vics in 85/86 prior to starting his magical mystery tour that has taken him to SA, Tassie, back to Footscray and now Las Vegas.


  27. Eddie McGuire: Broadie boy – polished media performer – Broadie boy

    Sam Newman: sexist pig – a$&*hole – sexist pig

  28. Luke Reynolds says

    Cheers Mic, had no idea Miller had played for the Vics before he played for South Australia. What an interesting cricketer and man is Funky.

  29. Dave Nadel says

    Not sure that you can count Babe Ruth, Mic. Boston Braves were the Red Sox’ cross town rivals before they moved to Milwaukee and then Atlanta. That’s like a player leaving Collingwood for West Coast and then returning to Carlton. Same city but hardly the same club.

  30. Lord Bogan says

    Peter Beardsley: Newcastle – Liverpool – Everton – Newcastle.

  31. Mic Rees says

    Luke – A very interesting man is CR Miller. I would’ve never thought he’d reach the heights he did when he first broke into the Dogs team almost 30 years ago. I’m glad he did.

    Dave – The Ruth example was stretching it, probably the Aaron one as well. Hank moved back to Milwaukee to DH for the Brewers at the end of his career. Mays, who debuted with the NY Giants in 1951 comes closest to meeting the criteria when he ended his career with the NY Mets. The Mets, an expansion team (1962) chose the colours of Orange and Blue in an attempt to appease followers of the NY Giants (Orange) and the Brooklyn Dodgers (Blue) who’d moved West in the late 50’s.


  32. In a similar vein, Barry Davis. Player/Captain @ Essendon, similar status @ North Melbourne, then back coaching Essendon. Did Mopsy Rantall return to South Melbourne, prior going to Fitzroy ? I can’t recall.


  33. Yes rantall south, north, south again, fitzroy and then almost coach of south again before they went to Sydney

  34. don’t forget jeff farmer

  35. Jeff Farmer wasn’t on the Fremantle list before he went to Melbourne.

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