Round 2 – Collingwood v Richmond: And on it goes


It is 2016.

In days, weeks, months to come, this game will be merely one of many fair-to-middling games of Australian football. But it is more than that, this Richmond and this Collingwood. For deep is their history, and rich is their story. Culture breeds culture. History begets history.

And bright though their lights may shine, the coordinating League bodies of the day do not always act firstly as custodians of the code; for the good of the code. Tasmania; oh Tasmania. Home of an Australian football culture at least as deep as that of Victoria.


It is 1902.

In 1902, Collingwood Football Club packed the team off for a mid-season getaway. To Tasmania. These days such a trip would be called ‘team bonding”.

Such were the muddy fields and poor skills of local opponents, Collingwood built a possession-centred style

This Australian Football, an evolving game, codified and played fervently for more than 100 years in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania. This particularly Australian game with its rhythms and beats; its crashes and glides.


It is 2016.

Kingborough Tigers win Tasmania State League Round 1 at North Hobart Oval against Hobart City Demons (nee North Hobart). ABC Tasmania newsreader Peter Gee is standing on the hill, wrist bandaged. A few of the victorious South Hobart – Sandy Bay 1st XI cricketers are also on the hill; but they are well within the flagged “wet area”.  On this ground in 1939, Collingwood and Richmond played an exhibition match.



North Hobart Oval, Good Friday 2016. Click to enlarge


It is 1931.

The Depression hits. Collingwood has won the previous four VFL premierships, due in no small part to the defensive and physical prowess of Albert Collier. Albert Collier in the 1927, 28, 29 and 30 premierships was a tough centre half back. In 1929 he won the best and fairest and the Brownlow.

But in 1931 he packed up and moved to Cananore Football Club, based in West Hobart, enticed by the role of playing coach. There he won the Leitch medal (the Brownlow equivalent) in 1931. He won premierships in 1932 and 33.

In 1934 A Collier was back at Collingwood, playing as ruckman and general of protector of small blokes. He won the best and fairest in 1934 and 1935; playing his part in the 1935 and 36 premierships.


It is 2016.

Collingwood club totem Dane Swan is badly injured. Short-term group-thinkers are declaring Sydney as the everyman workhorses, Carlton with a New Messiah, Geelong as premiership fancies and Collingwood GAWN. It is Round 1.


It is 1939.



Pearl found with thanks to the Tasmanian Archive & Heritage Office

Collingwood is off to Tasmania for a 9-day trip. Leaving on the boat immediately after the Footscray game on the Saturday, and scheduled to play Richmond in an exhibition match at North Hobart Oval on the following Saturday.


Footscray v. Collingwood. Members of party to bring luggage to Footscray and hand over to P. Reynolds. Players with Second Eighteen bring luggage to Victoria Park, where P. Reynolds will collect at half time. Party at Footscray assemble  in training room after match.
5:30 p.m. – Depart by cars for boat. Players at Victoria Park also depart for boat at 5:30pm.
6.0 p.m. – Dinner on board T.S.S. Taroona. All members of party must be seated for dinner not later than 6.10 p.m. Otherwise meals will not be served.
7.0 p.m. – Depart from No. 7 North Wharf for Launceston.
8.0 p.m. – Sing-song in Smokers’ Lounge with Don Humphries.
10.0 p.m. – Goodnight. 

8.0 a.m. – Breakfast.
9.0 a.m. – On deck, Morning Service by Geo. Dummett, assisted by Don Humphries.
1.0 p.m. – Lunch.
3.30 p.m. – Arrive Launceston. Transfer to boat train reserved compartment for Hobart.
4.0 p.m. – An entertainment by Don Humphries, assisted by the full party.
6.0 p.m. – Refreshments served in the Buffet Car on train.
9.0 p.m. – Arrive Hobart, a short walk to Carlton Club Hotel (luggage by lorry). 

“A fellow who is always declaring he’s no fool, usually has his suspicions.”


The Mercury, 1939. Click to access article.



It is 2016.
Soon-to-be 9-year-old Buddy Yum, pen poised over her black and white home-made Footy Record says: “People take footy so seriously. It’s just a game. It’s like watching people play ‘piggy in the middle.’ ”

It’s the first quarter. It’s Pendlebury.
Reid is moving like silk (the robust kind).
There is young Moore.
Martin with yet another fend-off (“when will they learn?”)
Cotchin being Cotchin.


It is 1939.

“Justice is such a fine thing, one cannot buy it too dearly.”

8.0 a.m. – Breakfast.
9.0 a.m. – Visit to Tattersalls for Drawing, otherwise free.
1.0 p.m. – Lunch. Afternoon Free.
6.0 p.m. – Dinner.
8.0 p.m. – Guests of the Cananore Old Players and Officials’ Association at smoke social.


7.30 a.m. – Breakfast.
8.0 a.m. – Motor Coaches leave for day trip to Eaglehawk Neck and Port Arthur. Guide conducts inspection of Port Arthur.
1.0 p.m. – Lunch at Hotel Arthur.
5.30 p.m. – Arrive Hobart.
6.0 p.m. – Dinner.
8.0 p.m. – Dance, guest of the Lefroy Football Club.


8.30 a.m. – Breakfast.
9.30 a.m. – Depart by Motor Coaches for Huonville.
12.30 p.m. – Lunch – Grand Hotel.
2.15 p.m. – Depart for Football Ground.
2.45 p.m. – Collingwood v Huonville Football Association Combined Team.
5.15 p.m. – Depart for Hobart.
6.30 p.m. – Dinner. Evening free.


“A philosopher is a man who doesn’t want what he can’t get.”


Huon Football Association combined team to play Collingwood, 1939

Huon Football Association combined team to play Collingwood, 1939. Click to enlarge.



It’s 2016.

That fend-off technique of Martin will come unstuck.
Not tonight.
Richmond miss. Again.

“Never give a man up until he has failed at something he likes.”


9.0 a.m. – Breakfast. Morning free.
12.30 p.m. – Lunch.
1.15 p.m – Short walk to Hobart Station.
1.50 p.m. – Train departs for Claremont, inspection of Cadbury-Fry-Pascall factory.
4.45 p.m. – Train departs Claremont for Hobart.
6.0 p.m. – Dinner.
8.0 p.m. – See notice board.


9.0 a.m. – Breakfast.
9.45 a.m. – Motor coaches depart for day trip to Russell Falls and Salmon Ponds, via Domain, Risdon and New Norfolk.
1.0 p.m. – Lunch at Hotel, National Park.
5.30 p.m. – Arrive Hobart.
6.0 p.m. – Dinner. Evening free (early to bed in preparation for Match against Richmond).


9.0 a.m. – Breakfast. Morning free.
12.0 p.m. – Lunch.
2.0 p.m. – Depart for Match.
2.45 p.m. – Collingwood v. Richmond.
6.0 p.m. – Dinner.
8.0 p.m. – Guests of the North Hobart Football Club at Grand Ball, in City Hall.


9.0 a.m. – Breakfast. Day Free.


“Some people grow under responsibility, others just swell.”



The Mercury, July 31. Click to access article.


It is 2016.

And the game opens up.
Collingwood has recruited well.
I like the looks of this Treloar. A pinch of Collier.
This Aish will be alright. I already liked Grundy.
Fasolo has sticky hands.
Has he visited the pond of infinite depth and wisdom?


It is 1939.

“An optimist is a man who can see the bright side of another man’s troubles.”

7.30 a.m. – Breakfast.
8.15 a.m. – Short walk to Hobart Station.
8.45 a.m. – Train departs for Launceston.
9.30 a.m. – Party with Don Humphries.
12.15 p.m. – Refreshments served in Buffet car on train.
1.45 p.m. – Arrive Launceston Wharf.
2.30 p.m. – T.S.S. “Taroona” leaves Launceston for Melbourne.
6.0 p.m. – Dinner.


7.30 a.m. – Breakfast.
7.30 a.m. – Arrive Melbourne, No. 7 North Wharf.


-Welcome Home Dance, Club Room, Victoria Park.


Every member of the party is expected to attend all the aforementioned functions, unless otherwise arranged with the Manager.


                                    F.G. WRAITH, Manager.


“Laughing cheerfulness throws sunlight on all paths of life.”


It is 2016.
Fasolo outrageously picks up a half volley.
Another goal.
Jack screamer.
And Jack again.
He’s come from nowhere.
And it’s on.
It’s on.
It’s tight.
But daring.
It’s Moore with the free.
It’s to the top of the square.
It’s ruckman as rover.
It’s Collingwood.
Good old Collingwood.






McHALE, J. (Coach)            GALBALLY, J.
LUMSDEN, E.                         DUMMETT, Geo.
RUSH, R.T. (Hon Treas.)   (Pres., A.N.F.C.)
WRAITH, F.G. (Hon. Sec.) 

COLLIER, H. (Capt.)                              PANNAM, A.C.
COLLIER, A. (Vice-Capt.)                    POWELL, H.J.
BALFOUR, D.W.                                     REGAN, J.V.
CAMPBELL, N.                                         ROSS, J.
DOWLING, R.                                          SHIELDS, C.V.
FOTHERGILL, D.                                     TODD, R.
FROUDE, F.                                               WHELAN, M.
HOCKING, G.C.                                       WILLIAMS, A.
HILL, A.L.                                                   WOODS, B.R.
KNIGHT, J.                                                 GREEN, J.
KYNE, A.                                                      MURPHY, J.
MORGAN, L.                                             MORISON, J.

RYAN, J.                                    FIRMAN, J.                              HUMPHRIES, DON. 

LEE, WAL.                                REYNOLDS, P.


“Kindness is produced in kindness. A man in love with himself is rarely harassed by rivals.”



It is 2016.

COLLINGWOOD 2.1 3.3 7.7 13.9 (87)
 2.2 3.8 7.12 12.14 (86)
 A Fasolo 6, B Grundy 2, D Moore, J Aish, J de Goey, T Cloke, T Langdon.
Richmond: J Riewoldt 3, J Short 3, K Lambert 2, T Vickery 2, D Martin, S Lloyd.
 Fasolo, Treloar, Pendlebury.
Richmond: Martin, Cotchin, Houli.
Umpires: Brett Rosebury, Luke Farmer, Nicholas Foot.
Official Crowd: 72,761 at MCG.


Liahm O’Brien’s piece on Collingwood and Richmond luminary Dan Minogue and his Tasmanian odyssey.

About David Wilson

David Wilson is a writer, editor, flood forecaster and former school teacher. He writes under the name “E.regnans” at The Footy Almanac and has stories in several books. One of his stories was judged as a finalist in the Tasmanian Writers’ Prize 2021. He shares the care of two daughters and a dog, Pip. He finds playing the guitar a little tricky, but seems to have found a kindred instrument with the ukulele. Favourite tree: Eucalyptus regnans.


  1. Skills and decision making of players on both sides comparable to players in 1902.

  2. Continuity and change. Or change and continuity as I was saying to my doppelganger only the other day. Grand stuff ER. Love the history and the ‘man out of time’ qualities of your work.
    Good to put a face to a pen briefly yesterday. Will catch up for a longer chat when I have more time away from my pressing duties as the Marble Bar flood warning officer.

  3. John Butler says

    Fabulous quotes E Reg.

    I think a few Tiger players are prone to swelling. That’s why I tipped your boys to bounce back.

    But it’s such a fine line in this business of winning and losing. That often seems forgotten.

  4. This is a fine, fine piece. Puts my hurt and disgust into proportion. Doesn’t stop it hurting, just blocks the receptors.

    FWIW, i refuse to watch until Hardwick is gone. I will cook in our slot, so it’s a blessing, really.

    “It’s easy to individualise but we should never have been in that situation … good sides bounce back and take the four points from you.”

    Yes, but it’s Collingwood, who had lost 10 of the last 12, many poorly.

    (Houi’s part of the proble,… he had 33 touches before his first tackle.)

    If I was Jack and Dusty, I would come and cook with me.

    Anyway, love your piece x

  5. Chris Rees @4boat says

    That is great stuff E, I love “NEVER BE WITHOUT YOUR SONG BOOK.”

    I was told once that Collingwood players invented the stab kick at Cygnet one day on an end-of season trip, around 1932.

    My favourite thing at North Hobart Oval are the plaques on the front of the Argyle St stand remembering those vanished clubs, Lefroy and Cananore.

    I did not enjoy the game last night very much but it was worth it to read this piece of yours.

  6. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Wonderful stuff ER,
    Methinks that there might be a talent for historical research in you. They hand out generous grants for these things occasionally. Super win in the end. The faces on those poor Tiger fans with the tip of their noses pressed to their upper lips as they filed out of the G…

  7. E.regnans says

    G’day all.
    Noelmc – I guess you’re referring to missed targets in the first half. Fair enough. It looked scrappy. The game improved with the trajectory of a Coonawarra Red.
    PB – likewise good to meet the physical you. Any work at Marble Bar is important work. In the meantime, happy MCG adventures to you & the AE.
    JB – those quotes are wonderfully presented at the top and bottom of each page. The whole booklet has altered my perspective of these guys as footballers, as people. And the management. We’re all just making this up.
    PW – thanks very much. Cooking looks a fine option.
    CR 4boat – that line struck me, too. What a world. Imagine being caught without your songbook. So very much in the story of Tasmanian footy. I took that shot of the Huon FA team in a bakery in Geeveston. (Click to enlarge). Piqued my interest and led to this story.
    P Dimitriadis – very kind. Merely following a scent. There are plenty of footy tales in Tasmania. And by rights there should be many, many more.
    Even in recent times, and just at these two clubs, we’ve seen: Matthew Richardson, Trent Nicolls, Jack Riewoldt, Graham Wright, Doug Barwick, James Manson… and many others from Tassie.

  8. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Very very clever,OBP skills diabolical in the 1st half in particular,Fasolo v good and yet again more than questionable leadership ( lack of ) at tigerland

  9. I really enjoyed this, e.r. Loved it, in fact!

  10. The trip sounds fascinating. This HUMPHRIES, DON sounds like a character

  11. E.regnans says

    Thanks OBP – I thought of you with the unraveling Tigers.
    Thanks Smokie – “welcome to Hobart – North Melbourne” banners are up in the Elizabeth St cafe precinct. Blue & white flying high.
    Thanks 6% – it’s funny the little things that hold a group together. Mixtures of character traits, interests, rituals… I wonder who was this Don Humphries? He appears fairly pivotal.

  12. E.regnans says

    Tasmania State League Round 2 results:

    Burnie go top.

  13. Peter Gee says

    You should have come up and said hello! I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far especially the tit bids from the 1939 tour of Tasmania. I picked up a couple of typos you might like to correct – probably came from the beautiful little tour booklet. The Tassie teams of the time mentioned should read Cananore and Lefroy. And the boat they travelled on was more correctly the “Taroona”, not the GMH motor vehicle of similar name.
    You might be aware that ‘Leeter’ Collier helped build the Royal Hobart Hospital while he was down here. At least that was ostensibly his ‘job’ while he was down here playing and coaching for more money than he could get in Melbourne.
    My wrist’s in a proper cast now which comes off on April 21. Just a minor break incurred in a futile dive on the cricket ball.

    e.regnans is a good name as the species grows both here and in Victoria, just like footy.

  14. E.regnans says

    Thanks very much P Gee.
    I have made the corrections you suggest. I can’t blame the tour book, I’m afraid. There is a far more likely culprit. Very interesting to learn of A Collier’s Hobart employment.

    Thanks for your comment.
    And all the best for your recovery.

  15. Chris Rees @4boat says

    Don Humphries perhaps in the Happy Hammond role (Geelong 1963) . Smacka Fitzgibbon also comes to mind; he made the first recording of Tigerland but he also did other club songs so I don’t know that I can claim him for the Tiges.

  16. Luke Reynolds says

    Absolutely brilliant ER. Wonderful piece.
    Have loved following your Apple Isle adventures.
    What a waste of a true football state by the AFL it has been since 1987.
    My appreciation of the 1920’s & 30’s Collingwood team grows every time I read about them.

  17. E.regnans says

    [email protected] I wonder if Don Humphries bowled left arm and appeared on any travel shows.

    L Reynolds – Tasmania the most natural, logical place for a team in any “Australian Football League.”
    Notwithstanding the arguments presented by A Darling on these pages recently:
    Mighty impressed with Peter Gee’s addendum about Albert Collier.
    And Luke – P Reynolds, listed to collect the gear from Footscray and Victoria Park on Saturday 22 July 1939 – any relation?

  18. Richard Collier says

    A question for P Gee , interested in Albert Colliers time in Hobart. I am his son and he was a man of few words and never talked of his time in football. Would P Gee have more info that he could share with the Collier family

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