Good Old Collingwood Forever

The Story of Collingwood's 1953 Premiership

The ANZAC Exhibition Match – Collingwood Vs Fitzroy

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Wells pays tribute to the ANZACS

On Friday April 24th 1953 Collingwood and Fitzroy played an ANZAC eve exhibition match under lights at the  Melbourne Showgrounds. The Magpies easily prevailed by 24 points before a crowd of 22,000 mildly enthusiastic spectators. (1)

In what the Age football writer Percy Bentley described as a hotly contested match in which the Magpies eclipsed Fitzroy in almost every part of the field, (2) Bill Twomey kicked six goals and proved to be the Maggies match winner. The Gorillas’ full-back Norm Johnstone was no match for Twomey who outwitted his opponent with fast leads and safe marking. (3) Unfortunately for Collingwood the big Magpie went off in the last quarter with what appeared to be an injured shoulder. (4)

Fitzroy's McGregor and Collingwood's Jack Hamilton contest for the ball

Fitzroy’s greatest weakness was their attack, where the Maroons’ full-forward Magee was outclassed by Collingwood’s Jack Hamilton who was simply too physically strong. (5) The Maroons battled on by playing hard ‘crash through’ football (6) but had too many errors in their game as opposed to the slick Magpies. (7)

The charity game raised almost £3,000 for the St. Vincent’s Hospital building appeal (8) and despite the quality of the game the lighting left a lot to be desired. Bentley stated that he thought that the lighting did not come up to daylight standard (9) whilst The Argus found that it was not all that easy to follow the play. (10) The Sun’s Kevin Hogan said that the game, the first night match played for over 20 years, was full of movement and heavy clashes and the standard of the spectacle was not much below that of a Saturday afternoon game. (11) Hogan also said that the crowd was quieter than that at a Saturday game, probably because they found that the players numbers did not show up well under the lights and they did not always know who had the ball. (12)

Magpie’s skipper Lou Richards did not play as he was recovering from a thigh injury. (13) He was replaced by Barry Taylor, who was best and fairest for Collingwood’s reserves team in 1952. (14)

Score

Team

1st Quarter

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

Final

Collingwood

1.3.9

3.6.24

8.9.57

8.13.67

Fitzroy

1.4.10

3.7.25

3.11.30

4.19.43

Goal Kickers

Bill Twomey

Collingwood – W. Twomey 6, L. Richards, B. Rose, Tebble

Fitzroy – Streader, Gervasoni, Ruthven, Simpson

Best

Collingwood – B. Twomey, Hamilton, Tuck, Tebble, Mann, Parker

Fitzroy – Furness, Stevens, Coates, MacGregor, Ruthven, Williams

In Other News

Magpies’ patron John Wren put up a £100 purse to whoever won the match. (14) As a result both teams played most of their best players (15) which would have consequences for Collingwood as their full-forward Bill Twomey would miss the next few matches with an injury sustained in this match.

A goal-kicking contest was staged at three-quarter time between Essendon’s John Coleman and Williamstown’s Johnny Walker, to determine whether the VFL or VFA’s leading goal kicker was the best. (16) Coleman proved to be the most accurate. (17)

There was also an athletics relay event that pitted the VFL’s fastest players against those from the VFA. (18)

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Footnotes

  1. Hogan, K – The Sun, Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 24
  2. Bentley, P – The Age – Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 7
  3. Bentley, P – The Age – Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 7
  4. The Argus – Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 30
  5. Bentley, P – The Age – Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 7
  6. Hogan, K – The Sun, Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 24
  7. Hogan, K – The Sun, Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 24
  8. The Argus – Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 30
  9. Bentley, P – The Age – Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 7
  10. The Argus – Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 30
  11. Hogan, K – The Sun, Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 24
  12. Hogan, K – The Sun, Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 24
  13. Hogan, K – The Sun, Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 24
  14. Hogan, K – The Sun, Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 24
  15. Hesse. F – The Sporting Globe – Wednesday April 22, 1953 – page 12
  16. Hesse. F – The Sporting Globe – Wednesday April 22, 1953 – page 12
  17. Hesse. F – The Sporting Globe – Wednesday April 22, 1953 – page 12
  18. Bentley, P – The Age – Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 7
  19. Hesse. F – The Sporting Globe – Wednesday April 22, 1953 – page 12
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