Good Old Collingwood Forever

The Story of Collingwood's 1953 Premiership

Posts Tagged ‘Bill Twomey

Des Healey

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Debut – 1948
Retired – 1955
Games – 149
Goals – 27
1955 Copeland Trophy
1951 & 1954 R. T. Rush Trophy
1953 J. J. Joyce Trophy
Seconds Best and Fairest: 1947
Interstate Representative: 1949, 1953 (carnival)
All-Australian – 1953
Coach under 19s – 1972-77
Member of Collingwood’s Hall of Fame (Inducted 2006)

Des Healey was a brilliant and attacking wingman whom both Phonse Kyne and Lou Richards regarded as the best winger Collingwood had ever produced, whilst Essendon legend John Coleman described Healey as the best wingman he had ever seen in the game. Coleman praised him by saying, “He is clever, has that wonderful tenacity of all good Collingwood players, and is tireless.” His teammate Bill Twomey Jr. said that Healey was the cleverest player he had ever seen in one on one duels, whilst Bob Rose said that Healey was a top class player who had everything. Richmond’s duel Brownlow Medalist Roy Wright called Des the gamest player he had ever seen and that he had a lot of courage for someone who was just 5’6″. “If he were a big man he would kill someone the way he tears through packs” Wright said. Along with fellow left-footers Bill Twomey and Thorold Merrett Healey was a part of one of the best centrelines of the era.

The tenacious Healey was small and fast and a great stab-kick off his left boot. He also possessed a safe pair of hands as he was a great mark. He showed dazzling speed in the way he cashed the ball and could keep control of it with uncanny ability.  His evasive skills were superb. Healey worked long and hard perfecting his talent. He often spent extra nights alone on the training track twisting and turning around imaginary opponents at top pace. His unrivalled commitment was inspiration for all.

1953 was a stand out year for Healey, as he won All-Australian selection and was judged by many observers to be best on ground in Collingwood’s premiership win. He was third in the Copeland Trophy behind Bob Rose and Neil Mann.

Unfortunately today Healey is most well-known for the last game in which he played, the 1955 Grand Final loss to Melbourne. In one of the most talked about incidents in Grand Final history and with three minutes to go in the match, Healey collided with Melbourne’s Frank ‘Bluey’ Adams who had just run onto the ground from the bench. Healey, who had been the Magpie’s best player to that point, had his nose broken, skull fractured and was severely concussed. Despite winning the Copeland Trophy that year he never played another game saying ‘I could not stand another blow like that. He was just 27.

Healey was also an outstanding cricketer who in the 1953-54 season was a part of Collingwood’s first grade district cricket team. In the 1952-53 season he was a part of the Magpies’ second XI team where he topped the batting averages and won the club championship. He top scored in the final match of the season with 92 runs against South Melbourne. Two years earlier both Healey and Merrett were team-mates in Collingwood’s 1951 Third XI team that won the cricket final against Prahran. They put on a 151 run partnership to set up their victory, with Healey scoring a century and Merrett making 51.

In the late 70s Des spent six years as coach of Collingwood’s under 19 team, nuturing young talent such as Peter Daicos. Healey passed away in 2009 aged 81.

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Acknowledgements

  1. Roberts. M & McFarlane. G -The Official Collingwood Illustrated Encyclopedia – Updated Edition – 2010 The Slattery Media Group
  2. Holmesby R & Main J. – The Encyclopedia Of AFL Footballers – Seventh Edition – 2007 Bas Publishing
  3. Main. J – When It Matters Most – 2006 Bas Publishing
  4. Collingwood Football Club Website – http://www.afl.com.au/Season2007/News/NewsArticle/tabid/5586/Default.aspx?newsId=7022
  5. Carlyon. G – Gordon Carlyon’s Scrapbook Number 2 – 2002 Gordon Carlyon
  6. Roberts. M – A Century Of The Best – The Stories of Collingwood’s Favourite Sons – 1991 Collingwood Football Club
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Round 4 – Carlton Vs Collingwood

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May 16, 1953

Collingwood ventured to Princes Park in May to meet their oldest foe Carlton. The Magpies‘s stocks were still depleted with injury, while Carlton were just outside the four after defeating Melbourne and Richmond and suffering a narrow loss to Footscray in round 1.

37,500 crammed into the Blues’ home ground to see the Magpies prevail by just 8 points in a fiery clash in which Collingwood was in charge for the whole game despite the closeness of the scoreline. Carlton’s Jack Howell had a great ruck duel with Neil Mann, with the Blues’ big-man just prevailing in this evenly fought battle, showing a brilliant display of marking power. (1) In the end however, Collingwood simply played smarter, faster and more expert football in snatching the win from their rivals. (2)

The Magpies showed great fighting spirit and in the last desperate few minutes they overcame a 4 point deficit to ultimately win by 8 points. (3) Jack Finck was a success at full-forward in Bill Twomey’s absence, kicking 4 goals including the match-winner after Carlton’s George Stafford kicked into the man on the mark. (4) Even when the pressure was great in the last few minutes the Magpies’ players kept their cool heads to hold on. (5)

Throughout the match the Magpies used handball to devastating effect, although this was occasionally overdone. (6) For much of the game Collingwood showed superior pace and a slight superiority in the air and across the centre, while Mann was slightly more effective in the ruck for much of the match. (7)

Scores

Team

1st Quarter

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

Final Score

Carlton

2.1.13 6.5.41 9.5.59 14.11.95

Collingwood

5.5.35 7.10.53 11.17.83 14.19.103

Best

Collingwood – Mann, Healey, Parker, R Richards, B Rose, Kingston, Tuck, Clarke

Carlton – Hands, Howell, Beasy, Dern, Spencer, Ferry, Malony

Goal Kickers

Collingwood – Finck 4, B Rose 3, R Richards 2, Kingston 2, Tebble 2, Clarke

Carlton – Spencer 5, Beasy 3, Warburton 2, Mills, Walsh, Milroy, Kerr

In Other Football News

Geelong kept up their unbeaten run with a 14 point victory over Essendon. Goninon kicked 6 goals and Trezise 3 while the Bombers’ Coleman had an off day by his standards and could only manage 4 majors, in what was the battle of the VFL’s best goal-scorers. North Melbourne suffered their first defeat of the season to Fitzroy who had crept into fourth place on the ladder, while Footscray was now placed second with a 45 point win over lowly Melbourne, with Ted Whitten being amongst the best on the ground.

Hawthorn and Melbourne were languishing on the bottom of the ladder winless while Richmond were 10th with just one win.

VFL Ladder after round 4

Team

Win

Draw

Lose

Premiership Points

Geelong 4 0 0 16
Footscray 3 0 1 12
North Melbourne 3 0 1 12
Fitzroy 3 0 1 12
Essendon 2 0 2 8
Carlton 2 0 2 8
Collingwood 2 0 2 8
South Melbourne 2 0 2 8
St Kilda 2 0 2 8
Richmond 1 0 3 4
Melbourne 0 0 4 0
Hawthorn 0 0 4 0

Goalkickers

Player

Team

Goals in Round

Goals For Season

J. Coleman Essendon 4 35
J. Hickey Fitzroy 8 22
N. Trezise Geelong 3 17
G. Goninon Geelong 6 17
J. Collins Footscray 5 13
G. Marchesi North Melbourne 3 13
A. Aylett North Melbourne 1 12

Oddities

In his preview of the match the Sporting Globe’s H.A. de Lacy referred to Collingwood’s Mick Twomey as Mike Twomey. I’m not sure if this is his fault or that of his editor/subeditor though.

Mick Twomey did not play the match due to a torn ‘monkey’ muscle according to Percy Taylor in the Argus. Google told me that a ‘monkey muscle’ is a calf muscle.

Jack Finck only kicked 8 goals in his entire career at Collingwood, with half that tally coming in this match.

In Other Sports News

Rocky Marciano retained the World Heavyweight Boxing Title with a knockout victory over Jersey Joe Walcott in the first round of their highly anticipated bout in Chicago.

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Footnotes

  1. The Argus – Monday May 18, 1953 – page 10
  2. Taylor. P – The Argus – Monday May 18, 1953 – page 10
  3. Taylor. P – The Argus – Monday May 18, 1953 – page 10
  4. The Age Monday May 18, 1953 – page 7
  5. Taylor. P – The Argus – Monday May 18, 1953 – page 10
  6. Taylor. P – The Argus – Monday May 18, 1953 – page 10
  7. Taylor. P – The Argus – Monday May 18, 1953 – page 10

Round 2 – North Melbourne Vs Collingwood

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May 2, 1953

North Melbourne dominated the round 2 clash with Collingwood

Going into the round 2 clash against North Melbourne at Arden Street Collingwood was missing their full-forward Bill Twomey who had sustained an injury in the exhibition match against Fitzroy a week earlier. (1) Also out injured was Collingwood’s centre-half-forward Maurice ‘Mocha’ Dunstan, which ultimately caused problems for the Magpies’ forward line. (2) North Melbourne’s Jock Spencer was also out of the match, playing in the reserves after being  injured preseason. (3)

North Melbourne thrashed the Magpies by 43 points. Collingwood were never in the match with the Kangaroos being too quick and tough for the Magpies. (4) They outclassed the Magpies with an all-round flawless display that made a shocked Collingwood look second rate. (5) The only two Collingwood players to show any initiative on the day were rovers Lou Richards and Bob Rose, (6) although Rose never looked dangerous whilst roving,  he much looked better while resting in the forward pocket where he kicked two goals. (7) Unfortunately injury forced the Magpie skipper Lou Richards from the ground at half-time and he was not able to come back onto the field. (8) His loss came at a critical stage in the game and contributed to the defeat. (9) He had kicked three of the Magpies’ five goals up until that stage. Jack Hamilton at full-back was well beaten by North’s stop-gap full-forward Gerald Marchesi. (10)

The speedy Allan Aylett demoralised the Collingwood defence (11) kicking two goals in the second quarter (12), while a powerless Collingwood put on a deplorable display in which they all too often spoilt each other while marking and collided into each other on the ground. (13) Many Collingwood players were too reckless when going into packs, whilst North Melbourne were much too strong, which enabled them to trade bumps with the Magpies whilst still retaining their devastating pace and teamwork. (14)

Team

1st Quarter

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

Final Score

North Melbourne

5.2.32 10.5.65 14.7.91 18.10.118

Collingwood

3.1.19 5.5.35 7.8.50 11.9.75

Goals

North Melbourne – Brady 4, Marchesi 4, Aylett 4, Grambeau 3

Collingwood – B. Rose 2, L. Richards 3, Batchelor 3

Best

North Melbourne – Parkes, Aylett, O’ Halloran, Brooker, Hamilton, Brady

Collingwood – Finck, Mann, B. Rose, Kingston, Batchelor, M. Twomey

Around the Grounds

Carlton recorded their first win of the season defeating the hapless Melbourne. Geelong were much too strong for Footscray defeating them by 41points, with Trezise kicking 8 goals and Goninon 3 for the Cats, cementing their place at the top of the VFL ladder. John Coleman kicked 11 of Essendon’s 13 goals in their 10 point loss to the Swans, while Fitzroy recorded a 1 point victory over Richmond, with Joe Hickey kicking 6 goals for the Gorillas.

Ladder After Round 2

Team

Win

Draw

Lose

Points For

Points Against

Percentage

Premiership Points

Geelong

2 0 0 180 99 190.9 8

North Melbourne

2 0 0 233 132 168.9 8

Carlton

1 0 1 150 124 121.0 4

Essendon

1 0 1 200 187 107.0 4

Richmond

1 0 1 153 148 103.4 4

Collingwood

1 0 1 193 195 99.0 4

St Kilda

1 0 1 149 162 92.0 4

Fitzroy

1 0 1 169 101 88.5 4

South Melbourne

1 0 1 176 207 85.0 4

Footscray

1 0 1 128 163 77.8 4

Melbourne

0 0 2 126 163 77.3 0

Hawthorn

0 0 2 95 179 53.1 0

Goalkickers

Player

Team

Goals in Round

Goals For Season

J. Coleman Essendon 11 21
N. Trezise Geelong 8 12
B. Twomey Collingwood 0 9
J. Hickey Fitzroy 6 9
A. Aylett North Melbourne 4 8
G. Goninon Geelong 3 7
G. Marchesi North Melbourne 4 6
P. Cash Hawthorn 4 6

In other news

It is quite interesting reading the old newspaper reports of the matches and seeing the different styles that each journalist/commentator uses while writing their match report. One thing I found odd was that twice in his article on this match, the Herald’s Alf Brown referred to North as Melbourne. I guess this was a mistake on behalf of the editor and shows the perils with trying to get the paper out in the evening after the conclusion of the match. This is something that is not so much of a problem these days as there are no longer any ‘evening editions’ of the Melbourne newspapers.

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Footnotes

  1. Reynolds. D & Buggy. H – The Argus – Saturday May 2, 1953 – page 13
  2. Reynolds. D & Buggy. H – The Argus – Saturday May 2, 1953 – page 13
  3. Reynolds. D & Buggy. H – The Argus – Saturday May 2, 1953 – page 13
  4. Bickford. G – The Argus – Monday May 4, 1953 – page 10
  5. Brown. A – The Herald – Saturday May 2, 1953 – page 25
  6. Bickford. G – The Argus – Monday May 4, 1953 – page 10
  7. The Age – Monday May 4, 1953 – page 7
  8. Bickford. G – The Argus – Monday May 4, 1953 – page 10
  9. The Age – Monday May 4, 1953 – page 7
  10. Bickford. G – The Argus – Monday May 4, 1953 – page 10
  11. Brown. A – The Herald – Saturday May 2, 1953 – page 25
  12. Brown. A – The Herald – Saturday May 2, 1953 – page 25
  13. Bickford. G – The Argus – Monday May 4, 1953 – page 10
  14. Bickford. G – The Argus – Monday May 4, 1953 – page 10

    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

    Round 1 – Collingwood Vs South Melbourne

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    Bill Twomey kicked nine goals against the Swans

    April 18, 1953

    Collingwood played South Melbourne in the opening round of the 1953 VFL season at Victoria Park, and won convincingly by 41 points, with Bill Twomey kicking 9 of the teams’ 17 goals.

    Former Magpie great Harold Rumney summed up the game for the Sun by saying the Magpie’s won through an aggressive ‘battering-ram‘ attack, supported by a tough and resilient defence. (1) He went on to say that Collingwood had splendid teamwork and outstanding defence with the teams’ fleet of rucks and rovers in command throughout the day. (2) Ron Richards caught Rumney’s eye as he singled captain Lou Richards‘ brother out as being particularly impressive with his crumbing of the ball and breaking the packs which kept the South Melbourne forwards starved of opportunities. (3) In the Argus Hugh Buggy said that Collingwood’s smooth, calculated, and relentless football totally bewildered the hapless Swans. (4)

    Rumney thought that Collingwood had improved in its’ overall strength since 1952. (5) He was impressed by Bill Twomey’s tenacious and clever ball-handling in front of goal and even apologised for his previous criticism of Twomey’s perceived lack of efficiency. (6) Hugh Buggy called Twomey the ‘dashing D’Artagnan’ of league football, who could enable the Magpies to be a shattering force in 1953. (7) In fact Buggy said that everything that Twomey did was touched by an elegance and artistry that made the game a delight to watch. (8) Buggy was also impressed with Twomey’s ‘panther-like’ leads and classic marking. (9)

    Collingwood’s small men were confident and aggressive (10) and baffled the opposition with their uncanny handball which continually disorganised the South defence. (11)

    Buggy also praised Collingwood’s tactics, saying they were the masters of cool, high quality, ‘chessboard’ football (12) and played with a common purpose and determination that would have worn any opposition down. (13

    ) The Magpie ‘machine’ was fully geared up and in devastating form. (14)

     

    Teams

    1st Quarter

    2nd Quarter

    3rd Quarter

    Final Score

    Collingwood

    5.5.35

    10.8.68

    16.14.110

    17.16.118

    South Melbourne

    1.1.7

    5.4.34

    8.6.54

    11.11.77

    The Magpies outnumber the Swans here 5-1

    Goals

    Collingwood – B. Twomey 9, L. Richards 3, R. Richards 2, B. Rose 2, Batchelor

    South Melbourne – Sibun 4, McPherson 3, Lane, Gunn, Deagan, Gillett

    Best

    Collingwood – Hams, Mann, Hamilton, Fincke, Lucas, B Twomey, Tuck, R. Richards, Healey, P Twomey

    South Melbourne – Dorgan, Clegg

    In Other Magpie News

    Collingwood sold 3300 memberships at the game on Saturday and is confident that they will break the 10,000 member mark for the first time in their history. (15)

    In Other Games

    Geelong defeated Hawthorn by 49 points, Essendon beat Fitzroy by 23 points with Coleman kicking 10 goals. Footscray scraped home over Carlton by just 5 points.

    Ladder after round 1

    Team

    Win

    Draw

    Lose

    Points For

    Points Against

    Percentage

    Premiership Points

    Geelong

    1

    0

    0

    87

    38

    228.9

    4

    North Melbourne

    1

    0

    0 105

    57

    184.1

    4

    Collingwood

    1

    0

    0 118

    77

    153.2

    4

    Essendon

    1

    0

    0

    111

    88 126.1

    4

    Richmond

    1

    0

    0 73 67 108.9 4

    Footscray

    1

    0

    0 65

    60

    108.3 4

    Carlton

    0

    0

    1

    60

    65

    92.3 0

    Melbourne

    0

    0

    1

    67

    73

    91.7

    0

    Fitzroy

    0

    0

    1

    88

    111

    79.2

    0

    South Melbourne

    0

    0

    1

    77

    118

    65.2

    0

    St Kilda

    0

    0

    1

    57

    105

    54.2

    0

    Hawthorn

    0

    0

    1

    38

    87

    43.6

    0

    1953 Leading Goal Kickers

    J. Coleman (Essendon) – 10
    B. Twomey (Collingwood) – 9
    G. Sibun (South Melbourne) – 4
    G. Goninon (Geelong) – 4
    N. Trezise (Geelong) – 4
    A. Aylett (North Melbourne) – 4

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Footnotes

    1. Rumney. H – The Sun, Monday April 20, 1953 – page 28
    2. Rumney. H – The Sun, Monday April 20, 1953 – page 28
    3. Rumney. H – The Sun, Monday April 20, 1953 – page 28
    4. Buggy. H – The Argus, Monday April 20, 1953 – page 10
    5. Rumney, H – The Sun, Monday April 20, 1953 – page 28
    6. Rumney, H – The Sun, Monday April 20, 1953 – page 28
    7. Buggy. H – The Argus, Monday April 20, 1953 – page 10
    8. Buggy. H – The Argus, Monday April 20, 1953 – page 10
    9. Buggy. H – The Argus, Monday April 20, 1953 – page 10
    10. The Age – Monday April 20, 1953 – page 8
    11. The Age – Monday April 20, 1953 – page 8
    12. Buggy. H – The Argus, Monday April 20, 1953 – page 10
    13. Buggy. H – The Argus, Monday April 20, 1953 – page 10
    14. Buggy. H – The Argus, Monday April 20, 1953 – page 10
    15. The Sun – Monday April 20, 1953 – page 29