Trove Tuesday – Daddy of Them All

If you have read my Twitter profile, you would have noticed one of my loves, other than family history, is the Carlton Football Club.  This week, as we are in the middle of Round 1 of the 2013 AFL season with Carlton playing on Thursday night, I thought Trove Tuesday should have a sporting theme .

Opening round football is not the only sport happening over the Easter weekend.  One of the great sporting events of  Western Victoria , the Stawell Gift, will attract thousands to the town for a weekend of athletics culminating in the final of the Gift on Monday.  But as I have written about the First Stawell Gift Winner before, I thought I would look at the Carlton Football Club, one of the original teams in the VFL/AFL, from a Trove perspective.

Plucking a name from the early times of the club, I found George Coulthad. He played with Carlton from 1876 to 1882 when teams participated in the Victorian Football Association (The VFL begain in 1896).  Sixty years later, commentators and former players were still naming him as one the greatest footballers ever.  In 1990, he was inducted into the Carlton Hall of Fame.

What treasures could I find about George at Trove?  From the “Picture, Photo and Object” search I found this great engraving from 1880 .  Held at the State Library of Victoria, it shows George, with the ball,  leaving his Geelong opponent behind.  This is a great example of football attire of the time and I’m glad Carlton moved away from the white neck frill.

GEORGE COULTHARD, CARLTON FOOTBALL CLUB - Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria - Wood engraving published in Australian pictorial weekly, no. 7, Melbourne, July 24, 1880, held in Rare Books Collection. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/104291

GEORGE COULTHARD, CARLTON FOOTBALL CLUB – Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria – Wood engraving published in Australian pictorial weekly, no. 7, Melbourne, July 24, 1880, held in Rare Books Collection. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/104291

The following article from Perth’s  The Daily News summerises George’s career and displays that white frilly collar again.  What was the idea behind that?  George was also a keen boxer and cricketer of some note, even playing a Test match for Australia.  I like George’s entry on the Blueseum site.  The number of games played by George was about 140, 4 state games and 2 Rugby matches.  George was a true all-rounder.

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CHAMPION OLD-TIMER. (1929, July 13). The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950), p. 4 Edition: FINAL SPORTING EDITION. Retrieved March 26, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article82981723

CHAMPION OLD-TIMER. (1929, July 13). The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 – 1950), p. 4 Edition: FINAL SPORTING EDITION. Retrieved March 26, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article82981723

In 1937, “Bob” Dickson told the Sunday Times of Perth, George Coulthard was “the greatest footballer ever”.

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The Greatest Footballer Ever!. (1937, July 25). Sunday Times (Perth, WA : 1902 - 1954), p. 13 Section: First Section. Retrieved March 26, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article58785233

The Greatest Footballer Ever!. (1937, July 25). Sunday Times (Perth, WA : 1902 – 1954), p. 13 Section: First Section. Retrieved March 26, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article58785233

George Coulthard’s story was not all sporting glory as he was sadly cut down in his prime.  Even a great sportsmen with such athleticism could not hold off the ravages of tuberculosis.  In October 1883, aged 27, he succumbed to the disease.

THE North eastern Ensign. (1883, October 26). The North Eastern Ensign (Benalla, VIC. : 1872 - 1938), p. 2. Retrieved March 26, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article70744750

THE North eastern Ensign. (1883, October 26). The North Eastern Ensign (Benalla, VIC. : 1872 – 1938), p. 2. Retrieved March 26, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article70744750

Formed in 1864, the Carlton Football Club has a rich history that includes 16 premierships.  The club is proud of its history and there is a wealth of information available online via the Blueseum website and the Carlton Football Club website. There is a wonderful tribute to George Coulthard on the Blueseum site including many newspaper references.  I also found out a little more about that early guernsey

Something of interest to the family historian on the Blueseum site is a call out for photos of former Carlton players.  If you find one of your family members played for Carlton anytime over the past 149 years and you have a photo, check out the website.

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