Round 7, 2018

Footballers c1913, State Library of South Australia, PRG 280/1/7/485A

Poor Christian Petracca! This week we learned that the Melbourne player was bitten by one of his dogs in the lead-up to the previous round, and that if he had not had the infection treated when he did, his finger might have been amputated. But Petracca isn’t the only player involved in a dog bite incident so far this year. Earlier in April, you might recall, Bomber Conor McKenna bit Bulldog Tory Dickson.

But dogs biting players is much more common in footy history. Back in March 1898, young William Reeve successfully sued one Inspector Hogan, and was awarded 25 pounds damages, after Hogan’s dog bit Reeves while he was ‘playing football with other boys opposite Inspector Hogan’s house’ the previous July. On July 20, 1953, the Queensland-based Maryborough Chronicle reported that amongst the three incidents that the Maryborough ambulance attended the previous day, there was one incident where Les Bowes, a ‘Kingaroy resident… received a “snappy” welcome to Maryborough when he detrained yesterday morning in order to witness the football match. As he left the station a dog bit him. He was taken to the outpatients’ department of the General Hospital for treatment.’

And 16 years earlier, on 20 July 1937, on the other side of the country, in ‘Goanna Jack’s Random Reflections’ column in the Western Argus, it was narrated that Bert, a trainer at the Railway Football Club, was ‘bitten on the lip by a dog.’ According to our columnist, ‘Stan, the municipal humourist, was sympathising with Bert in his misfortune. “It is bad,” he said in a commiserating tone. “You know it is very serious because blood poisoning might set in.” “Do you think it is as bad as that?” asked Bert anxiously. “Too right,” said the leg puller. “Why, the dog might die.”’

That will provoke laughs aplenty amongst our readers, we presume.


Rovers Football Club (including dog) Beaconsfield, Tasmania, c. 1910; BMHC_08201
written in pen on reverse – – -, Ned Dally,- -Burns, Claude Digney, Ab Didney, Darkie Hornsey, Harry Hudson, Sam Tressider/Joe Hinds, Checker Smith, F (Fred) Barrett (Splinter), Nob. Barrett, Bull Miller, – Peter Woods, Arch Menadue,/ – Jack Tremayne, Fred Bassett, Midget Higgs, Snork Oakley’


For a ‘good time’ is inseparable from the history of footy. While the old ‘Saints Disco’ was demolished recently, in round 7 of 1937, the Footy Record reported that Carlton’s “usual fortnightly dance will be held in the clubrooms to-night. The hosts are Messrs. Cassin, price, Shields and Gill. This is going to be a really enjoyable night. Roll up!’ (p. 6)

Richmond supporters had an array of activities to participate in, hosted by their ‘Queens’: ‘Queen of Supporters, Mrs. M. Fleming; Queen of Committee, Mrs. Frank Donnelly; Queen of Players, Mrs. Jack Titus.’ On offer was a house party in Lyndhurst st, a card evening in Kent st, and a dance at the Memorial Hall, ‘when the third heat of the fox-trot competition will be decided.’ (p. 6)

Indeed, almost every team had a weekly dance, whether mid-week or on Saturday night, and there were plays (by Footscray) and choirs (by Essendon) too (p. 9).

In on-field matters, Melbourne stood at the top of the ladder on 6 wins and no losses, with the rest of the top 4 being Collingwood, Richmond, and St Kilda. At the bottom of the ladder sat Hawthorn, with only one win for the season (South Melbourne also only had one win but they also had a draw, against Richmond, to show for their efforts). (p. 26). ‘Chatterer’ anticipated ‘many interesting changes in other positions on the table’ (p. 4), and we wonder if this will happen in our current-day Round 7 too!

Good luck to all teams, and all supporters, for the weekends footy. And we’re particularly excited to see all the new VFLW teams get started – good luck indeed to them!

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