The Spirit of Carlton Past and Present would like to extend its condolences to the James family upon learning that John James passed away in his Robinvale house this morning (8th of December) at the age of 76. John James was a multiple best and fairest winner, brownlow medallist, team of the century and hall of fame member and a much loved part of the Carlton family.
Carlton Brownlow Medallist John James dies
By Tony De Bolfo
James, recruited to Carlton from the famed football college, St Pat’s Ballarat, in the lead-up to the 1953 season, completed his debut against Footscray at Princes Park in the opening round of that year.
Initially employed as a half-forward at Carlton, James earned best first year player honours from the late Max Wenn, and yet the unhealthy goalkicking tally of 8.43 for the season perhaps hastened his relocation to back half, which was of course the making of him as a pre-eminent League footballer.
James, together with centre half-back Peter Webster and the late Denis Zeunert formed one of the more formidable Carlton half-back lines of the mid-1950s.
Zeunert, who together with centre half-back Peter Webster and James formed one of the more formidable Carlton half-back lines, once said of James: “I don’t know whether he had a magnet in his shorts or what, but he could be running the other way and the ball would always bounce into his arms”.
“He had a terrific reading of the game,” said Zeunert.