Peter Falconer 80th

Happy 80th birthday to Peter Falconer.

Career: 1962 – 1963
Debut: Round 1, 1962 v Geelong, aged 24 years, 144 days
Carlton Player No. 744
Games: 24
Goals: 33
Last game: Round 10, 1963 v Melbourne, aged 25 year, 213 days
Guernsey No. 36
Height: 169cm
Weight: 60kg
DOB: 28 November, 1937

Recruited by the Blues from Geelong, where he played 20 games in two seasons including his debut against his old team, Falconer was one of the smallest players ever to pull on a Carlton guernsey.

A nippy, diminutive rover who was a deadly snapshot at goal, he polled 11 Brownlow Medal votes in his first 14 games, and played in Carlton’s 1962 Grand Final loss to Essendon. But his form tapered in his second year, and he managed just ten more appearances before he was delisted.

Falconer was recruited by Geelong from Geelong Amateurs, he also had a stint with Seaford.

The Canberra Times September 21 1962, said of Peter Falconer that he is “the lightest man in the League.” (60kg – 9st 4lb)

Ricky McLean’s 70th

Happy 70th birthday toRicky McLean.

Career : 19661971
Debut : Round 9, 1966 vs Hawthorn, aged 18 years, 222 days
Carlton Player No. 785
Games : 19
Goals : 35
Last Game : Round 13, 1971 vs Essendon, aged 23 years, 230 days
Guernsey No.14
Height : 183 cm ( 6 ft. 0 in.)
Weight : 93 kg ( 14 stone, 9 lbs.)
DOB : November 8, 1947

The son of dual Carlton Premiership ruckman Rod McLean, Roderick “Ricky” McLean took after his father in that he played his football for keeps. A specialist full-forward who was six feet tall and built like the proverbial brick outhouse, McLean charged like a rhinoceros on the lead, and heaven help any friend or foe in his path. He was strong in the air, a generally reliable left-foot kick for goal, and loved nothing more than to intimidate his opponents. But as a consequence, he often ran foul of the umpires, and was suspended for a total of 30 matches during his career.

Coming to Princes Park in 1966 from Moonee Imperials, McLean wore guernsey number 14 for six seasons on Carlton’s senior list, yet managed only 19 senior matches in a stay limited by ankle and hamstring injuries, regular suspensions, and the presence of two other quality full-forwards in Brian Kekovich and Alex Jesaulenko. Although he played his best game for the Blues and booted 7 goals in his second-last match, he requested a clearance at the end of 1971 and joined Richmond the following year.

At Tigerland, McLean found ready acceptance, going on to play another 39 games and boot 103 goals. In the 1972 Carlton-Richmond Grand Final, McLean lined up at full-forward for the Tigers, but strained a hamstring running down the player’s race. He stayed on the ground, kicked two early goals, then tore the tendon again and was off the ground by half-time.

After finishing at Richmond, McLean took his VFL experience back to grassroots football and coached VFA club Sunshine. In 1977, he mentored Ascot Vale on Saturdays, then flew to Queensland to play in the State League on a Sunday. He also coached Riddell District club Sunbury in 1986.

Ricky’s talented nephew; Brock McLean, had played 94 games for Melbourne before he crossed to Carlton in a high-profile trade prior to the 2010 season. Brock wore guernsey number 7 in his injury-marred first year with the Blues, but swapped to number 14 in 2011 in honour of his uncle and grandfather.

Mark Athorn’s 50th

Happy 50th birthday to Mark Athorn.

Career: 19921993
Debut: Round 1, 1992 vs Brisbane, aged 24 years, 135 days
Carlton Player No. 975
Games: 30
Goals: 6
Guernsey No. 25
Last Game: Grand Final, 1993 vs Essendon, aged 25 years, 322 days
Height: 178cm
Weight: 76kg
DOB: 7 November, 1967

Look up the word ‘journeyman’ in the AFL Dictionary is a picture of Mark Athorn, sitting next to other 4-clubbers such as Stuart Wigney, Adrian Fletcher and Phil Carman. Athorn, who wore the number 25 for the Blues, played 17 games for the Dogs, 21 for Fitzroy and 15 for the Swans before coming to Carlton at the end of 1991, he had originally started out with Essendon U/19’s.

In 30 games for the Blues, the right footed tagger played some good football, but perhaps Athorn is more remembered for his tagging attempts on Michael Long in our unsuccessful 1993 Grand Final. Constantly bumping the dangerous Long, then at the height of his powers and pace, Athorn was trying hard to put Long off his game. But history shall record that Long, a champion Bomber, played a brilliant game to win the Norm Smith Medal and left Athorn in his wake.

According to our records, Athorn did not play another game for Carlton, his last club. Overall, Athorn would play 83 games of VFL / AFL footy.

Athorn was originally from East Keilor.

Career Highlights

1993 – Reserves Best & Fairest Award
1994 – 6th Reserves Best & Fairest

Fond memories of Father Gerry

Tony De Bolfo, Carlton Media

It’s thought that the late Carlton Football Club Chaplain Father Gerry Briglia first graced Princes Park with his considerable presence in the Premiership year of 1968, when an uncle, Dr. Emil (“Billy”) Briglia, assumed duties as club doctor.

Of no doubt is that for more than a decade through that glorious epoch that began with Barassi, Carlton’s man of the cloth made a truly indelible impression.

The 220-game Carlton premiership player Rod Austin remembered Father Gerry as “a real character and a mad Carlton supporter”, whose resounding authoritative voice and manic laugh made an immediate impression in conversation.

“He was a good bloke, he was funny, and he had a lot of personality,” Austin said. “He was around a fair bit and he was good value.”

The two-time Carlton Premiership player Barry Gill was even more glowing. Said Gill: “I consider Father Gerry one of the few people who have left an impression on me”.

The pipe-smoking Father Gerry hailed from a family of accomplished musicians. His grandfather, the Neapolitan Giuseppe Brigila, was a fixture in the musical life of this city for some 60 years, and, in the heyday of silent film, conducted and controlled orchestras.

Not surprisingly, Giuseppe was widely considered Melbourne’s “Mr. Music”.

Father Gerry was a Blues man through and through and left a lasting impression on many at the Club. (Photos: Supplied)

Giuseppe was survived by his wife Rosina, four sons and four daughters at his death in 1960, with three of his boys having followed him into music – Carlo (Gerry’s father) on violin, Frank on piano and Bert the bassoon. The fourth son, Tony, died in 1945, from an illness contracted while serving on H.M.A.S. Australia.

Though Father Gerry ultimately pursued a religious vocation (initially serving as Assistant Priest at St Patrick’s Cathedral and Moreland Parish, that kindred love for composition saw him undertake studies at the University Conservatorium of Music in January 1958 and (later) Sacred Music at Corpus Christi College, Glen Waverley.

Through the 1960s, Father Gerry served as a staff member of the Catholic Education Office, and Lecturer and Tutor at Oakleigh’s Chris College. He was later appointed inaugural parish priest of Aspendale’s St Louis de Montfort’s Church, a position he held between 1971 and the Carlton Premiership year of 1979.

By then, Father Gerry had truly forged his reputation amongst the Carlton Football Club’s many and varied characters, most notably its pliable footballers.

“I wasn’t a person of his faith, I didn’t have a lot to do with him in terms of sourcing information, but he was a remarkable person socially and he was someone I had enormous respect for,” Gill said recently.

“He was the sort of person anyone could talk to and gain great confidence and faith in, and his laugh – a cackle it was – really sticks in my mind. In fact, I just mentioned Father Briglia’s name to my brother John and he immediately started cackling.

“Father Briglia was a character. He was a priest but he was one of the boys. He was able to mix in with the players and he was a great support. He was an Honorary Member of The Carltonians, which was a feather in his cap really, because The Carltonians, at that stage of their history were an exclusive coterie. I remember he used to wear the CFC monogram on the front of his vest.”

David ‘Swan’ McKay remembered that when David Triaca oversaw the running of the Café Latin at 55 Lonsdale Street, Father Gerry took select Carlton recruits, himself included, to the famous Melbourne eatery.

“Not only was it a wonderful experience at one of the city’s best if not the best restaurant at the time, but Father Gerry was a magnificent host who provided wonderful pastoral guidance to young, impressionable and very naïve players from the bush and interstate. He was a wonderful influence around the club,” McKay said.

“He also officiated at many Carlton weddings and funerals over the years. I am pretty sure he married Geoff and Lorraine Southby and he also officiated at John O’Connell’s funeral.”

Father Gerry indeed acted as a celebrant at the marriage of the dual Carlton Premiership player Geoff Southby – who this week related what is perhaps the most famous tale involving the legendary Chaplain in his time at Princes Park.

“Father Briglia joined us on the All Stars world tour to Singapore, London, Paris and Greece after we won the Grand Final in ’72,” Southby recalled.

“I remember he organised through his contacts a ferry from London across to Paris and hotel accommodation for about 40 players, but the catch was that we had to check in as married couples, and I checked in with Bryan Quirk.

The three-time Carlton Premiership player Adrian Gallagher, who remembered Father Briglia as “always happy, always fun”, takes up the story;

“We were in London between our match-day engagements when Father Briglia asked ‘Who wants to go for a weekend in Paris?’. Everyone looked at eachother rather incredulously, but Father Briglia arranged for the transport and the accommodation.

“We got to the hotel and were waiting in a bus outside when we saw Father Briglia arguing with some French bloke. We later found out that as the hotel rooms were only fitted out with double beds, only married couples could sleep in them. It was 1972 after all.

“In the end we had to check in as husband and wife, and you weren’t going to get an ugly one were you? – ‘Adrian Gallagher, Alex Jesaulenko’. I remember Father Gerry checked in with the then secretary Bert Deacon, so you had a Catholic Chaplain sleeping with an Anglican Deacon, which was rather amusing.”

From early 1982 until his untimely passing, Father Gerry officiated as Parish Priest at St Damian’s Bundoora. As with Carlton in the early days, he quickly immersed himself in club life on Plenty Road, at the nearby Old Paradians’ Amateur Football Club which has, over the years, opened its doors to many and varied ancillary types, this correspondent included.

It was there that I once got to ask Fr. Gerry when his time at Carlton actually ended. “1980,” came the reply. “I went out with George” – a none-too-subtle throwback to the ousting of Harris and Alex Jesaulenko at the Extraordinary General Meeting of Members at Festival Hall.

The Reverend Father Daniel Gerard (“Gerry”) Briglia P.E., died at St. Vincent’s Private Hospital on April 18, 2000. His brothers Jim (also a Catholic priest) and Roland (a barrister) have since passed on also.

A first cousin, Paul Briglia, knew Father Gerry on a different level, but spoke in similar tones to Messrs Gallagher, Gill and co.

“Gerry was just a great guy an I was very sad when he left us,” Paul said. “He used to make the family gatherings more exciting just by being there.”

Father Gerry was only 68 at the time of his death, and to quote Southby: “He loved a red wine and he loved a smoke of the pipe, which is what got him in the end as he died of throat cancer”.

“He was highly-respected as a man you could go to, particularly amongst we Catholics,” Southby added. “But he was well-regarded right across the board, and the players saw him as one of the boys in many ways although he was able to keep his distance a bit in his professionalism as a man of the cloth.”

“He was a great man for the club even if, in the finish, he backed the wrong horse and went out with Harris. But he was a loyal George man, very pro-George, and he loved ‘Jezza’ (Alex Jesaulenko) too.”

Following his funeral service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Father Gerry was buried in the Christian Brother’s Cemetery to the rear of Parade College’s Bundoora campus. As the plaque on his headstone attests, he died in the 44th year of his priesthood.

Father Gerry will always be remembered as a larakin with a generous heart. (Photo: Carlton Media) 

Today, more than 17 years after his passing, this truly unique individual’s memory endures at the Old Paradians, by way of the Father Gerry Briglia Award for the club’s most improved senior player.

And at Carlton, the Reverend Steve Webster capably serves on a part-time basis as honorary Chaplain to the players and staff, thereby upholding the tradition so colourfully set by Father Gerry.

For wise heads of Southby’s ilk, the club Chaplain’s presence is truly vital – even moreso in today’s cut and thrust. As he said: “Mentor figures like Father Gerry have a genuinely neutral and independent view on life generally, and are vitally important to players who see them as go-to figures for guidance outside the real nitty gritty”.

Peter Bosustow’s 60th

Happy 60th birthday to Peter Bosustow.

Career : 19811983
Debut : Round 1, 1981 vs Richmond, aged 23 years, 152 days
Carlton Player No. 888
Games : 65
Goals : 146
Last Game : Round 21, 1983 vs North Melbourne, aged 25 years, 296 days
Guernsey No. 4
Height : 183 cm (6 ft. 0 in.)
Weight : 85 kg (13 stone, 5 lbs.)
DOB : 27 October, 1957
Premiership Player 1981, 1982
Club Leading Goalkicker 1981 (59 goals)

Another champion from Western Australia, Peter Robert Bosustow spent only three seasons at Carlton from 1981 to 1983 – but his impact during his all too brief career blazed his name into the history of the Navy Blues. The son of Bob Bosustow, who had played 20 games for Carlton in seasons 1955-56, “Buzz” Bosustow was a brilliant, mercurial match-winner – a freakish high mark, a magical ball-handler, and a deadly sharpshooter at goal. Although prone to inconsistency, he was an outstanding big match performer whose cat-like reflexes and uncanny anticipation thrilled friend and foe alike.

During his 65 games in Carlton’s guernsey number 4, Bosustow kicked 146 goals at an average of better than two per game, and suffered defeat only 15 times. He was instrumental in Carlton’s glorious 1981 and ’82 Premiership double, and led the Blues’ goal-kicking in 1981 with 59 goals. Few players in the history of VFL/AFL football have had a more spectacular debut year than “The Buzz,” who also won Mark of the Year, Goal of the Year as well as a Premiership medal in his first season in Victoria.

Earlier, Bosustow had played throughout his junior football career with the Victoria Park Raiders, before following in his father’s footsteps and joining the Perth Demons in 1975. It was a very fortuitous time for the 17 year-old, because the Demons were on the verge of a golden era. Bosustow took a year or so to establish himself under legendary coach Ken Armstrong, and was a reserve in the club’s 1977 WAFL Grand Final victory over East Fremantle. But the following year, he kicked seven of Perth’s 12 goals when the Demons lost the Grand Final to East Perth by two points, and in the opinion of more than one good judge, was desperately unlucky not to be awarded the Simpson Medal as best on ground.

By 1980, “Buzza” was one of the stars of the WAFL. Already a Premiership player, a two-time leading goal-kicker for the Demons, and a WA state representative on four occasions, he was pursued hard by a number of VFL clubs, although the Blues had the inside running for his signature because of his father’s previous affiliation. After flying both Bob and Peter to their round 9, 1980 Sunday game against Essendon in Sydney, the Blues gained their prized signature at last, under the Father-Son rule then in place. “I was that excited that I was going to wear the Navy Blue jumper,” Bosustow said later. “It wasn’t a fluke that I chose Carlton. I had two players that I really wanted to play football with – one was Wayne Johnston, and the other was Mark Maclure”. Throughout the next two seasons in particular, this trio was to form one of the greatest half-forward lines in Carlton’s history.

Almost from the moment he arrived at Princes Park, Bosustow gate-crashed a Carlton squad that just two years previously had won the VFL flag, then blown the opportunity to make it two in a row in 1980. Under a new coach in David Parkin the club was hell-bent on redemption, and had assembled a team list as classy as any other in the club’s history. Parkin‘s coaching style demanded discipline in all aspects of the game, but he quickly recognised that in “The Buzz” he had a rare talent – a player who flourished without restraint, who relished a personal challenge, and was capable of wresting the initiative from any rival with just a quarter or two of football magic. Under Parkin, Bosustow’s impact on his new team and the competition was dramatic, and immediate.

In only his second game – during the second quarter of Carlton’s Round 2, 1981 match against Hawthorn at Princes Park, the Blues were kicking to the scoreboard end when “Buzz” marked out on the wing, chip-passed to Wayne Johnston and sprinted hard to create the loose man. His opponent – Hawthorn hard man Robert Dipierdomenico – ran to block him, but Bosustow dipped his shoulder and crashed through the beefy Hawk right in front of the old press box. A resounding crack was heard (to the roar of an adoring throng) and “Dipper’s” season was prematurely ended by a broken sternum.

Seven weeks later, shortly after he was famously described as a “good, ordinary player” by the legendary Jack Dyer, Bosustow soared for some spectacular marks and kicked eight goals to spearhead the Blues to a 99-point demolition of South Melbourne at Princes Park. By August, Carlton were on top of the ladder and about to celebrate Bruce Doull’s 250th game for the club, when Geelong arrived at Princes Park for the match of the day. However, the abiding memory thereafter for the huge crowd on that afternoon was Bosustow’s breathtaking Mark of the Year in the forward pocket at the Heatley Stand end. Launching himself into the stratosphere above Geelong ruckman John Mossop (and another noted aerialist in Carlton’s David McKay) “Buzz” took an absolute screamer on his chest. It took him an eternity to line up for the easy goal that followed, such was the excitement among the crowd.

That September, the same two sides met again in the second Semi Final at Waverley Park, and the Bosustow Show produced more excitement when he smothered the ball off the boot of Cat Ian Nankervis, and snapped a brilliant angled goal over his shoulder in a solo effort later judged Goal of the Year. Completing a fairytale first season, Carlton went on to steamroll Collingwood in the last quarter of the 1981 Grand Final, allowing “Buzz” to finish the year as a Premiership player, Carlton’s leading goal-kicker, and a bona fide star of the VFL.

Bosustow began 1982 in similar fashion, booting six goals against Hawthorn in round 4, and another half-dozen against the Sydney Swans in a record-breaking win by 102 points at Princes Park in round 9. Carlton finished the home and away season third on the ladder behind Richmond and Hawthorn, before clawing their way through to another Grand Final against the Tigers. Having played one less final and having comfortably defeated the Blues in the second Semi Final, Richmond started the decider as warm favourites, but Carlton dug deeper when it counted most and emerged victorious by 18 points in front of 107,000 at the MCG. Two flags in two years was a dream come true for Bosustow, whose tally of 47 goals for the season was only beaten by another West Australian, Ross Ditchburn, who booted 61 majors to top the Blues’ list.

Injury delayed the start of Bosustow’s 1983 season until round 3, but his 13 big marks and six goals in a 10-point win over Collingwood was worth the wait, and prompted David Parkin to remark, “In the end, he was the difference between the two sides. He can really play footy when he makes up his mind that he wants to.” Another haul of six majors against Geelong in round 6 added some momentum to the Blues, but a spate of late-season injuries and a couple of incidents during the round 21 match against North Melbourne at Princes Park in late August ultimately derailed Carlton’s title defence.

During a torrid first quarter, “Buzz” was reported for striking North Melbourne opponents in two separate incidents, and subsequently rubbed out for four weeks. This meant that he could only play again that year if Carlton made the Grand Final – which they were not able to do. In what turned out to be a prophetic statement, a clearly upset Bosustow stated after his tribunal appearance; “I am absolutely shattered. When the sentence was delivered, I thought my career in Melbourne was all over.” Unfortunately for Bosustow and Carlton’s many thousands of disappointed supporters, it was.

In 1984, “Buzza” returned to WA and the Perth football Club, where he was once again the Demon’s top goal-kicker, and represented his home state in matches against Victoria and South Australia. The lure of VFL football remained strong however, and two years later he arrived back at Princes Park for another crack at the big time. He had almost completed pre-season training when he trod on a sprinkler head, and damaged an ankle so badly that was able to run again until late in the year. By then his time had passed, and another future champion in ‘Sticks’ Kernahan had claimed the No. 4 guernsey.

As well as his exploits at Carlton, Bosustow played 141 senior games for Perth from 1975 to 1980, 1984 to 1985, and 1987. In all, he kicked 357 goals and was the Demons’ leading goal-kicker three times, with a season’s high of 75 in 1980. He represented Western Australia eight times, booting 17 goals, and was named on the half-forward flank in Perth’s Team of the Century (1899 – 1999).


During an interview some years afterward, Bosustow revealed that he had had a strong premonition that he would take his Mark of the Year in that match against Geelong, and beforehand, had promised Mark Maclure a ride in his new car.

While playing at Carlton, Bosustow boarded with the club’s doorman, roustabout and legendary character Leo Brooks, who was the grandfather of infamous underworld identities Mark and Jason Moran. Among of a number of other country and interstate recruits looked after by the Brooks family at their home in Drummond St., Carlton was future club captain (and AFL Commission President) Mike Fitzpatrick.

Bosustow played eight inter-state matches for WA, the first in 1978, and the last ten seasons later, when WA suffered a shock loss to NSW during the 1988 AFL Bicentenary Carnival in Adelaide. NSW, coached by Tom Hafey and captained by Terry Daniher, knocked over their more fancied rivals by two points. Besides Bosustow, four other players in that WA team; Richard Dennis, Earl Spalding, John Worsfold and Dean Laidley, would later join Carlton as either players or coaches.

Peter’s son, Brent Bosustow, played 15 games for South Fremantle in the WAFL between 2003 and 2006, and one game for Swan Districts in 2007. He was named the South Fremantle Colts’ Best and Fairest player in their 2003 Premiership season, but turned down a position on Carlton’s Rookie list to pursue a career in business.

In 2014, amid celebrations of Carlton’s 150th year of competition, the club produced a list of the Blues’ 150 greatest players. A furore erupted when Peter Bosustow was left out – because his career did not fulfil the criteria of 50 games played over five seasons. It had taken him only three seasons to reach 65 games.


50 Games: Round 5, 1983 vs Fitzroy
100 Goals: Round 22, 1982 vs Fitzroy

Career Highlights

1981 – Premiership Player
1981 – 6th Best & Fairest
1981 – Leading Goalkicker
1981 – Mark of the Year
1981 – Goal of the Year
1982 – Premiership Player
1983 – Night Premiership Player

Rare photo brings focus to Blues tragedy

Tony De Bolfo, Carlton Media

AFTER 120 years, the Carlton Football Club, with the assistance of Melbourne Grammar School, has sourced its first image of the ruck-rover William ‘Brickie’ Woodhouse, a member of this club’s inaugural senior League team of 1897. 

Of the 20 Carlton players who took to the field to herald the commencement of the fledgling VFL season, Woodhouse is the seventh whose photograph now finds a home in the archive. 

Woodhouse followed the then Carlton captain Jimmy Aitken down the race and onto Brunswick Street Oval for the opening round match with Fitzroy on the afternoon of Saturday, May 8, 1897.

Regrettably, this story also carries a tragic post-script, but more of that later.

William Theodore Woodhouse was born in East St Kilda on September 14, 1873. He made an early impression as a student at Melbourne Grammar, where it was said his sporting achievements overshadowed his academic pursuits.

Nicknamed ‘Brickie’ for reasons unknown, Woodhouse joined the Grammarians in 1888 and completed his matriculation in 1891. In that final year, Woodhouse represented both their 1st XVIII and 1st XI outfits, and cuts an imposing figure in both team photographs.  

Melbourne Grammar School 1st XVIII 1891, William Woodhouse second from left at rear. (Image courtesy of Melbourne Grammar)

Melbourne Grammar 1st XI 1891, Woodhouse middle row, second from right. (Image courtesy of Melbourne Grammar)

In 1892, Woodhouse founded the Melbourne Hare and Hounds, a precursor to the Old Melburnians Athletic Club, which convened various runs and competitions.

A founding member of the Hare and Hounds was Edwin Flack, this nation’s first Olympic Gold Medallist.

It was around this time that Woodhouse first chased the leather for VFA club St Kilda. He then ventured to Broken Hill, briefly combining work with football, before returning to Melbourne and aligning with Carlton.

Woodhouse is said to have first represented the old dark Navy Blues in 28 matches through the VFA seasons of 1894, ’5 and ’6, during which time he also contributed at committee level. He would add 10 League games to that tally – the last of them, at age 23, in the 14th and final round match of 1897 against Collingwood at Victoria Park – and at the 1898 Annual General Meeting was presented with a Long Service certificate.

A week after Woodhouse’s passing in Launceston on November 24, 1934, The Argus reported the following; 

The funeral took place at Brighton Cemetery yesterday of William T. Woodhouse, formerly of Park Street St. Kilda, who had for many years conducted a chemist’s business that was established by his father more than 60 years ago at St. Kilda.

In his youth Mr. William T. Woodhouse was a well known athlete. He was a founder of the Melbourne Hare and Hounds, and he played League football for many years with the Carlton and St. Kilda clubs.

He was also a leading member of the Royal St. Kilda Yacht Club.

While he was recuperating in Tasmania from an attack of influenza he died suddenly from heart trouble.

He was born in St Kilda, and passed away November 24 1934 in Launceston aged 61.

Woodhouse was married with three daughters and a son.

However, the Launceston Examiner of November 28, 1934 carried a different report;


Man Found Dead in Hotel

LAUNCESTON, Tuesday. – A verdict that William Theodore Woodhouse, whose body was found at the Enfield Hotel on Sunday, died by his own act from taking poison was returned by the Coroner (Mr. E. L. Hall) at an inquest at Launceston to-day.

John Woodhouse, a chemist, of Melbourne, son of the dead man, said he had identified a body at the morgue at the Launceston Public Hospital that morning as that of his father, who was a chemist, and lived at 56 Park Street, St. Kilda. He was 61 years of age. Witness last saw him alive at 2 p.m. on Friday last, when he left Melbourne on the Nairana to spend a holiday in Tasmania. His father had an attack of influenza about a fortnight ago, but seemed to have recovered. Witness could not account for his taking his life, and said he had no worries. He identified the writing produced as that of his father.

Verdict of suicide at inquest into death of William Theodore Woodhouse at Enfield Hotel, Launceston, on November 25. 

The sad demise of Woodhouse is but one of a number of former player suicides, while others have died in unusual circumstances.

One is James Francis Caffery, who managed 12 senior appearances for the Club in that maiden season of ’97.

While club records confirm that Caffery died in 1918 at the age of 46, Robert has provided more detail, in sourcing a newspaper account, dated June 10 of that year, beneath the headline A Sudden Death, which offers a small glimpse into the man’s life beyond the football field.

On the arrival of the 4.45p.m. Oakleigh train at Flinders-street station on Saturday, the body of James Francis Caffery, 46 years, was found by a porter on the seat if a first class carriage. The body was taken in a St. John’s ambulance to Melbourne Hospital, where Dr. Leckie pronounced life extinct. It appears that Caffery, who lived in a confectioner’s shop at 189 Exhibition-street, city, went to Sandown Park races on Saturday with his son. About 3.30 p.m. according to the son’s statement, he complained of a pain in the chest, and left the course with the intention of going home. Prior to Saturday, Caffery had been in good health. It is thought that he collapsed in the train as the result of heart trouble.

Another unfortunate is Walter McKenzie, the one-game Carlton player of 1902 recruited to the club from the nearby Carlton Imperials. McKenzie died in Morwell on February 9, 1931, in a road accident.

McKenzie was riding a pushbike when it was struck by an Overland motor car driven by Norman McDonald on the Morwell-Yinnar road, about four miles from Morwell. His body was identified at St. Hilary’s private hospital by his step brother Charles James McKenzie, a bacon curer residing at Sale.

In a local newspaper dated February 20, 1931, the following was reported;

A verdict was returned that the deceased Alexander McKenzie died at Morwell on the ninth day of February, 1931, from fracture of skull and other injuries caused by collision with motor car at Hazelwood, such injuries received by the said Alexander McKenzie accidentally and by misfortune.

Then there is the 11-game Carlton player of 1897, Henry Huston (‘Harry’) Morgan, whose sad life was matched by a wretched demise.

Born in Melbourne on February 17, 1871, Morgan was 22 when he exchanged vows with Emma Maria. Sadly, the marriage would not last as the following newspaper account of 1916 revealed;

. . . Henry Huston Morgan, labourer, 44 years, sought divorce from Emma Maria Morgan, 39 years on the ground of desertion. The marriage took place on 6th April, 1893, and there were three children. After living in various districts in South Australia petitioner and the children came to Melbourne in 1902, and respondent said she could come later. She, however, wrote from South Australia stating that she had parted for ever.

A decree nisi was granted.

On November 11, 1924, The Argus reported that the body of Henry Morgan, 54, an inmate of the Victorian Home for the Aged and Infirm at Royal Park, was found in a channel which runs through the grounds on 6th inst. Michael George Hickey, an inmate of the home, said deceased was in the habit of wandering down the banks of the channel. On the night of the 5th inst. heavy rain had fallen, and the channel rose as a result to a height of 6 feet. The next morning, at 6 o’clock, he discovered the body lying in the channel, which, however, then had only about a foot of running water.

A verdict of death by accidental drowning was recorded, the coroner Mr Berriman ruling there was insufficient evidence to show how Morgan came to be in the creek.

But a family notice subsequently placed by the Morgans revealed that the late Carlton footballer was not untouched by wartime scourge.

MORGAN. – On the 5th November, Henry Huston Morgan, formerly of Palmerston street, Carlton, and loving father of Henry (deceased, late of A.I.F.), Violet (Mrs. A. Robertson), and Daisy (Mrs. J. Boyce), aged 52 years (sic). (Privately interred on 7th November.)