Three-time premiership player Neil Chandler passes away

Vale, Neil Chandler.

NEIL Chandler – whose 76 senior appearances for Carlton included the famous Grand Final victories of 1968, ’70 and ’72 – has passed away suddenly at the age of 73.

On the recommendation and the former Carlton ruckman and then Morwell coach Graham Donaldson, Chandler was recruited to the Club from the South Gippsland regional town of Welshpool. It was the summer of 1967 and Chandler suddenly found himself sharing locker space with the likes of Alex Jesaulenko and Brian Kekovich, all budding recruits under Ron Barassi’s watch.

In the presence of champions through a golden epoch in Carlton history, the understated ruck-rover who first wore the No.47 and later the No.22 contributed significantly to the Club’s on-field cause.

In the Round 14 of 1968, at just 19 years and 75 days, Chandler completed his senior debut against Essendon at that most inhospitable of venues, Windy Hill. The visitors went down by a goal in that one, but Chandler was a dozen games from Grand Final greatness and revenge was swift.

In the low-scoring Grand Final of ’68 against Essendon, having shared bench space with the late Peter McLean, Chandler held up his end with a number of crucially contested marks in midfield; in the unforgettable Grand Final of ’70 against Collingwood he again played his part in what was perhaps the game’s greatest come-from-behind victory; and in the ’72 Grand Final against Richmond – in what was his 50th senior appearance – he contributed one of his team’s record-breaking 28 goals off a wing.

Adrian Gallagher, the 165-game Carlton rover who hailed from the South Gippsland township of Yarram, turned out at Windy Hill when Chandler completed his senior debut — and like Chandler savoured the sugarsweet Grand Final successes of 1968, ’70 and ’72.

“Neil was in the right place at the right time, three premierships in 50 games, and he was an important player in each of them,” Gallagher said.

“He took those important marks late in the ’68 Grand Final and was an important replacement for ‘Gooldy’ (John Goold) in the Grand Final two years later.

“He was a ruck-rover-type and ‘Barass’ loved him. He played the game in the right manner and he was an excellent bloke. He was a great country boy, straight off the farm, and he and I always liked to talk about the local footy back home. He was always measured and he was very laidback.”

Chandler’s on-field career ended in 1974 with six senior appearances for St Kilda – Carlton’s opponent at Marvel Stadium next Friday night – but in the ensuing years he always partook in the various premiership reunions and club functions.

He was on hand at Carlton’s Life Members Luncheon at Kew Golf Club back in March and more recently at a gathering of 13 of the surviving 18 of the ’72 Grand Finial when the Blues and Richmond met at the MCG in the opening round.

He would have been a welcome presence at the upcoming 1972 premiership reunion at Marvel Stadium. Sadly, that is not to be.

Chandler was the 806th player to represent the Carlton Football Club at senior level since the formation of the Victorian Football League.

The Carlton senior players will wear black armbands as a mark of respect for the late Chandler in Saturday afternoon’s match with Fremantle at Marvel Stadium.

Wayne Harmes 1988 and entire career – New Video


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Vale, John Lloyd

The Carlton Football Club’s tribute to John Lloyd.

JOHN Lloyd, the Carlton half-back in the early years under Ron Barassi’s watch, and patriarch of the Lloyd football family, has passed away after a long illness at the age of 77.

Recruited to the club from Yarrawonga in what was Barassi’s maiden season as Carlton captain-coach, Lloyd was handed the No.18 guernsey now worn by Sam Walsh – and locker space between the 1964 Brownlow Medallist Gordon Collis at No.17 and the ’68 premiership back pocket Ian Collins at 19.

“They were terrific days,” Lloyd recalled in an interview with this reporter eight years ago. “Barassi recruited me to Carlton in ’65 and it was a really good time. There was so much change with him coming to the Club as playing coach, and it was really exciting.”

It was in Round 4 of 1965, against North Melbourne at Princes Park, that Lloyd emerged from the dugout and took his place on the field for the first time. The home team thumped North by 63 points in that one, with Jim ‘Frosty’ Miller booting five goals and the late Terry Board adjudged best afield.

Lloyd’s senior career at Carlton would span three seasons and 29 matches – the last of them the 1967 second semi final against Richmond, when opposition ruckman Neville Crowe was found guilty of striking John Nicholls and duly suspended, thereby depriving him of his place in the Tigers victorious ’67 Grand Final team.

John Lloyd presents Sam Walsh with his No.18 guernsey prior to Walsh’s first game in March 2019.

At the time, Lloyd’s 29 outings for Carlton would have been more than enough to ensure son Matthew also donned the dark Navy Blue guernsey.

“Earlier in the piece, 20 games was the number required, and I had 29 to my name,” Lloyd said.

“Carlton had talked about drafting Matt under the father-son rule, but he was only 13 or 14 at that stage and by the time he was due to be drafted the rule was changed from 20 to 50 games – and that was it.”

Regrettably the club fell foul of the red tape, and whereas John never once put the football over the goal umpire’s hat, Matthew would boot 926 career goals for Essendon.

Lloyd was a welcome guest at The Plenary for Carlton’s 150th anniversary celebrations in June 2014.

That night, he talked of the sheer privilege of renewing acquaintances with old Princes Park contemporaries, ‘Barass’ included.

“I’ve seen Adrian Gallagher, Barry Gill, John Gill and Jimmy Pleydell, and I’ve been doing the rounds trying to get to a few more,” Lloyd said towards the end of proceedings.

“But there’s so many in the house that I can’t get to them all unfortunately.”

John Lloyd at Carlton’s 150th anniversary celebrations in June 2014.

To the end, John maintained an interest in the on-field fortunes of his former club – particularly so with son Brad’s involvement as Carlton’s Head of Football but he was equally invested in Matthew’s post-football media career and Simon’s progression as Geelong’s General Manager – Football.

Carlton CEO Brian Cook paid tribute to Lloyd’s legacy to the game.

“On behalf of the Carlton Football Club, we send our deepest condolences to the Lloyd family, following the passing of John,” Cook said.

“John paved the way for his family, who have given such outstanding service to football across such a long period of time, a lasting legacy that would no doubt make his family incredibly proud.”

John Lloyd was the 773rd player to represent Carlton at senior League level. The Carlton Football Club mourns John’s passing and extends its deepest sympathies to all members of the Lloyd family.

Coleman Medallists Tom and Harry cross paths at Carlton

A meeting between Carlton’s inaugural and reigning Coleman Medallists.

PICTURED here for posterity are Carlton’s inaugural and reigning John Coleman Medallists – Tom Carroll (to the right of the photograph) and Harry McKay – after meeting for the first time at IKON Park in the lead-up to the team’s Round 10 match with Sydney.

Sixty years separates their achievements – Carroll having earned the medal retrospectively for his 54-goal return from 18 home-and-away matches from full-forward in his inaugural season of 1961, and Harry having won the medal for the competition’s leading goalkicker with 58 from 19 last year – both at the healthy average of three goals a game.

“Harry made me look like a rover,” Carroll dryly suggested afterwards. “It was lovely to meet him at the Club, and I also got to talk to ‘Diesel’ (Greg Williams) and Sam Walsh.

“I also got to say g’day to ‘Vossy’ (Michael Voss) and Matthew Kennedy, who came from Collingullie, not far from Ganmain.”

Recruited to Carlton from Ganmain in the Riverina and now living quietly in Albury, the 82 year-old Carroll, a guest of the Carlton President for the Swans match, is like most former players buoyed by the current group’s recent performances – “and having used 36 players the depth is obviously good”.

Charles Boyles’ glass negative of Tom Carroll, pictured in front of the Ald. Gardiner Stand at Princes Park, circa 1961.

At Carlton, Carroll opted for the flat punt throughout his 55 senior matches over three seasons, during which time he took the Club’s goalkicking honours with the Coleman Medal-winning 54 in 1961, 62 in 1962 and 27 in 1963.

So named after John Coleman, the Australian Football Hall of Fame Legend who booted 537 goals in 98 senior appearances for Essendon, the Coleman Medal was first presented to former Richmond full-forward Michael Roach in 1981.

In September 2001, the League recognised all leading goalkickers prior to Roach’s victory – from 1955 (the year after Coleman’s last match) to 1980 – and all including Carroll were named retrospective Coleman Medallists.

Winners prior to 1955 – at Carlton Mick Grace (45 goals, 1906), Ern Cowley (35 goals, 1918), ‘Horrie’ Clover (54 goals, 1922) and Harry Vallence (72 goals, 1931) – were also named Leading Goalkicker Medallists, and in July 2004 medals were presented to their surviving families in a ceremony at the Melbourne Town Hall.

Coleman Medallists Brendan Fevola and Tom Carroll at Lavington in 2012. (Photo: Stephen Hicks)

Aside from Carroll and McKay, former Carlton full-forward Brendan Fevola is a two-time winner with 84 goals in 2006 and 86 in 2009.

Ten years ago, Carroll and Fevola were photographed together at Lavington.

Tom with fellow Carlton greats John Nicholls and Syd Jackson. (Photo: Supplied)

In the aftermath of the stirring Carlton-Sydney contest, Tom’s son Dean Carroll said the following:

“Thanks to Shane O’Sullivan and the club, Mum and Dad have had a special couple of days at Carlton and at last night’s President’s Dinner.

“Dad hadn’t been back inside the club for a lot of years – the ‘70s was the last time he reckons! It was pretty surreal for Dad to walk in the door last night and meet ‘Big Nick’ and Syd Jackson straight up! They had a great 15-20mins or so together.

“The dinner was great, Dad was able to mingle pre-game and he loved the Blues’ win!”