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John "Joe" Paton

Career : 1897
Debut : Inception Blue - Round 1, 1897 vs Fitzroy, aged 18 years, 245 days
Carlton Player No. 16
Games : 5 (Plus at least 4 V.F.A. matches)
Goals : 0 (3 V.F.A. goals)
Last Game : Round 5, 1897 vs Melbourne aged 18 years, 273 days
Height : ?
Weight : ?
DOB : August 21, 1878

Joe Paton played in Carlton’s first five matches in the Victorian Football League, without appearing in a match at Princes Park, without scoring a goal, and without celebrating a win.

Born John Martin Paton in Williamstown in 1878, he was better known as Joe Paton during his early football career at northern suburbs club Albion United, and later with Carlton in the VFA. When the Blues agreed to join the breakaway VFL in 1897, Paton was one of fifteen regular senior players who were included in the line-up for our debut in the new competition, against Fitzroy at the Brunswick Street Oval on Saturday, May 8, 1897.

A VFL team of that era was comprised of twenty players, but no reserves. All twenty took to the field, with four men designated as followers. These days we call them ruckmen, ruck-rovers and rovers. In 1897, they were simply followers. Joe Paton was part of the Blues’ on-ball division against Fitzroy, on a momentous day when the Maroons got off to the perfect start at our expense. Paton held his place in the team throughout the next four weeks of despair for the Carlton Football Club, while the Blues strove to get Princes Park ready to host the ground's first VFL match. We played away each week and were beaten in turn by South Melbourne, Essendon and Geelong.

In round five we met Melbourne at the MCG, and suffered a thrashing by 81 points. This stood as the Redlegs’ greatest winning margin against Carlton for more than 100 years, and obviously convinced Joe Paton that his time as a VFL player with Carlton was over.

Paton transferred to North Melbourne at the start of 1898.

Joe passed away at the age of 73 on August 21, 1952.


Victorian Football Association
Games: 4 (details incomplete)
Goals: 3
Career: 1896


1896 May 2
First round of the '96 season, the Blues had the bye.
Paton named in Carlton squad that played the Ballarat Imps in Ballarat at Saxon Field.

1896 May 23
Paton's name first appears in the victorious Carlton side that played Richmond at Punt Road, Richmond.
This was The Blues third V.F.A. match for the season, he may have played earlier as team details are incomplete.
If this was his Carlton F. C. debut, he would have been 17 years, 275 days.
The Argus reported that Paton played well as a defender.

1896 June 27
Paton is mentioned in the game against Port Melbourne at the University Ground.

1896 August 1
Paton is mentioned in the game against Williamstown at the University Ground.

1896 September 12
Paton scored Carlton's only goal in the match against Collingwood at Victoria Park.

1896 CFC Annual Report, Joe Paton scored 3 goals during the season.

Picture

J Paton pictured in 1899 team picture for Melbourne juniors. From: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/180225716 Sitting next to J Caffrey. J Paton and J Caffrey played together for Carlton in 1897 and left after that year. Strongly suspect these are the same pair of players, no transfer evidence has been found yet. Just that Paton went to North Melbourne in 1898 (he is also wearing what looks like a North Melbourne long sleeve guernsey under another guernsey).

Blueseum: Summary of playing statistics for Joe Paton | Pre VFL Players | Paton's Blueseum Image Gallery