Career : 1927 - 1937
Debut : Round 18, 1927 vs St Kilda, aged 19 years, 121 days
Carlton Player No. 445
Games : 143
Goals : 121
Guernsey No 17
Last Game: Round 11, 1937 vs Fitzroy, aged 29 years, 52 days
Height : 192 cm (6 ft. 3 in.)
Weight : 87 kg (13 stone, 10 lbs.)
DOB : May 11, 1908
Carlton Captain 1935
Carlton Hall of Fame (1994)
Charlie Davey's story is one of determination, and a deep-seated love of the Carlton Football Club. Charlie was a local lad, born only a couple of good drop-kicks away from the Carlton ground in May, 1908. Almost as soon as he could walk, he told his family that one day he would play for the Mighty Blues. By his mid- teens he was tall and somewhat gangly when he presented himself for a trial with the thirds (Under 19's) at Princes Park - but to his dismay, he was told that he wasn't up to scratch, and to try his luck elsewhere.
Shortly afterward, a neighbour's son - whose father was then President of the Chelsea Football Club - suggested that Charlie might get a game with the Seagulls, and that if he did, would be paid to play. Charlie took his friend's advice, travelled down the peninsula, and won a place on Chelsea's team. Despite having to play his first game in a pair of workboots and a cut-down pair of his father's shorts, the tall, wirey kid was soon a star of the competition. After kicking 99 goals in his first full season at centre half-forward - a Federal League record at the time - VFL scouts from five clubs; Essendon, Richmond, Footscray, St Kilda, and ironically, Carlton - came knocking on his door. Despite Charlie's previous disappointment, there was never any doubt which club he would sign for.
Still not yet 20, Charlie made his senior debut for the Blues against St Kilda in the last home and away game of the 1927 season. Playing at centre half-forward in guernsey number 17, he booted six goals in one of the great first appearances in club history. Early the following year he was shifted into the ruck and became even more valuable. Strong, versatile and a wonderful mark, Charlie stamped his authority on every game he played. In 1929 he was selected in the Victorian State team for the first of 17 occasions. He was appointed captain of the Blues in 1935, but cruelly, within two years a chronic knee injury forced him into premature retirement after 143 games and 121 goals.
On announcing his retirement The Age (July 16 p7) said Davey would continue playing for the reserves where his experience would prove valuable to the young side.
Charlies life outside football was not without event as this excerpt from the Argus attests, "In 1933, Davey had a near death experience whilst working for the electrical supply department of the City Council. Whilst repairing street lighting wires from a motortruck with a raised platform, he grabbed a ladder and leaned it against a pole to get closer to the street wire on the corner of Swanston and Lonsdale St. Accidentally his hand touched a live wire and he cried out and slumped on the side of the ladder, narrowly missing a 20ft drop. His work mates held him on the ladder until an ambulance arrived and he was strapped to a spine board and taken to Melbourne Hospital where he was treated for around 1 hour."1
Although he played finals football in ten of his eleven seasons at Carlton, Charlie's enduring regret was that he never played in a Premiership team. However, he was a member of the club committee when the Blues finally broke their 23-year drought with another flag at last in 1938. He then went on to serve loyally for another 26 years - until December 1964 - when he and others were deposed by the surge to power of George Harris and his reform group.
Davey passed away on the 14th August, 1991 aged 83. Three years later, in 1994, Charlie's proud playing record, his long years of service, and his lifetime devotion to the Navy Blues was recognised in the most appropriate of ways when he was inducted into the Carlton Hall of Fame.
Milestones50 Games: Round 8, 1931 Vs Melbourne
100 Games: Semi Final, 1933 Vs Geelong
100 Goals: Round 12, 1935 Vs Geelong
FootnoteCharlie Davey had an earlier near death experience in 1930.
He was on his way to the Carlton ground on Tuesday May 6, when his motor cycle collided with a car. Charlie was flung to the road with the car's wheels narrowly missing him. He was taken to Princes Park where he was treated for cuts, bruises, and an injured knee. Despite this set back, Charlie played the following Saturday.
The Argus Monday July 23 1934 reported that C. Davey was in hospital after having an operation for a slipped knee cartilege, he was making a rapid recovery, but had contracted pleurisy and would have to remain in hospital.
Appendicitis prevented Charlie from playing in the 1936 semi final, he was rushed to hospital on the Friday morning.
(Shepparton Advertiser September 12 p5)
1 Information provided with kind permission from Rhett Bartlett http://www.rhettrospective.com)
LinksArticles: Every Picture tells a story - Signatures from 1935
Blueseum: Summary of playing statistics for Charlie Davey | Career Breakdown | Carlton Hall of Fame | Captains | Davey's Blueseum Image Gallery