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Clarrie Calwell

Career : 1920
Debut : Round 3, 1920 vs Fitzroy, aged 23 years, 248 days
Carlton Player No. 348
Games: 2
Goals: 0
Last Game : Round 8, 1920 vs Collingwood, aged 23 years, 283 days
Guernsey No. 17
Height : 178 cm (5 ft. 10 in)
Weight : 65.5 kg (10 stone, 4 lbs.)
DOB : 9 September, 1896


Clarence Everard ‘Clarrie’ Calwell was a local lad from North Carlton whose older brother George had played in Carlton's 1914 Premiership team. Clarrie's career took a different path, when he served his country in two world wars - but in between those bloody conflicts, he did himself manage two senior matches for the Old Dark Navy Blues.

When the first World War began in 1914, 18 year-old Calwell was playing football on weekends for Williamstown Juniors (after originally playing for Clifton's Rope Works), while working as a locomotive fireman for the Victorian Railways. His job was classified as a reserve occupation at first, but as soon as he was able, he volunteered for overseas duty. By June 1917 he was in France with the 1st Australian Light Rail Company, hauling vital supplies and ammunition to the front lines. At the war’s end he returned to Australia, and in 1920 turned up at Princes Park to play football for Carlton. He is noted as being recruited from the Army by Carlton.

Clarrie made his debut for the Blues in May of that year, in a round three home game against Fitzroy. Wearing guernsey number 17, he was assigned to a half forward flank alongside Carlton’s gun forward Horrie Clover, with captain Charlie Fisher on the opposite flank. Carlton played the better football for most of the game, but wayward kicking cost them dearly, and Fitzroy won by nine points.

Calwell was either injured or omitted after that, and didn’t return to the senior team until round eight, when the Blues met Collingwood at Victoria Park and were beaten by 19 points. That was Clarrie’s last game for Carlton, and nothing is known of his subsequent sporting activities. What we do know is that sometime after leaving Princes Park, he joined the Victorian Police, and when the second World War erupted in 1939, he quickly found his way to the enlistment centre again.

Although he was approaching the age of 44 by then, the army took advantage of Calwell’s prior experience. He rose to the rank of Sergeant in the five years he spent at various supply depots, and wasn’t discharged from his second stint in uniform until almost a year after the war ended in August, 1945.

Clarrie Calwell passed away on the 28th September, 1975 aged 79.

Footnote

In 1934, a meeting in of members of the Williamstown Junior Football Club who played 1916 - 1920 was held. Clarry Caldwell (Carlton) was mentioned among the champion players the club had produced.
(Williamstown Chronicle June 02 1934 p6)

Blueseum: Summary of playing statistics for Clarrie Calwell | Calwell's Blueseum Image Gallery

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