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George Hawking

Career : 1927
Debut : Round 1, 1927 vs South Melbourne, aged 24 years 343 days
Carlton Player No. 432
Games : 4
Goals : 3
Last Game : Round 6, 1927 vs Richmond, aged 25 years 14 days
Guernsey No. 9
Height : 185 cm (6 ft. 1 in.)
Weight : 80 kg (12 stone, 8 lbs.)
DOB : May 22, 1902


George William Hawking was a vigorous defender from Rushworth who kicked a memorable goal on debut for the Blues in 1927. He played as a forward in three more matches after that, but wasn’t able to cement a regular place in the seniors. At year’s end, he returned to the bush, and played in no fewer than five Premiership-winning teams with the Rushworth Tigers between 1930 and ’35. In 1940, he volunteered for service in World War II, and saw action in some of the bloodiest battles of the whole conflict.

The Blues discovered Hawking in 1926, playing solid football at centre half-back for Rushworth, and quickly convinced the well-built 24 year-old that he had the potential to be a regular in the VFL. He was given guernsey number 9, and assigned to a half-back flank for his debut game against South Melbourne at Princes Park in round 1, 1927. The Blues were the better team for most of the match, but their wayward kicking saw them beaten by 1 point. Late in the game, Hawking took a mark barely within scoring distance, and to his nearby team-mates’ surprise, decided to have a shot. His beautifully-timed drop kick duly sailed straight between the posts, high over the head of his captain-coach, Horrie Clover. Horrie talked about that goal for the rest of his life.

Hawking played in three of Carlton’s next five matches. He kicked a couple of more goals, but decided that he didn’t want to go on after round 6 – even though Carlton had beaten Richmond impressively that day at Punt Road, to make it four wins from six matches for the season. George went back to Rushworth, and became a legend of country football with the all-conquering Tigers.

At the outbreak of World War II in 1939, George was 37 years old - but he didn’t hesitate to volunteer for service as a front-line infantryman. Inducted into the army in July 1940, he was allocated to the 2/5 Infantry Battalion, and served almost continually for the next six years. One of Australia’s elite infantry formations of the war, the 2/5 fought in Tobruk, Greece, Syria, Ceylon and eventually, helped turn back the Japanese invasion of New Guinea.

Corporal George Hawking was 43 years old when was discharged at last, in February 1946. He settled back at Rushworth, and passed away on 25 November, 1968, aged 66.

Footnote:
In 1927 Carlton went to Sydney to play Geelong and a NSW representative team.
George was included in the 28 Carlton squad.
The Sydney Football Record August 13 has a photo of the entire Carlton squad, and said of George;
"No. 9, G. HAWKING: Follower and back - a safe player, is a sure mark, fair kick.
Height 5ft 11 1/2 ins. weight 11st. 10lbs. First season."

Blueseum: Summary of playing statistics for George Hawking | Hawking's Blueseum Image Gallery

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