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The "Mighty Midget"

Harry Davie


Career : 1928
Debut : Round 2, 1928 vs Richmond, aged 22 years, 341 days
Carlton Player No. 449
Games : 58 (9 at Carlton)
Goals : 186 (26 at Carlton)
Guernsey No. 8
Last Game: Round 15, 1928 vs St Kilda, aged 23 years, 74 days
Height : 169 cm (5 ft. 7 in.)
Weight : 58 kg (9 stone, 2 lbs.)
Date of Birth: May 22, 1905

Contemporary press reports from the 1920’s describe Harry Davie as a full-forward or key forward. In fact, he was a trail-blazing specialist forward pocket; a dangerous, fast-leading opportunist who was deadly accurate in front of goal. He may have been just 169 cm tall and 58 kg, but Harry played more than 50 matches at two VFL clubs and scored an average of just under three goals a game.

Henry John Davie was born in Fitzroy South in 1905 of 'Scottish stock,' and died in Sydney on March 17, 1968 aged 62. In 1924 he started kicking goals as an 18 year-old forward with Melbourne Juniors (or Reserves) and it wasn’t long before he was promoted to the Fuchsias’ senior team. He created a sensation on debut, when he kicked six goals against Richmond.

In his second season at Melbourne, Harry’s career peaked when he dominated an epic match against Carlton at Princes Park in round 14, 1925. Davie was simply unstoppable that day, and chopped up the Blues’ defence to finish the game with 13 goals – a ground record that surely will never be broken. However, injury kept him out of Melbourne’s triumphant 1926 finals campaign, and when the Fuchsias missed the 1927 finals by finishing fifth, Harry decided it was time for a change of clubs. He had notched up 160 goals in 49 matches for Melbourne, and twice won their leading goal-scorer award.

Meanwhile, at Carlton, memories of Davie’s brilliance two years before were still fresh. So when the news that he was on the move reached Princes Park, the Blues beat a path to his door. Between seasons he was cleared by Melbourne, and wore guernsey number 8 in his first match for his new club – by coincidence, against Richmond – at Princes Park in round two, 1928. Although a return of 26 goals from his nine matches that season seems a good effort, the truth is that Harry never felt comfortable at Carlton. So after just that one season with the Blues, he moved on again, this time to Preston in the VFA.

When Jimmy Goonan headed to Preston he took with him Harry Davie. Davie stood just 5.7 (170 cms) and weighed 9 stone 6 lbs (60 kg). Although his size was more appropriate to a rover, Davie played initially with Melbourne as a fast leading forward and created a sensation when in his first game he kicked six goals on leading Richmond full-back Vic Thorpe. In 1925, Davie kicked 13 goals out of 18 in a game against Carlton which remained a Melbourne club record until 1947 when Fred Fanning kicked the League record of 18 goals that still stands today. Despite averaging over 3 goals per game over a period when Melbourne averaged a modest 11.5 goals, Davie was cleared to Carlton where he played 9 games for 26 goals on top of his 49 games and 160 goals with the Fuschias as Melbourne were then nicknamed. Perhaps because of the buffeting he regularly took from bigger players, Davie was plagued with rheumatics during much of his time with Preston, but he managed 94 games and 150 goals, including 40 in 1931 to lead the goal-kicking.

Under the coaching of former South Melbourne champion Roy Cazaly, Davie topped the Bullants’ goal-kicking in 1931 with 40 majors. The following year, he was shifted into the centre, where his experience proved invaluable. Preston fans nicknamed him the “Mighty Midget,” and from then on, right through until the eve of World War II, he was one of the Association’s brightest stars.

Articles: Despised to Blue: Players recruited for killing the Blues! | The Magical 'Three Goal Average'

Blueseum: Summary of playing statistics for Harry Davie | Davies' Blueseum Image Gallery

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