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Jim Lyons

Career : 1897 - 1898
Debut : Round 4, 1897 vs Geelong, aged 21 years, 134 days
Carlton Player No. 28
Games : 11
Goals : 0
Last Game : Round 2, 1898 vs Melbourne, aged 22 years, 126 days
Height :
Weight :
DOB : January 15, 1876

As with many of Carlton’s early players, very little information about James Joseph (Jim) Lyons has survived the passage of time, apart from the bare facts of his 11 matches with the Old Dark Navy Blues in the first two seasons of the VFL.

Born in Melbourne in 1876, Jim grew up to play district football with Parkville before being recruited by Carlton in the early days of the new 8-team competition. Aged 21, Lyons played his first senior match for his new club when Carlton travelled to Geelong to meet the Pivotonians on their home turf of Corio Oval on Saturday, May 29, 1897. Jim was stationed in a back pocket alongside Ernie Walton and Henry Dunne when the ball was bounced that afternoon, and probably stayed there throughout as Geelong won by 22 points.

Although his side was beaten, Lyons obviously did well enough to stay in the side right through to round 13, when Carlton celebrated an historic first victory over St Kilda at Princes Park. It was a spiteful game between the bottom two clubs, and Lyons may have been one of the casualties, because he didn’t play in the following week’s last match of the season.

In the opening round of 1898, Lyons and Carlton again made history when the Blues defeated South Melbourne for the first time at the Lakeside Oval. However, the joy of that achievement lasted only until the following Saturday, when a ragged Carlton was demolished by Melbourne at the MCG, in Jim’s final game.

What transpired after that is unknown. Perhaps he never played again, or perhaps he continued his career somewhere else - but Jim’s name has not appeared so far at any other club, and so far, no image of him has been found.

Blueseum: Summary of playing statistics for Jim Lyons | Lyons' Blueseum Image Gallery

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