<b>Part 1: The Journeyman</b>

Doug Fraser only played 11 games for the Carlton Football Club, all of them almost one hundred years ago. <a href="http://www.blueseum.org/tiki-browse_gallery.php?galleryId=23"><img border="0" width="230" vspace="5" hspace="5" align="right" src="http://www.blueseum.org/show_image.php?id=28" ></a>

He didn't win any awards, or participate in any famous premierships. He didn't become a coach, or an administrator, or have any grandstands named after him. Today he is all but forgotten. But he does hold one AFL/VFL record that has never been broken, and he does deserve to be recognised as someone who fundamentally changed the game of Australian Rules Football as we know it today.

Douglas Stewart Fraser was born in Brunswick, Victoria, on the 7th December 1886.

His father was James McDonald "Don" Fraser. In 1886, almost every adult male inhabitant of Brunswick who had employment was engaged in the local brick-making industry. Don Fraser was a stone mason by trade, and at the time of Doug's birth he took work when he could get it in one of the nearby quarries.

Scottish born, Don Fraser had originally sailed out to the colony of Victoria in the 1860s as a young lad with his family. The Frasers were looking for gold. They quickly headed to the Ballarat area, but their dreams of wealth came to nothing.

By the early 1870's Don Fraser was forced to work for a small wage as a labourer in a gold mine in Stawell in country Victoria. It was there he met the daughter of an English miner named named Mary Hemsley.

Mining in Stawell suffered a decline in the late 1870's. As a result, Don gravitated to Melbourne looking for work, and appears to have found it by becoming a builder. He had taken Mary with him, and they were married in the suburb of Carlton in 1877.

They immediately set about raising a family. By the mid 1880s Mary Fraser had given birth to four children. Carlton in those times was for the most part a slum, far from the vibrant well-heeled suburb of today. It was also the dawn of a global economic depression. Carlton held little opportunity for a man who had hungry mouths to feed.

By this time the factories and quarries in neighbouring Brunswick were laying off workers and many had closed down. Yet Don, struggling to find work, took his family there.

Mary gave birth to their fifth child, Douglas Stewart Fraser, just before Christmas in 1886 in a small cottage on Albert Street in Brunswick. The infant mortality rate was high in those desperate times. Two of Doug's siblings were dead before he was even born.

There is little of Doug's childhood that has been recorded. No doubt he played Australian Rules Football as a child. The game was certainly very popular in impoverished Brunswick when he was a boy. The Brunswick "Pottery Workers" had formed in 1870 and immediately had a strong local following.

Doug also grew up with children who later became prominent footballers. One such childhood friend was Alex Lang, also the son of a Scottish builder, who lived as a child with his family in Brunswick and Carlton in the 1880s and 1890s. Doug Fraser and Alex Lang would in later years play football in the same Carlton team, and it is there that together they would abruptly and sensationally end their playing days.

Some time in the late 1890's Don Fraser was on the move again. He decided to take his family to Perth, Western Australia, where many Victorians were heading for work. Young Doug, who at the time was around 13 or 14 years of age, went with them.

The first record of Doug actually playing Australian Rules Football is for the Subiaco football club. He played played 5 senior games for the fledgling club between 1906-1907.

In 1907, Doug decided to return to Victoria. He was 21 years of age. He made the trip alone.

<a href="http://www.blueseum.org/tiki-browse_gallery.php?galleryId=23"><img border="0" width="350" vspace="5" hspace="5" align="left" src="http://www.blueseum.org/show_image.php?id=2460" ></a>The game was amateur, but It was common for quality footballers of the time living in Western Australia, Tasmania and South Australia to be brought over to play in the powerful Victorian Football League by club administrators who used all means of persuasion to attract them, including the use of surreptitious financial incentives. Fraser was obviously a good footballer by this time. It is, however, likely that the decision by Doug to move back to Victoria was primarily for the usual reason the Frasers had travelled around the globe - he was looking for work.

In 1908 Doug was living in a boarding house in the working class suburb of Yarraville in inner city Melbourne. He was employed as a bricklayer. He was single. His parents and immediate family had remained in Western Australia.

He had joined the local football team, and they no doubt couldn't believe their luck. For the times Doug cut an imposing figure. He was 185cm tall and weighed around 85 kilograms. He was also very fit and strong as a result of his manual labouring, and on Saturday afternoons he invariably played extremely well for the successful Yarraville football club.

Newspaper records of the day depict him as a big-hearted and willing - if unpolished - ruckman or "follower". He could clearly play the game. He was also something of an enforcer, frequently initiating skirmishes with opposition players. No doubt buoyed by his significant presence, Yarraville won their competition's premiership that year.

He again played for Yarraville in 1909. He was consistently recorded in the Melbourne papers as being amongst the team's better players, and was in fact considered best on ground in Yarraville's grand final win that year.

The burly bricklayer's form in 1908 and 1909 did not go unnoticed by larger clubs.

The formidable Carlton Football Club had been premiers in the Victorian Football League in 1906, 1907 and 1908. Fraser must have been good, because they chased him. No doubt some of their interest was generated by Doug's connections at the club. Alex Lang was by now a champion Carlton footballer widely recognised as being in the top echelon of footballers in the country. Also there were other probable childhood friend, Doug Gillespie. He may even have known Martin Gotz, a Western Australian footballer lured to the club in 1905.

<a href="http://www.blueseum.org/tiki-browse_gallery.php?galleryId=23"><img border="0" width="230" vspace="5" hspace="5" align="right" src="http://www.blueseum.org/show_image.php?id=711" ></a>On 1st June 1910 the Carlton observed a formality that seems to have been overlooked by Yarraville - they obtained a signed transfer for Doug Fraser from the Subiaco Football Club. Andy McDonald, a talented forward, also transferred from over from Yarraville at the same time. Despite rumblings of player discontent, the game was still amateur. Fraser continued working as a bricklayer in Yarraville, although it's likely that he, like most other VFL players of the era, received some sort of undeclared payment from Carlton. It wouldn't have been much, and by today's standards Fraser would have been a very poor man indeed.

Ten days later Doug Fraser ran out to play for the Carlton Football Club - at that time the most successful and celebrated team in the most popular and influential football competition in Australia.

He played predominantly as a forward and a follower, and, whilst he certainly didn't dominate, he quickly settled into the team and generally gave a good account of himself. He was also evidently not so overawed by his elevation to league football as to curb his liking for physical contact that was not strictly within the rules.

The following, taken from a report from Round 15, 1910 - is what surely must be one of the first recorded instances of an Australian Rules Footballer utilising what is known today as "The Big Don't Argue":

<i>"It was on the whole a good clean game, though strenuous beyond question. There was very little to complain of in the individual play on either side, the most marked exception being when Fraser, of Carlton, jammed his hand in the face of Elliott, of University. It was certainly not fair and manly play, and Carlton supporters were relieved when, after the game was over, the delegates reported that the field umpire ( Elder ) had announced that he had no charge against any of the players. There was evidently a fear that Fraser's momentary violence might have got him in trouble, and perhaps it would be well for him to remember that the fear was certainly not foundationless..." (The Age: 15th August 1910)</i>

Relieved they may have been, but the strictly working class Carlton mob packed into Princes Park on that day no doubt raucously enjoyed their raw-boned bricklayer giving one to the Toff from University.

The shouts of joy no doubt turned to howls of frustration the following Saturday when the impetuous Fraser snuffed out Carlton's hope of victory against Essendon deep into the last quarter:

<i>"With a full quarter of an hour still to play and 18 points to make up Carlton had still a good chance, but Essendon made a brilliant rally against the wind, and Busbridge created a sensation by kicking a goal - the first points scored at the pavilion end since the commencement of the game. Shortly after Lang was awarded a free kick, and despite his lameness he added another goal for Carlton; but Fraser settled the visitor's chance by most foolishly pushing O'Connor behind when the latter was close to Carlton's goal and straight in front of it. O'Connor, being awarded a free kick, had no difficulty in scoring 6 points, and although Carlton subsequently prevailed, and Clark and Clancy each kicked a goal, Essendon were 8 points up when the final bell rang." (The Age: 22nd August 1910)</i>

Fraser's free kick that cost Carlton the game was almost certainly a mistake, but a storm was brewing.

Suspicion had been rife that the perennially successful Carlton had "thrown" the 1909 grand final, which they had surprisingly lost to South Melbourne.

Gambling on football was extremely popular. Rumours abounded all through 1910 about certain footballers who were prepared to take money to "play dead", and just as many about certain administrators who were heavily involved in rigging games.

The following comments by Mr T.J Evans, secretary of the Victorian Football Association at its Annual General Meeting in April of 1910 were widely reported with approval by the media:

<i>"Judging by the experience of last season...it is most evident that betting on matches is becoming more prevalent each year. Whilst I quite recognise it is impossible to check this evil amongst supporters, it is only reasonable to expect persons holding positions on club committees will set an example to the players by declining to countenance the practice in every shape and form."</i>

Two weeks after the Essendon game mentioned above, flag favourites Carlton lost to lowly St Kilda, a team who had not won a game all year. Carlton lost and speculation about the club intensified.

Unbeknownst to the players, the Carlton Football Club administration - no doubt stung by criticism levelled at them - had kept several players under surveillance during the season.

Something was discovered after the St Kilda debacle.

The following week, Carlton caused a sensation when it withdrew childhood friends Doug Fraser, champion rover Alex Lang and backman Doug Gillespie from the team less than an hour before they were to take the field in a semi-final against South Melbourne.

What happened next changed the game forever.

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<b>Part 2: Running a Bye</b>

Members of the governing committee of the Carlton Football Club were certain that their players had taken money to underperform in the 1909 Grand Final loss to South Melbourne.

Alarm bells started ringing again late in the season of 1910 when flag favourites Carlton lost convincingly to St Kilda. ( The Saints to that point were winless for the season.)

It is not surprising then that this highly suspicious loss to lowly St Kilda on the eve of the 1910 final series caused great consternation amongst Carlton Committee members, who immediately determined to take action to ensure the embarrassment of 1909 was not repeated.

The Committee may not have been completely sure which, if any, Carlton players were taking bribes in the 1910 season, but they knew where the money would be coming from if it was happening.

In 1910, gambling on Australian Rules Football was not illegal if conducted by licenced bookmakers. Nevertheless, legitimate bookies rarely took bets on football games, simply because there was a strong belief that results were often “fixed”:

<i>“It is well known that leading recognised bookmakers do not bet on football. That statement may cause surprise in some quarters, and its correctness may even be questioned – but not by those in the know. As a matter of fact, if a man wanted to back a side for 50 pounds in any match, and went up to the Victoria Club expecting to do so, he would be disappointed, as he certainly would not be able to get the money on. No! Since the late “Bob” Phillips ( “The South Melbournite”) was robbed of 1100 pounds over a notorious swindle, the “books” of any prominence have “stood off” football.”

( The Age 21st September 1910.) </i>

Fixed results or not, illicit gambling on football games was very big business in Victoria in 1910.

It was an open secret that a number of shops and hotels in inner city Melbourne illegally took bets on horse racing and other sporting events. The infamous “entrepreneur” John Wren ran many of these illegal betting ventures in Melbourne at the time, most well known being the tote he constructed behind a tobacconist’s shop in Johnstone Street Collingwood.

To increase profit margins, Wren and others in the same business had a reputation for fixing the results of horse races, boxing matches, cycle races, and – naturally - football matches.

( Frank Hardy, for instance, accused Wren of fixing games for his beloved Collingwood in his 1950 novel “Power Without Glory”.)

Fleecing money from mug punters who unwittingly gambled on “predetermined” sporting contests was and is of course very much outside the law – but in keeping with the time honoured practice of those involved in organised crime, the police and politicians of Victoria at the turn of the 20th Century were paid to turn a blind eye.

The Carlton Committee must have got wind of a player or players attending one of these betting shops to be given money to underperform, because they quietly decided to keep one such establishment, probably a barber shop, under surveillance.

Little did they know what they were about to uncover.

Reporting about the matter some weeks later, “Follower” from The Age stated :

<i>In their laudable endeavour to probe this dirty business to its utter-most depths, the Carlton committee set a special watch on a shop at which it was known that betting on football was conducted on a big scale!

( The Age on the 21st September 1910.)</i>

“Follower” was no doubt suspicious that footballers appeared not to be the only ones taking kick -backs in relation to fixed football games.

In the same article he went on to chide Victorian police, stating their inaction was “astounding” and “inexcusable”, and questioned why it was that the club had to carry out their own investigation work:

<i>"The fact that heavy betting in contravention of the law at certain known premises, and that members of a local football club are able to locate and watch those premises, that the police either know nothing or care nothing about the matter, surely demands some explanation."

( The Age 21st September 1910.)</i>

In any event, by the second week in September of 1910, members of the Committee had apparently seen or heard enough to believe three players were taking money to play dead. They also believed a trainer, Edward McInerney, was involved.

Known for his habit of acting with rash spontaneity on the football ground for the Blues, Douglas Fraser apparently also made some silly decisions off the ground – for he was one of the accused men, along with club champions Alex “Bongo” Lang and Douglas Gillespie.

An angry committee met on that Thursday 15th September 2010 to discuss what they would do about the suspected cheats, and, almost incidentally, select Carlton’s team for Saturday’s Semi-Final against arch rival South Melbourne before a capacity crowd at the MCG.

Neither Victoria Police or the VFL were alerted.

For reasons best known to themselves, the committee kept the matter a secret until immediately before the game.

Fraser, Lang and Gillespie were accordingly named in the Carlton team on Thursday night, and the team list was duly printed in the next day’s “Argus” newspaper.

The Committee of course had no intention of playing the three men– instead they confronted them in the change rooms immediately before the game in front of their shocked team mates.

At the time Fraser was a labourer living in a single room of a boarding house in a working class Yarraville. 1910 was his first year with the Blues, and so he had not played in any the premierships of 1906, 1907 and 1908. He also wasn’t part of the 1909 team that lost the Grand Final to South Melbourne in dubious circumstances.

Yet it is almost certain that Fraser had been “got at” before that 1910 final series, and so surely it must have been with immense trepidation and guilt in his heart that he travelled in a crush of excited spectators on the train from the Yarraville to the Melbourne Cricket Ground that Saturday morning.

There were apparently rumours around the ground before play that Carlton were pulling out three players who had been bribed to “play dead”. Perhaps Fraser knew something was amiss as he walked with the crowd into the ground. Any fears he had would be realised as soon as he entered the Carlton changerooms. In front of his team mates he was immediately accused of taking a bribe and told he had been dropped from the team.

What Fraser said or did in response is unknown.

The superstar Alex “Bongo” Lang arrived in the change rooms to a similar reception shortly after Fraser.

We do know how he reacted.

After being confronted Lang immediately left the ground and went to his family home in Gatehouse Street in Carlton.

An enterprising reporter from "The Argus" newspaper went to Lang's home in Gatehouse Street Carlton early the next evening, and opportunistically knocked on his front door.

No doubt to his subsequent regret, Lang allowed the reporter into his home. Lang proclaimed his innocence with a story full of contradictions and unanswered questions.

The reporter, knowing he had a great story, furiously scribbled down Lang's words verbatim for the consumption of the clamouring public in the following day’s paper.

This is what Lang said:

<i>"SO THAT IS THE TEAM".

"When I entered the dressing room at the Melbourne ground on Saturday afternoon, bag in hand, I went up, as usual, to have a look at the list of players, and I noticed, as I walked through the room, the fellows all looking up at me without saying a word. I nodded at them, but they all kept looking at me without speaking.

I thought it was curious, but didn’t take so much notice of their looks until I glanced at the list. I looked at the rover's name, and then at the ruck, and saw that my name was not there. I was surprised, but I was amazed when my name was not among the half-forwards.

"So that's the team!" I exclaimed and walked away. I spoke to the president ( Mr Alex McCracken ) then to Mr Ford ( former club secretary Alex Ford ) and asked them what was the matter.

"You have been bribed" said Mr Ford.

"McGregor came up to me and said he would not play. I told him the facts and asked him to take off his clothes and he then consented to play.

"As I told Mr Ford and Mr McGregor, I was approached in the street by a man who asked me: "Will you run a bye?",

"I refused and when I thought that he was trying to play a game on me, I thought I would turn the tables."

"He wanted me to "run a bye" as he called it, and would pay up afterwards but I demanded the money. After some argument he handed me 10 pounds. I had not the money in my possession 10 minutes. I gave it to a friend to back Carlton with it and he got 12 pounds to 10.

I never intended for a moment not to push myself in the match. I would not know how to do it. I must play the game when I am out on the field. Mr Ford and Mr McGregor asked me why I did not tell them.

I told them I wish I had, but, as they knew, I had been off-colour for several weeks past, and I thought if I did not happen to give a good account of myself, my mentioning the fact that I had taken the money would be regarded as an excuse to cover up my play, and they would be suspicious of me.

I would not for the world take my comrades down and I had no intention of not playing the game. I did not even promise to do so.

"Gillespie was as innocent as a babe in the matter. He and I were toddlers together, and that is why he is blamed, though I do not see much of him lately. He knew nothing about the matter. I believe Fraser was approached, but he did not take any money.

I wish now I had not taken the money. However, I have been asked to play in the final, and I am appearing before my committee tonight."</i>

Lang believed, or perhaps just hoped, that his unlikely story would be accepted, and that the matter would simply blow over allowing the three accused men to play the following week.

If he really did believe his punishment would be limited to his very public humiliation before the game, he was mistaken.

The bribery scandal ( as it was immediately known ) caused a massive uproar amongst the football mad public, who were by parts thrilled and appalled. The game’s power brokers were humiliated and furious. Other players and club administrators pointed fingers and fended off allegations of their own misconduct. Illegal bookies, crooked coppers, and other opportunistic shysters ran for cover. Journalists gleefully wrote long articles full of indignant Victorian propriety.

Lang’s life as one of the most celebrated footballers in the country was over.

Regardless of the evidence against the much more modestly talented Fraser, the moment Lang implicated him in the scandal his playing days were also finished.

Unknown to Lang at the time he gave his ill-advised and off-the-cuff interview, Acting Carlton secretary E Walton had earlier in the day released a carefully worded public statement about the scandal, in which the Committee made it clear they had been well aware for some time that Lang and Fraser's misbehaviour went beyond merely being offered money to play dead by an unknown person immediately before the game.

He stated that the Carlton Committee were aware that some of their players had been “approached” prior to their team selection meeting on Thursday before the game.

He further stated that the committee knew the identity of the men, but waited until immediately prior to the game in order not to give the “negotiators” any warning. In other words, the Committee wanted to catch the players receiving money before the game – which is presumably exactly what they did, at least in Lang’s case.

Walton concluded that the Club would launch an immediate investigation into the incident.

The Committee did meet on the Sunday and again on the Monday after the game.

Douglas Gillespie and the trainer Mcinerney were exonerated.

( It seems incredible that the Carlton committee would so publicly question the personal integrity of one of their key players, and in doing so weaken the their team in finals game, without apparently having compelling evidence to rely on, but it is a fact that Gillespie was exonerated.)

Lang and Fraser were suspended until further notice.

The real trouble for these two players was just beginning. The game's administrators had Lang and Fraser in their sights. After years of inaction, the League was suddenly impatient to be seen to remove the canker of player payments and bribes from the flower of their amateur game of Australian Rules Football:

<i>" Members of the League, who have been awaiting the result of the Carlton Committee's enquiries, are sure to take some definite action at their meeting on Friday night. Yesterday several of them expressed in the strongest terms their conviction that unless some firm stand is taken now the league might as well retire now and hand the game over to professionals."

( The Argus 21/9/10 )</i>

Journeyman Doug Fraser, the impoverished labourer from Yarraville playing in his first year with the Blues, was about to become a football pariah.

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<b>Part 3: Banished</b>

Doug Fraser, a journeyman footballer playing in his first season for the Carlton Football Club in 1910, was apparently caught red-handed taking money to underperform in the 1910 semi final against South Melbourne.

His much more famous team mates and childhood friends Alex “Bongo” Lang and Doug Gillespie were also implicated.

All players were suspended by the Club shortly after the game. The players were also directed to appear before an enquiry conducted by the Victorian Football League.

The result was a foregone conclusion. The League conducted their investigation in a manner that would not be tolerated today.

The proceedings were closed to members of the public and media. The accused men were not entitled to legal representation or advice. There was no right of appeal. Evidence was given by Carlton committeemen, the accused men and other Carlton players. The hurried jottings of the proceedings made by the League secretary remain, but what the witnesses said was not publicly reported and no record made at the time appears now to exist.

On the 30th September 1910 the VFL chairman released the League’s findings:

<i>“That W.A.Lang ( player of the Carlton Football Club ) has been found guilty of conduct not conducive to the best interests of football. Decided that W.A.Lang be disqualified until December 31, 1915.”

“That Douglas Fraser ( player of the Carlton Football Club ) has been found guilty of conduct not conducive to the best interests of football. Decided that Douglas Fraser be disqualified until December 31, 1915.”

“That Douglas Gillespie ( player) and Edward McInerney ( trainer ) be exonerated from all blame."</i>

The League’s reasons for these decisions were never publicly released.

The disqualifications on Fraser and Lang remain the longest ever imposed on a senior VFL/AFL player.

If the penalty imposed on these players was the League’s attempt to uphold the amateur status of the game, it didn’t work.

The disqualifications very quickly became the catalyst for the game to openly embrace what was obvious to all who followed it – that players were routinely being paid by their clubs, that transfer fees were being paid by administrators for players, and indeed that the game was acknowledged as being professional everywhere except in the boardroom of the Victorian Football League. The game had long stopped being simply a Saturday pastime for school children and cricketers wanting to remain fit over winter. It had become big business – and not paying players appropriately simply invited corruption and bribery.

And so it was that as the weeks unfolded after the infamous game, the initial shock subsided and public mood began to side with the players.

This call for change wasn’t just from the ordinary man in the street. Powerful business figures and politicians demanded that players be openly paid. Even the Premier of Victoria chided the League to accept reality, as this newspaper report published immediately before the players were disqualified demonstrates:

<i>The Premier’s Hope
The Premier ( Mr Murray ), who takes a keen interest in all aspects of sport, on Saturday expressed the hope that the football league’s enquiry into the recent football scandals would lead to the game being played on a much more satisfactory footing from the public’s point of view than had been the case in the past.

"It is very desirable” added Mr Murray “ that these troubles shall be cleared up. There should be no doubt as to the fairness of the game. If professionalism is to come it should be acknowledged openly. The public will, I believe, think no less of a footballer if he is professional so long as everything is above board. I am informed that these men have to give a good deal of their time and attention to training, and that in some cases this interferes with their business occupations.”
(The Argus 26th September 1910.)</i>

The pressure on the League proved too much.

The game officially turned professional only months later, and players were openly being paid by their clubs in the 1911 season for the very first time.

...And so in this era where Australian Rules Footballers demand and receive exorbitant playing contracts, it can be rightly said that lumbering ruckman and impoverished brick layer Doug Fraser, the man who only played 11 senior AFL/VFL games before being banished from the field, is one of the most influential players ever to pull on a boot.

After he was thrown out of the game, Fraser continued to live in Yarraville.

He never played Australian Rules Football competitively ever again, but in truth he didn't check stride. He seems to have simply returned to being the knockabout bricklayer and sometime wharfie labourer he had always been. He continued to live what was probably a hard-working boozy bachelor existence in a series of boarding houses in Yarraville with other young men, no doubt many of them also labourers like him.

When war broke out in 1914 he didn't enlist as a soldier, but it was the war that indirectly killed him.

Returning soldiers brought home with them a deadly strain of influenza that had swept the world and would go on to claim many thousands of Australian lives in 1919 and 1920.

In mid February 1919, Fraser started getting crook, coughing and sneezing in his room at the boarding house in Ballarat Street Yarraville. He quickly became very ill. The nearby Sunshine Industrial School, like many other similar institutions, had been turned into a makeshift hospital in order to cope with the victims of the epidemic. Fraser was taken there after being diagnosed as suffering from the dreaded influenza. Already weakened by a workplace accident, Fraser’s condition quickly deteriorated.

Douglas Fraser died on the 24th February 1919. He was only 34 years old. He had never married and apparently had no children.

His family, all still living in Western Australia, were not present when he passed away. It was left to friends to arrange his funeral. He was buried in an unmarked grave in the Footscray cemetery on the 25th February 1919. Deliberately or otherwise, they also managed to ensure that his nickname “Dug” was recorded forever as his Christian name on the death certificate.

These same mates, still stunned by his sudden death, went together a few days later to the small offices of the Footscray Advertiser, where they regaled the editor with stories of Fraser's short but colourful life. A piece about Fraser appeared in the paper on the 1st March 1919.

...And let us all wish for an obituary which is as warm, succinct, and as judicious as that which was written for Douglas Stewart Fraser:

<b>Mr “Dug” Fraser</b>

<i>Amongst those who succumbed to the prevailing epidemic during the week is Mr Douglas Fraser, of Yarraville, familiarly known in his football days as “Dug” Fraser. Deceased, a strapping and comparatively young man, fell a victim to the scourge after suffering from a heavy cold, last week, and his demise on Monday supports the view that the disease now ravaging the State has more than one form, and that in its severer form it is well described as highly dangerous. This, however, may be discounted by the fact that deceased was recently caught between the buffers of two trucks and crushed. Deceased, who on one occasion with a mate, established a bricklaying record, was at one time a playing member of the Footscray football Club, and who was formerly a Carlton player, was very well liked by his associates at Yarraville and considerable regret was expressed when it was learnt that he had so suddenly passed to the Great Beyond.</i>

  • Note: The funeral notice stated Fraser played for Footscray. This is believed to be a mistake, for Yarraville was the only Victorian team Fraser played for prior to joining Carlton.



<i>Blueseum Footnote: This article is the third of three pieces that have appeared in Blueseum about the life of Doug Fraser. The author Craig Mackie is writing a book about the 1910 Bribery Scandal, and would be most pleased to hear from anyone with any information about the scandal, or its principal players - Alex "Bongo" Lang and Doug "Dug" Fraser. Craig can be contacted on c.mackie at mackiecrompton.com.au</i>


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