Career : 1897 - 1899
Debut : Inception Blue - Round 1, 1897 vs Fitzroy, aged 23 years 283 days
Carlton Player No. 18
Games : 30
Goals : 3
Last Game : Round 4, 1899 vs Essendon, aged 25 years 301 days.
DOB : July 29, 1873
Born in Sandhurst and recruited by Carlton from Ascot Vale, Charles Herbert Sweatman had found himself at Princes Park before the VFL commenced its elite 8-team competition in 1897. Charlie was assigned to a back pocket for Carlton's historic first match against Fitzroy that afternoon, but like almost all his team-mates, found the Maroons just too big and too accomplished.
As that first tough year unfolded, and Carlton suffered defeat after defeat, Sweatman played a variety of roles at half-back and half-forward, from where he managed to kick all three of his career goals. Carlton ended the year one rung from the bottom of the ladder, above only the winless St Kilda. Early in the following season, when Blues’ captain Ernie Walton asked Sweatman to take over at full-back, Charlie accepted the challenge and had a fine year. He and Bill Sharkey quickly formed a reliable combination on the last line of defence, and although Carlton celebrated only three wins, the team overall was rarely short of spirit or enthusiasm.
Therefore, after recruiting heavily and farewelling a number of players, Carlton looked forward to 1899 with considerable optimism. But successive losses in the first four rounds of the new season sent the Blueboys into a tail-spin from which they never recovered.
Although he was just 25, and at the peak of his career, Carlton’s 39-point loss to Essendon at the East Melbourne Cricket Ground in late May was apparently the last straw for Sweatman. Charlie was cleared to Essendon Town in 1900 and then later played for Boulder City in the lucrative goldfields league where he was reunited with his Blues backline partner, Jim Pender.
He passed away at the age of 41 while visiting his brother in Echuca.