Career : 1935 - 1937
Debut : Round 4, 1935 v South Melbourne, aged 24 years, 79 days
Carlton Player No. 520
Games : 18
Goals : 23
Last Game : Round 10, 1937 v Essendon, aged 26 years, 118 days
Height : 179 cm (5 ft. 10 in.)
Weight : 79 kg (12 stone, 6 lbs)
Guernsey Nos. 34 (1935-36) and 35 (1937)
DOB : February 28, 1911
There are numerous examples of players who have a kicked a goal with their first one, two, three or even four kicks in VFL/AFL competition - but Clen Denning holds a unique place in the history of Australian Football. In his first game for Carlton in 1935, he kicked six goals with his first six kicks!
Denning inherited his unusual first name from his father. A schoolboy star as a clever rover or centreman, the 179 cm, 79 kg Denning made his debut for VFA club Oakleigh only a month after his 16th birthday, and soon was being courted by a number of VFL clubs, all of which he rejected. Then in 1934, Oakleigh's coach Frank Maher won the senior post at Carlton for the following season, and eventually convinced his young star to join him at Princes Park. Denning was 23 when he made his slashing debut, but he was not completely happy in subsequent seasons.
Wearing guernsey numbers 34 and 35, he notched up just 18 games and 23 goals for the Blues from 1935 to 1937, before crossing to Fitzroy. At Brunswick St he was more settled and played exceptional football for many years. He was the 'Roys top goalkicker in 1939 with 37. Later, he switched to defence and became a tenacious back pocket. He represented Victoria against SA in 1941, and starred in Fitzroy's 1944 Grand Final victory.
Remarkably durable, Denning was 36 years old when he retired from league football in 1947 to take up an appointment as captain-coach of Ararat. Two years later he was inspirational for the ‘Rats when they won their first and only Wimmera League Premiership with a six goal hiding of their arch-rivals Stawell. After that triumph he had one more season on the field, then hung up his boots for good in 1950, aged 39. Denning was born in Collingwood.
Clen Denning died at the age of 98 on November 9, 2009 and at the time of his death he was the oldest living League player.
He played 159 games for Fitzroy.
Six Goals to DenningThe Argus wrote about Clen's debut game.
To read (with photo) click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12240349
Historical Note1933. V.F.A. Oakleigh vs Prahran.
C.Denning 10 goals and D.Fraser 4, these two players scored all of Oakleigh's 14 goals.
In 1934 with Oakleigh, Denning headed the competition goal kicking ladder with 75 goals.
LinksArticles: Clen Denning's Unique Record | Every Picture tells a story - Signatures from 1935 | The Fish that Got Away | Triumphs & Tribulations of a Blue Debut | Vale Denning and Clarke
Blueseum: Summary of playing statistics for Clen Denning | Denning's Blueseum Image Gallery