Carlton Reserve Career : 1970 - 1972
Reserve Games : 18
Reserve Goals : 5
Guernsey Nos. 54 (1970 - 1971), 52 (1971 - 1972) and 53 (1971).
DOB : 30th September 1953
Ken Laker or 'Lakes' as he was known was a local boy who attended Coburg High School and was recruited from northern suburbs club Paramount, Ken Laker was cleared to Carlton on April 18 1969. He was recruited to play with the Carlton Under's 19 football team, he played in the thirds from 1969 to 1972. Ken Laker played Reserve grade football for Carlton from 1970 to 1972.
Ken Laker worn Number 21 in the U/19 curtain-raiser against North Melbourne at VFL Park Waverley in Rd 15, 1970 (other players on note were Rennie Duckett (1), Tim O'Malley (5), Bill Tucknott (9) Tony Smith (15) Rod Austin (16) David G. McKay (17) John Trueman (39) Robert White 2 (48) and Peter Toovey (54). During the 1969 season 42 players played in Carlton's U/19's.
During 1970, 41 players played in the Carlton U/19's (with 20 of these also played in the 2nd's, 11 players played 3 or more games and 4 ended the season as regular members of the 2nd's). Ken was listed 9 times in the 14 games he played scoring 6 goals (all single goals) and in the best players 5 times (named in best when scored a goal twice) and was awarded with the Most Serviceable Award for that season. During the season he was also listed in the 2nd's in No. 54 guernsey (first listed on July 4, 1970).
In 1971 45 players played in the U19's (13 of these also played in the 2nd's) with Ken Laker was listed 3 times in the 13 games he played scoring 2 goals (both single goals) and in the best players 2 times (named in best when scored a goal once). During the season he was also listed in the 2nd's in No. 53 guernsey (first listed on May 8, 1971).
In 1972 Ken Laker was promoted to the Senior Supplementary List and trained with the senior team for the entire season, it would be a very hard team to break into with champions on every line and a team that would play in five Grand Finals in six years and winning three Premierships in that time. He was bestowed the honour as being the Vice-Captain of the thirds for the second year in a row. In the U/19's he was listed 6 times in the 22 games the U/19's played scoring 6 goals (2 goals against Collingwood in Rd 2 (the team he supported) and the rest were single goals) and in the best players 4 times (named in best when scored a goal 3 times) and won the U/19's Best Clubman Award. In 1972 he was listed in No. 52 guernsey for the Reserves. The photo of Ken Laker (top left) was taken from the 1972 Thirds Team Photo.
Reserves Grade Breakdown;
1970: 4 games and 1 goal
1971: 5 games and 2 goals (was named in the best players in Round 6 vs Footscray)
1972: 9 games and 2 goals
He didn't manage a senior game for Carlton.
Ken Laker was cleared to VFA club Brunswick on April 13, 1973 for the start of the season. Laker was a member of the Magpies' 1975 and 1980 2nd Division Senior Premiership teams. Laker would hand his boots up at Brunswick at the end of the 1981 season.
Laker would head across to the VAFA to coach University High School Old Boys (UHSOB's) who were located at Brens Oval opposite the Royal Melbourne Zoo in Parkville. He would coach UHSOB for the following two seasons, in his first year at the helm they were promoted up a division after suffering the heart-break of being beaten in the Grand Final replay with the last kick of the day.
Ken Laker was also very handy in the summer by playing cricket for the Brunswick Cricket Club first XI in the Sub-District league. During the 1976/77 season he top scored whilst being a key member of the premiership team. This in itself was a great feat by Ken Laker to have played in senior premierships for Brunswick at both football and cricket.
Interesting FactIn Wayne Johnston's book 'The Dominator' on page 20 he said when aged 5 his family moved to Coburg and "lived next to a couple of mad Collingwood supporters, two brothers named Peter and Ken Laker. They had played for Carlton thirds and for Brunswick, and provided the first football influence on me."
Career Highlights1970 - Under 19's Most Serviceable Award.
1971 - Under 19's Vice-Captain.
1972 - Under 19's Vice-Captain.
1972 - Under 19's Best Club Man Award.
Carlton Thirds Team Photo - Ken Laker 1970 (left) and 1971 (right).
1975 VFA 2nd Division Grand Final - Brunswick’s Ken Laker takes a screamer in their win over Camberwell.
Ken Laker is seated in the second row, third from the left.