Career : 1928 & 1930
Debut : Round 14, 1928 vs Hawthorn, aged 25 years, 207 days
Carlton Player No. 452
Games : 7
Goals : 0
Guernsey : 31 (1928) and 34 (1930)
Last Game : Semi Final, 1930 vs Geelong, aged 27 years, 261 days
Height : 179 cm (5 ft. 10 in.)
Weight : 79 kg. (12 stone, 6 lbs.)
DOB : January 2, 1903
A utility player from St Arnaud in northern Victoria, Leonard Crone’s senior career at Carlton spanned two seasons, over three years. He made two appearances in his debut year of 1928, went back home for a year, then returned to Princes Park and found his best form late in 1930.
He played the last three games of that home and away season in defence, and was named as Carlton’s 19th man for the Semi Final clash with Geelong. But on a windswept afternoon at the MCG, Carlton’s wayward kicking for goal cost the Blues dearly. Despite having five more shots at goal than Geelong, the Blueboys were knocked out of the finals by 20 points.
By then, Crone had played seven matches for the Blues. Even so, he did experience the thrill of finals twice – and he was destined to leave Princes Park able to tell his friends and family that he had once played in a Premiership team alongside the great Harry ‘Soapy’ Vallence.
The catch to that statement was that the Premiership in question was won on the Thursday prior to the 1930 VFL Grand Final - Show Day - when Carlton Reserves defeated Geelong Reserves in a high scoring romp at the MCG. More than 8000 spectators turned up to see Carlton (18.18.126) beat Geelong (14.11.95) - giving the Blues Twos a hat-trick of flags under their captain-coach Jimmy Goonan.
‘Soapy’ dominated at centre half-forward that afternoon and booted three goals, while Ansell Clarke relished his role at full-forward with six. Playing on a forward flank, Len Crone was treated to a close-up look as the two stars put on a clinic.
Perhaps satisfied with that modest achievement, Crone told the club afterward that he wouldn’t be continuing on. Instead, he headed back to the bush and another half a dozen seasons with the St Arnaud Saints.
Crone was born in Donald.