Career : 1920 - 1921
Debut : Round 3, 1920 vs Fitzroy, aged 24 years, 319 days
Carlton Player No. 349
Games : 32
Goals : 0
Last Game : Grand Final, 1921 vs Richmond, aged 26 years, 106 days
Guernsey No. 18
Height : 178 cm (5 ft. 10 in.)
Weight : 77 kg (12 stone, 2 lbs.)
DOB : 1 July, 1895
Equipped with just about the perfect football nickname, “Sir” Walter Raleigh spent three frustrating seasons as a fringe player at Collingwood between 1913 and 1915. Originally recruited by the Magpies from neighbouring Fitzroy Juniors, he managed only six senior games at Victoria Park over those three years, before the disruption of World War 1 called a halt to his football ambitions.
Five years later, Wally made a comeback to the VFL with the Navy Blues of Carlton, and quickly established himself as a dashing defender in guernsey number 18. Equally effective at half-back or in a pocket, he played 13 games in his debut season and was one of his team’s best in the Blues' loss to Collingwood in the 1920 Preliminary Final.
In 1921, Raleigh played another 19 matches and enhanced his standing as a big match performer in all three of Carlton’s finals battles – hard-fought games that culminated in a devastating 4-point loss to Richmond on a cold, wet and windy MCG on Grand Final day.
Despite his consistent efforts throughout the finals, Raleigh then shocked Carlton by accepting a lucrative offer to join Brunswick in the VFA. He was appointed captain-coach of the Magpies in 1925, and led them to triumphant Grand Final win over Port Melbourne at the Melbourne Motordrome – with four other ex-Blues in Billy Blackman, Stewart McLatchie, Rupe Hiskins and Morrie Ewans also wearing Brunswick’s black and white stripes that day.
“Sir” Walter played on with Brunswick until 1928, and five years later was recalled as caretaker coach when yet another former Blue; Hedley Blackmore, fell out with Brunswick’s committee and resigned mid-way through 1933.
Born at Barwon, Geelong in 1895, Raleigh died in Melbourne at the age of 65 on October 16, 1960.
FootnotesRaleigh was named Timothy Walter Raleigh at birth, but had discarded his first name by the time he joined Collingwood in 1913.
The original Sir Walter Raleigh (c. 1554 – 29 October 1618) was an English aristocrat, writer, poet, soldier and explorer. He is generally recognised as introducing tobacco to England.