Carlton’s glory days of the 1960s-80s were a relatively recent period of time. Therefore, one would presume that there would be a significant amount of video footage and photography available to provide an insight into this period of premiership success. However, that is not the case.

In terms of photography one can contact the major newspapers and ask for a copy of the many photographs that feature Carlton players on the front and back pages from the 1960s and 1970s, or even the Grand Final lift-outs, yet these photographs have for the most part been discarded or misplaced. The same goes for most of the video footage from the 1960s through to the 1980s. That has also been discarded or misplaced. One can’t help but get despondent about the visual elements to Carlton’s glory days being eroded and thinking that not much is left behind for future generations.

This is why the Blueseum is such a valuable resource as it an outlet that allows Carlton’s fabled visual history to be preserved. And what imbued me with hope recently was looking through the photographs from the cheer squad as provided by Kevin McNair for the Blueseum. CLICK HERE to go directly to the Kevin McNair collection...and what a great collection of photographs it is. Thanks Kevin.

It is fortunate that private collectors also held onto the following photographs as discussed in this article. These photos are from the 1960s-70s. Carlton’s visual history from this period could metaphorically be viewed as a giant jigsaw puzzle of 1000 pieces yet with about 900 missing pieces. The 11 photographs as shown in this article below are the equivalent of finding 11 missing pieces in the jigsaw puzzle.

Hopefully by collating these photographs and putting them together in this article someone else can search through their garage, their loft, their basement and dust off anything (videos, photos, letters) and then send it into the Blueseum.

Pic 1 - McKay.jpg
The private collectors who provided these photographs didn’t have information about what year they were taken in and the details on the names of the players in the photos. If you have any information to impart that can increase our knowledge about these images then please contact the Blueseum.

Photo 1 - McKay takes a mark!
The first question one has about this photo is what year was it taken in? The clues are with the player wearing number 24 for Carlton.

In the Blueseum’s Locker Room section, the information provided there is that Bill Barrot played for just one year wearing the number 24 guernsey. That year was 1971. Prior to this, Terry Board played 41 games in this guernsey number between 1965-68.

This looks like Barrot in the 24 guernsey in this photograph anyway, plus the fact that McKay didn’t play between 1965-68 allows one to conclude that this photo was taken during the infamous Brent Crosswell match of 1971. Of all the missing matches in Channel Seven’s archives this would be the one I would most want to view if it ever miraculously turned up.

Why is it known as the “Crosswell match”? Because Crosswell kicked five goals and helped Carlton claw back a victory after trailing by 42 points at half-time. Carlton won, much like the Grand Final from the previous year, (then 44 points down at half-time) after seemingly being done and dusted half way through the match.

One further question- Who is the player for Collingwood? Well we know that Len Thompson was a frequent opponent of McKay and although we can only see the 8 on this player’s guernsey, one could conclude that the 2 is the missing number obscured by McKay’s back. And 28 was the number Thompson wore in 1971. A point of interest with this photo is that it looks like the fist from this Collingwood player is swinging backwards with some velocity into McKay’s chest.

Although this match is historically important from a Carlton perspective, I have only ever seen one other photograph in any book that clearly comes from this 1971 match. Lionel Frost on the front cover of his book – The Old Dark Navy Blues – utilises a photo from it of Crosswell, ball in hand, with Jesaulenko and Jones cheering him on, presumably after a mark.


Pic 2- Collins or Auchettl.jpg

Photograph 2 - Collins or Kekovich?
The first task with this photograph was determining what year it was taken in. If it is from the premiership year of 1968 then it is a big find as there are few photographs remaining from that year in the archives.

The starting point was looking for clues from the photograph, and the first thing one can say with definitive accuracy is that it is Ron Auchetti in the background of this photograph. The next question, as a result, is what years did Auchetti play for Carlton against the Swans at Princes Park? And seeing as he only played the Swans once in his career at Carlton and that match was in 1968 then we can say that it is proof that this photograph is from that premiership year. Auchetti only played a total of five games in 1966-67 and 69 but as many as 12 in 1968.

The next question I had was who is the Carlton player getting the kick away? His face is obscured and I was hoping it was a photograph of Brian Kekovich, the player who kicked four of Carlton’s seven goals in the 1968 Grand Final. Finding a photograph of Brian Kekovich is the Holy Grail of photographs, as there are no action shots of him that remain.

To have no action photographs of Kekovich, who is one of Carlton’s most impactful grand final players of the last 55 years, is a travesty. What would Carlton’s history have been like if they had lost the 1968 Grand Final? Would they have had the confidence to come back from the half-time deficit in the 1970 Grand Final? Who knows, but we do know that Kekovich’s goal scoring was integral to that 1968 game resulting in a win.

There are only eight photographs of Keka in the Blueseum image gallery and none are action shots of him taking a mark or kicking the ball in a match.

I have also contacted The Age newspaper & they have informed me that they have two photos of Kekovich remaining in its collection (perhaps it has more?) but they are photos of him in a suit and a photo from behind of him colliding with Jesaulenko in the 1968 2nd-semi final.

So I was initially excited that this photograph was the first I had seen of the goal kicking legend of 1968 in action, yet then it dawned on me reluctantly that this photograph is not of Kekovich. This is a photo taken in Carlton’s backline, as Auchetti (the other player in the photo) primarily played in defence. It then made perfect sense that if one looks at the facial features more closely that it is back pocket player Ian Collins in this photograph.

Again, there are a few clues, the bent nose, the hairstyle and the socks down all point towards it being Ian Collins in action. Besides, the player in the photo is clearly shorter than Auchetti, and that also points to it being Collins. This is still a great find, even if there are quite a few photos of Collins in existence. It should be remembered that Collins was rated one of Carlton’s top 100 players in Holmesby’s and Main’s book-Carlton, The 100 Greatest, but still the search goes on for Kekovich photographs.

Pic 3 - Silvagni v Sturt.jpg


Photo 3 – Photo description: Silvagni vs Sturt
In 1968, the premiership winning team of Victoria played the premiers of South Australia and the winners were crowned the champion team of the country. Carlton won this match and it was played in South Australia.

But...

Who is the player with the ball? Of course it is the irrepressible Sergio Silvagni. Neil Chandler played the 1968-69 seasons in the 47 guernsey, so it is most likely him with his back towards the photographer.

Who was Carlton’s leading goal scorer in this Championship of Australia match? Brian Kekovich of course! It was his last game with the Blues and he kicked four goals...again, just like in the VFL Grand Final. Four goals in that low-scoring year was the equivalent of six or seven goals in today’s football.

One positive from this photo- finally there is a photograph of Kekovich on the field of play! Off in the background in this photo and blurred & out of focus is Brian Kekovich. We finally have an action shot of Kekovich...he’s blurred, he’s in the background, he’s not near the ball, but he’s in the picture.










Pic 4 - Jones in action adj.jpg Photo 4 – Jones in action against Fitzroy.
This photograph is most likely from the early 1970s.

Vin Waite is to the left waiting for the ball to drop from the pack and Kevin Hall is running in from the right. Peter Jones is the player leaping over the top of the pack and the obscured player is perhaps Wes Lofts or Geoff Southby. It looks like the Carlton player in front of Jones is wearing the number 20 jumper. Lofts wore this guernsey up to 1970, and Southby from 1971 onwards.








Pic 5 - Barassi in action adj.jpg Photo 5 - Ron Barassi in action.The amount of photographs that remain of Ron Barassi in action as a Carlton player that I have seen in Carlton books numbers less than 10. They always use that photo of him tackling a Footscray player and not much else. So any photograph of Barassi that is found is of some importance.

To piece together what year this photo is from one needs to look at the various players in the photograph. It looks like the other Carlton player in this photograph (running on the far right) is number 34, Ian Robertson. If that is the case, then we have three years 1966, 1967 & 1968 to consider as possible years for this photograph.

1966- Barassi didn’t play against Richmond at the MCG, so that rules that year out. The other two years are possibilities. In 1967, there was no Carlton vs Richmond home and away match at the MCG, yet there was a semi-final, and in 1968 Round Two vs Richmond both of these players featured. So this photo is most likely from one of those matches.

I like to presume that the player behind the Richmond player who is “accidently” forcing his arm across the Richmond player’s face is Wes Lofts. He always did “clumsy” things such as falling on players, or having an arm swing into their faces. So many “accidents” when it came to Lofts.

The most positive element to this photograph is how it encapsulates Barassi’s character. Nearly every action shot of Barassi you see there is some reference to his determination. He is either gritting his teeth, grimacing or somehow conveying intense determination.


Pic 6 - Silvagni and Walls.jpg




Photo 6 - Walls and Silvagni – the two enforcers.
Robert Walls and Serg Silvagni were in the leadership group behind Nicholls.

In those days, leadership meant something else to what we have in modern day football. Walls said in an interview with Mike Sheehan during the show On The Couch that the team needed someone to step up to play a physical style of game, protect the smaller players and be an enforcer. He considered it his responsibility.

Maybe I am reading too much into this photograph but seeing these two players leaving the oval together conveys a unified strength that would have been intimidating for the opposition. Of course this is at the end of the match and both players look spent...but imagining these two players enter the race behind Nicholls, what an intimidating introduction to the Carlton Football Club.






Pic 7 - Silvagni yapping adj.jpg
Photograph 7 - Silvagni yapping away.
This photograph is of various Swans players contesting with Serg Silvagni. What I like most about this photograph is seeing Silvagni yapping away, barking instructions. One gets the impression that Silvagni was a player that had plenty of voice on the oval.

I am going to guess who the other players on the field are, and perhaps from those guesses someone else can work out what year this photograph is from. It is probably from the late 1960s. I have no idea of the Carlton player on the far left of the photograph.

The two Swans players perhaps are:-
- John “Suds” Sudholz (1966-71) could be the Swans player closest to Silvagni. Or maybe Terry Leahy?
- And Keith Baskin is possibly the other Swans player in the photograph. (1964, 1967-73)

I based these guesses on looking at the team photo of the Swans players from the Jim Main book In The Blood.

I wasted at least 20 minutes trying to work out the guernsey number of the player on the ground about to trip the Swans player. No idea, it looks like a six or a circular number, but I can’t work it out. Any ideas?




Photograph 8-
Photo description: Jezza at training
This photograph is obviously at training, yet piecing together what year the photograph is from is open to interpretation. We know that Kevin Hall wore the number 3 jumper up until 1973, but does this side on view allow us to definitively confirm it is Kevin Hall? The next person to wear the number 3 guernsey was Mike Fitzpatrick, and this definitely isn’t Fitzpatrick in this photograph.
Either way, the real value of this photograph is seeing the fluidity of Jesaulenko in action. Perfect balance, everything seemed so effortless for arguably the greatest of great players in Alex Jesaulenko.



Pic 9 - Crosswell leaping for the ball.jpg __Photograph 9 –
Photo description: Brent “Tiger” Croswell leaps for the ball. __
John Nicholls is standing in front of Crosswell as he takes this chest mark. From the other images on the Blueseum, we know Croswell cut his hair short in 1971-72, so this photograph is most likely from either one of those years.

Crosswell was a spectacular aerialist and there are more spectacular photographs of him taking marks in the Blueseum, but this is a fair addition to the collection.









Pic 10 - Nicoll being assisted from the ground.jpg Photograph 10 - John Gill being assisted by trainers
In this photo, John Gill is being assisted by the trainers after receiving a cut mouth. It was fortunate that the Blueseum’s Peter McLean assisted in the task of determining what match this was from. He did so because if you look closely in this photo you can see Barassi among the scrum of people just behind umpire Crouch’s head. Another clue is that Crouch umpired both Carlton vs St Kilda matches in 1966 and 67, but Ian Stewart only played in the 1966 Rnd 2 match. St Kilda’s Ian Stewart is wearing number 5.

Carlton’s Kevin Hall (wearing number 3) is in the foreground and the other Carlton player clearly identifiable is Wes Lofts with his hands on his hips. As so often was the case with Wes Lofts, he is near where there is an incident, yet in this case he had nothing to do with it. This photograph is from the Round 2, 1966 match against St Kilda at Moorabbin.







Pic 11 - Swan McKay marks adj.jpg
Photograph 11- Does one ever grow tired of seeing McKay marks?

The answer is no.

Is there anything better than a David McKay pack mark? Perhaps a Jesaulenko mark, but not much in football has eclipsed the grace of a McKay mark. He had those arms that seemed to be longer than anyone else’s, and he loved playing well against Collingwood too. In this shot, he just manages to out leap two other teammates and a Collingwood player by the barest of margins. Look at that crowd. They are packed in tight in standing room. There were little to no creature comforts for the average spectator in those days.

If anyone can make out whom the player is in front of McKay send in your suggestions. The photograph is most likely from 1970 or 1971 at Princes Park.


The aim of this article was to build upon the momentum from the McNair collection. What other missing pieces can you find as a Carlton supporter? Is there a photograph you took whilst watching the 1987 Grand Final? Did you keep video footage from 1981? Is the old VHS tape gathering mould in the basement or in the garage? Hopefully Carlton’s visual history won’t be forgotten because as the years pass by ambivalence towards these legends will build and obtaining a record of their deeds becomes much more difficult.

Note: the writer apologies for any accidental, inadvertent infringement of copyright and would welcome any information so that any error or omission can be rectified. The provenance of photography is sometimes unknown or untraceable.


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