1899 Bobadil J. Hooper
Trove; Punch June 29 In an era when choosing a name for a child is looked upon as one of life’s great responsibilities, we took a browse through the Blueseum in search of unconventional player names. What we quickly learned was that throughout our history, the parents of our Famous Old Dark Navy Blues have rarely lacked imagination. From that great day when Carlton’s first VFL team took to the field, unusual given names have joined family names from all corners of the globe on our list, and some remarkable combinations have resulted.

Take Bobadil Hooper, for example, whose name came from the writings of the celebrated 19th century English poet Robert Louis Stevenson. Then there’s the swashbuckling British influence, typified by the likes of Oscar Manchester, Rhoda McDonald, Hedley Blackmore, Rowley Faust, Garney Goodrick, Harcourt Dowsley, Aubrey Charleston, Croft McKenzie, Lancelot Regnier and Berkley Cox.

From our earliest days, much of Carlton’s (and Australia’s) sporting culture has been enhanced by the people of the Mediterranean. Italy has provided dozens of fine footballers to all AFL clubs, particularly so at Princes Park. Frank Rigaldi, Bert Boromeo, Ray Martini, Peter Bevilacqua, Ron Auchettl, Vinnny Cattoggio, Mario Bortolotto, Steve Da Rui, Renato Serafini, Frank Marchesani and Ronny De Iulio are just some of them, along with the greatest father-son combination of all in Sergio and Stephen Silvagni. And a bloke named Ron Barassi of course, who was pretty good at the coaching caper.

Greece has given us the likes of Chris Pavlou, Vasil Varlamos, Spiro Kourkoumelis, Phil Poursanidis, Alex Marcou, and that brilliant double-act of the 1990’s; Ang Christou and Anthony Koutoufides. “Kouta’s” heritage spans four cultures. His father was born in Egypt to Greek parents, while his mother came from northern Italy. Then of course there’s Andy Lukimitis – who took the unprecedented step of changing his surname by deed poll to Lukas, so that game callers on radio and television could more easily pronounce his name.

Eastern Europe and the Balkans region, too has been kind to the Blues. It has produced match-winners like Alex Jesaulenko, Brian Kekovich, Alex Ruscuklic, Val Perovic and Jon Dorotich. Germany has provided us with Otto Buck (a member of Carlton’s first-ever VFL team in 1897) as well as the likes of Herman Dohrmann, Charlie Schunke, Paul Schmidt, Carl Keller and Jordan Doering. Frank Gomez had Spanish ancestry, Dan Beauvais probably came from French stock, while the redoubtable Wally Koochew remains the sole Carlton player of Chinese descent.

Two players with the appropriate surname of Kick have pulled on the Navy Blue; father and son Edward (Ned), and Murray. Charlie Tough might have been handy when tempers became frayed. Brighton Diggins, who was captain-coach of Carlton’s 1938 Premiership team, was christened Bryton, but preferred the alternative spelling. Our centreman in that flag side was born William Edward Creswell Crisp. He liked to be called Creswell, but was landed with the nickname ‘Mickey’ throughout his career.

Music fans might be surprised to learn that Johnny O'Keefe and Tom Jones both pulled the boots on for senior games at Princes Park. Clen Denning holds the remarkable record of kicking six goals with his first six kicks at senior level, and Denis Zeunert is the only Carlton player to date with a surname beginning with the last letter of the alphabet.

Overall, more than 1100 names have taken the field in a senior game for the Carlton Football Club. While playing careers can be long or short, depending on the players skills, size and longevity, their name will live on in the annals of the Blueseum.