Career : 1896 1898 - 1900
VFA Debut: 1896 v St.Kilda August 22, aged 17 years, 248 days
Debut : Round 2, 1898 vs Melbourne, aged 19 years, 155 days
Carlton Player No. 47
Games : 21 (plus 3 VFA)
Goals : 2
Last Game : Round 8, 1900 vs Geelong, aged 21 years, 188 days
Height : 177 cm (5 ft. 7 in.)
Weight : 68 kg. (10 stone, 9 lbs.)
DOB : 17th December, 1878
NB - Charlie is on the right of the this image of the Curtis brothers.
The eldest of two Curtis brothers who played for Carlton in the early years of last century, Charles Ernest Curtis wore the iconic chamois yoke of the Navy Blues in 21 senior matches over three seasons.
Born in Carlton in 1878, Charlie was the third eldest of ten children in the family of John Curtis, a successful leather goods manufacturer, and the proprietor of a dancing school in Canning Street. Charlie grew up to love the game of Australian Football, and was a star for the local Cardigan club when Carlton invited him to a practice match at Princes Park in 1898.
A small but determined rover, the teenager soon impressed, and was included in Carlton’s line-up for his first VFL game against Melbourne at the MCG in May of that same year. Although Carlton was badly beaten, Charlie was retained in the side throughout the remainder of the season, and settled into a regular role on a centre wing. He kicked the first of his two career goals in Carlton’s victory over St Kilda at the Junction Oval in round 14, but by the end of that year the demands of the family business were already starting to restrict his training time.
Charlie played just two more games for the Blues in 1899, and another three in 1900 before bowing to the inevitable and bidding farewell to Princes Park. He wasn’t lost to the game however, and despite making a comeback to play at Richmond during the Tigers’ VFA Premiership season in 1902, Charlie remained a loyal Bluebagger for the rest of his life – which ended at the age of 80 at Fitzroy on March 8, 1959.
VFA 1896Charles Ernest Curtis appears in Volume 5 (p45) of "Origins of Australian Football."
According to Volume 5 Charles Curtis played 3 games for the Blues in 1896
Charles celebrated his Carlton senior debut aged 17 years, 248 days, with a win against St.Kilda on the University Oval playing at full-back on August 22
His next match was against North Melbourne at Arden Street playing in the back pocket on September 05.
His final game in 1896 was against Richmond played on the Richmond City Reserve at the rear of the Town Hall on September 19. Once again Curtis was placed in the back pocket. This was a Carlton home game which was transferred from the University Oval.
It was the only time the Blues played at that venue.
FootnotesIn 1913, Charlie’s youngest brother Harry Curtis was discarded by Carlton after only two senior games. Carlton’s coach at the time, Jack Wells, is said to have told Curtis that he would never make a League footballer because his kicking skills were so poor. But Harry didn’t agree, and crossed to Collingwood – where he played 122 games and kicked 149 goals in a stellar career that included three Grand Finals, and Premiership victories in 1917 and 1919.
After retiring as a player, Harry Curtis was elected President of Collingwood at the tender age of 32. From then on, he served for an unbroken period of 27 years, during which the Magpies won another six flags – including four in succession from 1927 to 1930.
LinksArticles: Carlton and the Brothers Curtis
Blueseum: Summary of playing statistics for Charlie Curtis | Curtis' Blueseum Image Gallery