Career : 1953
Debut : Round 5, 1953 vs St Kilda, aged 21 years, 132 days
Carlton Player No. 668
Games : 8
Goals : 0
Last Game : Round 18, 1953 vs North Melbourne, aged 21 years, 230 days
Guernsey No. 20
Height : 185 cm (6 ft 1 in.)
Weight : 79.5 kgs (12 stone, 7 lbs.)
DOB : January 11, 1932
By the time 21 year-old Dick Gill made his VFL debut in 1953, he was well-versed in the traditions and expectations of the Carlton Football Club. The son of former champion Blues full-back Frank Gill, Richard Francis Gill had been at Princes Park for five years, steadily progressing through Premiership teams at Under 19 and Reserves level.
Like his illustrious father, Dick was a long-kicking key defender. Starting out at local club Princes Hill, his usual position during the early stages of his career was centre half-back But in 1953, Carlton coach Percy Bentley was looking for a full-back, and selected Gill for his first senior game as custodian of the goal-square when St Kilda visited Princes Park in late May. Heavy rain throughout the previous 24 hours ruined the match as a spectacle however, and the Blues were lucky to scramble home by 9 points.
As often happened to first-gamers back then, Gill was omitted from the following round, and waited seven weeks for a recall. Back into the seniors for round 12, he settled into his designated role right through to the end of the home and away season in round 18, when the Blues held off a determined North Melbourne by 11 points at Arden St.
Despite that last-round victory, Carlton finished fifth on the ladder, and missed out on a finals berth. But he seconds continued on, and Gill was solid at centre half-back when Carlton defeated Essendon by 24 points in the 1953 Reserves Grand Final at the MCG. Played as a curtain-raiser to the Collingwood-Geelong Senior Grand Final, the match entertained a capacity crowd of 89,000, and earned Dick his fourth lower-grade Premiership with the Blues - on top of his consecutive Under 19 flags in 1948-49, and the Reserves Premiership in 1951.
To widespread surprise, Gill then decided that it was time to move on. After handing back his number 20 guernsey, he left Princes Park prior to the start of the next season, and joined a number of other former Blues at VFA club Coburg.
Career Highlights1948 - U/19's Premiership Player
1949 - U/19's Premiership Player
1951 - Reserves Premiership Player
1953 - Reserves Premiership Player