Noel Mewett

Career : 1969
Debut : Round 8, 1969 vs Richmond, aged 20 years, 52 days
Carlton Player No. 812
Games : 5
Goals : 3
Last Game : Round 14, 1969 vs Footscray, aged 20 years, 101 days
Guernsey No. 18
Height : 182 cm (5 ft. 11 in.)
Weight : 76 kg (12 stone, 0 lbs.)
DOB : April 2, 1949

Noel Mewett’s story is another tale of triumph over near-tragedy. After only a handful of senior games for the Blues in 1969, he was regarded as a future star. But on the brink of his second season, Noel was almost killed in a car crash on a country road. Although his dream of a VFL career was shattered, he eventually recovered and turned his attention to business. Since then, he has built and managed one of Australia’s most successful property development companies.

Tasmanian resident and former Blue John Chick discovered Mewett as a skinny teenager playing clever football at centre half-forward for the Hobart Tigers in 1968. The youngster won his club’s Best and Fairest that year, so Chick wasted no time in signing him to the Blues. During the ’69 pre-season practice matches at Princes Park, and in the first few reserves games of the year, Mewett was damaging in a variety of roles up forward. His form demanded elevation to the senior side, and he duly joined Phil Pinnell on debut against Richmond at the MCG on May 24. Pinnell started the game at half-back, while Noel warmed the bench as 20th man, alongside Kevin Hall.

The loathing between the Blues and the Tigers was as intense as ever at that time, and this clash lived up to expectations. There were numerous injuries and surprisingly, only one report (Bill Barrot of Richmond, for striking ‘Percy’ Jones). At three quarter time, Mewett replaced Syd Jackson, whose gashed eyebrow required a trip to hospital. Despite jangling nerves, Noel readily involved himself in the play, as the Blues held off a late Richmond revival to win by 29 points.

Over the ensuing 100 days, Mewett played another four senior games, highlighted by his three goals from a flank against St Kilda at Princes Park in round 12. By July, he had worn his number 18 guernsey in five senior matches without defeat, but thereafter finished the season with the reserves. In September, he experienced the thrill of finals football as the Blues seconds battled their way through to a Grand Final, only to fall to a fitter and fresher Melbourne. No-one knew it at the time, but that was to be Noel’s curtain call as a Carlton player.

Shortly afterwards, Mewett’s life was pushed in another direction when he received his call-up for national service with the Australian army. His birthdate; April 2, had tumbled from the barrel and he was required to spend the next two years in uniform. By March 1970, he was based at Puckapunyal; 100 kilometres north of Melbourne, and travelling to Princes Park twice a week to endure the rigours of pre-season training with the Blues.

It was then, while driving back to base after a practice match, that Mewett’s car left the road and plunged down a slope; smashing into a gum tree and leaving the vehicle suspended more than 10 metres above the ground. Noel suffered multiple injuries to his chest, shoulders and hips, and was extremely lucky to survive. Doctors later told him that it was only his advanced fitness – thanks to the army and football - that pulled him through.

He went home to Tasmania during the long recovery process, still harbouring hopes of a comeback to the VFL. The Blues retained him on the playing roster, and flew him to the MCG on Grand Final day 1970, to see his mates defeat Collingwood in one of the truly great Premiership deciders.

By then, Mewett had realised that his days at Carlton were over. But he left Princes Park with the consolation that for a while, he had been a worthy member of a great football side. In a 2012 interview published on the club website, Mewett paid tribute to Carlton coach Ron Barassi with these words; “I really idolized ‘Barass’ and he was really good to me,” Mewett said. “He came over to see me in Tassie after the accident, and he was quite devastated about it. Barass had a high opinion of me, and that was probably all that mattered.”

In the years afterward, Noel did eventually return to the football field with his original club; Kermandie, in the Huon Football Association. He played just for the enjoyment, and was a conspicuous success. “They stuck me in a forward pocket, and I kicked 100 goals for the year, but it was only country footy,” he said.

His life reached another fork in the road soon afterward, when he took the plunge into small business and bought a rundown little hardware store in Jeeveston in the Huon Valley. Within a couple of years Noel had transformed it into a thriving rural centre. Then in 1987, he relocated to Queensland’s Gold Coast and took up property development. These days, Mewett heads up Goldtime Developments Pty Ltd, one of Queensland’s major players in the construction of over-50’s lifestyle resorts.

Career Highlights

1969 3rd Reserves Best & Fairest

Blueseum: Summary of playing statistics for Noel Mewett | Mewett's Blueseum Image Gallery
Contributors to this page: Jarusa , PatsFitztrick , Bombasheldon , molsey , tmd1 , WillowBlue and admin .
Page last modified on Tuesday 19 of March, 2013 13:28:53 AEDT by Jarusa.

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