Aged 17 on debut, and the first Blue to wear guernsey no. 50.

Peter Gilbert

Career : 1966
Debut : Round 16, 1966 vs Melbourne, aged 17 years, 224 days
Carlton Player No. 789
Games : 3
Goals : 0
Last Game : Round 18, 1966 vs Geelong, aged 17 years, 238 days
Guernsey No. 50 (1966).
Height : 177 cm (5 ft. 9½ in.)
Weight : 79 kg (12 stone, 6 lbs.)
DOB : December 31, 1948

The first player to wear guernsey number 50 in a senior game for Carlton, 17 year-old Peter Gilbert made a rapid rise through the lower grades to make his debut for the Blues in round 16, 1966. Precisely three weeks later, he played his third and last match against Geelong, and so also became the youngest Blue ever to finish his career against the Cats, at 17 years and 238 days old.

Gilbert was recruited from Broadmeadows, in Melbourne’s outer northern suburbs. He started with the Under 19 team at Carlton, but by mid-year in 1966 was a regular with the Reserves. A purple patch of form late in the season put him in the sights of the match committee, and his big moment came in mid-August, when he was selected in a back pocket for the game against Melbourne at Princes Park. Also included on debut that day was a promising ruckman from Tasmania in Peter Jones, whose career would pan out in complete contrast to the young defender.

Intent on a good start, the Blues were all over the Demons from the opening bounce that afternoon, and ran out comfortable winners. Stationed alongside full-back Wes Lofts, with Ron Stone in the opposite pocket, Gilbert was effective enough to hold his place in the team for the trip to the Western Oval the following week, when the Blues demolished Footscray by 61 points in a one-sided affair.

However, Gilbert’s – and Carlton’s - moment of truth came in the last game of the season at Princes Park, when third-placed Geelong showed how big the gulf was between the top four sides and the rest. The Cats dominated the match throughout, and crushed a disorganised Carlton by 70 points in front of a huge crowd of 37,000. The star for Geelong was their captain and rover Bill Goggin, who played forward on Gilbert for most of the match, and set up the win by booting four goals and creating at least as many more.

Perhaps because of that experience, Peter Gilbert never played again for Carlton. Although the circumstances are unclear, he either retired from VFL football voluntarily before the start of the next season, or was delisted after the annual list assessment. It is highly likely that he played on somewhere afterwards - particularly because of his age – but as yet, those details have not come to light.

Gilbert wore Guernsey No. 48 in 1967 when playing with Carlton's reserves team.

Blueseum: Summary of playing statistics for Peter Gilbert | Gilbert's Blueseum Image Gallery

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Page last modified on Tuesday 22 of January, 2019 20:09:35 AEDT by Jarusa.

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