|Venue: Princes Park||Date: Saturday September 1, 1951|
|Result: Lose by 44 points||Umpire:||Crowd: 27,000|
|Goalkickers: B.Comben 3, K.Warburton 2, V.English 1, K.Hands 1, F.Stafford 1, H.Sullivan 1.|
|Reports: Harry Caspar (striking John Coleman) - 4 Matches; John Coleman (retaliating against Harry Caspar) - 4 Matches.|
Game ReviewThis was a match which became a touchstone for mutual loathing between the Blues and the Bombers. Essendon, Premiers of 1949 and 1950, had high hopes of flying a third successive flag over Windy Hill in 1951, but one man was irreplaceable in their line-up; full-forward extraordinaire John Coleman. Virtually any footy fan who saw him play will tell you that Coleman was the best full-forward - if not the best player - there ever was.
Apparently, Coleman entered this last round of the season with a nasty boil on the back of his neck. Blues' full-back Harry Caspar, either deliberately or inadvertently - depending on your allegiance - made heavy contact with the boil during a marking contest in the second quarter, and Coleman reacted as one would. He turned and threw a flurry of punches at Caspar, and in the aftermath both players were reported, Coleman for "retaliating".
On the following Tuesday night, amazing scenes ensued as hundreds of Bomber fans waited outside the tribunal whilst the Coleman case was heard. Anger and disbelief were the order of the day as word of Coleman's four-match suspension was announced. In a memorable newspaper photograph of the time, the Bomber star was shown in tears, surrounded by a horde of angry supporters.
Subsequently, Essendon lost the Grand Final to Geelong by 11 points, and no-one would argue that John Coleman wouldn't have made the difference. The sands of time will forever link Harry Caspar with Coleman, and his part in denying Essendon a near-certain Premiership.
This loss also saw the end of the careers of two Carlton Hall of Fame inductees in pacy defender Jim Clark, and versatile match-winner Jim 'Bones' Baird..
|B:||35 Jack Conley||27 Ollie Grieve||24 Harry Caspar|
|HB:||30 George Stafford||16 John Brown||26 Jim Clark|
|C:||11 Laurie Kerr||8 Arthur Hodgson||18 Alan Thynne|
|HF:||29 Bill Milroy||3 Harry Sullivan||10 Fred Stafford|
|F:||1 Ken Hands (acting capt.)||7 Keith Warburton||17 Doug Beasy|
|Ruck:||28 Fred Davies||14 Vin English||15 Bruce Comben|
|Res:||25 Jim Baird||9 Jack Mills|
MilestonesLast Game: Jim Baird, Jim Clark and Alan Thynne
Round 17 | 1952