Our history, like that of other football clubs, is filled with recruits from other Clubs. Call them whatever you like – tradees, retreads, carry-over champions, convicts (players with a ‘past history’) – but players from other Clubs have formed an important part of our Club’s great history. Look no further than Melbourne Legend Ron Barassi and his impact on Carlton in the mid 1960’s, or Brownlow Medallist Greg Williams in the mid 1990’s.

In fact, 95 of our 1103 players (as at Round 12, 2007) have played against us before playing senior games in the Navy Blue. Some recruits just sought second chances; others wanted to come to the great Carlton Football Club, and of course some were prised from the grasps of others with cold hard cash. On the other hand, some have been specifically targeted by the Blues after playing important roles in defeating us in seasons past. From being despised as an opponent, to being loved as a Blue, some players secured their invitation to the Club by destroying us in the heat of battle.

1. Harry Davie
Club: Melbourne
Game: Round 14, 1925
Davie was a goal-kicking machine in a relatively short VFL / AFL career spanning from 1924 to 1928. In fact, Davie still holds the record of the most goals in a game at Princes Park, after scoring 13 goals 5 behinds in Round 14, 1925. 8 of these goals would come in a 9-goal final quarter in which Melbourne would overrun the Blues to trounce us by 77 points – after only being up by 21 points at three quarter time! All 9 were scored in succession, as Davie left a permanent impression on Carlton’s hierarchy – and our recruitment plans. In fact, Davie played 5 games against Carlton over 1924 to 1927, scoring 28 goals at an average of over 5 a game.

Davie would cross to Carlton for the 1928 season, playing 9 games and kicking 26 goals. Interestingly, Davie has the most goals for 9-game ‘veterans’ of the Carlton Football Club, just ahead of David Clarke with 21 and Alex Ruscuklic and Rod Leffanue with 20.

2. Brent Heaver
Club: Melbourne
Game: Round 11, 1990

Most of us remember the foot-pumping runs and boyish looks of Heaver through our forward lines in the mid 1990’s. But most of us have tried to forget his debut against Carlton in Round 11, 1990 in which he kicked 5 goals and played a key role in a Melbourne victory (sounds like a good name for a football team!) Whilst our own Mark Naley was dominating through our forward line, young Heaver was scoring goals at the other end. Heaver retains the record of most goals scored on debut for those ‘Despised to Loved’ players who would cross-over.

Ultimately, Heaver’s time at Melbourne was short. He played 12 games for 12 goals before coming across in the 1992 Mid-Season Draft. Despite 19 games in 1996, Heaver was traded to the incoming Port Power in return for the untried Andrew Balkwill and Ben Nelson. Heaver would play 2 seasons for the Power before retiring at the end of 1998.

3. Ricky Mott
Club: The Sydney Swans
Game: Round 2, 2002
Ricky Mott was a hulk of a ruckman who spent a year with Carlton in 2004, before heading home to the West. There is no doubt that Carlton needed a ruckman (or two) in 2004, recruiting Mott and Adrian Deluca in that year to cover the loss of Matthew Allan and Corey McKernan, and perhaps a game back in 2002 dictated our thinking.

In Round 2, 2002, Big Ricky earned 32 hit-outs as he monstered the very ruckman he would be asked to cover for only a few years later. He would only play 17 games at the Swans, but the memory of this game would perhaps both extend his career at Sydney and re-extend it at Carlton a few years later.

4. Bill Barrot
Club: Richmond
Game: Round 19, 1969 and Grand Final, 1969

William ‘Bustling Billy’ Barrot was a star Tiger in two stunning Richmond victories over Carlton – starting with 8 goals in Round 19 of 1969 and then again in the Grand Final with a game-breaking performance and roosting 3 goals. But within 12 short months, Richmond stunned the football world by announcing that they had agreed to swap Barrot to St Kilda, in return for the Saints' dual Brownlow medallist Ian Stewart. For sure, Barrot played well in his debut match, kicking four goals. But in his second game, and despite kicking a goal, he was dragged at half time - and promptly walked out of the ground. Meanwhile, Ian Stewart was starring for Richmond, on the way to his third Brownlow, in what loomed as an epic blunder by St Kilda.

With memories of both games all too fresh, Carlton offered the 27 year-old Barrot another chance, which he accepted. Coach Ron Barassi said later that Barrot's arrival had lifted the Blues, however all that fell apart in the last match of the season. As Ian Collins remembered; "at half time against Collingwood, Barrot told Barassi he wasn't going to play for him any more. Barassi said 'thats good-give us your jumper,' and that was the end of Billy with Carlton! We were six goals down and we went back and won the game. It was hard on the player, but the other seventeen reacted to it positively - which is what Barass wanted."

5. Adrian Hickmott
Club: Geelong
Game: Grand Final, 1995

Speaking of Grand Finals, one Cat would shine on an otherwise dark day (for them) in 1995. Adrian Hickmott, in his 50th game for Geelong, would continually lead and fight hard for the ball whilst his more experienced co-forwards Billy Brownless and Gary Ablett Senior were not just well held but annihilated by the great Blues backline of 1995, including Sexton, Dean, Silvagni, Manton, Whitehead and Christou.

Many of the successful Blues noted his fine efforts against adversity on the day, including Dean Rice and Peter Dean, and the Blues would ascertain his availability for Season 1996 and beyond. Hickmott would join the Blues through an effective 3-way trade involving Blue Troy Bond, some draft picks and Marty McKinnon and would go on to provide great courage and leadership in Carlton colours right up until his retirement in 2003.

Of course, there are many more than these 5 players who have moved from being despised to being loved. Greg Wells would kick 4 on debut against Carlton, and ultimately found his way to the Blues. Greg Williams would shine in Geelong and Sydney colours against many opponents, including Carlton, throughout the 1980’ and early 1990’s. Further, Jim Flynn, Joe McShane, Henry McShane, Fred Elliott and Jack Wells would all represent other Clubs yet be appointed to the highest office of the land – Captain of the Carlton Football Club. Indeed, footy fans are quick to change their views on past felons of any jumper colour should they decide to redeem themselves in that navy blue jumper we all love.

Blueseum footnote: All Carlton players who have come from, or joined, other Clubs, are outlined further in the Time at other Clubs section of the Blueseum. For part 2 of this article, click here.