1954 premiership players

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ivan rassmussen

Premiership Player
Jun 28, 2007
3,285
6,025
1973
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
A few years back there was a thread about Ron McCarthy from the 54 premiership team, and I think at the time there were 11 living 54 premiership players. Since then, Jack Collins has passed away.

Is anyone aware if all of the following 10 players are still with us?
Charlie Sutton (definitely still around, now 87years old)
Angus Abbey (would be 85)
Herb Henderson (pretty sure he was attending Darwin home games until last year, 81)
Doug Reynolds (would be 78)
Don Ross (would be 77)
Harvey Stevens (would be 81)
Ron Stockman (would be 77)
David Bryden (would be 84)
Jim Gallagher (would be 80)
Peter Box (pretty sure he still lives a reclusive life and refuses all contact from the club, 79 years old)

The deceased players I am sure about are:
Jack Collins
John Kerr
Alan Martin
Arthur Edwards
Roger Duffy
Ron McCarthy
John Nuttall
Brian Gilmore
Wally Donald
Ted Whitten Snr

Hopefully a few of these guys are still around when we finally win the bloody thing again, even if they will probably be too frail to get up on the dais and present the cup and/or medals…

#/Name/Age
30 Abbey, Angus 28y 314d
5 Box, Peter 22y 187d
18 Bryden, Dave 27y 94d
2 Collins, Jack 24y 265d
22 Donald, Wally 27y 121d
7 Duffy, Roger 22y 364d
11 Edwards, Arthur 20y 113d
24 Gallagher, Jim 23y 193d
34 Gilmore, Brian 21y 79d
25 Henderson, Herb 24y 12d
1 Kerr, John 20y 72d
19 Martin, Alan 26y 196d
33 McCarthy, Ron 19y 326d
26 Nuttall, Jack 25y 238d
28 Reynolds, Doug 21y 21d
9 Ross, Don 20y 217d
32 Stevens, Harvey 24y 48d
17 Stockman, Ron 20y 37d
6 Sutton, Charlie 30y 175d
3 Whitten, Ted 21y 60d


From stats rleague (http://stats.rleague.com/afl/stats/games/1954/071119540925.html )
 

FishCreekBandit

All Australian
Sep 8, 2010
743
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Dave Bryden is still kicking but has had a few health issues of late. He has always said that he hopes to see another flag before he passes away and believes that the club puts a little bit to much into the 54 side. Sort of proud that he is a 54er but hates not having a younger group of guys to share the experience with. Is a huge fan of Stack and thinks his a real good kid. Still watches the boys it week but due to health hasnt been able to attend many games
 

PSP18

Team Captain
Aug 16, 2009
429
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Roy Harper couldn't play in the '54 Grand Final (injury) but was part of the list. I met him earlier this year, he had some great yarns. He's still living in suburban Melbourne.

It would be GREAT if just one of these blokes is alive to present the Cup next time we have the chance. Just one of them to do what Bobby Davis and others have done. Please Dogs, let this happen...
 

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snags

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Ronnie Stockman still going strong,Don Ross still lives up in Albury was a very successful builder /developer and very keen interest in gallopers.
The great Herb Henderson was living in Narracorte in SA ,he was playing lawn bowls still last time i heard.
 

PSP18

Team Captain
Aug 16, 2009
429
122
Level 3, Aisle 18
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Ronnie Stockman still going strong,Don Ross still lives up in Albury was a very successful builder /developer and very keen interest in gallopers.
The great Herb Henderson was living in Narracorte in SA ,he was playing lawn bowls still last time i heard.
This is all very interesting in a funny kind of way. I'd love to see/read a full profile on those still alive.
 

FishCreekBandit

All Australian
Sep 8, 2010
743
2
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Last time I saw all the 54'ers was at Jack Collins funeral and I was surprised at how fit most of them still are. Out of the leadership group there is only Charlie Sutton (captain/coach) and Dave Bryden (Deputy Vice) still alive and I would not expect either to be alive when we have our next shot at a flag.

In the case of both of them passing away I believe the honour would be handed down to Herbie Henderson who from the looks of him could live to 110! Herbie is a great guy and one of my fondest football moments was sitting round and hearing him and grandad talking about playing on Coleman and just how good the guy was. The story goes that each time they would play Essendon the whole backline would just focus on Coleman he was that dam good.

Henderson would play him from behind giving him a few meters, Wally Donald would be in front cutting of his leads and Bryden who was the biggest of the 3 would just run across and either contest for the mark or outright try to knock him out. Coleman never kicked more then 4 goals in a game against the Doggies and we had one of the best records against Essendon. Sort of helps when we had 3 of our best 20 players of all time on him!!

Its funny that the two greatest Full Forwards of all time (Plugger and Coleman) both struggled against the Doggies when they had a good tough backline with Plugger averaging only 2 goals a game on Tits Kennedy
 

FishCreekBandit

All Australian
Sep 8, 2010
743
2
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Trying to think of some other 54'er stories ive been told over the years.

The backline of the time is still classed as the greatest back 6 of all time.

Wally Donald Herb Henderson Dave Bryden
Alan Martin Ted Whitten Jim Gallagher

But it also one of the toughest and dirtiest back six of all time!! From what ive been told Wally Donald, Dave Bryden and EJ would not have played more then a dozen games had there been trial by video (which they dont agree with) and at the start of the grand final it was told by Sutton that "you young blokes go out there and play football and let us old blokes worry bout handing out justice" and hand out justice they did!! Sutton who had been injured a lot didnt have much impact on the game itself but he gave out a few good bumps and hits when needed and Wally/Bryden the only two other "elder-statesmen" put in there normal rough as guts performances.

EJ from a young age was always a tough bastard and a fun fact is that he was only ever knocked out by a team mate (twice in fact) once when he was backing into a pack and the other was due to young EJ getting in the way of the big ruckmans leap, having been told to get out of his way or I'll run through you and as he didnt listen well young Ted was taught an important lesson. Do not **** with a ruckman in the 50's!!

Peter Box by all accounts was an amazing footballer and very naturally gifted who would have went down to be one of our all time greats had off field problems not caused him to not only leave the club as a player but to have not attended club functions in a very long time. He of course won the 1956 and was a champion of the time.

The 54 side would have won a lot more flags had we not had a few in house problems along with losing a lot of players to Bush leagues due to them needing to support there family's. Don't be followed into thinking we got lucky vs Melbourne on the day as had we kept all the 54'ers we would have been the power house of the comp for many a year.
 

ivan rassmussen

Premiership Player
Jun 28, 2007
3,285
6,025
1973
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Sorry to bounce this old thread, but thought we needed a distraction from tonight's debacle in the west...

Since I started this thread, sadly Charlie Sutton and Dave Bryden have passed away, but I've not heard or seen any other news here or elsewhere on the other surviving players. Does anyone have any info on how the remaining 8 are travelling?

Here's an update on my original post...

Surviving players (and current age based on birthdates listed at http://stats.rleague.com/afl/stats/games/1954/071119540925.html)
Angus Abbey (88)
Herb Henderson (83)
Doug Reynolds (80)
Don Ross (80)
Harvey Stevens (83)
Ron Stockman (79)
Jim Gallagher (83)
Peter Box (82)

Deceased players:
David Bryden
Charlie Sutton
Jack Collins
John Kerr
Alan Martin
Arthur Edwards
Roger Duffy
Ron McCarthy
John Nuttall
Brian Gilmore
Wally Donald
Ted Whitten Snr

B: Donald Henderson Bryden
HB: Martin Whitten Gallagher
C: McCarthy Ross Reynolds
HF: Duffy Box Stockman
F: Gilmore Collins Sutton
Foll: Stevens Edwards Kerr
Res: Nuttall Abbey
 
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ivan rassmussen

Premiership Player
Jun 28, 2007
3,285
6,025
1973
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Also, just as an interesting comparison to today where the 50 games is often quoted before players are considered to have completed some sort of "apprenticeship", have a look at the ages and games played for our flag winners up to and including the 54 grand final, and their winning percentages in their careers to that point (only Angus Abbey had failed to win more than half the games he played in, and Stockman and McCarthy were 20 and 19 and going into a GF hardly knowing what it felt like to lose)...

#
Player
Age
Career Games (W-D-L W%)

30
Abbey, Angus
28y 314d
78 (35-1-42 45.51%)
5
Box, Peter
22y 187d
57 (37-1-19 65.79%)
18
Bryden, Dave
27y 95d
131 (66-1-64 50.76%)
2
Collins, Jack
24y 266d
87 (46-1-40 53.45%)
22
Donald, Wally
27y 122d
150 (75-2-73 50.67%)
7
Duffy, Roger
22y 364d
53 (27-1-25 51.89%)
11
Edwards, Arthur
20y 114d
41 (22-1-18 54.88%)
24
Gallagher, Jim
23y 194d
62 (36-1-25 58.87%)
34
Gilmore, Brian
21y 80d
49 (29-1-19 60.20%)
25
Henderson, Herb
24y 12d
72 (44-1-27 61.81%)
1
Kerr, John
20y 73d
29 (17-1-11 60.34%)
19
Martin, Alan
26y 196d
105 (52-1-52 50.00%)
33
McCarthy, Ron
19y 326d
35 (25-1-9 72.86%)
26
Nuttall, Jack
25y 239d
17 (11-1-5 67.65%)
28
Reynolds, Doug
21y 21d
31 (17-1-13 56.45%)
9
Ross, Don
20y 218d
56 (31-1-24 56.25%)
32
Stevens, Harvey
24y 49d
91 (58-1-32 64.29%)
17
Stockman, Ron
20y 38d
24 (17-1-6 72.92%)
6
Sutton, Charlie
30y 175d
161 (86-1-74 53.73%)
3
Whitten, Ted
21y 61d
66 (36-1-29 55.30%)
 

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ivan rassmussen

Premiership Player
Jun 28, 2007
3,285
6,025
1973
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
I know I bounce this thread at longer intervals, but am bouncing it today because I came across this article:

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/ipad/te...te-their-top-dog/story-fn6bfkm6-1226397146343

which has a photo from Charlie Sutton's service at Etihad in 2012 with a photo of 7 of the 8 surviving players, if anyone is interested (it was taken whilst Dave Bryden was still alive):

upload_2014-11-20_12-35-33.jpeg


Back row: Don Ross, Ron Stockman, David Bryden (dec), Harvey Stevens, Herb Henderson.
Front: Doug Reynolds, Peter Box, Angus Abbey
Absent: Jim Gallagher
 

go you pups

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Cant read that article, paywall. The news instead of heraldsun url thing doesn't work either. Didn't realise Wally Donald was no longer with us, died 11 years ago, heard nothing of it at the time, he was one of my Nans favourites.
 
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Bont2Bruce

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Mar 15, 2012
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Cant read that article, paywall. The news instead of heraldsun url thing doesn't work either. Didn't realise Wally Donald was no longer with us, died 11 years ago, heard nothing of it at the time, he was one of my Nans favourites.

Charlie Sutton memorial service at Etihad Stadium. Back row: Don Ross, Ron Stockman, David Bryden, Harvey Stevens, Herb Henderson. Front: Doug Renolds, Peter Box, Angus Abbey. Picture: Michael Klein Source: Herald Sun

THE Bulldog breed paid their farewells yesterday to Charlie Alfred George Sutton, a man Brad Johnson described as "Mr Footscray".

Sutton, the Footscray legend who was honoured by a memorial service at Etihad Stadium, epitomised the working-class suburb he loved, a young man who began work as a labourer aged 12.

Yesterday he brought all the Bulldogs legends together, including the normally reclusive 1956 Brownlow medallist Peter Box, who has rarely been seen at Whitten Oval since he retired in 1957.

Box and seven other members of the 1954 Footscray premiership side captain-coached by Sutton (Jim Gallagher was unable to attend) stood in honour of the man they regarded as a father figure.

Current player Robert Murphy said Sutton was exactly that: "We have lost our footballing father and none of us should ever forget we shook the hand of Charlie Sutton," said Murphy.

The eulogists consisted of Murphy, Johnson (who wore the same No.6 as Sutton) Harvey Stevens, Doug Hawkins, David Smorgon and Graham Sherry.

Eighty-eight-year-old Sutton died on June 5. Born on April 3, 1924, he had signed up for the Second World War aged 16, two years under the legal age.

Eventually he was accepted in the Army and on return began a football career that was remembered for his toughness just as much as his ability to influence a match.

Sutton worked in a quarry to toughen himself up and it clearly worked.

Sutton ruled Barkly St when the palms and peppercorns were landmarks.

He loved the rows of weatherboard cottages with their picket fences and smoking chimneys. So much so he never left the area, buying a house at Altona Beach, where he lived until the end.

One facet of Sutton's career that was lost last week in the myriad obituaries was his ability as a player.

From 1948-51, prior to the All-Australian concept being introduced, a respected magazine known as Sporting Life compiled a national panel to select Australia's best 18 players.

Only two were chosen in all four years Richmond ruckman and 1948 Brownlow medallist Bill Morris and Charlie Sutton in a back pocket.

http://www.news.com.au/national/tea...te-their-top-dog/story-e6frfkp9-1226397146343

(the ipad thingy in the url was the problem go you pups, wasn't just a direct swap of heraldsun for news in the url this time)
 
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Fossie 32

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Also, just as an interesting comparison to today where the 50 games is often quoted before players are considered to have completed some sort of "apprenticeship", have a look at the ages and games played for our flag winners up to and including the 54 grand final, and their winning percentages in their careers to that point (only Angus Abbey had failed to win more than half the games he played in, and Stockman and McCarthy were 20 and 19 and going into a GF hardly knowing what it felt like to lose)...
Wow, never thought about how young they were.
 

maddog37

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I was walking down a street in the cbd a few years ago with my wife. There was no one else around except for this little old bloke walking the other way. As he got closer I had to do a double take, yes it was Charlie Sutton!


I was lost for words but stuttered out a "g'day Charlie" and he stopped and looked at me trying to figure out if he knew me. He seemed to realise he had no idea who i was but I said "go the doggies!" And he gave me a big smile and reached out and shook my hand looking me square in the eye the whole time.

He made me feel like a little kid (I was late 30s) and I told him he was a legend. Such an unexpected, random gift to have met him that way.
 

Fossie 32

Premium Platinum
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I was walking down a street in the cbd a few years ago with my wife. There was no one else around except for this little old bloke walking the other way. As he got closer I had to do a double take, yes it was Charlie Sutton!


I was lost for words but stuttered out a "g'day Charlie" and he stopped and looked at me trying to figure out if he knew me. He seemed to realise he had no idea who i was but I said "go the doggies!" And he gave me a big smile and reached out and shook my hand looking me square in the eye the whole time.

He made me feel like a little kid (I was late 30s) and I told him he was a legend. Such an unexpected, random gift to have met him that way.
Magic
 

ivan rassmussen

Premiership Player
Jun 28, 2007
3,285
6,025
1973
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Apologies, but I like to periodically bounce this thread, especially as there are only 8 left - and we need as many as possible to see Bob/Easton hoist that second cup. Sadly, following the Talia business, I wonder if Harvey would be involved. :(

Does anyone have any updates on these chaps, perchance, as they're all in their 80s now?
 

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