- Mar 6, 2011
- AFL Club
- Other Teams
- Collingwood (VFL), Man Utd.
https://australianfootball.com/articles/view/the+death+of+les+witto/2107That's one hell of a name (De Gruchy.)
As for the shortest span between career and death, Les Witto surely has it in the bag.
I think he sustained a break in his arm and it went downhill and died a few days later.
The news of the death of Leslie Witto, the Carlton footballer who hailed from Broken Hill, in the Melbourne Hospital on August 23, has come as a shock to footballers generally, and Carlton players particularly. Witto met with an accident in the last quarter of the game against Geelong on August 14. Leaping for a mark he fell over another player, coming down heavily with his arm doubled beneath him. One of the broken bones was forced through the flesh, and he was admitted to the hospital.
He had been progressing favourably until tetanus developed. He was at once isolated front the other patients but never recovered, dying as stated. I saw him play against Richmond and Melbourne, and he was a fine type of footballer. It is shocking that his death should have been caused in such a manner, and so far away from home. He was 23 years of age, and lived at Northcote.
Edit: Carlton's Lyle Downs (mentioned in the above article) died from a heart attack after training on 7 July 1921. He played his last game on 2 July 1921.
The dramatic death of Lyle E. Downs in the Carlton dressing room on Thursday evening, July 7, created a most painful sensation. On the previous Saturday, in the match against Collingwood, he had received a severe bump on the shoulder, which had not thoroughly recovered during the week. He was in the act of getting the injured shoulder massaged when he suddenly fell forward and died without speaking.
Two years ago, acting on medical advice, Downs ceased playing as his heart was overstrained. However, he played again at the latter end of the season, being apparently quite sound in health. Evidently his heart had not thoroughly recovered.