Players who have changed their names

Bomber Spirit

Norm Smith Medallist
Dec 1, 2001
5,477
11
Sydney
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Essendon
Kristian Anning at North Melbourne in the early 1990s changed his name to Kristian Bardsley when he went to St Kilda.
Sanford Wheeler, Swans cult hero during the days of the Great Losing Streak of the early 1990s, was originally Matthew Wheeler.

Are there any other players who have changed their name during their playing career?
 

Dogwatcher

Premiership Player
Jul 10, 2002
4,289
5
Loxton, SA
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
Central District, Moorook
I can't offer you a response to either of those questions, but could you please explain the circumstances behind Bardsley and wheeler changing their names?
 

Bomber Spirit

Norm Smith Medallist
Dec 1, 2001
5,477
11
Sydney
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Essendon
Originally posted by roostersgal4eva
didnt garry hocking change his name to wiskers by default for sponsorship publicity :confused:
You're right, he did. Forgot about that. Then he changed it back again.
The AFL refused to recognise it and continued to publish his name as Garry Hocking in the Record that week.

As for how or why the players changed their names as Dogwatcher asked, that's slipped my memory too. In the case of Wheeler, it may have been that he originally used his first name and changed to his middle name or the other way round; but for Anning/Bardsley he must have gone to the Deed Poll office or something like that.
 

pivotal

Club Legend
Jan 17, 2002
1,466
22
Canberra, Australia
AFL Club
Geelong
Other Teams
Hereford United (English Football)
Originally posted by roostersgal4eva
didnt garry hocking change his name to wiskers by default for sponsorship publicity :confused:

Yes he did.

Geelong copped alot of flak for that effort, but the club was desperate for cash at the time. Whiskers loved all the publicity, it even got a run on CNN!
 

Brad Goodman

His name isn't important
Oct 7, 2002
14,263
13,240
AFL Club
Collingwood
The Anning/Bardsley name-change was a family situation I believe, but don't quote me on that.

Hasn't been too many name changes in footy, compared to basketball at least:

Lew Alcindor to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Lloyd(?) Free to World B. Free
Chris Jackson to Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf
Brian Williams to Bison Dele
 

The Phat Side

Club Legend
Dec 1, 2001
2,253
0
Other Teams
Did Murray Wiedeman change his name when he became a wrassler?? Wasnt he Killer Something or other??

Also did Ian Stewart change his name to Jan Stewart when he (allegedly) played dress ups?
 

Bomber Spirit

Norm Smith Medallist
Dec 1, 2001
5,477
11
Sydney
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Essendon
The biggest name change was boxing, with Cassius Clay becoming Mohammed Ali.

There's been a few in cricket. Navroj Singh became Navroj Sidhu; Nazir Junior became Mohammed Nazir, Abdul Hafeez became Abdul Hafeez Kadar.
Plenty of female sportspeople have changed their name when they've got married. But it's rare for males to change their name.
 

Adelaide Hawk

Hall of Famer
Sep 21, 2002
49,855
42,225
Adelaide
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Other Teams
Norwood
Carlton ruckman in the early 1970s (recruited from Central Districts, SANFL), changed his name from Gary Lawson-Smith to just Gary Smith.
 

Savatage

Premiership Player
Jun 29, 2000
4,533
1,816
Hollywood
AFL Club
St Kilda
Bardsley changed his name because the man that brought him up, was named Bardsley- not his birthfather who was named Anning.
 

Adelaide Hawk

Hall of Famer
Sep 21, 2002
49,855
42,225
Adelaide
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Other Teams
Norwood
I know this isn't a footballer, but Australian fast bowler Len Pascoe changed his name from Len Durtanovich. He decided the name Pascoe would be easier for the test selectors to remember, plus it would fit on the scoreboard more easily. :D
 

koulagirl32

Senior List
Jul 15, 2002
258
0
KoulaLand
Other Teams
POWER!!!
Originally posted by CCsBoots
Cassius Clay changed his name cos of religion....

Just like Cat Stevens!

Lots of music performers and actors/actresses change their names. Equity rules are that no two performers can have the same name, so that's obviously got something to do with it. Also ethnic, difficult to pronounce names are often edited. Most footballers don't do that though. You can imagine the effects:

Daniel Jennings (Giansiracusa)
Paul Kostas (Koulouriotis)
Josh Frank (Francou)
Anthony Kouts (Koutoufides)

...for example. Those are pretty bad examples though.

And yeah, I guess not really relevant either.
 

Rob

Hall of Famer
Nov 8, 2000
30,631
18,076
South of the river
AFL Club
Fremantle
Other Teams
Peel Thunder
John Gastev was originally John Gastevich (I think, spelling might be a bit off). Changed it while still playing for West Perth from memory.
 

CCsBoots

Rookie
Oct 1, 2002
45
0
Éire
Other Teams
Corcaigh
Originally posted by CCsBoots
Cassius Clay changed his name cos of religion....

Just like Cat Stevens!

I don't think it was a showbiz thing that prompted Ali to change his name. (Though it may have been in an attempt to avoid the draft without punishment?)
When he adopted Islam he took the name:
Muhammad Ali = "Worthy of All Praise"

Cat Stevens also converted to Islam and took the name Yusuf Islam.

Sorry for the non-football reference...

Can I suggest also that many people (esp in America in days gone by) changed their name so that they could fit in, in their new country. Eastern Europeans had names that english speakers would find very hard to pronounce...so they were anglicised. Would it be the same in Australia?
 

funky_monk

Club Legend
Jan 31, 2002
1,702
0
Morley, WA
Other Teams
The Mighty Dockers
Pretty sure a VFL player around WWII with a german name (might have even been Schwartz) changed his name to a anglo-saxon name.

I remember reading it in the afl stats guide but I can't find it again!!
 

The Phat Side

Club Legend
Dec 1, 2001
2,253
0
Other Teams
Didn't Nikki Webster change her name to Josh Fraser? Or am I just confusing their playing styles?

Ill pay that.

Speaking of chicken, that reminds me, what about Chicken Smallhorn? Did he change his name? Or was his mum fond of poultry?. Or was he a native American Indian? Ive always wondered you know.
 

Goldenblue

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 2, 2001
8,656
3,189
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Swan Districts
Originally posted by Shamus O'Shane
Didn't Nikki Webster change her name to Josh Fraser? Or am I just confusing their playing styles?

Classic.

:D
 

Remove this Banner Ad

Remove this Banner Ad