HARRY COLLIER, lusty, pugnacious ex-captain of the famous Collingwood team,
this week tells lan Johnson...
'WHY I POTTED JACK CARNEY'
"YES,I Potted Jack Carney all right. It was a
silly darned thing to do. The bell had gone. We were over the boundary line. But I thought I got away with it."
The match was against Carlton at Collingwood. Harry Collier had gone on to the field with an idea in his mind that "Leeter" his brother, owed "Little" Jack something from a previous game.
This squaring of accounts is, after all, football law. However, fleeter" was not playing be- cause of injury, so Harry took it upon himself to bal- ance the ledger for his younger brother.
'In the hurly burly of the game Harry completely for- got about it.
He was busy enough look- ing to his own troubles. But, is he was leaving the field after the final bell, hot and a little agitated, Carney walked past, and all Harry's previous intentions flowed back.
"Before I knew it I'd
potted him, and was just as quickly crook on myself, for Jack was a good little bloke."
The Carlton supporters soon found voice, but the Magpie star didn't wait. He was down that race in double-quick time, not to
avoid the crowd but to dodge the umpires.
HE reached the dress-
ing-room without any official rebuke.
" 'I gave the little bloke
a smack in the eye,' I said to Leeter."
" 'Anyone get on to you?' " 'No.'
"'You were a damn fool to do it that way. What in the hell got into you?' de- clared Leeter awkwardly, not the least appreciative of my outwardly well-meaning, if impulsive act. 'Anyhow, you got away with it.'
"I got away with it, That's what we thought then. I had a shower, and was just about dressed when Bob
SID COVENTRY set "Cargie" with everything but missed and hit Harry Chesswass, splitting his
JACK CARNEY, Carl- ton wingman, whom Col- lier "potted" after the
Rush came along and told me I was gone.
"The 'umps.' had missed it, but some official was going to put me in. So I, was up before the investigation com- mittee.
"That's a member from every club. They're worse than the Tribunal. When you're up before the Tribunal they go on evidence, and you have to be proved guilty.
"It's different with this
investigation mob. They just go on what happened.
"Jack Carney and Brigh- ton Diggins did the right thing, and came along to see if we could cook some- thing up, but I reckoned it would be better not to with the investigation committee.
"They heard the case, and very decently said they would take into account my previ- ous good record of not hav- ing been disqualified in 14 years. So they scrubbed me till the end of the season.
"They were extra lenient, too! There were 14 matches to the end of the season, nowadays you get four for potting someone."
SO Harry served his 14
weeks, but that re- mained his only suspen- sion. He was reported only once to the Tribunal, and, as he told us last week, beat that charge.
He admits he was lucky, but, even so. that,record is a great credit to him.
Of course there were other Incidents in his action- packed career.
"It doesn't matter to talk about them now," he says. "They're over and done with, and can't do anybody any harm."
He tells about them. The knocks he received. And the knocks he gave. But there is no bitterness, no recrimina- tion.
There is only a whimsical humor that stresses more clearly than words that time has mellowed any anger once present.
Friendships have been forged rather than impaired by the knocks and the indi-
"There was that day at North when I was going
downfield, and Jack Smith set me. But he didn't know he had 'Leeter' right on his
"He got me all right, but only half as hard as 'Leeter' got him. Jack didn't know what hit him.
"Of course this knocking players doesn't always work out right. We were playing Geelong one year, and 'Cargie' Greeves was doing fairly well in the centre, although Harry Chesswass was holding him.
"Sid Coventry set 'Cargie,' fairly, mind you, because he had the ball. Sid moved in with everything, but 'Cargie' was no sucker. He back moved, and, instead of knocking 'Cargie,' Sid hit Harry Chesswass and split his eye about two inches.
"From then on Harry was groggy, and 'Cargie' won the game for Geelong.
"Still, it goes that way. It's the same as these stories that start about arguments when a club is going bad.
"I remember the' terrific 'blue' we were supposed to have had at Carlton one day when they thrashed us.
"It was in 1931 or '32. The day was wet, so our studder put an extra layer of leather on the stops, but only used the short nails. Half-way through the first quarter all our stops were out, and by half-time Carlton was a mile ahead.
"DURING the break we
had our boots re- stopped, and it was a bit of a rush. The 'ump.' came in to hurry us up, and we finally drifted out on to the field in dribs and drabs.
"We were well beaten, but boy, what a 'blue' those rumors said we'd had at half- time. Stories about players refusing to take the field and all.
"That's how most of those rumors about football club 'blues' start. It's always when a club is going bad. Most fans seem to think that the only thing that stops a team winning is an argument.
"They just don't happen. In every club there are the odd arguments.
"That's natural. But they're only 'blues' between mates, and are forgotten quicker than they start.
"I remember when we used to play a game at Colling- wood on Easter Monday be- tween the firsts and seconds.
"Boy, they were keen. The seconds were always flat out to win and impress.
"I was in the seconds one day, roving to big Jim Makin. Jim was a bit awkward, and kept getting in Joe Poulter's way, while I ducked in to get the ball.
"Joe eventually did his block and set me. He finally caught up, too. And it hurt.
"Makin played cricket better than football, though, and was a Collingwood star who played for Victoria.
"He made history in the football club, too. He played the first game that year in the seconds against Carlton.
"When he came off the field four of the committee were waiting for him with a clearance form: 'Here you are, Jim. It's an open clear- ance. You can play with any club in the League that you like, but NOT Colling-