Footballer Ever !
West Leederville Veteran Says George Coulthard
An Interesting Glance
Back at the Past
"THE greatest footballer ever? Looking back over the
champions of many years, I would say George Coulthard, of Carlton. A very dose second was Jimmy
"Wilson, of Geelong, Aitken, of Melbourne, was a great man, and so were Moloney, of Carlton, and Lampard, of Melbourne."
The speaker was veteran Robert John ("Bob") Dickson, of 129 Tower-street West Leederville-he'll be 76 next September-and, as an old-time player in Victoria and one who has followed the game keenly in Western Australia since he came here vat '92, his impressions will
be read with interest by both the younger and die older generation.
In his younger years Bob Dickson played, with Hawthorn and South Yarra, but a bad injury to a shoulder in a game against Geelong com- pelled him to toss in his guernsey. As a footballer he was mostly a fel- lower tower and a 20 pace man back. The last term will probably mystify
most of the football fraternity of to-day, but the old-timers will re- call that it corresponds with what is now styled a half-back.
He started playing with Haw- thorn when he was about 18, and during his association with that club was for two consecutive sea- sons captain of the club. So he speaks with practical knowledge
as well as the observation of an
ordinary spectator when discuss- ing many of the footballers of the past and present.
"Coulthard was what we would term
to-day a utility man," he observed. "He could play anywhere, and was a great mark and good kick-especially with the place kick, which ls a lost art to- day," added the veteran, who inci- dentally enjoys good health and looks
nowhere near his age.
["Barney" Murphy, who captained one of the aides in the first of the old brigade matches played a number of seasons back in Perth, and who died some years ago, was a fellow-ruckman with Coulthard, and he gave the palm
to the latter as the greatest footballer he ever saw an opinion with which the footballers have also agreed. The Moloney referred to by Bob Dickson was Bill Moloney, who shone at centre and half-back, and who was nick- name ."Carbine" because of his great speed-Football Ed. "Sunday Times."
Asked about the modern compared with the early football, Bob Dickson remarked. "Football was just as good. both to swatch and to play, in the old
days as it is to-day. The standard of football to-day is ho higher than it was then."
The reminiscent vein he
RECALLED THE TIMES
When each side played with 20 men--
a number of stirring incidents
which lived vividly in his memory in- cidentally he was Invited to join both Carlton and Melbourne-keen club scouts were always on the look-out for young players , with talent-but he elected to remain with Hawthorn.
In this State he did not play, but he was a member of the Rovers and also of Perth, who arose from the old Rovers, whom the latter ceased to exist. However, ever since West Perth es- tablished themselves at Leederville Over-in the old days Wests trained
and played on the Perth Esplanade-- he has followed that club's fortunes with particular interest, and that's hardly to be wondered at seeing that he lived in the one street (Tower-
street) which is not very-far from the
the Oral ever since he came. In 1882--- with the exception of about three months when he paid a visit on one occasion.
After returning from there, he came
West in July of '92, under the month's engagement to the Federal Furniture
Warehouse In Perth and, during his long period in this State, served about
20 years furniture-making for Boans. His wife came over tn February of 1898 to join him and the couple cele- brated their golden wedding anniver-
sary in September of 1934.
Bob Dickson's memory goes back to the days when what is now styled Leederville, but which was then known as the Leeder Estate, was just big tracts of bush and sand. No buses and trams to Perth in those times! When he wished to go to the city he tramped there and back-and thought
MR. ROBERT JOHN ("BOB")
Who considers George Coulthard, of Carlton, the greatest footballer of all
time In the Australian game.
nothing of it either. How some of the modern day folk who moan if they
are carried a
STREET PAST THEIR DESTINA-
on a tram would have wearied at the walking of those old days!
The veteran's mind goes back to the period when there was a railway plat- form at Melbourne-road and one at Axon-street in Subiaco. But there were no station buildings at those points If you wanted a ticket when you boarded the train at either place you purchased it on the train.
He recalls, too, the first religious service he saw conducted in Leeder- ville-not in some sacred edifice of stone and windows, but out In the open underneath a paperbark treel.
Bob Dickson has seen every in- terstate football match played in the West, and now the veteran is
looking forward to the big carni- val tussles which are to be staged next month's! Subiaco Oval. There will be few, if any, amongst the thousands who will be present at those Important games whose knowledge of footballers will go further back than his.