Fothergill in the late 1930s
|Full name||Desmond Hugh Fothergill|
|Date of birth||15 July 1920|
|Place of birth||Northcote, Victoria, Australia|
|Date of death||16 March 1996 75)(aged|
|Place of death||Melbourne, Victoria, Australia|
|Original team(s)||Collingwood Tech|
|1937–1940, 1945–1947||Collingwood||111 (337)|
|Representative team honours|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1947.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
Desmond Hugh Fothergill (15 July 1920 – 16 March 1996) was an Australian rules footballer who played in the Victorian Football League (VFL), and briefly in the Victorian Football Association (VFA).
Australian rules football, officially known as Australian football, or simply called Aussie rules, football or footy, is a contact sport played between two teams of eighteen players on an oval-shaped field, often a modified cricket ground. Points are scored by kicking the oval-shaped ball between goal posts or between behind posts.
The Victorian Football League (VFL) is the major state-level Australian rules football league in Victoria. The league evolved from the former Victorian Football Association (VFA), and has been known by its current name since 1996. For historical purposes, the present VFL is sometimes referred to as the VFA/VFL, to distinguish it from the present day Australian Football League, which was known until 1990 as the Victorian Football League and is sometimes referred to as the VFL/AFL.
From Collingwood Tech, Fothergill was a gifted sportsman who made his VFL debut aged 16, for the Collingwood Football Club in 1937. Fothergill was a small midfielder/half-forward who seemed too small at the start, at 172 cm and 73 kg, but his brilliance as a footballer was something that over-shadowed his liabilities. Fothergill made an impact straight away as he played brilliant football, winning a Copeland Trophy as Collingwood's best and fairest in his debut season, and kicking 56 goals being the club's leading goalkicker.
Collingwood is an inner-city suburb of Melbourne, Australia, 3 km north-east of Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area is the City of Yarra. At the 2016 Australian Census, Collingwood had a population of 8,513.
The Collingwood Football Club, nicknamed the Magpies or colloquially the Pies, is a professional Australian rules football club playing in the Australian Football League (AFL). Formed in 1892 in the then-working class Melbourne suburb of Collingwood, the club played in the Victorian Football Association (VFA) before joining seven other teams in 1896 to found the breakaway Victorian Football League. Originally based at Victoria Park, Collingwood now plays its home games at the Melbourne Cricket Ground with its training and administrative headquarters located at Olympic Park Oval and the Holden Centre.
The E.W. Copeland Trophy is an Australian rules football award given by the Collingwood Football Club to the player adjudged best and fairest for Collingwood during the year.
In 1938, Fothergill was once again a dominant member of the side, winning his second consecutive Copeland Trophy at the age of 18, and two years later, in 1940, Fothergill won win his third Copeland Trophy. Also in 1940, Fothergill and South Melbourne player Herbie Matthews tied for first place in Brownlow Medal voting as best and fairest in the VFL, with a then-record 32 votes; at the time, neither player won the Brownlow Medal itself, as their records could not be separated on countback and there was no provision for a shared medal, but both men were awarded Brownlow Medals in 1989 when the VFL decided to retrospectively eliminate the countback from the award.
The Sydney Swans are a professional Australian rules football club which plays in the Australian Football League (AFL). Established in Melbourne as the South Melbourne Football Club in 1874, the Swans relocated to Sydney in 1982, thus making it the first club in the competition to be based outside Victoria.
Herbie Matthews was an Australian rules footballer who played for South Melbourne in the Victorian Football League (VFL). He was recruited to South Melbourne from suburban club Fairfield under the VFL's father–son rule. His father, "Butcher" Matthews, partnered the great Roy Cazaly in South Melbourne's ruck combination of the early 1920s. Although he was smaller and slighter in build than his ruckman father, he was a strong mark and showed a ferocious drive for possession of the football. He was recruited by South Melbourne at the age of 17 in the face of determined approaches from Collingwood and his local Victorian Football Association club, Northcote.
The Charles Brownlow Trophy, better known as the Brownlow Medal, is awarded to the "best and fairest" player in the Australian Football League (AFL) during the home-and-away season, as determined by votes cast by the officiating field umpires after each game. It is the most prestigious award for individual players in the AFL. It is also widely acknowledged as the highest individual honour in the sport of Australian rules football.
In 1941, Fothergill went to Victorian Football Association (VFA) club Williamstown without receiving a clearance from the VFL, as many other high-profile League players had done during the VFA's throw-pass era. In his sole season with Williamstown, he won the Recorder Cup and VFA Medal as best and fairest in the VFA, polling a record 62 votes and winning by a huge margin of 29 votes.He had signed with Williamstown until the end of 1944, but when VFA competition was suspended from 1942 until 1944 due to World War II, his career at Williamstown came to an end. He joined the army in 1942, and was forced to move on after a knee injury when in Darwin, Northern Territory.
The Williamstown Football Club, nicknamed The Seagulls, is an Australian rules football club based in Melbourne. The club currently competes in the men's and women's Victorian Football League competitions.
The J. J. Liston Trophy is awarded annually to the best and fairest senior player in the Victorian Football League.
Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory of Australia, situated on the Timor Sea. It is the largest city in the sparsely populated Northern Territory, with a population of 148,564. It is the smallest, wettest and most northerly of the Australian capital cities, and acts as the Top End's regional centre.
In 1945, Fothergill returned to the VFL – back at Collingwood, having never formally been cleared from the club. He dominated at half-forward for the club again, despite being slower and having injury problems. He kicked 62 goals in 45 games after the war, and he was the VFL's leading goalkicker in the 1946 home-and-home season, although he ultimately finished second for the League's Leading Goalkicker Medal after his total was passed in the finals by Essendon's Bill Brittingham. He was forced to retire in 1947 due to a leg injury. Fothergill was named in the Collingwood Team of the Century, and was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2000. The award for the best young player in the modern Victorian Football League (which is the successor to the former VFA) is named the Fothergill-Round Medal in honour of Fothergill and Barry Round.
The Coleman Medal is awarded yearly to the Australian Football League player who kicks the most goals in home-and-away matches in that year. It is named after John Coleman, the former Essendon full forward whose career of 537 goals in 98 games was cut short by injury.
Bill Brittingham was an Australian rules footballer in the Victorian Football League (VFL).
The Australian Football Hall of Fame was established in 1996, the Centenary year of the Australian Football League, to help recognise the contributions made to the sport of Australian rules football by players, umpires, media personalities, coaches and administrators. It was initially established with 136 inductees. As of 2014, this figure has grown to 257, including 27 "Legends".
Fothergill was also an accomplished cricketer, playing cricket in the summer throughout his football career. He played 27 first-class cricket matches for Victoria, making 1404 runs at 39.00 with one century. He made his hundred against South Australia in 1947 and once made 99 against the Australian Services XI.He played district cricket for Northcote, appearing in 149 matches between 1935–36 and 1952–53 with strong all-round performances, averaging 41.05 with the bat and taking 122 wickets at 27.35 with the ball. After retiring from football, Fothergill moved to England and played for the Enfield Cricket Club in the Lancashire League in 1949 and 1950.
First-class cricket is an official classification of the highest-standard international or domestic matches in the sport of cricket. A first-class match is of three or more days' scheduled duration between two sides of eleven players each and is officially adjudged to be worthy of the status by virtue of the standard of the competing teams. Matches must allow for the teams to play two innings each although, in practice, a team might play only one innings or none at all.
Victorian Premier Cricket is a club cricket competition in the state of Victoria administered by Cricket Victoria. Each club fields four teams of adult players and usually play on weekends and public holidays. Matches are played on turf wickets under limited-time rules, with most results being decided on a first-innings basis. Outstanding players in the competition are selected to play for the Victorian Bushrangers at first-class and List A level, in the Sheffield Shield and Ryobi Cup competitions respectively. The competition commenced in the 1906–07 season when it was known as "District cricket", and was renamed in 1990. Separate competitions for one-day matches (2002–03) and Twenty20 (2005–06) were later established.
Northcote Cricket Club is an Australian cricket team competing in the Victorian Premier Cricket competition.
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