Tom Fitzmaurice

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Tom Fitzmaurice
Tom Fitzmaurice.png
Tom Fitzmaurice
Personal information
Full name Thomas Joseph Cullinan Fitzmaurice
Date of birth(1898-07-07)7 July 1898
Place of birth Fitzroy North, Victoria
Date of death 25 December 1977(1977-12-25) (aged 79)
Place of death Heidelberg, Victoria
Original team(s) Essendon CYMS
Height 192 cm (6 ft 4 in)
Weight 96 kg (212 lb)
Position(s) Defender / Forward
Playing career1
YearsClubGames (Goals)
1918–1924 Essendon 085 0(30)
1925–1928 Geelong 049 0(20)
1932–1935 North Melbourne 054 (196)
Total188 (246)
Coaching career
YearsClubGames (W–L–D)
1928 Geelong 18 (6–12–0)
1934-1935 North Melbourne 016 0(0–16–0)
Total34 (6–28–0)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1935.
Career highlights
  • Essendon premierships 1923, 1924
  • Essendon best and fairest 1922, 1923, 1924
  • Essendon Team of the Century
  • Geelong premiership 1925
  • Geelong captain-coach 1928
  • North Melbourne joint captain-coach 1934–1935
  • North Melbourne leading goalkicker 1932, 1934
  • Victorian representative 12 matches
  • New South Wales representative 1 match
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Thomas Joseph Cullinan Fitzmaurice (7 July 1898 – 25 December 1977) was an Australian rules footballer in the (then) Victorian Football League (VFL). [1]

Contents

Football

A brilliant centre-half-back, he commenced his career with Essendon Football Club 1918. Transferred to Sydney in 1921 with his employment, Fitzmaurice played that season in the local competition and captained New South Wales against Victoria and Tasmania. He rejoined Essendon in 1922 and later formed part of their very successful 1923 and 1924 premiership teams. In the famous Essendon "mosquito fleet" (so called because of the half-dozen players 168 cm or under), Fitzmaurice was the tallest member of the side at 189 cm.

Fitzmaurice left Essendon after the controversy at the end of the 1924 season when he felt that several Essendon players had deliberately lost a match against Victorian Football Association premiers Footscray. [2]

He played in a premiership team at Geelong Football Club in his first year. Leaving Geelong after 1928, he played with Mortlake and then the VFA side, Yarraville. He returned to the VFL in 1932, playing with North Melbourne. Moving to the forward lines he became their leading goalkicker for three seasons.

He took over the coaching position at North after Dick Taylor resigned in disgust in mid-1934. [3] He had eight games to turn the club around, but they didn't win any games. Re-appointed for 1935, Fitzmaurice resigned a broken man after a winless 8 rounds. The last straw was an insipid effort against eventual premiers Collingwood. [4]

In 1936, he agreed to be a committeeman at Essendon. After twelve months he decided to play again, this time in Penguin, Tasmania. [5]

Hall of Fame

In 1996, Fitzmaurice was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.

Champions of Essendon

In 1997, Fitzmaurice was included in Essendon's inaugural Team of the Century.

In 2002, an Essendon panel ranked him at 10 in their Champions of Essendon list of the 25 greatest players ever to have played for Essendon.

Footnotes

  1. 'Lynx', "Footballers' Pastime: History of Handball", The Herald, (Saturday, 20 March 1920), p. 2.
  2. Blair, D.J., "The 1924 Championship Game: Did the Dons play dead?", ASSH Bulletin, Vol.30, (June 1999), pp. 3–15.
  3. "Football THIRD COACH TO RESIGN". News. 16 July 1934.
  4. "North Melbourne Coach". Age. 18 June 1935.
  5. "Fitzmaurice to Play". Age. 16 April 1937.

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References