I intend to publish the lists of nicknames in the order that the clubs finished in 2021, so I will start with the premiers, Melbourne.
I had originally intended to list 60 nicknames for Melbourne but – on reflection – decided only 40 made the cut.
James P McGrath (1940) is considered one of Melbourne’s greatest fullbacks. He lost four years of his footy career serving in World War II but played in the 1941 and 1948 premierships.
Andy Lovell (given name Anthony) (1988) was a wood chopper as a teenager following in the footsteps of his father, Greg, who was a world champion. Lovell also played 43 games for West Coast.
Eric Roscoe came from Shepparton in 1948.
Born in New Zealand but raised in Australia, Percival Wood (1928) excelled in cricket, boxing and golf. He was killed in action in Syria in World War II.
Many will be surprised to know that the first Irishman bought out by Melbourne had the given name John Phillip Wight (1985). They may also be surprised to discover that he was born in Scotland.
Wilbur Jackson (1930) came from Ballarat and was also skilled at cricket and tennis.
Charles Herbert Lockyer Young (1897) joined Melbourne in 1896 and played in their opening VFL game in 1897 against South Melbourne.
Known as ‘Bunny’ because of his pace and elusiveness, Stan Wittman joined Melbourne from Rosedale in 1924.
Charles Streeter (1920) came from Maffra.
George L Simmonds (1924) was an Indigenous player from Kerang who played four games and kicked four goals.
Michael Seddon (1980) was a Sandy Bay legend, and a more than useful VFL footballer. Like Collingwood’s Gavin Brown, his nickname came from his quiet demeanour around the footy club.
Alan Rowarth (1958) joined Melbourne from Birregurra in the Polwarth league and played in the 1959 and 1960 premierships. He later played in the Sunraysia and Murray leagues.
This nickname was given to Jack A Evans (1912).
Richard Robertson (1898) was from Beverley.
Harold P Mann (1959) was originally from Merbein. His nickname was bestowed on him by his cousin Len as a tot. He still figures prominently in the Demons’ top 100 game players and goal scorers. He was a triple best and fairest winner and later served the Demons as CEO from 1992 to 1997.
Peter Marquis (1953) was a defender from Devonport whose nickname referred to his solid build and great strength at fullback. Marquis played in the three premierships in 1955, 1956 and 1957 and retired after the 1958 grand final loss to Collingwood on 99 games.
24. ‘Big Bob’
He was one of two Robert Johnsons whose careers overlapped at Melbourne in the 1950s and 1960s. As the 198 centimetre one, Robert B Johnson (1954) earned the nickname ‘Big Bob’.
The other Robert Johnson (1959) had to stand out of footy for a year before he gained a clearance from Tasmanian club North Launceston.
One of the most unusual characters to ever play the game, Mark A Jackson (1981) kicked a total of 308 goals in 82 games at an average of nearly 3.8 goals a game in a career that lasted only six years and involved three different clubs. He was a weird individual.
Alfred M Wood (1897) was another one of the original Melbourne VFL players. Recruited from Ballarat, he could kick well with either foot – a rarity in those days.