This is the first part of my reflection on Geelong’s greatest nicknames.
Recruited from Warrnambool, Alec McKenzie (1902) (not to be confused with the Essendon champion of the same nickname) was a powerful and prominent performer for Geelong in a variety of positions.
This nickname refers to William Keane (1921).
He is not the most famous ‘Plugger’ of all time, but William Landy played for Geelong in 1915.
Henry Young (1897) was a successful participant in numerous sports and he was master of them all. He commanded respect whether it was on the footy field or the boxing ring, or riding in the Melbourne-to-Warrnambool road race, or rowing on Corio Bay.
Tracker’s fitness was so impressive that it is well known that he ran 30-plus kilometres along the beach to the game, played four quarters in the ruck and then ran 30 kilometres back home.
James William Warren was born in Queenscliff. He joined the club in 1925 and played in a premiership that year.
35. ‘The Swede’
Pavel ‘Paul’ Vinar (1959) was born in Czechoslovakia, and moved to Geelong with his mother and four brothers after his father was killed in the war. Despite being Czech, his nickname was Swede.
Originally from Redan, Neil Benjamin Trezise played 185 games for 272 goals between 1949 and 1959, playing in the 1951 and 1952 premiership sides. Commonly called ‘Nipper’, Trezise acquired the nickname as a young recruit at Geelong.
33. ‘Barrow Boy’
Leonard Harris Toyne (1940), from Terang, spent the 1942 season at Fitzroy, as Geelong were forced into recess as a result of the war, but was out of action for the next two years due to his service in the war. Returning to Geelong in 1945, Toyne finished third in the club’s best and fairest.
After beginning his league career as a centre half forward, George Todd developed into one of the finest full backs the club has ever seen. He was voted his club’s best and fairest player three times. He represented the VFL a dozen times.
This nickname refers to Stan Thomas (1915). He was recruited from Barwon.
Zane Taylor (1980) was recruited from Southport, Queensland.
Herbert Cliford Taylor arrived from Newtown in 1933, and was full back in the Geelong seconds’ 1937 premiership team. He got his chance in the senior side in 1938, when he made ten appearances.
Sydney Tate (1947) was a wingman in Geelong’s 1951 premiership side, his last year in the league. Born in England, he could also play as a rover.
Edward A Stevenson was one of the smallest men ever to represent Geelong, and at just 166 centimetres and 57 kilograms, he was among the most diminutive ever to play top level footy.
The air of authority Leslie H Smith (1921) tended to exude led to him being given the nickname ‘Guv’. He arrived at Geelong from local club Newtown, and was used mainly as a wingman.
Bill Mouldon (1914) did not play in 1915 and 1916 because of the war.
David George Harris (1969) was ex-Geelong West.
Thomas Hardiman (1907) was Geelong’s leading goal kicker in 1908.
George Gniel (1939) was a fine full back whose tough approach was allied to some classical skills, such as aerial brilliance and copybook drop kicking. An expert at spoiling from behind, he repelled attacks with considerable gusto and skill.
Thomas Ronald Brownlees (1914) kicked 42 goals in his debut season, finishing second in the Geelong goal kicking. A more modest total of 25 goals in 1915 was enough to finish as their leading goal kicker.