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AFL top 100: Geelong nicknames 20 to 1

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Roar Guru
11th January, 2022

Here is the second part of my summary of Geelong’s best nicknames.

20. ‘Pixie’
Clive Coles (1930) was recruited locally and played in the 1937 premiership side.

19. ‘Jumbo’
Wallace Sutherland Sharland was an accomplished ruckman. He was known for his good all-round skills, accurate palming of the ball and capability when required as a ruck shepherd. He debuted aged 17 in the 1920 VFL season.

18. ‘Redwing’
Aged just 16 years and nine months when he made his VFL debut in the opening round of the 1906 season, Percy ‘Redwing’ Scown was one of Geelong’s youngest ever senior players. 

17. ‘Ghost’
Donald G Scott (1951) was an ex-Geelong West player.


(Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

16. ‘Gunner’
In a 12-season, 212-game career with Geelong and South Melbourne, John Scarlett (1967) proved himself as one of the most dependable full backs in the VFL. His son Matthew also played full back for the Cats.

15. ‘Tex’
Geoff Rosenow (1962) was a tough, durable defender. Originally from Echuca, Rosenow played 147 VFL games for Geelong between 1962 and 1970.

14. ‘Doy’
Edgar Leslie Reed (1919) was an ex-Newtown player.


13. ‘Sam’
John Noel Willam Newman (1964) was a talented and athletic player who served a footy apprenticeship under the legendary Graham ‘Polly’ Farmer.

Newman became the Cats’ main ruckman after Farmer departed at the end of 1967, overcoming a number of serious injuries throughout his career to become the first Geelong player to reach 300 senior VFL games.

Newman forged a notable career in the media, particularly with Melbourne-based radio station 3AW and the Nine Network as a panel member of one of the TV station’s most popular and often controversial programs, The Footy Show.

12. ‘Bung’
Ernest Newling (1900) had only one eye, but played 150 games for Geelong.

11. ‘Scratcher’
Robert Neal (1974) was a dashing redhead recruited from Tasmania where his family farmed potatoes – hence the nickname, as they had to scratch aound in the soil to find the potatoes.


10. ‘Splinter’
Six years younger than his brother Harold, Les Hardiman (1929) was arguably the more gifted all-round player of the two.

Renowned for his ability seemingly to hang in the air, Hardiman could hold down full back, centre half forward and full forward with equal assurance.

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9. ‘Troubles’
Off the field, Fred Flanagan was said to be a perpetual worrier, hence the nickname.


8. ‘Woofa’
Bob Davis (1948) was one of the great characters of the game. After retirement, he became a firm favourite on Channel Seven footy shows.

7. ‘Whiskas’
For one game, Garry Hocking (1987) changed his name as a publicity stunt for a cat food manufacturer.

6. ‘Carji’
The nickname ‘Carji’ was given to Edward Greeves Junior (1923) while he was still in his cot.

Golfer Michael Scott saw the olive-skinned baby and decided that he looked like the locally famous entertainer Carjilo, the Prince of Bong.

Not only did Greeves become famous for winning the first Brownlow Medal, but he ran second three times and fourth once. He also played in two premiership sides.

5. ‘Tomahawk’
This nickname is a clever combination of the two names of current player Tom Hawkins (2007).

Tom Hawkins of the Cats celebrates kicking a goal

(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

4. ‘The Geelong Flyer’
Davis was a superb half forward flanker who had electrifying pace. See also number eight.


3. ‘Buddha’
This is Garry Hocking’s usual nickname. See number seven above.

2. ‘The Tank’
As his nickname suggests, Don Baeur (1943) was a well-built, tough defender. Baeur spent one year at Footscray before joining Geelong.

1. ‘Polly’
Certainly one of the most recognised nicknames in footy, Graham Farmer (1962) was a legend in Western Australia before he commenced his relatively short VFL career.

And he did nothing in his 101 games over six years to diminish his standing.