Carlton Blues’ famous Grand Final three-peat heroes inducted into the club's Hall of Fame

Carlton Blues Media Opportunity
Carlton Blues Media Opportunity

The Carlton Blues Hall of Fame is set to welcome eight former players who played significant roles in their 1906, 1907 and 1908 Grand Final victories. In its 160th year of existence, the club acknowledged legendary VFL coach Jack Worrall’s hat-trick heroes, Alexander Lang, Billy Payne, Les Beck, Fred Jinks, George Johnson, George Topping, Jim Flynn, and Ted Kennedy, with a Hall of Fame induction.

It has been over 125 years since the Carlton Blues completed the first Premiership three-peat, only a decade after the VFL’s founding, under coach Jack Worrall’s leadership.

Worrall’s teams were widely recognised for putting together Carlton’s first golden era in the league. Former Richmond ruckman (eventually President) Barney Herbert noted the teams in a piece for The Sporting Globe six years after Collingwood’s Premiership four-peat. He said:

“I say without hesitation that the best team I have ever seen playing football anywhere or at any time was that of Carlton in the years 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910 and 1911. I do not think that that side will ever be excelled in the League for strength, balance and brilliance. No team playing today can show the football genius of the Blues in those seasons.”

Coach Worrall, writing for The Australasian in 1932, attested to his premiership teams’ excellence. He wrote:

“They were a band of athletes, with many special all-rounders, perhaps the best combination that has ever been seen on the field.”

Each of the Carlton Blues' Grand Final-winning teams were made up of 11 players. A few of these have been previously inducted, including Charlie Hammond, George Bruce and Norman ‘Hackenschmidt’ in 1991, 2006, and 1989 respectively. Coach Worrall himself was inducted in 2006.

The recent induction of the eight hat-trick heroes comes after the inductions of Brendan Fevola, Jack Carney and Neil Chandler in March, and 19th century stars Billy Goer, George Robertson, Harry Guy, Jack Baker, Jack Conway, John Gardiner, John Donovan, Orlando O’Brien, Robert Heatley and Tommy Leydin earlier in May.

Later this season, the club looks to honour three more likewise– two post-1897 Premiership captains and a Carlton Blues Premiership captain-coach.

By the recommendation of the Carlton Heritage Sub-Committee, all inductions have been ratified by the club’s board.


Profiles of the Carlton Blues' New Hall of Fame Inductees

Carlton Blues Training Session
Carlton Blues Training Session

Alexander Lang (1906-1911)

Games: 105

Grand Final Victories: 1906, 1907, 1908

Position: Key forward

Billy Payne (1904-1909)

Games: 127

Grand Final Victories: 1906, 1907, 1908

Position: Defender

Les Beck (1906-1912)

Games: 60

Grand Final Victories: 1906, 1907, 1908

Position: Defender

Fred Jinks (1906-1908)

Games: 60

Grand Final Victories: 1906, 1907, 1908

Position: Ruck, Half-Forward

George Johnson (1906-1913)

Games: 90

Grand Final Victories: 1906, 1907, 1908

Position: Ruck

George Topping (1906-1910)

Games: 125

Grand Final Victories: 1906, 1907, 1908

Position: Forward

Jim Flynn (1904-1912)

Captain from 1905-1907

Games: 77

Grand Final Victories: 1906, 1907, 1908

Positions: Ruck

Ted Kennedy (1905-1912)

Games: 106

Grand Final Victories: 1906, 1907, 1908

Positions: Center

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