Tuesday 16th July, 2024

Given names of Grand Final coaches 1925-2020

Recently I was thinking about how the opposing coaches for the 2007 Grand Final had the same Christian or given name. These two men are actually both legally Marks, yet both of them are 95% of the time referred to as “Choco” and “Bomber”

Mark is not usually the first thought for either- they are just Choco and Bomber. This is so different from Tommy Hafey- he is always Tommy.  No one calls him ‘Haffers’ or ‘Hafe’ – he is always Tommy.

I pondered then in how many other Grand Final years, had the competing coaches sported the same given name? Naturally 1954 was the first Grand Final that came to mind for FNWB and it was even closer to home for me as two men that I have known since the beginning- I refer to as Uncle Charlie and Uncle Norm. Both of these men are Footscray supporters.

So the next step was to list all the other names, to discover the number of Grand Finals from 1925 that saw coaches with the same Christian name. I initially decided to start from 1954 onwards then extended the search back to the war, then to 1931 and the introduction of the Page- McIntyre System, before settling on 1925 when Footscray moved into the VFL from the VFA.  So missing out from the table and the images are the likes of Syd, Chris

The images above may hopefully explain most of the given names of men to have coached in Grand Finals from our first season in the Victorian Football League in 1925 through to the 2010 Grand Final draw and its replay.

So here are the coaches and their given names- presented in three situations.

(1)  Their genuine given name- James, John, Francis and Louis, rather than Jock, Jack, Checker and Billy

(2)  The more known used first name as in the second group of those four men above. There are some variations especially for blokes who coached in multiple Grand Finals.

(3) Is both names of the two competing coaches put together to make one full sounding name of a person. John Allan or John Thomas are two examples.

So here is the list, with different shadings. They change in 1931 as the Page-McIntyre finals system is implemented. One of the coaches in 1930 has different shading. The reason for this relates to how many Grand Final wins did James ‘Jock’ McHale actually coach.

Year Real Name and Real Name
Usual Name & Usual Name
Two men together
1925 James and Cliff Jock & Cliff Jock Clifford
1926 Albert and James Bert & Jock Jock Albert
1927 James and Francis Jock & Checker Francis James
1928 Francis and James Checker & Jock Checker Jock
1929 James and Francis Jock & Checker Jock Checker
1930 Robert and Arthur Bob & Bull Bob Arthur
1931 Charlie and Francis Charlie & Checker Charlie Checker
1932 Francis and Daniel Checker & Dan Checker Dan
1933 Jack and Louis Jack & Billy Billy Jack
1934 Percy and Jack Percy & Jack Percy Jack
1935 James and Jack Jock & Jack Jack Jock
1936 Jack and James Jack & Jock Jock Jack
1937 Reginald and James Reg & Jock Reg James
1938 James and Brighton Jock & Brighton Jock Brighton
1939 Francis and James Checker & Jock Jock Checker
1940 Frances and Richard Checker & Dick Percy Checker
1941 Richard and Francis Dick & Checker Checker Dick
1942 Richard and John Dick & Jack Richard Jack
1943 John and Richard Jack & Dick Jack Richard
1944 Frederick and John Fred & Jack Fred Jack
1945 Percy and William Percy & Bill Bill Percy
1946 Richard and Francis Dick & Checker Dick Checker
1947 Percy and Richard Percy & Dick Percy Dick
1948 Frances and Richard Checker & Dick Checker Dick
1949 Richard and Percy Dick & Percy Dick Percy
1950 Richard and Wallace Dick & Wally Wally Dick
1951 Reginald and Richard Reg & Dick Reg Dick
1952 Alphonse and Reginald Phonse & Reg Reg Alphonse
1953 Reginald and Alphonse Reg & Phonse Phonse Reginald
1954 Charles and Norman Charlie & Norm Charlie Norman
1955 Norman and Alphonse Norm & Phonse Norman Alphonse
1956 Alphonse and Norman Phonse & Norm Phonse Norman
1957 Norman and Richard Norm & Dick Norm Richard
1958 Alphonse and Norman Phose & Norm Alphonse Norm
1959 Richard and Norman Dick & Norm Richard Norman
1960 Norman and Alphonse Norm & Phonse Norm Alphose
1961 John and Edward John & Teddy John Edward
1962 John and Kenneth John & Ken John Kenny
1963 Robert and John Bob & John Bobby John
1964 Norman and Robert Norm & Bob Bob Norman
1965 John and Allan John & Allan John Allan
1966 Allan and Robert Allan & Bob Robert Allan
1967 Thomas and Peter Tom & Peter Peter Thomas
1968 Ronald and Jack Ron & Jack Ronnie Jack
1969 Thomas and Ronald Tommy & Ronnie Ron Thomas
1970 Ronald and Robert Ronnie & Bobby Ron Robert
1971 John and Allan John & John John Allan
1972 John and Thomas John & Tommy John Thomas
1973 Thomas and John Tommy & John Thomas John
1974 Thomas and Ronald Tom & Ronnie Tommy Ronnie
1975 Ronald and John Ron & John Ron John
1976 John and Ronald John & Ron John Ronald
1977 Ronnie and Tommy Ron & Tom Tom Ronnie
1978 Ronnie and David Ron & David Ronald David
1979 Alexander and Thomas Alex & Tommy Tom Alexander
1980 Thomas and Anthony Tommy & Tony Tony Thomas
1981 David and Thomas David & Tom David Thomas
1982 David and Francis David & Francis David Francis
1983 Kevin and Allan Kevin & Allan Kevin Allen
1984 Allan and Kevin Allan & Kevin Allen Kevin
1985 Kevin and Allan Kevin & Allan Kevin Allan
1986 Allan and Robert Allan & Robbie Allan Robbie
1987 Robert and Allan Rob & Allan Robbie Allan
1988 Alan and John Alan & John Alan John
1989 Allan and Malcolm Allan & Mal Malcolm Allan
1990 Leigh and Kevin Leigh & Kevin Kevin Leigh
1988 Alan and John Alan & John Alan John
1989 Allan and Malcolm Allan & Mal Malcolm Allan
1990 Leigh and Kevin Leigh & Kevin Kevin Leigh
1991 Allan and Michael Al & Mick Michael Allan
1992 Michael and Malcolm Mick & Mal Mal Michael
1993 Kevin and David Kevin & David Kevin David
1994 Malcolm and Michael Mal & Michael Mick Malcolm
1995 David and Gary David & Gary Gary David
1996 Denis and Rodney Dennis & Rod Denis Rodman
1997 Stanley and Malcolm Stan & Mal Malcolm Stanley
1998 Malcolm and Denis Mal & Den Denis Malcolm
1999 Denis and David Den & David Denis David
2000 Kevin and Neale Kevin & Neale Kevin Neale
2001 Kevin and Leigh Kevin & Leigh Leigh Kevin
2002 Leigh and Michael Dennis & Mick Leigh Mick
2003 Michael and Leigh Mick & Leigh Mick Leigh
2004 Leigh and Mark Leigh & Mark Mark Leigh
2005 Paul and John Paul & John Paul John
2006 John and Paul John & Paul John Paul
2007 Mark and Mark & Mark Mark
2008 Alastair and Mark Alastair & Mark Alastair Mark
2009 Mark and Ross John & Paul Mark Ross
2010 Ross and Michael Ross & Mick  Ross Michael
2011 Christopher and Michael Chris & Mick Michael Christopher
2012 Alastair and John Alastair & John Alastair John
2013 Alastair and Ross Alastair & Ross Alastair Ross
2014 John and Alastair John & Alastair John Alastair
2015 Alastair and Adam Alastair & Adam Alastair Adam
2016 John and Luke John & Luke John Luke
2017 Damien and Donald Damien & Done Damien Donald
2018 Adam and Nathan Adam & Nathan Adam Nathan
2019 Leon and Damien Leon & Damien Leon Daphne Damien
2020 Christopher and Damien Chris & Damien Damien Christopher

Although most know of him as Ron, Norm Smith used to call Ronald Dale Barassi- Ronnie.
There is no particular placement in this initial chart as to which name is first or second. Also names that can be abbreviated usually are, particularly in the past- prime examples are Richard narrowing to Dick.
However one that wasn’t was Richmond’s Francis Bourke. He never was called ‘Frank’ Bourke and his 1982 rival has publically never been known as ‘Dave’

Barassi is on his own in all the Grand Finals that he was a coach in. For the last Saturday in September and the first Saturday of October 1968, 1969, 1970, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1978 for the purpose of this we could never have the Two Ronnie’s’

‘All we could get in VFL and AFL Grand Finals from 1925 to the upcoming next season of 2011 are the ‘Two Marks’

The longest serving V.F.L coach was Jock McHale who coached 8 Premierships teams during his tenure of 1913-1949. However whilst it was 8 Premierships, Jock was there in charge for 7 Grand Final wins. The 1930 Premiership was won with Jock McHale at home unwell dealing with a strong bout of the flu. One of Jock’s able assistants- Robert (Bob) Rush coached the team that afternoon against Geelong, so Robert and Bob is written there in that list instead of James and Jock. This was the last year before the much better Page-McIntyre finals system was implemented in 1931
Bob Rush incidentally had a roof named after him at Victoria Park. Exactly like what we had at Footscray, with our E. J. Smith stand in the outer, Collingwood had their roof in the outer that was known as the R.T. Rush Stand. The words ‘Stand’ is technically incorrect- as they were in essence glorified massive long roofs above terracing, rather that an actual Grandstand. Both the E. J. Smith and R. T. Rush stands/roofs no longer exist now. They were both still standing in 2005, but now just memories of the past.

Billy Jack
1933 Grand Final
‘Billy’ Schmidt (Richmond)
Jack Bisset (South Melbourne)
(Louis ‘Billy’ Schmidt)

John Edward
1961 Grand Final
John Kennedy (Hawthorn)
Edward Whitten (Footscray)
(Teddy Whitten)
(E.J Whitten)

Mal Michael
1992 &1994 Grand Final
Malcolm Blight (Geelong)
Michael Malthouse(West Coast)

Kevin Neale (Cowboy Neale)
2000 Grand Final
Kevin Sheedy (Essendon)
Neale Daniher(Melbourne)

Paul and John
2005 Grand Final
Paul Roos (Sydney)
John Worsfold (West Coast)

John and Paul
2006 Grand Final
John Worsfold (West Coast)
Paul Roos (Sydney)

Mark and Mark
2007 Grand Final
Mark Thompson (Geelong)
Mark Williams (Port Power)
(Mark ‘Bomber’ Thompson)
(Mark ‘Choco’ Williams)

So who are the images and the given name connection?

Alastair Cooke Alastair Clarkson
Albert Einstein Albert Chadwick
Alex Trebek Alex Jesaulenko
Alan Alda Alan Joyce
Allan Border Allan Jeans
Arthur Fadden Arthur Coghlan
Bill Lawry Bill Adams
Bob Hawke Bob Davis / Bob Rose/ Bob Rush
Bobby Moore Bobby Davis/ Bobby Rose
Charlie Chaplin Charlie Clymo/ Charlie Sutton
Checkers ‘Checker’ Hughes (Francis Vane Hughes)
Cliff Richard Cliff Rankin
Dan Rather Dan Minogue
David Boon David Parkin
Denis Law Denis Pagan
Dick Tracy Dick Reynolds
Fred Flintstone Fred Hughson
(Sir) Francis Drake Francis Bourke
Frank Spencer Frank (Checker) Hughes
Gary Cooper Gary Ayres
Jack Nicklaus Jack Bisset/ Jack Dyer/ Jack Clarke
Jock Riley Jock McHale (James F. McHale)
John Travolta John Kennedy/Coleman/Northey/Worsfold
Kenny Rogers Kenny Hands
Kevin Rudd Kevin Sheedy
Leigh Sales Leigh Matthews
Louis Armstrong Louis (Billy) Schmidt
Malcolm Fraser Malcolm Blight
Mark Twain Mark Williams/ Mark Thompson
Mick Jagger Mick Malthouse
Neale Fraser Neale Daniher
Norm- (from the Life Be in it campaign) Norm Smith
Paul Newman Paul Roos
Percy Faith Percy Bentley
Peter Allen Peter Pianto
Reg Varney Reg Hickey
Robbie Burns Robbie Walls
Rodney Marsh Rodney Eade
Ronald McDonald Ron Barassi (Ronald Dale Barassi)
Ross Stevenson Ross Lyon
Stan Laurel Stan Alves
Teddy Roosevelt Teddy Whitten
Tommy Trinder Tommy Hafey
Tony Curtis Tony Jewell
Wally Grout Wally Carter