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Blues brothers

Alex Hanton played one game for Carlton in 1946 - Pic supplied by Carlton Football Club
Alex Hanton: Carlton 1946, 1 game, 1 goal; May 25, 1922— September 5, 2011, aged 89

Harold Hanton: Carlton 1945, 2 games, 0 goals; May 25, 1922 — September 14, 2011


The twins Harold and Alex Hanton played only three senior games with Carlton between them, but their lives remained entwined with the Blues until their deaths within days of each other last month. They were 89.

Harold played two matches for the Blues, the opening two rounds of the 1945 season, while Alex's only game was in round 10, 1946. Their tally of three gives them the lowest cumulative number of games of the 21 sets of twins to have played in the VFL/AFL.

The Hanton twins' early lives were spent apart after Alex was put into the care of a maiden aunt who maintained care of him throughout his childhood. Harold was brought up by his parents.

The twins went to different primary schools in Brunswick before being united when they went to University High School together. In those school years they showed their sporting potential.

A photo still exists in the family that shows Harold in a photo with a Victorian under-14 football team played in a junior national carnival in Adelaide.

The brothers played with their local club, St David's Presbyterian in Brunswick, before heading off to war. They served as signalmen in Bougainville and the Solomon Islands before returning to Melbourne, where they decided to try their luck with Carlton before the 1945 season.

Harold was a key-position player while Alex was more of a flanker. Harold so impressed Carlton selectors that he broke into the strong Blues line-up straight away.

After round five of the 1945 season, the brothers were recalled to the war and remained in service until after the season.

According to Alex, who always said his brother was the better footballer, Harold would have been a strong chance to play in Carlton's team that defeated South Melbourne in the infamous 1945 Grand Final.

The brothers returned to Carlton before the 1946 season. During a practice match in Frankston, Harold received a blow to the groin that later developed into a hernia and required an operation.

The Hantons were members of the Carlton reserves team when the club won the 1947 premiership.

After leaving Carlton, the brothers resumed their domination of local football and cricket competitions. In cricket, Harold was a leg spinner and solid batsman while Alex was a fast bowler and big hitter.

They played in several premierships with St David's until Harold and his wife Jean moved to Kew following their 1951 wedding. Harold joined the local Presbyterian cricket club in Kew and continued to play until well his 40s.

After their football careers had ended, the brothers established a pattern of going to every Carlton match. They sat in the famous Heatley Stand at Princes Park, and even continued to go to the football when their sight faded in later life.

When it became unfeasible to go, the twins and Harold's wife Jean would listen together to every match on the radio.

The brothers both achieved management positions in their working lives, Harold with the PMG (Post Master General) and Alex with the defence department. Alex's wife Val died in the mid-1970s; the couple had had no children.

The brothers both suffered heart attacks and died within nine days of each other.

Harold is survived by Jean, his children Rod, Mark and Lee, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Twins to have played VFL/AFL
Simon Atkins (Footscray 1987-94, 127 games; Fitzroy 1995-96)
Paul Atkins (Sydney 1992, 2 games)

*Nathan Brown (Collingwood 2008- , 50 games)
*Mitchell Brown (West Coast 2007- , 43 games)

Bert Clay (Fitzroy 1940-45, 157 games)
Ivor Clay (Fitzroy 1941-46, 31 games)

David Cockatoo-Collins (Melbourne 1996-97, 2 games)
Donald Cockatoo-Collins (Melbourne 1996-98, 9 games)

Fred G. Cook (Richmond 1944-49, 81 games)
Keith Cook (Richmond 1944-46, 26 games)

Steven Febey
(Melbourne 1988-2001, 258 games)
Matthew Febey (Melbourne 1992-2000, 143 games)

Keith Fleming (Fitzroy 1930, 1934, 6 games; Hawthorn 1932, 1 game)
Ian C. Fleming (Fitzroy 1931-35, 64 games)

Dave Gillespie
(Carlton, 1907-08, 5 games)
Doug Gillespie (Carlton, 1906-10, 1912, 90 games)

Alex Hanton (Carlton, 1946, 1 game)
Harold Hanton (Carlton, 1945, 2 games)

Michael Kol (Geelong 1983-89, 63 games)
Nigel Kol (Geelong 1983, 2 games; Melbourne 1985-87, 28 games)

Chris Laird (South Melbourne 1918-22, 59 games)
Frank Laird (South Melbourne 1921-25, 66 games)

Teddy Lockwood (Geelong 1899-1901, 45 games; Collingwood 1902-05, 53 games)
George Lockwood (Geelong 1899-1901, 40 games; Collingwood 1902-04, 29 games)

Nathan Lonie (Hawthorn 2001-05, 64 games; Port Adelaide 2006-008, 40 games)
Ryan Lonie (Collingwood 2001-08, 123 games)

Alistair Lord (Geelong 1959-66, 122 games)
Stewart Lord (Geelong 1960-64, 74 games)

Ed Lower (North Melbourne 2006-10, 42 games)
*Nick Lower (Port Adelaide 2006, 2008-09, 20 games; Fremantle 2011-, 19 games)

Charlie Naismith (Fitzroy 1902, 1906-07, 33 games)
Wally Naismith (Fitzroy 1902-10, 142 games; Melbourne 1911-12, 36 games)

Michael Richardson (Collingwood 1983-86, 60 games; Essendon 1986, 15 games)
Stephen Richardson (Essendon 1983, 1 game; Brisbane 1987-90, 81 games)

Chris Scott (Brisbane Lions 1994-2005, 2007, 81 games)
Brad Scott (Hawthorn 1997; Brisbane Lions 1998-99, 2001-2006, 146 games)        
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
* Adam Selwood (West Coast 2003- , 158 games)
Troy Selwood (Brisbane Lions 2005-2010, 75 games)

Neville G. Stibbard (South Melbourne 1973-75, 23 games)
Richard Stibbard (South Melbourne, 1972-94, 14 games)

Shane Wakelin (St Kilda 1994-2000, 94 games; Collingwood 2001-08, 158 games)
Darryl Wakelin
(St Kilda 1995-2000, 115 games; Port Adelaide 2001-07, 146 games)

VFL/AFL players known to have died in September 2011
Alex Hanton: Carlton 1946, 1 game, 1 goal; May 25, 1922— September 5, 2011, aged 89
Jack 'Rooster' King: Footscray 1948-53, 36 games, 3 goals; January 13, 1928 —  September 7, 2011, aged 83
Harold Hanton: Carlton 1945, 2 games, 0 goals; May 25, 1922 — September 14, 2011
Norm Wilson: Melbourne 1945-46, 10 games, 13 goals; February 4, 1927 — September 14, 2011, aged 84
Pat Dalton: Collingwood 1941-45, 32 games, 7 goals; North Melbourne 1945, 1 game, 0 goals; September 6, 1918 — September 15, 2011, aged 93
Ron Fletcher: North Melbourne 1951-52, 21 games, 0 goals; April 29, 1927 — September 19, 2011, aged 84
Max Blumfield: South Melbourne 1943-46, 21 games, 11 goals; August 14, 1922 — September 20, 2011, aged 89
Stuart Spencer: Melbourne 1950-56, 122 games, 146 goals; February 3, 1932 — September 27, 2011, aged 79

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the club