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Moment 22: 23-year drought breaking premiership

Tony De Bolfo, Carlton Media  May 19, 2014 10:16 AM

22. 1938 - Grand Final In 1938, Carlton broke a 23 year premiership drought to take home the flag.
22. 1938 - 23-year drought breaking premiership

Though Carlton ran a close second to Richmond in 1921 and again in ’32, the period between the wars would prove this club’s most barren in terms of ultimate Grand Final success.

It would take no fewer than 23 years for the team to reacquaint itself with Premiership greatness - during which time the glorious careers of Horrie Clover, Ray Brew and Colin Martyn would all be played out.

And it would take another Carlton “outsider”, like Worrall, to achieve the ultimate as Senior Coach – South Melbourne’s Premiership centre half-forward of ’33, the West Australian Brighton Diggins.

“Ol’ Bright”, as Carlton Captain-Coach, led his players onto the MCG and into competition history in ’38, on a day in which the players emerged 15 points to the good of Collingwood in “Soapy” Vallence’s last hurrah.

Diggins was also front and centre at the after-match celebrations, as the late Don McIntyre – Carlton’s last surviving member of the ’38 Premiership team – recalled in an interview to mark the 70th anniversary of the victory in 2008.

“I remember at the premiership dinner in the old Hotel Argus in Elizabeth Street we were all seated and ready to start eating, and there was no Brighton around,” McIntyre said.

“After about ten minutes we saw him coming through the door holding up both hands full of notes . . . he’d been collecting whatever he could from his betting, at double-figure odds, before the season even started.”

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