THE CARLTON Football Club has seen fit to acknowledge the incredible achievements of eight former players who played their role in each of the Club’s history-making hat-trick of Grand Final victories in 1906, ’07 and ’08.

The Club has recognised that in this its 160th year of its existence, a moment presents to fittingly acknowledge Worrall’s hat-trick heroes by inducting them into its coveted Hall of Fame.

It’s more than 125 years since the Carlton teams, under the watch of legendary Secretary/Coach Jack Worrall earned the 1908 pennant to complete the first Premiership three-peat a little more than ten years after the then VFL’s formation.

In what was the Club’s first golden era in League competition, Worrall’s teams were universally lauded. The former Richmond ruckman (and later President) Barney Herbert, writing for The Sporting Globe six years after Collingwood completed the Premiership four-peat, noted of Worrall’s teams: 

“ . . . to be fair and honest, and looking impartially at team strength and balance in every part of the field, 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.”

Worrall himself, writing for The Australasian in 1932, deserves the final say.

Of the three Carlton Premiership teams under his watch, the great man wrote: “They were a band of athletes, with many special all-rounders, perhaps the best combination that has ever been seen on the field”.

The “Hat-Trick Heroes” Inducted into the Carlton Hall of Fame are as follows:

Les Beck;

Jim Flynn;

Fred Jinks;

George Johnson;

Ted Kennedy;

Alexander Lang;

Billy Payne; and

George Topping.

It should be noted that a total of 11 players represented Carlton in each of its three successive Grand Final victories, with George Bruce, Norman ‘Hackenschmidt’ Clark and ‘Champagne’ Charlie Hammond having been previously Inducted in 2006, 1989, and 1991 respectively.

Worrall was also Inducted in 2006.

The recent Induction of Carlton’s eight Hat-Trick Heroes follows the Inductions in March of Jack Carney, Neil Chandler and Brendan Fevola and the Inductions in May of prominent 19th century figures Jack Baker, Jack Conway, John Donovan, John Gardiner, Billy Goer, Harry Guy, Robert Heatley, Tommy Leydin, Orlando O’Brien and George Robertson.

A further three Inductees – a Carlton Premiership Captain-Coach and two Premiership Captains post-1897 – will be so honoured later this year.

All Inductions have been ratified by the Club’s Board on the recommendation of its Heritage Sub-Committee.

You can learn more about our new inductees here.