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Jack's heroes return home

IN the old days, when security systems amounted to nothing more than a lock and the turn of a key, a myriad of precious historic items somehow found their way out of Princes Park.

From delicate hand-painted certificates and pre-VFL membership tickets, through to the more heavy-duty items such as Premiership cups and even the 1947 Premiership pennant, all since returned to their rightful home.

The Carlton Football Club is forever hopeful that other outstanding items will also find their way back, as was the case this week with an original mounted photograph of Carlton’s 1906 Premiership team – the club’s first in VFL competition and the forerunner to the 1907 and ’08 Premiership teams to complete the hat-trick under Jack Worrall’s watch.

The historic 1906 Burlington Studios team photo was this week returned to Carlton by the family of the late John Hazell, a lifelong supporter of the club.

How the water-damaged and scratched mounted photograph found its way to the Hazells’ keep is a story in itself – a story that can be sourced to 1973.

“When the rooms beneath the Gardiner Stand were damaged, renovations were carried out,” the family member recalled this week.

“The rubbish skip, when leaving the ground, lost some of its load, including the 1906 photograph, which was rescued. You might say that the Carlton Premiership team of 1906 is home again after 46 years.”

With security systems now in place at Ikon Park, a dedicated memorabilia storage facility in use and the very real prospect of the club’s history being showcased through the proposed multi-million dollar redevelopment, the Carlton Football Club is imploring anyone in possession of such Carlton keepsakes to follow the Hazell family’s lead and consider returning them to the club – no questions asked.