For 108 seasons, Princes Park, the traditional home of the Carlton Football Club, formed the idyllic backdrop for 962 Carlton senior matches - the first of which, appropriately enough, involved its much-despised inner city neighbor, “The Carringbush”.
That happened on Tuesday, June 22, 1897 – the day the MCC’s good Alderman James Moloney was afforded the rare distinction of booting the first football in anger to christen the revered turf.
For the next eleven decades, Princes Park would play host to some of the most dramatic contests in football lore – amongst them the ’45 Grand Final forever remembered in infamy as “The Bloodbath” - where returned soldiers in slouch hats watched on from the terraces as Bob Chitty lead his men to the premiership of peace and victory.
Throughout the years, landmarks like the Heatley and Harris Stands would appear and disappear, but those of the Carlton faithful kept the old turnstiles clicking – until that fateful farewell game on Saturday, May 21, 2005, when “Big Nick” brought down the curtain - one hundred and nine winters after Moloney executed that famous flat punt.
Today, the likes of Chris Judd, Marc Murphy and Andrew Carrazzo take full advantage of Princes Park’s (now Visy Park’s) $20million high performance facility flanking the old Carlton ground, as together the players strive for that unprecedented 17th premiership.
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