FORMER Carlton half-back flanker/wingman Allan Montgomery has died suddenly in his native Western Australia at the age of 62.
It’s almost 40 years since Allan followed Peter Bosustow to Carlton from the Perth Football Club prior to the Premiership season of 1982, having been bound to play at Princes Park by way of a form four. The late ruckman Rhett Baynes, who also hailed from Allan’s club, together with Claremont full-forward Warren Ralph, were similarly tied to the Blues.
An agile half-back flank/wingman, Allan strung 33 games together in four seasons for Carlton – the last of them the Round 13, 1985 contest with St Kilda at Princes Park. When his father took ill, Allan sought and was granted a clearance back to Perth on compassionate grounds.
Allan’s coach at Carlton David Parkin said that he was shocked on learning that the former player had suffered a heart attack while fishing with mates. He remembered the player as “a wiry athlete who worked really hard on his fitness, and a well-liked player at Carlton”.
“If memory serves I recruited Allan,” Parkin said.
Claremont’s Ross Ditchburn, who was drafted to the club in the first VFL national draft in October 1981 and earned selection in the Blues’ ’82 Grand Final-winning team, paid tribute to his former Carlton teammate.
“‘Monty’ was very athletic, he could jump really high and he actually played a bit out of the forward pocket and at full-forward for a little while,” Ditchburn said from his home in the Western Australian wheatbelt town of Kukerin, more than 300 kilometres south-east of Perth..
“We led separate lives back home, him being in the fire brigade and me being on the farm, but we always caught up at a Carlton game when we came across . . . and we always a bit of a chat over a few beers.
“He was always in my mind. I do remember rooming with him when we went to Long Beach California on a pre-season training camp. I learned a lot about him at that time - all good too, as we had an absolute ball.”
In scaling down his faming activities in the lead-up to his retirement and relocation to Bunbury in October, Ditchburn revealed that Allan too was planning to retire from the brigade.
“The last time I spoke to him, which was about a year ago, he told me that he was on the verge of retiring, getting hold of a caravan and heading off to see a bit of Australia.
“Monty was a great family man, a great worker and a champion bloke. It’s such a shame, he was so full of energy.”
Wearing the No.18 now worn by Carlton’s Sam Walsh, Allan Montgomery was the 900th player to represent Carlton at senior VFL/AFL level.
Allan is survived by his wife Monica and three daughters.
Parkin also lamented the recent passing of the club’s former trainer John Reid, who for a time also served the MCC and the AFL.
“John was one of my closest mates. He and I were very good friends,” Parkin said.
“Maureen (John’s wife) passed away about four or five weeks ago and I reckon John died of a broken heart
“Everybody knew John and he always thought of others. He was just a lovely, lovely guy – and he and Maureen were always together.”