Canterbury Legends – Bill Beck

In our view this photo of Canterbury’s first premiership team in 1920 is the most iconic picture in 136 years of history.

58033F2A-17BC-4377-A236-1A881FA16251This photo that in recent years has been in the change rooms in sepia, depicts a team of mostly ANZAC veterans. A look closely at their faces shows you that these men had experienced horrors that defy description. This victory by 1 point against Mitcham who were a powerhouse at this time, made Canterbury the premier club in 1st Division, in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne.

Standing in the middle of the picture, in dark shorts, to the left of the man in the hat, who was the club’s long time president A.V Paull, is William “Bill” Beck. He was the skipper. Beck had served at Gallipoli and on the Western Front and had been gassed, and his war record listed many shrapnel wounds. He lined up in the Grand Final on a half forward flank.

After Canterbury, Bill spent many years working for Carlton FC. His brother Les had played in Carltons 3 in a row flags in the early 20th century. Bill never married or had kids. When he died about 20 years ago, he had two possessions that represented his lives work and achievements. His war medals and this picture, that was clearly one of the proudest achievements of his life. As he sadly had no next of kin these possessions remained for years in the protection of Carlton’s lawyer. When this lawyer died his estate was handled by Canterbury Premiership player Andrew Baker’s Dad. From there this photo was returned to the club. We did not have a copy of this photo.

Now Bill Beck’s deeds in war for our country are over a 100 years ago, and his role in securing Canterbury its first flag, is almost a 100 years ago. Bill Beck you are not forgotten, for your name lives forever as part of Canterbury FC history, and you are part of the Canterbury FC family.

As our first ever premiership captain we are proud to add this man to the shortlist of our great players of 136 years.

Canterbury’s team of legends

As we work to assemble Canterbury’s Greatest ever side over the next 12 months, we will from time to time throw in brief bio’s of former clubs legends, so you can see some of the greats who have donned the jumper, and see how many went on to play VFA and AFL at its highest levels. Ex Canterbury boys who captained AFL teams, played in AFL premierships, coached at AFL level, won All Australian honours, and two who became presidents of AFL clubs.

Then we will have a competition for people to pick the best team from a shortlist with bios with a prize for the winner.

CLICK HERE to see more.


Hawthorn Champ John Peck

Hawthorn did not beat Collingwood at Victoria Park from 1925 until 1960, when former Canterbury player John Peck goaled after the siren. It was a momentous victory. Peck went on to become one of Hawthorns greatest ever players.

The boy from Canterbury, who went to Canterbury State school as it was known, and played all his juniors at Canterbury FC, was picked by Hawthorn playing in our Under 18′s. 

Continue reading “Hawthorn Champ John Peck”

Rohan Walmsley

5 x B&F Rohan “Wombat” Walmsley

Ahead of our games this week we look at the career of another of our club greats. Rohan “Wombat” Walmsley who has five club Best & Fairest’s to his name. A feat only bettered in 136 years by ex Tiger and Hawk Stan Ogden.

James Nicolas – “Wombat is as good as any midfielder I have seen at the club.I have not seen one better. Able to get his own ball, he is also a wonderful finisher and tough as nails.He is “a good driver in heavy traffic.” When he gets that stare in his eyes, look out. Wombat has always been able to push forward take a strong grab and is an excellent set shot for goal. Continue reading “5 x B&F Rohan “Wombat” Walmsley”