21. Alan Leitch

Player Inductee

New Town/Carlton, Midfielder, 1922-1931

17 games for Carlton, 1925
135 games for New Town, 1922-24, 1926-31
New Town captain-coach, 1929-30
Wilson Bailey Trophy for TANFL Best and Fairest, 1929 (runner-up, 1931)
New Town Best and Fairest, 1929, 1930, 1931
Tasmanian National Carnival representative, 1924 (Hobart), 1930 (Adelaide)
13 representative matches for Tasmania
24 representative matches for TFL/TANFL
VFL representative, 1925
Carlton ‘Most Consistent Player’, 1925
New Town/Glenorchy ‘Team of the Century’ (back pocket)

The first great champion of the New Town Football club, Allan Leitch continued the great footballing legacy of the Leitch family started by his legendary father.

Born in 1903 as one of six sons of legendary Tasmanian football administrator William Leitch, Allan made his debut for TFL newcomers New Town as a 19-year-old in 1922. He was soon a star, and in 1923 he was selected to represent the TFL in their tour of South Australia, the highlight of which came when Leitch played in the Tasmanians’ famous win over the SANFL in Adelaide. In 1924 he gained his first of three national carnival selections when he represented Tasmania at the 1924 carnival in Hobart. He was one of his state’s standout performers during the tournament, and the following year he journeyed north to play for Carlton in the VFL alongside a number of other star Tasmanians, including Cananore’s Fred Pringle and Ulverstone’s Stan Trebilco. Leitch would play every game for the Blues in 1925 and was awarded the club’s ‘Most Consistent Player’ award that season. He also played two games for combined VFL teams, but after only one season at the Blues the club’s volatile political situation saw Leitch return home to Tasmania.

Returning to play for New Town in the TFL, Leitch became one of the greatest players in the competition, winning a hat-trick of club Best and Fairests, as well as the Wilson Bailey Trophy as association Best and Fairest; ironically, the last such award before it was renamed the William Leitch Medal in honour of his father. Leitch was selected to represent his state again at the 1927 carnival in Melbourne but was unable to travel, and his final carnival appearance was as captain in the 1930 edition in Adelaide, where Tasmania would win only one of their five games. After being appointed New Town captain-coach in 1929 Leitch continued playing until the end of 1931, when he retired as runner-up in his father’s medal, being just beaten by former Collingwood and now Cananore champion Albert ‘Leeter’ Collier.

Post-retirement Leitch maintained close ties with the game at all levels, including after New Town’s amalgamation and relocation to Glenorchy in the mid-1950s. He died aged 72 in 1975, and was named in a back pocket in the New Town/Glenorchy ‘Team of the Century’ in 2000.