63. John Chick

Player Inductee

New Town/Carlton/Glenorchy/Huonville, Wingman, 1951-66

119 games, 29 goals for Carlton, 1952-60
Around 90 games for New Town/Glenorchy, 1951, 1961-64
36 games for Huonville, 1965-66
Glenorchy captain-coach, 1961-63 (62 games: 26 wins, 36 losses), 1964 (captain)
Huonville captain-coach, 1965-66
New Town TANFL premiership, 1951
Victorian National Carnival representative, Perth, 1956 (named All-Australian)
North Hobart coach, 1979-80 (33 games: 15 wins, 20 losses, 1 draw)
New Town/Glenorchy ‘Team of the Century’ (interchange)

A clever and speedy wingman, John Chick enjoyed a long and successful VFL career with Carlton during one of the Blues’ rare lean periods, before returning to Tasmania and taking up a number of coaching roles.

Born in 1932, John Chick debuted for New Town in 1951 aged 18. In his first season he was a star performer for the Magpies in their thumping win over North Hobart in the TANFL grand final, and this immediately caught the attention of Carlton recruiters who were attending the game. The Blues were quick to approach the exciting teenager, and early the next year Chick was lining up for Carlton in the first match of 1952 against North Melbourne. Over the next nine seasons Chick established a reputation as one of the finest wingmen in the country, mixing great skill with remarkable consistency and durability. He finished in the top five in Carlton’s Best and Fairest award for four consecutive seasons from 1954-57, and his performances did not miss the eyes of those in charge of dispensing higher honours. Chick was selected to represent the VFL at the 1956 National Carnival in Perth, where his performances in the Big V jumper were enough to earn him All-Australian selection, a far more prestigious accolade than now. His standing within Carlton also continued to rise, and in 1959 Chick was named vice-captain to Bruce Comben.

For all Chick’s success at the Blues there is a conspicuous lack of finals appearances on his CV; this can partly be attributed to the blackest moment of his career. In Round 17, 1957, Chick clashed with Fitzroy rover Wally Clark and received an eight-match suspension, subsequently missing Carlton’s finals campaign. Chick did eventually appear in a finals series in 1959, when Carlton made it as far as the preliminary final before succumbing to Essendon.

After 119 games for the Blues Chick opted to return home to Tasmania at the end of 1960. At the age of 28 Chick still had plenty of energy left in the tank, and he was appointed captain-coach of his former club, who were now known as Glenorchy. The Magpies were coming off consecutive wooden spoons but the fresh boost of enthusiasm Chick brought was just the tonic that was needed for the struggling Pies. In 1961 Glenorchy powered back into premiership calculations, finishing second on the ladder behind North Hobart after the Home and Away rounds, before falling to the Demons by 36 points on grand final day. Chick would remain Glenorchy coach until his resignation at the end of 1963, after which he would spend one final year as a player with the club until retiring from top level football, eventually finishing his playing career with two seasons as captain-coach of Huonville in 1965-66.

Post-playing days, Chick embarked on a number of coaching roles. After spending a couple of years as an assistant at Sandy Bay under Ray Giblett in the late 1960s, he spent some time away from the game before re-emerging as an assistant under Ian Bremner at North Hobart in the late 1970s. He then took charge of the Demons himself for two seasons in 1979-80, managing a finals appearance in 1979 before handing the reins to John Devine.

Chick took a keen interest in the game for the rest of his life and was honoured by his original club in 2000, when they named him on the interchange bench in the New Town/Glenorchy ‘Team of the Century’ . John Chick passed away in 2013 at the age of 80.