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Bill Sneazwell

Bill Sneazwell

1926-1928
27
Other Guernsey Nos.
23, 25

20 CFC Games Played

0 CFC Goals

Date of Birth
3 April 1906
Date of Death
14 December 1967
Recruited From
Thornbury CYMS/Carlton 2nds
Collingwood Debut
Round 3, 1926
Height:
182cm
Weight:
74kg

Biography

It was just a few words early in 1929, but the brief news item in the Sporting Globe said so much: “Sneazwell’s knee gave way in an intra-club game. He is not expected to play again for the year.”

And that was it. With those two sentences, the curtain effectively came down on what had been a promising football career for William Henry Sneazwell. His knee never repaired and, even years later, when he’d have a kick at Collingwood Past Players’ picnics, he’d hardly be able to walk the following day.

It was all so different when Sneazwell’s career started in 1926. A local lad who was born in Thornbury and attended Sacred Heart School in Preston, Sneazwell’s football with Thornbury CYMS first brought him to the attention of scouts from Carlton. When he decided he wanted to go to Collingwood instead, a tug-of-war ensued, with the Blues insisting he’d need a clearance from them first.

When he was eventually granted permission to switch camps, he settled in straight away. “I am happy at Collingwood – they are a bonza lot of fellows and every boy feels that the other man is his comrade”, he said.

The Sporting Globe reported after his debut as a 20-year-old that he had made “a very conspicuous beginning in big company”. He was fast, courageous and had plenty of stamina. The Globe described him as “tall, with jet black hair and a boy of great keenness.”

At 180cm and 76 kg, he’d played mostly in the centre in his junior career, but spent his VFL football in defence or as a following partner for Syd Coventry.

“He is a lad of fair physique,” wrote the Globe, “and he has grit. He can run fairly fast, and has plenty of stamina. His chief defect has been his awkwardness. But under (Jock) McHale’s tuition, however, he has made great strides,
and is learning to turn quickly and get into position for the coming ball.”

Sneazwell played only four games in that first season but the Magpies had seen enough to be highly optimistic about his future and he was earmarked for plenty of games.

He faced further challenges in 1927 when his parents moved to Healesville: he knew that if he went with them it would seriously hamper his ability to get to training, and his career seemed in jeopardy. So he took the courageous decision to board in the city rather than move with them.

Sadly, he wasn’t rewarded with good fortune for his commitment to the game. A succession of thigh injuries limited him to 10 games in 1927, and he was still fighting to become a regular senior player when his knee injury intervened in 1928. He tried to come back via the practice matches of 1929 but the knee gave way again, this time for good.

When Bill married in 1928, his old mate from Thornbury CYMS, Frank Murphy, was his best man. Tragically, his wife died during childbirth some time later, and Sneazwell was deeply affected by the loss. He married again 13 years later, and one of his children, Tony, was an Australian high-jump champion who competed at both the 1964 and 1968 Olympics.

After his career ended, Bill remained in the thick of things at Victoria Park. He’d been involved with the Past Players’ Association from its early days, and served as its president in the 1960s. He was secretary of the second 18 in the Premiership year of 1958 and even stood for the board. Collingwood was a big part of his life.

When he died from lymphoma in 1967, he was missed not just as a former player but also for his great contribution to the club in the years after he was so cruelly forced from the game.

Statistics

CFC Career Stats

Season played Games Goals Finals Win %
1926-1928 20 0 1 85%

CFC Season by Season Stats

Season GP GL B K H T D Guernsey No.
1926 4 0 25

1926 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 3 Hawthorn W 0 25 View match >
Round 5 Geelong W 0 25 View match >
Round 7 St Kilda W 0 25 View match >
Round 8 Western Bulldogs W 0 25 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1927 10 0 0 0 27

1927 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Geelong W 0 27 View match >
Round 2 Hawthorn W 0 27 View match >
Round 3 Richmond L 0 27 View match >
Round 4 Sydney W 0 27 View match >
Round 5 Fitzroy W 0 0 0 27 View match >
Round 6 Essendon W 0 27 View match >
Round 7 St Kilda W 0 27 View match >
Round 8 Western Bulldogs W 0 27 View match >
Round 10 North Melbourne W 0 27 View match >
Round 16 Fitzroy L 0 27 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1928 6 0 23

1928 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 4 Hawthorn W 0 23 View match >
Round 13 Fitzroy W 0 23 View match >
Round 14 Richmond W 0 23 View match >
Round 15 Hawthorn W 0 23 View match >
Round 16 St Kilda W 0 23 View match >
Semi Final Melbourne D 0 23 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
Totals 20 0 0
Avg/Game   0.00 0.00
Legend
  • GPGames Played
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • TTackles
  • DDisposals

Key Facts

CFC Debut Number

305

Total AFL Games
20
CFC Debut
Round 3, 1926
CFC Last Game
Semi Final, 1928
Recruited From
Thornbury CYMS/Carlton 2nds
Full Name
William Henry Sneazwell
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