Main content

The complete history of the Mighty Magpies

George Hams

George Hams

1948-1955
7
Other Guernsey Nos.
33

108 CFC Games Played

3 CFC Goals

Date of Birth
29 July 1928
Recruited From
Ivanhoe Amateurs
Collingwood Debut
Round 6, 1948
Height:
173cm
Weight:
76kg

Biography

The role of ‘specialist back pocket player’ is something that has gone the way of high-cut boots and ankle bandages in today’s football. But for a long time it was considered an important, if decidedly un-sexy, position.

In the early 1950s, Collingwood had one of the best going around, in George Hams. And he was good because he was adept in all three aspects of the job.

The first is that you had to be good at working in with the full-back who stood alongside you. And Hams was fantastic at working with Jack Hamilton – they knew each other’s games and formed a great partnership. The second was that you had to be able to quell the impact of the resting rover, and George mastered that art early in his career. He was strong and close-checking and not afraid to throw his weight around to unsettle an opponent. And the third was the need to be able to attack when required, and George had that nailed too.

The last of those was perhaps the least surprising of the lot, because George was actually a midfielder/forward when he came to Victoria Park from Ivanhoe Amateurs in 1946. He began playing with the seconds and by the middle of the year had begun attracting attention as a forward/centreman. One newspaper predicted that impressive performances with the reserves would soon see both George and another newcomer called Bob Rose elevated to the seniors.

The journo was only half-right.

Rose was indeed given his chance soon afterwards, but George had to wait nearly two more years before he finally got his opportunity in the seniors. It wasn’t as if George didn’t do all that could be expected of him in the meantime: he’d finished second in the VFL reserves best and fairest in 1946, then second in the Collingwood reserves B&F in 1947.

So by the time he made his debut in Round 6 of 1948, named on a half-forward flank against Richmond, he was more than ready. He held his place after debut but was moved to the half-back flank for his second game. By his third game he was in the back pocket – and that’s where he stayed (by and large) for the rest of his career. From debut he played 57 consecutive games: he didn’t miss a senior game again until 1951.

By this time he was already regarded as one of the best back pocket players in the game. He’d finished third in Collingwood’s Copeland Trophy in 1950 (no mean feat for a humble back pocket player) and drawn plaudits from many observers.

“George Hams is the ideal type, and, in my opinion, the best player in his position in the League,” said The Argus in 1950. “His fearless dashes … gave South many headaches.” A year later the same paper wrote: “Hams is a back pocket player with pace, judgement and, above all, determination. He has settled down to being one of the best players in the League at a difficult position. He is intelligent and thoughtful, as master of a neat and well judged defence. He is one of the most consistent players of his type in the game.” Hec de Lacy in The Sporting Globe said: “Hams is of the nuggetty build and makes the most daring interceptions. His sense of anticipation is very highly developed. At 12st. and 5ft. 8in. he is the ideal build for a job he does most consistently, determination and good judgment being his chief characteristics.”

As the newspapers noted, consistency was a real strong suit for George. He was almost always in the back pocket (apart from the odd, largely unsuccessful experiment forward or in the centre), and always reliable. But injuries began to bite more frequently across 1952-53, to the point where he was only 19thman for the 1953 Grand Final. Injuries again restricted him to only nine games in 1954, several off the bench – including the rare treat of his first ever goal, when he came off the bench in his 100thgame to replace Bob Rose (he followed with a second goal before the end of the game).

By 1955 he knew the end was near when he was appointed captain of the reserves. He was still recalled for one more go in the seniors but after returning to the seconds and playing a few more games he retired from footy. He’d been interviewed for a coaching role at Camberwell earlier but had knocked them back because he didn’t feel he would have been able to get to training early enough. He had a Bachelor of Science and was an engineer with the PMG, and that is where he devoted most of his energies post-footy (he was also a fine golfer).

But even if he didn’t continue with football, George Hams had already done more than enough. A Premiership player in ’53, a runner-up in ’52 and more than 100 high quality, highly consistent games from the last line of defence. You couldn’t ask for much more than that.

– Michael Roberts

Statistics

CFC Career Stats

Season played Games Goals Finals Win %
1948-1955 108 3 10 62%

CFC Season by Season Stats

Season GP GL B K H T D Guernsey No.
1948 16 0 33

1948 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 6 Richmond L 0 33 View match >
Round 7 St Kilda W 0 33 View match >
Round 8 Melbourne W 0 33 View match >
Round 9 Hawthorn W 0 33 View match >
Round 10 Fitzroy W 0 33 View match >
Round 11 Western Bulldogs W 0 33 View match >
Round 12 North Melbourne W 0 33 View match >
Round 13 Sydney W 0 33 View match >
Round 14 Essendon L 0 33 View match >
Round 15 Geelong L 0 33 View match >
Round 16 Carlton L 0 33 View match >
Round 17 Richmond W 0 33 View match >
Round 18 St Kilda W 0 33 View match >
Round 19 Melbourne L 0 33 View match >
Semi Final Western Bulldogs W 0 33 View match >
Preliminary Final Melbourne L 0 33 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1949 20 0 7

1949 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 North Melbourne W 0 7 View match >
Round 2 Melbourne W 0 7 View match >
Round 3 Fitzroy L 0 7 View match >
Round 4 Hawthorn W 0 7 View match >
Round 5 Carlton L 0 7 View match >
Round 6 Essendon W 0 7 View match >
Round 7 Western Bulldogs W 0 7 View match >
Round 8 St Kilda W 0 7 View match >
Round 9 Geelong W 0 7 View match >
Round 10 Richmond W 0 7 View match >
Round 11 Sydney W 0 7 View match >
Round 12 North Melbourne L 0 7 View match >
Round 13 Melbourne L 0 7 View match >
Round 14 Fitzroy W 0 7 View match >
Round 15 Hawthorn W 0 7 View match >
Round 16 Carlton W 0 7 View match >
Round 17 Essendon L 0 7 View match >
Round 18 Western Bulldogs W 0 7 View match >
Round 19 St Kilda L 0 7 View match >
Semi Final Essendon L 0 7 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1950 18 0 7

1950 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Sydney L 0 7 View match >
Round 2 Fitzroy W 0 7 View match >
Round 3 Carlton L 0 7 View match >
Round 4 Hawthorn W 0 7 View match >
Round 5 Geelong W 0 7 View match >
Round 6 Richmond L 0 7 View match >
Round 7 Western Bulldogs W 0 7 View match >
Round 8 Melbourne L 0 7 View match >
Round 9 North Melbourne L 0 7 View match >
Round 10 St Kilda W 0 7 View match >
Round 11 Essendon L 0 7 View match >
Round 12 Sydney W 0 7 View match >
Round 13 Fitzroy L 0 7 View match >
Round 14 Carlton W 0 7 View match >
Round 15 Hawthorn W 0 7 View match >
Round 16 Geelong L 0 7 View match >
Round 17 Richmond L 0 7 View match >
Round 18 Western Bulldogs W 0 7 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1951 13 0 7

1951 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 North Melbourne W 0 7 View match >
Round 2 Melbourne W 0 7 View match >
Round 3 Geelong W 0 7 View match >
Round 11 Fitzroy L 0 7 View match >
Round 12 North Melbourne W 0 7 View match >
Round 13 Melbourne W 0 7 View match >
Round 14 Geelong W 0 7 View match >
Round 15 Essendon W 0 7 View match >
Round 16 Richmond W 0 7 View match >
Round 17 Sydney W 0 7 View match >
Round 18 St Kilda W 0 7 View match >
Semi Final Geelong L 0 7 View match >
Preliminary Final Essendon L 0 7 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1952 19 0 7

1952 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Hawthorn W 0 7 View match >
Round 2 Fitzroy W 0 7 View match >
Round 3 Essendon W 0 7 View match >
Round 4 St Kilda W 0 7 View match >
Round 5 Carlton W 0 7 View match >
Round 6 Western Bulldogs W 0 7 View match >
Round 7 Melbourne L 0 7 View match >
Round 8 Richmond W 0 7 View match >
Round 9 North Melbourne L 0 7 View match >
Round 12 Geelong L 0 7 View match >
Round 13 Hawthorn W 0 7 View match >
Round 14 Fitzroy L 0 7 View match >
Round 15 Essendon W 0 7 View match >
Round 16 St Kilda W 0 7 View match >
Round 17 Carlton L 0 7 View match >
Round 19 Melbourne W 0 7 View match >
Semi Final Geelong L 0 7 View match >
Preliminary Final Fitzroy W 0 7 View match >
Grand Final Geelong L 0 7 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1953 12 0 0 0 7

1953 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Sydney W 0 7 View match >
Round 2 North Melbourne L 0 7 View match >
Round 3 Geelong L 0 7 View match >
Round 11 Fitzroy L 0 7 View match >
Round 12 Sydney W 0 7 View match >
Round 13 North Melbourne W 0 7 View match >
Round 14 Geelong W 0 7 View match >
Round 15 Carlton W 0 7 View match >
Round 16 Hawthorn W 0 7 View match >
Round 18 Western Bulldogs W 0 7 View match >
Semi Final Geelong W 0 7 View match >
Grand Final Geelong W 0 0 0 7 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1954 9 3 0 7

1954 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Melbourne W 0 7 View match >
Round 4 Essendon W 0 7 View match >
Round 5 Sydney W 2 0 7 View match >
Round 6 Geelong L 0 7 View match >
Round 7 Richmond L 0 7 View match >
Round 8 Carlton W 1 0 7 View match >
Round 16 Sydney L 0 7 View match >
Round 17 Geelong L 0 7 View match >
Round 18 Richmond L 0 7 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1955 1 0 7

1955 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 3 St Kilda W 0 7 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
Totals 108 3 0
Avg/Game   0.03 0.00
Legend
  • GPGames Played
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • TTackles
  • DDisposals

Key Facts

CFC Debut Number

511

Total AFL Games
108
Total AFL Goals
3
CFC Debut
Round 6, 1948
CFC Last Game
Round 3, 1955
Recruited From
Ivanhoe Amateurs
Full Name
George Hams

Awards

  • Life Members
    2003
  • Third Best and Fairest (J.J. Joyce Trophy)
    1950
  • Premiership
    1953
Provide feedback Ask the Experts