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The complete history of the Mighty Magpies

Jim Sadler

Jim Sadler

1908-1917
21
Other Guernsey Nos.
18, 23, 25

135 CFC Games Played

5 CFC Goals

Date of Birth
28 July 1886
Date of Death
19 July 1975
Recruited From
Allansford
Collingwood Debut
Round 3, 1908
Height:
168cm
Weight:
72kg

Biography

Speed, skill, agility, versatility, cleverness and a great footy brain – Jim Sadler had it all.

And he made the most of it too, one of a handful of Magpie midfielders who terrorised opponents in the years leading up to the First World War.

James Sadler came to Victoria Park from Allansford, near Warrnambool. He was recruited as a defender, and initially played as a half-back and then in the 1910 Premiership team as a back pocket player.

As a defender he was brilliant, timing his dashes out of the back half to perfection. He was a wonderful natural athlete and an excellent rower, and this combination of speed and strength marked him as a dangerous man to have charging out of the back half. In 2017 he was retrospectively declared the club’s equal best player (with Jock McHale) for the 1909 season, a year he spent mostly in defence.

Even so, it always seemed likely he would be better suited to the more open spaces further afield, and indeed he flourished when moved to the wing and roving. He was able to twist and turn within a small space and could run like a hare, leaving hapless opponents grasping at thin air in his wake. He used the ball beautifully too, whether with long clearing kicks from the back half or delivering to a forward.

One of his former teammates, Dan Minogue, was a big fan, and actually credited Sadler with having played the best individual game he’d ever seen, on the wing against Essendon at VP in 1911. “Jim, in a superlatively dazzling display, which he sustained throughout did everything that a class footballer could possibly do, beating pointless three opponents in turn. He was always good, but he was devastating that day as again and again he flashed the ball to the forwards. Sadler had a knack of standing flat-footed and baulking to confuse the man he wanted to pass. That day he never went wrong with this simple trick. Afterwards he was presented with the match ball.”

Sport newspaper agreed with Minogue’s assessment, labelling that game as the finest of Sadler’s career.

With Jock McHale in the centre and Percy Gibb on the other wing, Sadler formed part of one of the game’s most lethal centre lines in the early 1910s. He played for Victoria in 1911 and 1912 and continued to perform at a high level for the next few years. But he lost form and was hit by injuries in 1916, managing only six games. That prompted his retirement, but he returned for seven more games in 1917, enabling him to qualify for his 10-years service.

Upon his retirement he wrote this letter to the club: “After being a player for the past ten years I feel that I have had enough, and respectfully ask that you accept my resignation. I can assure you that the years I spent with the club were the happiest of my life, and I only wish that my career as a footballer was just starting instead of finishing. I take this opportunity to thank you for the many kindnesses I have received at your hands. I can say that I always got a fair deal. Wishing the club every success in the future, yours sincerely, J M Sadler.”

Unfortunately, Sadler’s retirement wasn’t quite the end of the story. Former skipper Dan Minogue, a close friend who worked with Sadler at the South Melbourne gasworks, had become intensely unhappy with what he felt had been the club’s unfair treatment of his mate. It was never clearly articulated, but he seems to have believed that Sadler wasn’t given the opportunities he deserved across 1916-17. So even though Sadler’s retirement letter betrayed no bitterness, Minogue was furious. And his fury festered while serving his country in France during the First World War. So deep-seated was Minogue’s anger that, when he came home in 1919, he stunned the football world by refusing to play with Collingwood, opting instead for Richmond.

So Jim Sadler played an unwitting role in one of the biggest controversies in Collingwood history. But today we prefer to remember his consistent brilliance as a player over 10 seasons and 135 wonderful games.

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Statistics

CFC Career Stats

Season played Games Goals Finals Win %
1908-1917 135 5 9 64%

CFC Season by Season Stats

Season GP GL B K H T D Guernsey No.
1908 12 0

1908 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 3 University W 0 View match >
Round 6 Richmond W 0 View match >
Round 10 Geelong W 0 View match >
Round 11 Fitzroy W 0 View match >
Round 12 University W 0 View match >
Round 13 Carlton L 0 0 View match >
Round 14 Essendon W 0 0 View match >
Round 15 Richmond L 0 0 View match >
Round 16 St Kilda W 0 0 View match >
Round 17 Melbourne W 0 0 View match >
Round 18 Sydney W 0 0 View match >
Semi Final Essendon L 0 0 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1909 17 0

1909 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Fitzroy L 0 View match >
Round 2 St Kilda W 0 View match >
Round 3 Carlton L 0 View match >
Round 5 Sydney L 0 View match >
Round 6 Essendon W 0 View match >
Round 7 University W 0 View match >
Round 8 Geelong W 0 View match >
Round 9 Melbourne D 0 View match >
Round 10 Fitzroy W 0 View match >
Round 11 St Kilda W 0 View match >
Round 12 Carlton W 0 View match >
Round 13 Richmond W 0 View match >
Round 14 Sydney W 0 View match >
Round 15 Essendon L 0 View match >
Round 16 University D 0 View match >
Round 18 Melbourne W 0 View match >
Semi Final Sydney L 0 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1910 16 0

1910 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 2 Sydney W 0 View match >
Round 4 Essendon L 0 View match >
Round 5 Melbourne W 0 View match >
Round 6 Fitzroy W 0 View match >
Round 8 University W 0 View match >
Round 9 Geelong L 0 0 View match >
Round 10 Carlton L 0 View match >
Round 11 Sydney L 0 View match >
Round 12 St Kilda W 0 View match >
Round 13 Essendon W 0 View match >
Round 14 Melbourne W 0 View match >
Round 15 Fitzroy W 0 View match >
Round 17 University W 0 View match >
Semi Final Essendon W 0 View match >
Preliminary Final Sydney W 0 View match >
Grand Final Carlton W 0 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1911 20 1 0 18

1911 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Richmond W 0 18 View match >
Round 2 Fitzroy W 0 18 View match >
Round 3 Geelong L 0 18 View match >
Round 4 Essendon L 0 18 View match >
Round 5 Sydney W 0 18 View match >
Round 6 Melbourne W 0 18 View match >
Round 7 University W 0 18 View match >
Round 8 Carlton L 0 18 View match >
Round 9 St Kilda W 0 18 View match >
Round 10 Richmond W 0 18 View match >
Round 11 Fitzroy L 0 18 View match >
Round 12 Geelong W 0 18 View match >
Round 13 Essendon L 0 18 View match >
Round 14 Sydney L 0 18 View match >
Round 15 Melbourne W 0 18 View match >
Round 16 University W 0 18 View match >
Round 17 Carlton W 0 18 View match >
Round 18 St Kilda W 1 0 18 View match >
Semi Final Sydney W 0 18 View match >
Grand Final Essendon L 0 18 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1912 18 1 0 21

1912 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Melbourne L 0 21 View match >
Round 2 Essendon L 0 21 View match >
Round 3 St Kilda L 0 21 View match >
Round 4 Carlton W 0 21 View match >
Round 5 Richmond W 0 21 View match >
Round 6 Geelong L 0 21 View match >
Round 7 University W 0 21 View match >
Round 8 Fitzroy W 0 21 View match >
Round 9 Sydney L 0 21 View match >
Round 10 Melbourne W 0 21 View match >
Round 11 Essendon L 0 21 View match >
Round 12 St Kilda W 0 21 View match >
Round 13 Carlton L 0 21 View match >
Round 14 Richmond W 1 0 21 View match >
Round 15 Geelong W 0 21 View match >
Round 16 University W 0 21 View match >
Round 17 Fitzroy L 0 21 View match >
Round 18 Sydney L 0 21 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1913 12 0 25

1913 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 2 Geelong W 0 25 View match >
Round 3 Essendon W 0 25 View match >
Round 4 Carlton W 0 25 View match >
Round 5 Richmond W 0 25 View match >
Round 7 St Kilda W 0 25 View match >
Round 8 Fitzroy L 0 25 View match >
Round 9 Sydney L 0 25 View match >
Round 12 Essendon W 0 25 View match >
Round 14 Richmond W 0 25 View match >
Round 15 University W 0 25 View match >
Round 16 St Kilda L 0 25 View match >
Round 18 Sydney L 0 25 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1914 12 1 0 0 25

1914 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Carlton D 0 0 0 25 View match >
Round 3 Richmond W 0 25 View match >
Round 5 University W 0 25 View match >
Round 6 St Kilda L 0 25 View match >
Round 7 Essendon W 0 25 View match >
Round 8 Sydney W 0 25 View match >
Round 13 Fitzroy W 0 25 View match >
Round 14 University W 0 25 View match >
Round 15 St Kilda W 0 25 View match >
Round 16 Essendon W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 17 Sydney L 0 25 View match >
Round 18 Geelong L 0 25 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1915 15 1 0 23

1915 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 2 Richmond W 0 23 View match >
Round 3 St Kilda W 0 23 View match >
Round 4 Melbourne W 0 23 View match >
Round 5 Geelong W 0 23 View match >
Round 7 Carlton L 0 23 View match >
Round 8 Fitzroy W 0 23 View match >
Round 9 Sydney W 0 23 View match >
Round 10 Essendon W 0 23 View match >
Round 12 St Kilda W 1 0 23 View match >
Round 13 Melbourne W 0 23 View match >
Round 14 Geelong W 0 23 View match >
Round 17 Fitzroy W 0 23 View match >
Round 18 Sydney W 0 23 View match >
Semi Final Fitzroy L 0 23 View match >
Grand Final Carlton L 0 23 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1916 6 0 21

1916 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Richmond W 0 21 View match >
Round 2 Carlton L 0 21 View match >
Round 3 Fitzroy D 0 21 View match >
Round 4 Richmond W 0 21 View match >
Round 8 Carlton L 0 21 View match >
Round 10 Richmond L 0 21 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1917 7 1 0 21

1917 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 6 Richmond D 0 21 View match >
Round 7 Carlton W 0 21 View match >
Round 8 Fitzroy W 0 21 View match >
Round 9 Sydney L 0 21 View match >
Round 10 Geelong W 1 0 21 View match >
Round 14 Sydney W 0 21 View match >
Round 15 Geelong L 0 21 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
Totals 135 5 0
Avg/Game   0.04 0.00
Legend
  • GPGames Played
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • TTackles
  • DDisposals

Key Facts

CFC Debut Number

142

Total AFL Games
135
Total AFL Goals
5
CFC Debut
Round 3, 1908
CFC Last Game
Round 15, 1917
Recruited From
Allansford
Full Name
Jim Sadler

Awards

  • Life Members
    1920
  • Premiership
    1910
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