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The complete history of the Mighty Magpies

Mick Twomey

Mick Twomey

1951-1961
25
Other Guernsey Nos.
23

157 CFC Games Played

94 CFC Goals

Date of Birth
25 September 1931
Date of Death
14 December 2015
Recruited From
Heidelberg YCW & Ballarat
Collingwood Debut
Round 1, 1951
Height:
185cm
Weight:
87kg

Biography

Over the years, Collingwood fans have been fortunate enough to be able to regularly thrill to the exploits of some of the game’s greatest high-flyers: from Dick Lee, Jack Regan and Ron Todd, through Billy Picken in the ’70s to Chris Tarrant and Jamie Elliott in the 2000s.

To that list should be added a 1950s aerialist whose spectacular leaps kept crowds excited and newspaper photographers supplied with a regular stream of great photos – Mick Twomey.

Most Magpie fans will instantly recognise the Twomey surname as Collingwood royalty, but Mick was distinctly different from brothers Bill and Pat and father Bill Snr. He was taller and tended to play in the ruck or key positions, rather than the midfield roles most commonly occupied by other family members. He was also a right-foot kick.

But ask anyone who saw him play to pick the defining characteristic of his football career and it will almost certainly be his aerial ability. He could soar with the very best, regularly reaching heights that few others could match. He had ‘soft’ hands, too, meaning that he almost always landed with ball in hand.

But Mick was primarily a follower who spent time resting either back or forward, which meant he could also put his prodigious leap to good use while in the ruck. And that’s exactly what he did from his first moments in a Collingwood jumper.

He had first appeared at Victoria Park in 1949, where he managed 11 games with the seconds. He had been a late bloomer as a footballer, being initially indifferent to the game and barely having kicked a footy until age 13. Then he was chosen in his school team for no other reason than his famous family name, and found himself enjoying the game. Within a few years he’d won Heidelberg YCW under-19s best and fairest as a 16-year-old, and that was enough to pique Collingwood’s interest.

But his early stint in the seconds won him few rave reviews. He was very lightly built, and was being bullied out of contests. His famous father was coaching in Ballarat at the time, so Mick headed up the Western Highway to play under him for the 1950 season. He played well, filled out his frame substantially, and returned to Melbourne in 1951 a fitter, stronger and more confident player.

He returned to Victoria Park for the 1951 practice matches – and began turning heads almost immediately with a string of brilliant, eye-catching performances. “Collingwood have another Phonse Kyne in young Mick Twomey,” enthused the Sporting Globe, “and when he learns some of Kyne’s artful tricks he may be even better. Twomey gave a great display of ruck play on Saturday. He took some glorious fingertip marks, and his hitting out to the rovers was equal to any of the good ruckmen playing today.”

Both the Globe and the Age predicted he would ‘walk’ into the Magpie team for the opening game – and they were right. He debuted against North Melbourne, and added to the growing buzz by kicking two goals, prompting the Age to suggest he could prove to be the most valuable of the Twomey brothers.

Mick was no ‘March champion’, and he held his good form through most of his first season, finishing with 14 goals from his 17 games and a second-place finish behind Bob Rose in an unusual best player trophy that used a handicap system to give younger players a better chance. His kicking left much to be desired but he was a revelation on the ball, using his great leap and excellent palming skills to provide his rovers with good first-use opportunities, but also covering the ground so quickly with his long-striding gait that he was easily the fastest follower in the VFL.

That combination of speed, aerial skills and athleticism prompted plenty of excitement. After being named as the club’s second best player in the finals in 1952 (a feat he would repeat the following year), Hec de Lacy in the Sporting Globe wrote that Mick could develop into the game’s most spectacular big man. ‘There are mighty few League ruckmen who can outleap this fellow,” de Lacy wrote. “And there are none with greater pace.”

Somehow, though, Mick Twomey never quite became the sensation that those early reviews had predicted. He enjoyed a fine career, to be sure, playing in two Premierships, more than 150 games and finishing third in the 1956 Copeland Trophy. And there were glimpses of his brilliant best, such as in the 1953 second semi-final when he produced a display of high marking that was “as good as has ever been seen on the MCG”, according to the Sun newspaper. But he never quite dominated the way many thought he might. Partly this could be put down to a succession of injuries encountered along the way – some minor, others more serious, especially post-1958 as his career spluttered to its eventual halt in 1961. But there were also question marks over his dedication to the game. He had a relaxed approach to life, and some say this may have been reflected in his approach to footy.

His brother Bill, in an interview in 1991, still felt that Mick was underrated. “He was a beautiful mark and a great ruckman for his size,” he said. “He was also a great clubman and team player. He really made a lot of footballers through his team play and unselfish play, either in the ruck or around the ground. He was very nearly one of the best players in the game.”

Mick’s time at Collingwood also produced one important piece of history. Older brother Pat had first played at Collingwood in 1947 as a centreman/flanker, but left after the 1949 season to play with Warragul. But Mick’s success in 1951 helped to lure Pat back. With Bill Jnr long since having established himself as a star after his debut in 1945, the three brothers managed to fulfil a dream in round five of the 1952 season when they took the field together against Carlton. The next year they became the first trio of brothers to play in a Premiership together. That day against Carlton was also memorable because Mick marked the occasion by taking yet another ‘speccie’ that brought the crowd to its feet. It was a classic Mick Twomey signature moment – and the perfect way to cap off an historic day for a family that has given Collingwood so much.

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Statistics

CFC Career Stats

Season played Games Goals Finals Win %
1951-1961 157 94 15 60%

CFC Season by Season Stats

Season GP GL B K H T D Guernsey No.
1951 17 14 0 25

1951 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 North Melbourne W 2 0 25 View match >
Round 2 Melbourne W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 3 Geelong W 0 25 View match >
Round 4 Essendon L 0 25 View match >
Round 5 Richmond L 1 0 25 View match >
Round 6 Sydney W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 7 St Kilda W 2 0 25 View match >
Round 8 Carlton W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 9 Hawthorn W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 10 Western Bulldogs L 0 25 View match >
Round 11 Fitzroy L 3 0 25 View match >
Round 14 Geelong W 0 25 View match >
Round 15 Essendon W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 16 Richmond W 0 25 View match >
Round 17 Sydney W 0 25 View match >
Semi Final Geelong L 1 0 25 View match >
Preliminary Final Essendon L 0 25 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1952 20 12 0 25

1952 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Hawthorn W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 2 Fitzroy W 0 25 View match >
Round 4 St Kilda W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 5 Carlton W 3 0 25 View match >
Round 6 Western Bulldogs W 0 25 View match >
Round 7 Melbourne L 0 25 View match >
Round 8 Richmond W 0 25 View match >
Round 9 North Melbourne L 0 25 View match >
Round 10 Sydney W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 11 Richmond W 0 25 View match >
Round 12 Geelong L 1 0 25 View match >
Round 14 Fitzroy L 0 25 View match >
Round 15 Essendon W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 16 St Kilda W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 17 Carlton L 2 0 25 View match >
Round 18 Western Bulldogs W 0 25 View match >
Round 19 Melbourne W 0 25 View match >
Semi Final Geelong L 1 0 25 View match >
Preliminary Final Fitzroy W 0 25 View match >
Grand Final Geelong L 0 25 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1953 17 14 0 0 25

1953 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Sydney W 0 25 View match >
Round 2 North Melbourne L 1 0 25 View match >
Round 6 Richmond W 2 0 25 View match >
Round 7 Western Bulldogs W 3 0 25 View match >
Round 8 St Kilda W 0 25 View match >
Round 9 Melbourne W 0 25 View match >
Round 10 Essendon L 1 0 25 View match >
Round 11 Fitzroy L 0 25 View match >
Round 12 Sydney W 0 25 View match >
Round 13 North Melbourne W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 14 Geelong W 0 25 View match >
Round 15 Carlton W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 16 Hawthorn W 0 25 View match >
Round 17 Richmond W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 18 Western Bulldogs W 1 0 25 View match >
Semi Final Geelong W 2 0 25 View match >
Grand Final Geelong W 1 0 0 25 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1954 17 12 0 25

1954 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Melbourne W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 2 Fitzroy W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 3 St Kilda W 0 25 View match >
Round 5 Sydney W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 6 Geelong L 1 0 25 View match >
Round 7 Richmond L 2 0 25 View match >
Round 8 Carlton W 0 25 View match >
Round 9 North Melbourne L 2 0 25 View match >
Round 10 Hawthorn W 0 25 View match >
Round 11 Western Bulldogs W 0 25 View match >
Round 12 Melbourne W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 13 Fitzroy L 0 25 View match >
Round 14 St Kilda W 0 25 View match >
Round 15 Essendon L 0 25 View match >
Round 16 Sydney L 3 0 25 View match >
Round 17 Geelong L 0 25 View match >
Round 18 Richmond L 0 25 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1955 15 11 0 0 25

1955 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Western Bulldogs L 0 25 View match >
Round 3 St Kilda W 2 0 25 View match >
Round 4 Hawthorn L 1 0 25 View match >
Round 5 Carlton W 3 0 25 View match >
Round 6 Essendon W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 7 Fitzroy W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 8 Geelong W 0 25 View match >
Round 9 Sydney W 0 25 View match >
Round 12 Western Bulldogs L 0 25 View match >
Round 13 North Melbourne W 0 25 View match >
Round 16 Carlton W 0 25 View match >
Round 18 Fitzroy W 0 25 View match >
Semi Final Melbourne L 1 0 25 View match >
Preliminary Final Geelong W 2 0 25 View match >
Grand Final Melbourne L 0 0 0 25 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1956 16 11 0 25

1956 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Hawthorn W 2 0 25 View match >
Round 2 Sydney W 0 25 View match >
Round 3 Richmond L 1 0 25 View match >
Round 4 Western Bulldogs W 0 25 View match >
Round 5 Carlton L 0 25 View match >
Round 6 Geelong W 2 0 25 View match >
Round 7 Melbourne L 0 25 View match >
Round 8 North Melbourne W 0 25 View match >
Round 9 Fitzroy W 0 25 View match >
Round 11 Essendon W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 12 Hawthorn W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 13 Sydney W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 14 Richmond W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 15 Western Bulldogs W 0 25 View match >
Round 16 Carlton L 2 0 25 View match >
Round 17 Geelong W 0 25 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1957 16 13 0 25

1957 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Essendon L 0 25 View match >
Round 2 Melbourne L 0 25 View match >
Round 3 Geelong W 2 0 25 View match >
Round 4 Sydney W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 5 Fitzroy W 2 0 25 View match >
Round 6 North Melbourne L 1 0 25 View match >
Round 7 St Kilda W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 8 Western Bulldogs L 1 0 25 View match >
Round 9 Richmond L 1 0 25 View match >
Round 10 Carlton W 0 25 View match >
Round 11 Hawthorn W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 12 Essendon L 2 0 25 View match >
Round 13 Melbourne D 0 25 View match >
Round 15 Sydney W 0 25 View match >
Round 17 North Melbourne W 0 25 View match >
Round 18 St Kilda L 1 0 25 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1958 11 2 0 0 25, 23

1958 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 6 Richmond W 0 25 View match >
Round 12 Western Bulldogs W 0 25 View match >
Round 13 Hawthorn W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 14 Fitzroy L 0 25 View match >
Round 15 Essendon L 0 25 View match >
Round 16 Carlton W 0 25 View match >
Round 17 Richmond W 0 25 View match >
Round 18 North Melbourne L 0 25 View match >
Semi Final Melbourne L 0 25 View match >
Preliminary Final North Melbourne W 0 25 View match >
Grand Final Melbourne W 1 0 0 23 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1959 14 5 0 25

1959 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Sydney L 0 25 View match >
Round 2 Melbourne L 0 25 View match >
Round 3 Carlton L 1 0 25 View match >
Round 4 St Kilda L 0 25 View match >
Round 5 Richmond L 1 0 25 View match >
Round 6 Western Bulldogs W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 8 Fitzroy L 0 25 View match >
Round 11 Hawthorn W 0 25 View match >
Round 12 Sydney W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 14 Carlton W 1 0 25 View match >
Round 15 St Kilda W 0 25 View match >
Round 17 Western Bulldogs W 0 25 View match >
Round 18 Geelong W 0 25 View match >
Semi Final Essendon L 0 25 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1960 7 0 0 0 25

1960 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Fitzroy W 0 25 View match >
Round 2 Hawthorn W 0 25 View match >
Round 6 Sydney L 0 25 View match >
Round 7 North Melbourne L 0 25 View match >
Round 12 Fitzroy L 0 25 View match >
Round 13 Hawthorn L 0 25 View match >
Grand Final Melbourne L 0 0 0 25 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1961 7 0 25

1961 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Geelong L 0 25 View match >
Round 2 Richmond L 0 25 View match >
Round 3 North Melbourne W 0 25 View match >
Round 4 Western Bulldogs L 0 25 View match >
Round 8 Melbourne L 0 25 View match >
Round 9 St Kilda W 0 25 View match >
Round 11 Hawthorn L 0 25 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
Totals 157 94 0
Avg/Game   0.60 0.00
Legend
  • GPGames Played
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • TTackles
  • DDisposals

Key Facts

CFC Debut Number

540

Total AFL Games
157
Total AFL Goals
94
CFC Debut
Round 1, 1951
CFC Last Game
Round 11, 1961
Recruited From
Heidelberg YCW & Ballarat
Full Name
Mick Twomey

Awards

  • Life Members
    1961
  • CFC Hall of Fame
    2009
  • Third Best and Fairest (J.J. Joyce Trophy)
    1956
  • x2
    Premiership
    1953, 1958
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