Footy's best kept secret

Footy's best kept secret ...

Brownlow trivia


LEN THOMPSON — Diary 1999, page 516.
On Tuesday September 14, 1999 the 1972 Brownlow won by Collingwood's LEN THOMPSON brought $74,000 at Christie's auction.

It was the first Brownlow Medal to be sold to the public.

Adelaide collector PAUL De PASQUALE was the buyer at a reported $74,000. The 61-year-old Pasquale also bought two of five Thompson Copeland trophies won at Collingwood. The items will be held in a bank vault. Pasquale expects the League fairest and best medallion to at least double in value over the next 20 years.

FRED GOLDSMITH — Diary 2000, page 23
The 1955 Brownlow Medal won by South Melbourne champion full-back FRED GOLDSMITH was sold for $43,700 at Christie's sporting memorabilia auction on Monday evening April 17, 2000. The buyer was RUSSELL FOGARTY, a life-long supporter of the South Melbourne-Sydney Swans back to the Lake Oval days. It was the third highest price paid in Australia for a piece of memorabilia. On September 14 last year the 1972 Brownlow Medal of Collingwood's LEN THOMPSON brought $74,000 at auction while one of Don Bradman's cricket bats fetched $48,000.

The two Brownlow Medals of Collingwood champion DES FOTHERGILL which resulted from the tie in 1940 failed to reach the $60,000 reserve and were passed in at $59,800.

Two Copeland trophy's won by Fothergill in 1938 and 1940 were sold for $6,235 and $7,475 respectively.

Members of the family put the Fothergill items to auction. Des Fothergill passed away in 1996.

HERBIE MATTHEWS — Diary 2001, page 2
The 1940 Brownlow Medal won by South Melbourne's HERBIE MATTHEWS was passed in at Christie's auction of sporting memorabilia in Melbourne on October 4. Despite more than $1 million being outlayed on sporting treasures including boxing trophies of Lionel Rose, cricket bats of Sir Garfield Sobers and a 1924 Olympic Medal won by jumper NICK WINTER, bidding for the football icon stopped at $28,000, well below the pre-auction estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.


EDWARD 'CARJI' GREEVESThe Age, September 19, 2007

Family to sell first Brownlow
by Chris Johnston

HE WAS the Chris Judd of his era, a skilful Geelong centreman with an instinctive ability to read the play. Edward "Carji" Greeves won the first Brownlow Medal in 1924. It has been in his family since – his wife even wearing it as a brooch – but now it is for sale.

"I have had a dreadful time procrastinating and thinking it over," Greeves' daughter, June Ford, the owner said. "Mum would have been against it, but I don't think Dad could ever have imagined that memorabilia like this would have been as popular as it is today."

The medal – the only Brownlow made of solid gold – is for private sale. Experts value it at between $100,000 and $370,000. The middleman brokering the sale, John Weste, of 333 Capital, said $500,000 might well be in the ball park.

The medal is considered as significant as Sir Don Bradman's baggy green caps or cricket bats. A Bradman baggy green from the 1947-48 season sold in 2003 for $467,500. One of his bats recently sold for $125,000.

"These kinds of items tap into the Australian psyche," said Patricia Kontos, of Christie's auction house. Christie's sold Collingwood great Len Thompson's 1972 Brownlow Medal in 1999 for $74,000 but the Greeves medal would be worth up to five times as much.

Expressions of interest in the his medal are open until September 28. Weste has approached the Geelong Football Club and the AFL as potential buyers. At the moment, it is on loan to the Melbourne Cricket Club, awaiting display at the National Sports Museum, which opens in March.

The MCC's general manager of museums, Gerry Kerlin, said he hoped it would stay in the museum.

Ms Kontos said it was unlikely to be bought by an organisation but rather by a fanatical, multimillionaire supporter of Geelong.

Mrs Ford, 65, of Anglesea, decided to sell the medal after six months of discussions with her sister and her children. She would set up investments for her unmarried children, 38 and 36. "I'm sure Dad would be happy to know it was benefiting the family."

The proceeds would provide some security for herself and her sister, who lives in Ararat. "It will improve our lifestyles," she said. Mrs Ford is separated.

333 Capital, a subsidiary of insolvency specialist KordaMentha, would manage the investments.

Company directors Mark Korda and Mark Mentha are closely aligned with AFL football: Mr Korda is on the board at Collingwood and Mr Mentha on St Kilda's.

Greeves was nicknamed "Carji" after Carjillo, the Rajah of Bhong, a character in a popular play. He played 124 games for Geelong from 1923 and in 1928 coached the University of Southern California American football team.

Geelong's best-and-fairest medal is named after him. He died in 1963, and was made a member of the AFL Hall of Fame in 1996.


EDWARD 'CARJI' GREEVESThe Age, January 8, 2008

First Brownlow sold for more than $300,000

The first Brownlow medal to be awarded has been sold to a private bidder for a figure believed to be well in excess of $300,000.

The 1924 medallion — the first and only one ever to be made from solid gold — was sold by the family of its winner, Geelong's Edward "Carji" Greeves. Greeves' daughter, June Ford, said the proceeds of the sale would be used to create a family investment fund.

"The family will benefit from the legacy of my father for generations to come," she said.

The new owner has agreed to let the Brownlow medal go on display at the National Sports Museum at the MCG when it opens in March.

The managers of the sale, 333 Performance Management, said the medal's price was much higher than for previous Brownlow medal sales, confirming that the value of rare sporting memorabilia was on the rise.


Also noted:
February 2001

To finance his retirement, footy legend GRAHAM FARMER is putting his vast collection of awards up for sale. The 65-year Farmer who had heart surgery several months ago and now lives on a pension hopes a sale may bring as much as $1 million. He has three Sandover (1956, '57 and '60) and four Simpson Medals (1956, '58, '59 and '69), the 1956 Tassie Medal and 10 fairest-and-best awards, seven from East Perth, two from Geelong and one from West Perth. Collingwood's LEN THOMPSON sold his 1972 Brownlow two years ago for $74,000 while last year South Melbourne's FRED GOLDSMITH raised $43,700 for his 1955 Brownlow.

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