George P. Anderson
|Date of birth||3 June 1885|
|Place of birth||Windsor, Victoria|
|Date of death||10 June 1958(aged 73)|
|Place of death||Wagga Wagga|
|Debut||3 June 1911, Collingwood
v. Melbourne, at Victoria Park
|Height/Weight||168 cm / 80 kg|
1 Playing statistics correct to end of 1917 season.
Anderson played on the half-back flank for most of his career at Collingwood. He was recruited from the Howlong Football Club in 1911; and, when he first came to Collingwood he was known as "Snowy Martin", due to his similarity to an Essendon player of the same name.
He was unable to play in the first five matches of the 1911 season because his clearance from the New South Wales league was delayed. In the meant time, The Argus was reporting that "Anderson is showing splendid form at practice". He played his first senior game for Collingwood on his 26th birthday (Saturday, 3 June 1911), against Melbourne in round 6 of the 1911 VFL season on the forward line; he kicked one goal. Noting that he was "a player from a rural association", the football correspondent of The Age — who thought that Collingwood full-forward Dick Lee was quite out of form during the match — remarked that "in the want of lofty markers in the forward division [for Collingwood]… Anderson was the most proficient in this department" and, further, asserting that "[Anderson will undoubtedly prove to be a valuable acquisition to his team".
Anderson played on the forward flank in the Collingwood team for the 1911 VFL Grand Final. The Collingwood team, carrying two of its champion players — its full-forward and captain, Dick Lee, and its centre half-forward, Dan Minogue — who had both been badly injured during the match, lost to Essendon by 6 points.
In 1912, his second season, and the first year that VFL players wore numbers on the back of their guernseys, Anderson's guernsey carried the original number one for Collingwood.
Playing on the half-back flank, he was one of the few consistently good players for the Collingwood team that was soundly beaten by Carlton 11.12 (78) to 6.9 (45) in the 1915 VFL Grand Final, on 18 September 1915, in what was considered to be a "fast and furious game".
In 1917, Anderson played on the half-back flank for the Collingwood team that defeated Fitzroy, 9.20 (74) to 5.9 (39), on 22 September 1917, in the 1917 VFL Grand Final. He was one of Collingwood's best players in the Grand Final. The match was the last senior VFL game for both himself and Jock McHale, who had played in the back pocket (McHale continued to coach Collingwood until 1949).
In 1914, former St Kilda player, captain, and coach, James Smith, encouraged by the American boxing referee and manager of the major Melbourne boxing venue, Mr Angelo Marre, came up with the notion of taking two teams of Australian rules footballers (all in all, 45 men) to the Panama–California Exposition (scheduled to begin in San Diego, California in March 1915) to demonstrate Australian rules football. He approached the Victorian Football Association for its support; however, the VFA decided to take no further action until it became clear to them precisely who were associated with Smith's proposal. Smith also approached the Australasian Football Council, which gave him permission to take two teams to the Exposition.
By the second half of the year, Smith had formed a company known as The Australian Football Company. The company representatives met with Frederick William Hagelthorn (1864–1943), who was not only the Victorian Minister for Public Works, but was the Victorian Commissioner to the Panama Exposition; they sought a "small subsidy" towards their expenses, whilst at the Exposition, on the basis that "the men would serve as an admirable advertisement for Australia". Hagelthorn's response was that, whilst their endeavour "had his hearty sympathy", he was unable to grant their request. He promised, however, to see if it was possible to subsidize local advertising for the exhibition games.
Anderson was one of the first players chosen for the exhibition teams; however, due to the commencement of the first World War, all of Smith's plans were abandoned, and the proposed exhibition matches never eventuated.
When Anderson moved to Wagga Wagga he played for a time with the Federals Football Club.
An hour before the Collingwood team's scheduled match against South Adelaide (the two teams were representing Victoria and South Australia respectively) — the first match of the Australian Rules Football Carnival, run by the Queensland Football League, under the auspices of the Australasian Football Council, at the Brisbane Cricket Ground, on Saturday 8 August 1914 — Anderson won a goal kicking competition. Using a place kick, he kicked the ball 72 yards 6 inches, which still stands today as a Queensland record for a place kick.
The rhyming storekeeper
In the area around Wagga Wagga he became renowned for his capacity to write impromptu poems and doggerel verse, on any subject at all, at a moments notice; and was known locally as “the rhyming storekeeper”.
In 1987, the park in Glenfield Road, Mount Austin (a suburb of Wagga Wagga) was named Anderson Park in his honour.
- Their three sons were George Stanley Anderson, Alan Daniel Anderson, and Thomas Lindsay Anderson. Their four daughters were Margaret (Mrs. J. Fogarty); Kathleen (Mrs. R.A. Strang); Jean (Mrs. J. Wallace); and Patricia (Mrs. P. Steeles). (Death Notice: ANDERSON, Sarah Ann, The Sydney Morning Herald, (Wednesday 15 February 1950), p.30.)
- This "Snowy Martin" was not Ernest "Snowy" Martin, who shared a birthday with Anderson; because, in May 1911, Ernest "Snowy" Martin was just 8 years old.Club Notes, The Argus, (Friday, 26 May 1911), p.4.
- The clearance came through on the evening of Friday, 2 June 1911; which allowed him to play, for the first time, on the following day (League Permits, 'The Argus, (Saturday, 3 June 1911), p.16.).
- Club Notes, The Argus, (Friday, 2 June 1911), p.9.
- The Football Season: Matches for Premiership: League Matches: Collingwood (6.13) Beat Melbourne (5.13), The Age, (Monday, 3 June 1911), p.10.
- The Final Games: The League, The Argus, (Saturday, 23 September 1911), p.17.
- Observer, "The League Final: A Magnificent Finish: Essendon Win", The Argus, (Saturday, 23 September 1911), p.17.
- Memorial plaque, 1987.
- Observer, "Football: Fast and Furious: Carlton Premiers", The Argus, (Monday, 20 September 1915), p.4.
- Pivot, "League Premiership: Carlton Victorious", The Age, (Monday, 20 September 1915), p.5.
- Football: Collingwood Premiers, The Age, (Monday, 24 September 1917), p.9.
- Football: The League Final: Easy Win for Collingwood, The Argus, (Monday, 24 September 1917), p.8.
- Australian Rules International: International Footy Timeline: 1914.
- Panama Exposition: Footballers' Project, The Argus, (Tuesday, 28 April 1914), p.4.
- Australian Football: Proposed World Tour: Visit to Panama Exposition, (Thursday, 23 July 1914), p.6.
- Memorial plaque, 1987.
- Football: Australian Rules Carnival, The Brisbane Courier, (Monday, 10 August 1914), p.12.
- FootyStats Diary: Long kicks and the men who made them.
- Memorial plaque: Anderson Oval, Glenfield Road, Mount Austin, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.
- George P. Anderson's statistics from AFL Tables