Arthur Stevens (Australian footballer)

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Arthur Stevens
Personal information
Full name Arthur Greaves Stevens
Date of birth (1899-06-27)27 June 1899
Place of birth West Melbourne, Victoria
Date of death 7 July 1953(1953-07-07) (aged 54)
Place of death Reservoir, Victoria
Original team(s) Preston (VFA)
Height 188 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 93 kg (205 lb)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1927–1932 Footscray 64 (23)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1932.
Career highlights
  • Victorian representative: 1928
  • Footscray club captain: 1929
Sources: AFL Tables,

Arthur Greaves Stevens (27 June 1899 – 7 July 1953) was an Australian rules footballer who played with Footscray in the Victorian Football League (VFL). He was often referred to as "Chidda" or "Chidder" Stevens.[1][2]


Stevens arrived at Footscray in 1927, from Victorian Football Association club Preston.[3] He was already aged 28 when he made his debut against St Kilda at Western Oval in round 10.[4] A ruckman, Stevens immediately cemented his spot in the team and in 1928 was picked in the Victorian state side to play South Australia in Adelaide.[5][6] He made 16 league appearances in the 1928 season and another 16 in 1929.[7] When Footscray captain Allan Hopkins became unavailable in 1929, Stevens filled in as club captain.[8]

On 17 August 1929, Footscray played a round 16 fixture against Melbourne at the MCG, during which Stevens was involved in several on field incidents.[9] As the players were leaving the field at half time, Stevens was struck in the face by a man from the crowd and hit "by a women with her parasol", before being assisted to the rooms by police constables.[10][11] The spectator that struck Stevens, Hector Michael Davis, was charged with assault and fined in court.[12]

At the VFL Tribunal, Stevens was suspended for 10 league games, on three charges.[13] He received four weeks for "kneeing" Melbourne player Col Deane, two for conducting himself in "an unseemly manner" (an objectionable gesture) and four for elbowing and attempting to strike Melbourne's George Cassidy.[13][14]

Stevens made just five appearances in the 1930 VFL season.[7] On his first game back from suspension, at Corio Oval in round 10, the umpire reported him for attempting to elbow Geelong player Jack Plunkett.[15] Although cleared of the charge at the tribunal, he received a four-week ban for his actions after he had been approached by the umpire, when he threw the ball away.[16]

In 1931 he played 11 games and was a member of a Footscray team that missed out on the finals only on percentage.[7][17]

He featured in the opening eight rounds of the 1932 season, then found himself back at the tribunal, reported for striking Melbourne's Joe Kinnear with his elbow.[18] For this he received an eight-week suspension.[18] His next and ultimately final appearance for Footscray came in round 18, against North Melbourne.[7] He retired at the end of the season.[19]


Stevens died at the age of 54 on 7 July 1953, when he was struck by a train on the railway line at Reservoir, Melbourne.[20][21][22]

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances around his death.[22]


He had a son, Harvey, who played for Footscray and was a member of their historic 1954 premiership team.[23]

Two great grandsons have also played in the league, Daniel Talia for Adelaide and Michael Talia for the Western Bulldogs and Sydney Swans.[24]


  1. ^ Holmesby, Russell; Main, Jim (2007). The Encyclopedia Of AFL Footballers. BAS Publishing. ISBN 9781920910785.
  2. ^ "League Footballers of 1950 Forward Pocket". The Argus Week-End Magazine. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 5 August 1950. p. 8. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Football". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 30 June 1927. p. 4. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  4. ^ "Footscray v St Kilda – Sat, 2-Jul-1927 2:45 PM – Match Stats". AFL Tables. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  5. ^ Pierik, Jon (15 December 2011). "Historic guernsey is back in the family". The Age. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  6. ^ "Interstate Football". The News. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 16 June 1928. p. 6 Edition: Sporting Edition. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d "Arthur Stevens – Games Played". AFL Tables. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  8. ^ "Melbourne Stirringly Beat Richmond". The Referee. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 10 July 1929. p. 13. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  9. ^ "Melbourne Games". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 19 August 1929. p. 14. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  10. ^ "Incident at Football". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 20 August 1929. p. 5. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  11. ^ "Player Struck". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 19 August 1929. p. 7. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  12. ^ "Unpleasant Incidents". The Examiner. Launceston, Tas.: National Library of Australia. 19 August 1929. p. 4 Edition: Daily. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  13. ^ a b "League Tribunal: Stevens Out for Ten Matches". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 23 August 1929. p. 15. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  14. ^ "Reference 1929 VFL AFL Tribunal". Boyles Football Photos. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  15. ^ "Football". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 7 July 1930. p. 13. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  16. ^ "Victorian Football News and Notes". The Referee. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 23 July 1930. p. 16. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  17. ^ "1930s – History of the Western Bulldogs Football Club". Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  18. ^ a b "Football". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 8 July 1932. p. 10. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  19. ^ "Presentation to Stevens". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 6 July 1933. p. 11. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  20. ^ "Arthur Stevens – Player Bio". Australian Football. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  21. ^ "Family Notices". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 9 July 1953. p. 12. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  22. ^ a b "Found Dead on Railway Line". The Age. 8 July 1953. p. 10. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  23. ^ McClure, Geoff (16 December 2009). "Pies' ashes now in Tigerland". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  24. ^ Capel, Andrew. "It's a Dogs' life for the Talia family". Adelaide Advertiser. Retrieved 4 February 2015.

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