Colin Benham

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Colin Benham
Personal information
Full name Colin Sampson Benham
Date of birth (1907-11-23)23 November 1907
Place of birth Collingwood, Victoria
Date of death 22 February 2000(2000-02-22) (aged 92)
Place of death Geelong, Victoria
Original team(s) Hamilton
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1930–1936 Fitzroy 81 (70)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1936.
Sources: AFL Tables,

Colin Sampson Benham (23 November 1907 – 22 February 2000) was an Australian rules footballer, who played for Fitzroy Football Club in the Victorian Football League (VFL).


Recruited from Hamilton Football Club, Colin was a solid, hard working ruckman, with tremendous stamina and a good mark. He was especially valuable when resting in the forward lines, and combined well with champion rover Haydn Bunton, (who started playing with Fitzroy in 1931).

Colin played 81 senior games for Fitzroy between 1930 and 1936, and kicked 70 goals.

Benham's famous "in-off the small boy" goal[edit]

On Saturday 30 June 1934, Fitzroy were playing against South Melbourne at the Lake Oval in front of a crowd of 27,000, plus Baron Huntingfield, who served as Governor of Victoria from 1934 to 1939, who had come to see his first match of Australian Rules Football.[1]

With only seconds to go in the match, with South Melbourne leading Fitzroy 13.19 (97) to 12.10 (82), Colin took a strong mark close to the goals, and went back to line up his kick.

Although a goal could not win the match for Fitzroy, there was still pride at stake.

The final bell rang out, (as there were no sirens in those days), and by the time he had started to run in to kick for goal, most of his teammates had begun to run to the change-rooms.

At the same time as the ball left his boot, the local boys all started to jump the fence, and they began to race towards their South Melbourne heroes in order to congratulate them; oblivious to the fact that the match was not yet officially over.

The ball had veered sideways off Benham's boot, and from Colin's perspective, it was clear that it would be a behind; but, as the ball neared the goal-line, it struck one of the running boys, and was deflected, off him, into the space between the two goalposts.

Because the football had not hit another player, the goal umpire had no alternative but to award the goal (6 points), rather than the behind (1 point) that it was otherwise been destined to be, and South Melbourne’s winning margin was reduced to nine points: 13.19 (97) to 13.10 (88).[2][3][4]


  1. ^ "A Wonderful Game": Governor at South Melbourne, The Age, (Monday, 2 July 1934), p.6.
  2. ^ Chisolm, A.H, "Fitzroy's Failure", The Argus, (Monday, 2 July 1934), p.9.
  3. ^ Gruelling Struggle, The Age, (Monday, 2 July 1934), p.6.
  4. ^ Ross, 1996, p.142.


  • Ross, J. (ed), 100 Years of Australian Football 1897-1996: The Complete Story of the AFL, All the Big Stories, All the Great Pictures, All the Champions, Every AFL Season Reported, Viking, (Ringwood), 1996. ISBN 0-670-86814-0

External links[edit]