Jim Taylor (Australian footballer)
|Date of birth||6 January 1932|
|Place of birth||Melbourne|
|Date of death||18 April 2000(aged 68)|
|Place of death||Royal Brisbane Hospital|
|Original team(s)||Caulfield Grammarians (VAFA)|
|Debut||16 July 1949, South Melbourne
vs. St Kilda, at Junction Oval
|Height||191 cm (6 ft 3 in)|
|Weight||87 kg (192 lb)|
|1949–1954||South Melbourne||81 (26)|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1961.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
He was an outstanding schoolboy athlete, and displayed great talent both a sprinter and as a high-jumper whilst at Caulfield Grammar School.
At the 1947 Associated Grammar Schools Combined Athletics Meeting, Taylor won both the under-16 high-jump and the open high-jump — his winning jump in each event was 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m) — and, according to Wilkinson (1997, p. 151), he was part of the winning team in the under-16 4x220 yard relay.
At the 1948 A.G.S. Combined Sports he won the open high-jump, setting a new record of 5 ft 11 5⁄8 in (1.82 m), and won the open 100 yards (in 10.7 secs), which was an extraordinary feat, given that he had badly strained his ankle a week earlier, and had been unable to train at all for the five days prior to the competition. He also competed in the long-jump.
At 15 he had already cleared 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) using a "scissors jump" technique. His best-ever jump was 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m). He eventually gave up high jumping because he became too heavy; and, in particular, because no up-to-date high jump coaching was available to him.
Promoted from the Third XVIII, and then the Second XVIII, Taylor played his first senior match for South Melbourne, at 17, on 16 July 1949 (round 13) against St Kilda at the St Junction Oval. Playing as a forward pocket and in the second ruck, he kicked one goal and was one of South Melbourne's best players.
He played as both a defender (mainly centre-half back) and ruckman for South Melbourne, and was a regular for both Victoria and South Melbourne during the next decade.
He played 81 senior games with South Melbourne between 1949 and 1954.
In 1955, aged 23, he moved to Norwood in the South Australian National Football League. He played 13 S.A.F.L. games for Norwood, including the Grand Final, in which he was the best player for the losing team. He played four Interstate matches for South Australia in 1955.
He then returned to South Melbourne and played another 72 senior VFL matches from 1956 to 1961.
Taylor played in the first ruck in his first return match (round 1, 1956) against Geelong at the Lake Oval. The match against Geelong was a very low standard scrappy affair. Geelong won 11.11 (77) to 7.8 (50), and Taylor was one of South Melbourne's best players (on one occasion he took a spectacular diving one-handed mark, with his left hand). Taylor came off the ground after the match only to be told that his father, who had served as vice-president of the South Melbourne Football Club from 1952 to 1954, had died in the committee reserve whilst the match was in progress, and that his mother had requested that he not be told until after the match was over.
He represented Victoria at interstate football 13 occasions.
In 1973 he was chairman of selectors at South Melbourne.
He was South Melbourne's Best and Fairest player in 1953 and 1957.
In 1957 he was fourth in the Brownlow Medal, and in 1961, his final VFL season, he finished equal fifth, in a year he played only 12 games
- "Farewells". AFL Annual Report 2000. Australian Football League. p. 80.
- Caulfield Win Well in A.G.S. Sports, (Saturday, 1 November 1947), p.46.
- Caulfield Wins the "Age" & "Leader" Cup, The Age, (Saturday, 1 November 1947), p.12.
- Wilkinson (1997, p.151) states that "the under-16 team was: Jim Taylor, Ian Chittick, Don Brown, and Jim Bearham", whilst The Age lists the winning team as "I. Chittick, [Geoffrey C.] Castle, J. Bearham, and D. Brown". Wilkinson had unlimited access to C.G.S. school records when researching his book, and so it is unclear whether (a) The Age report is mistaken, (b) the C.G.S. records are mistaken, or (c) Taylor was, in fact, selected to run in the team, but replaced only at the last minute, at the St Kilda Cricket Ground on the day of the meeting, possibly due to fatigue, or to an injury sustained during his two high-jump competitions.
- Grammar Schools, The Argus, (Saturday, 6 November 1948), p.23.
- Postponed Events to Decide School Sports, The Argus, (Saturday, 6 November 1948), p.23.
- High-Jump Records Go, The Age, (Saturday, 6 November 1948), p.18.
- Forward, "Visitors Expect to do Well Today", The West Australian, (Saturday, 22 July 1950), p.16.
- South Melb Defers Final Selection, (Friday, 8 July 1949), p.18. VFL Teams Chosen, (Friday, 8 July 1949), p.18.
- Lake Pennant at Stake, The Argus, (Friday 15 July 1949), p.14.
- League Football Teams Chosen, The Argus, (Friday 15 July 1949), p.14.
- League Match Statistics, The Argus, (Monday 18 July 1949), p.16.
- Blake, J., "South's Young Star", The Sporting Globe, (Wednesday, 27 June 1951), p.10.
- Richardson, J., "South Clears Taylor to Norwood", The Age, (Wednesday, 11 May 1955), p.18.
- Beames, P., "South Want Taylor Back", The Age, (Monday, 21 November 1955), p.18.
- League Teams, The Age, (Friday, 13 April 1956), p.19.
- Dies Watching His Son Play, The Age, (Monday, 16 April 1956), p.16.
- Beames, P., "South upset by umpiring", The Age, (Monday, 27 August 1973), p.26.
- Wilkinson, Ian R. (1997). The Fields At Play – 115 years of sport at Caulfield Grammar School 1881–1996. Playright Publishing. ISBN 0-949853-60-7.
- Jim Taylor's playing statistics from AFL Tables
- Jim Taylor at AustralianFootball.com
- AFL Player Statistics (Round by Round): South Melbourne Football Club 1949