Robert Nash (Australian footballer)

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Robert Nash
Personal information
Full name Robert Henry Nash
Date of birth 22 April 1884
Place of birth Carlton, Victoria
Date of death 16 June 1958(1958-06-16) (aged 74)
Place of death East Melbourne, Victoria
Original team(s) Northcote
Debut Round 11, 1904, Collingwood
vs. Fitzroy, at Victoria Park
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1904–1909 Collingwood (VFL) 88 (14)
1910–1912 Footscray (VFA) 34 (11)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1912.
Career highlights
  • Collingwood captain, 1908–1909
  • Represented Victoria, 1908
Sources: AFL Tables,

Robert Henry "Bob" Nash (22 April 1884 – 16 June 1958)[1] was a leading Australian rules footballer who was captain of the Collingwood Football Club in the Victorian Football League (VFL), and captain-coach of the Footscray Football Club in the Victorian Football Association (VFA).


The son of Michael Joseph "Mick" Nash (1862–1939), who played for Carlton when it was part of the VFA,[2][3] and Mary Ann (a.k.a. "Marianne") Nash (1861–1940), née Tobin, Robert Henry Nash was born on 22 April 1884. He married Mary Anne Ryan in 1906.

His uncle, Thomas M. Nash (1859–?), also played for Carlton when it was part of the VFA.[4] Bob Nash is best known as the father of Test cricketer and leading footballer Laurie Nash.[2]


Northcote (MJFA)[edit]

Nash played for Northcote in the Metropolitan Junior Football Association (MJFA) until he was recruited by Collingwood in 1904.

Collingwood (VFL)[edit]

Nash became a leading player at Collingwood, playing 88 games and kicking 14 goals in six seasons[5] Regarded as a powerful player who was a good mark and kick,[6] he captained Collingwood in 1908 and 1909 and represented Victoria at the first interstate carnival in Melbourne in 1908.[7]

In August 1907, due to an incident during the 17 August 1907 match that Collingwood lost 3.8 (26) to St. Kilda 8.19 (67), "Nash, of Collingwood, was disqualified for [three matches for] assaulting [Jack] Wells, of St. Kilda, though the latter was the aggressor in connection with that particular incident, previously to which Nash had been guilty of a grossly savage attack on [Jimmy] Matthews — a diminutive St. Kilda player[8] — for which he was not called to account at all."[9]

In June 1909, following the drawn 19 June match between Collingwood and Melbourne, Nash was reported for disputing the umpire's decision; and, although found guilty at the hearing, Nash was not suspended, but was "admonished" by the VFL's tribunal.[10]

Footscray (VFA)[edit]

He left Collingwood at the end of the 1909 VFL season, serving two years as captain-coach of VFA side Footscray (1910–1911), and one additional year as a player (1912), before retiring at the end of 1912.[11]


Initially employed as a gas stoker,[12] Nash became a policeman and, as such, participated in the 1923 Victorian police strike.[13]

Discharged from the force along with 633 others as a result of his participation in that strike,[14][15] he moved his family to Tasmania, and took over the hotel at Parattah.[16] There he oversaw the sporting development of Laurie and his other son, Robert Jnr (also an accomplished footballer, who played for four seasons with the Coburg Football Club in the VFA, from 1934 to 1937);[16][17] and, initially, he encouraged Laurie to concentrate on cricket rather than football,[18] refusing to allow Laurie to play senior football before he turned 19.[2]


Nash collapsed and died at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, on Monday 16 June 1958, just before three-quarter-time, while watching a Melbourne-Collingwood match on the Queen's Birthday.[19][20][21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bob Nash". Collingwood Forever. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Wallish (1998).
  3. ^ Michael Nash, Blueseum.
  4. ^ Thomas M. Nash, Blueseum.
  5. ^ "Bob Nash". stats.rleague. Retrieved 10 April 2008.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Burns the 44th man to lead the Magpies". Collingwood Football Club website. Archived from the original on 26 July 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2008.
  8. ^ "The only bad incident of a hard-fought game occurred in [the third] quarter. Matthews, trying to stop Nash, brought the heavier man down on top of him, and Nash seemed to very deliberately dig his heel into his smaller opponent as they lay on the ground. Anyhow there was a roar of disapproval from the crowd as a couple of men ran to pick up Matthews, who was temporarily out of action. Nash went up towards the centre and encountered Nemesis in the person of the powerful Wells. There was a clinch, and the Collingwood back was whirled off his feet and thrown heavily. No one resented Wells's action; in fact, they cheered him, and the account was completely squared. There was lots in the game that could not be called child's play, but this was the only occasion on which temper was shown.": Observer, "St. Kilda Revival: Collingwood Badly Beaten", The Argus, (Monday, 19 August 1907), p.4.
  9. ^ Follower, "The Football Season", The Age, (Monday, 26 August 1907), p.11.
  10. ^ Football Umpire's Complaint: Players Admonished, The Age, (Thursday, 1 July 1909), p.5.
  11. ^ The VFA Project.
  12. ^ Gas Arbitration: Worker Allowed Monday Off to Recover from Football!, The Geelong Advertiser, (Thursday, 10 April 1913) p.4.
  13. ^ Adams, Michael, "When an Australian city went mad: The unprecedented chaos that engulfed Melbourne for three days",, 16 December 2018.
  14. ^ Police Who Stood Fast: 634 Discharges from Force, The Argus (Saturday, 15 December 1923), p.36.
  15. ^ Flanigan, M. (1998) "Laurie Nash - The Genius", The Age, 5 May 1998
  16. ^ a b Shaw, I. (2006) The Bloodbath, Scribe, Melbourne. ISBN 1-920769-97-8.
  17. ^ Nash, Robert, The VFA Project; note that (as at 9 December 2018) the site has mistakenly conflated the playing records of father (at Footscray) and son (at Coburg).
  18. ^ Main, J. & Holmesby, R. (2005) Encyclopedia of AFL Football Players AFL Publishing (2005) ISBN 1-920910-38-7
  19. ^ McFarlane, Glenn (6 June 2012). "The biggest home and away crowd in history". Collingwood Football Club. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  20. ^ Wallish, p. 339.
  21. ^ Deaths: Nash, The Age, (Tuesday, 17 June 1958), p.11.


  • Wallish, E. (1998) The Great Laurie Nash, Ryan Publishing, Melbourne. ISBN 0-9587059-6-8

External links[edit]