DOB: 13 September 1901
Died: 3 July 1973
From: St Michaels CYMS/North Melbourne
Number: 3 (1936-1938)
Australian Football Hall of Fame member - 1996
Games: 46 (196 total)
Goals: 18 (160 total)
Statistical categories led:
Oldest MFC debutant from another club: 34y, 232d
Lewis joined North when they were in the VFA, but was allowed to return to his junior club after a handful of games. He trialled at Essendon in 1922 but couldn't win a clearance, staying with North until 1935. His first season was interrupted when the club folded halfway through the year, but when they reformed the next year he returned and became one of their best players for a decade.
In that time he had become their first state player, representing the VFA reguarly for the rest of North's stint in the Association. When they joined the VFL he was one of the first Shinboners to gain Victorian selection. and captain-coached the side in 1930. He balanced his time as a VFL player with employment as a shearer, leaving the 1927 season midway through to move to New South Wales for work.
Lewis first sought a clearance to Melbourne early in the 1934 season, but he was not successful and at the end of the season he was cleared to Port Melbourne as coach.
Despite the clearance Lewis stayed at North and won their Best and Fairest in 1935. After his win the club suggested it might be time for him to retire, but despite his age he was approached by Melbourne to continue playing with them in 1936, and was cleared by North in the week before the start of the 1936 season.
Despite his age Lewis gave Melbourne three fine years after becoming - and remaining - the oldest MFC debutant in history, lining up in Round 1, 1936 at the ripe old age of 34 years and 232 days. That year he played his first final since a North Melbourne juniors appearance in 1922.
He was a regular in his first two seasons before playing 12 games in his last. After flirting with retirement and a job coaching the North Melbourne Seconds he played on in 1938 but his season - and ultimately his career - ended with a broken arm suffered in the Round 16 match against Footscray.
In 1939 he coached Murtoa in the Wimmera League. He later returned to the city as playing coach for West Melbourne.
Over his career, Lewis played under 14 different senior coaches, a VFL/AFL record. His great-grandson Daniel Venables later played AFL football for West Coast.
|Round 10, 1936||Striking||Not Guilty|
|Round 13, 1936||Throwing ball at player||Guilty|
|Preliminary Final 1937||Striking||Not Guilty|