DOB: 30 July 1892
Died: 23 January 1947
From: Wesley College/University
Number: 16 (1915)
Games: 13 (57 total)
Goals: 35 (146 total)
Park was a goalkicking superstar for University in an era where they struggled to win a game. In fact despite leading the league goalkicking in 1913 the 5ft 5in forward lost all 44 of his matches for The Students. It mirrored his schoolboy days where he topped the goalkicking while playing at Wesley in a team that didn't win a match.
Initially planning to retire after the 1914 season Park crossed to Melbourne after University folded and he had completed his medical studies. In 1915 he played 12 games before he was controversially reported for striking. He played one more game before the hearing, and despite three witnesses vouching that he hadn't attacked the player in question he was suspended for three matches. Park retired from the VFL immediately after the verdict.
During the war he served in Europe as part of the 5th Field Ambulance Unit, and when he returned late in the 1919 season there was speculation that Park would rejoin Melbourne, but he opted out of football that year and played cricket. He returned to football midway through 1920 when he signed for VFA side Footscray, and remained there for two seasons and a premiership.
After his football career ended Park threw himself into a cricket career and earned a test call-up for Australia against England at the MCG during the 1920-21. He was dismissed for a golden duck in his first innings and urban legend has it that his wife dropped her knitting as he faced his first ball and therefore missed his entire test batting career.
He attempted to win a clearance from Footscray to South Melbourne in 1922 but the comeback bid was soon dropped before Melbourne could be asked to provide him a clearance to play with the Swans.
His son-in-law Ian Johnson became the secretary of the MCC in the 1950s.
|Round 15, 1915||Striking||8 matches|