DOB: 18 May 1975
From: Carnegie/Tatura/Powelltown/Eastern Ranges
Games: 47 (56 total)
Goals: 60 (66 total)
The former Victorian schoolboy representative and Teal Cup player was signed to the Demons after three years of wrangling over his signature. The residentially bound Charles was signed in the last few days before residential zoning was abolished.
Despite not having excelled in the reserves, Charles was promote to the seniors just a week after his 17th birthday and he was an immediate hit with five goals on debut. An exciting prospect for the Demons, Charles' career with the Demons was peppered with injuries and disciplinary problems. At one point the club were forced to commandeer a plane and fly Charles back to Melbourne for training to prove that he was fit for selection that week after recovering from an ankle reconstruction. He eventually landed on the Junction Oval in a helicopter and was selected, but after kicking two goals tore a calf muscle and was put out again.
He returned, but wrist injuries plagued him throughout 1995 and he had three breaks which required surgery in that year alone. The first came in the Demons Round 1 Ansett Cup loss to the Eagles. At the end of 1996 he only narrowly avoided being delisted due to his injury problems.
Charles missed only four games in 1997, but was well down on his best and the Demons cut him loose at the end of the season. He was traded to Carlton in exchange for draft pick #39 - Matthew Blake - and joined the Blues for the 1998 season but suffered a compound fracture of his leg during the first quarter of his first game after ruckman Mark Porter fell across him and never featured for them again.
After a promising start to his rehabilitation, Charles lost heart and was sacked after failing to appear at the next year's pre-season training. Charles then returned to Woorinen, near Swan Hill, to play his football but at the end of that year made a shock nomination for the 1999 Pre Season Draft where the ailing St Kilda took him with the last pick.
He went on to play eight games in their disastrous 2000 season. During the Round 19, 2000 game against Melbourne, Charles was alleged to have called former teammate David Schwarz a racist. He apologised and withdrew his remarks.
Charles remained on the Saints list in 2001 but frequently missed training sessions and after four games for Springvale in the VFL he suffered a hamstring injury and retired, citing an inability to cope with the demands of the game. He had already been suspended during the pre-season for failure to appear at training.
Football Record 1992 Grand Final
The Age - 26/11/1996
The Age - 15/10/1997
"Charles breaks leg" - The Age 29/03/1998
"Charles in draft shock" - The Age 08/12/1999
Superfooty - 19/07/2000
The Age 09/05/2001
AFANA News 2001