DOB: 2 October 1881
Died: 6 December ((1952)
Debut: Round 1, 1904 against St. Kilda at Junction Oval
Last Game: Round 17, 1915 against Essendon at East Melbourne
Captain - 1908
Victorian state player - 1908
A strong mark who was one of the best half-forwards of his era, and by 1907 the Redlegs best player. After taking over as vice captain in Round 8 he captained the side the next year, also playing for Victoria. In Round 15, 1907 he played under the name 'Hugh Adams'.
Midway through 1909 he retired to work on his farm. He was linked with Richmond before the 1910 season but returned to Brighton that year instead. He chose to leave Melbourne due to changes in the club's administration, and was initially refused a clearance to the VFA. An appeal to the VFL was not upheld, but he made it to Brighton eventually.
After an initial attempt at winning a clearance back to Melbourne failed he rejoined the club in Round 6, 1912 and played out of the season before missing the next two. He returned for one game in 1915.
His older brother Jack played for Melbourne between 1900 and 1908. Before his football career, Purse had served during the Boer War.
Players who served during war
Some sources show him as #26 in 1912. Football Record R13, 1912 shows him in #12. Probably not #26 in 1915 as Claude Bryan who wore it the whole season played the same day.
Herald - 21/06/1907
Herald - 16/08/1907
Argus - 25/06/1909
Herald - 22/04/1910
Argus - 05/05/1910
Victorian Football Follower - Issue 4, 1910
Argus - 18/05/1911
Australian Football profile
VFA Project profile